Who says dating has to be expensive? A high price tag isn’t necessary to guarantee a good time. With a little imagination and a sense of adventure, you can enjoy the company of your date without ever having to open your wallet. Best of all, such low-pressure dates give you a chance to really get to know one another.
Save your money and try these fun, completely free date ideas.
1. Pack a picnic and head for the hills
If there’s a sunny day on the horizon and you enjoy exploring the great outdoors, prepare a picnic lunch and hit a nearby walking trail. This works especially well if you’re a college student living on campus. Use your meal allowance for your picnic spread, slide the food in your backpack and set out on your journey.
Prior to your jaunt, do a web search on local wildlife, plants and other sights you’re likely to spot on your trek. Bring your date up to speed on the area’s many amenities, which gives you something to talk about and offers potential destinations for your picnic.
Create instant romance by snuggling up on a comfy blanket and studying the constellations. Bring two pairs of binoculars so you and your date can seek out the Big Dipper together. If after some searching you can’t find any constellations, study the moon and comment on what shapes the stars appear to be forming.
An alternative to this during a sunny afternoon is cloud spotting, gazing up at the clouds and adding your own commentary–is that a dog up there?
3. People watch
Get comfortable in a public place with a lot of activities, such as a coffee shop or a shopping mall. Watch various people as they interact with one another and make a game of trying to figure out what they are talking about, thinking, or their life circumstances. You’ll most likely be completely wrong when you guess that the gentleman in the black suit is an FBI agent tailing a notorious criminal or the pregnant lady is carry quintuplets, but you’ll have a good laugh, anyway.
4. Movie Night
A good way to get to know your date is to hold a movie screening where you both watch each other’s favorite movies. After you view both flicks, hold a critique session. Discuss why you like your movie choice and what you liked and didn’t like about your date’s movie, and let him or her do the same. You’re likely to have a lively and enlightening conversation.
5. Go geocaching
Treasure hunts are a blast no matter your age, and the modern form of this ancient sport known as geocaching makes for a fun and free date. This popular activity involves logging onto a geocaching website for information on hidden items in your area, including clues. You go out to search for the items. When you find the cache, you sign into the logbook to prove you were there and have the option of taking one of the treasures and leaving one behind.
Besides an adventurous spirit, all you require to go geocaching is a smartphone with GPS functions. There are several geocaching apps for smartphones available.
Now that you know how easy it is to enjoy a hot date without spending a dime, you can fill your social schedule up and not worry about breaking your budget.
Julie Bawden-Davis is a widely published journalist specializing in personal finance and small business. She has written 10 books and more than 2,500 articles for a wide variety of national and international publications, including Parade.com, where she has a weekly column. In addition to contributing to SuperMoney, her work has appeared in publications such as American Express OPEN Forum, The Hartford and Forbes.