Date outside the box


 Seven inexpensive alternatives to save you money

By Rachel Nichol
Web Master

Although it is always nice to dress up and go out to dinner with your significant other at a place like Texas Roadhouse, the bill can really add up. The money spent on casual dates that accumulate over the course of a relationship is astounding. This can be hard on college students that hold minimum-wage jobs with all their other expenses. It can be quite difficult to come up with enjoyable and creative date ideas. The ideas below are both obvious and convenient, which may lead you to wonder what exactly you have been doing during all of your expensive date nights.

Dinner and a Movie

An easy way to switch up this go-to date and avoid the costly popcorn, evening ticket prices, and the dinner bill, is to enjoy your evening at home. You can order a pizza, which is around five dollars, and pop in a DVD. While not recommended for noisy households, be sure to find a way for your family to step out for the evening. At least you won’t have to ask where the bathrooms are.


A classic yet not costly. Depending where you go, the prices can vary. The best idea would be to call around to local bowling alleys to compare prices. A little competitive fun with your date will definitely pay off, while you’re barely spending a dime. If you split the cost with others, a group date can be cheaper for you all.

Embrace Your Inner Chef

It can be a nice change to light some candles and have a nice, quiet, romantic dinner in the comfort of your own home. The enormous advantage to this is that you don’t have to worry about waiting, for a table or for the food to finally arrive. Not to mention the awkward struggle of leaving a tip. You’ll also gain some great bonding time with each other while you’re cooking.

Mini Golfing

Mini golfing is something that most people may find predictable, but those types of ideas can be the cutest, and the cheapest. As long as it isn’t a busy location, you can take your time and enjoy the experience with each other.

Cliché Picnic

Although this has been done in the movies, it is truly amazing when it actually happens. Typically, couples spend plenty of money to have someone else make their food and deal with a noisy atmosphere. A quiet, calm, and homemade lunch/dinner in the park could be just the relaxation you two need.

Ice Skating

A date like this is the grown-up version of going roller-skating, although that is just as fun. Ice-skating is a great way to cool down in the summer, and to participate in winter activities without freezing completely. If either one of you happen to have ice skates, you can save even more money on this date, although rentals at certain places are usually only a couple bucks.

Window Shopping

A trip to the mall might sound a little off, but walking around and checking out each other’s favorite stores and what each of you are into is a great way to bond. This is also a good idea for getting gift ideas for each other without being painfully obvious.