Friday 13: Cheap Dates

I’m easy. To please that is.

Let me explain that. I’m all for dates both expensive and cheap. I’m just as comfortable dressing up in a gown, eating steak and lobster, and hobnobbing with the rich and famous (those who think they are) as I am dressing in jeans and going people watching at the mall while eating Krystals. Both types are fabulous fun for me. I’m so blessed that I get to do both, though neither not near as often as I’d like.

That being said, we’re not made of money and so most of our date nights have to be on the frugal side. Here are some ways I think a cheap date could actually be a good thing:

FRIDAY 13: 13 Cheap Dates

  1. The bookstore. This is my favorite cheap date right now. We go, get coffee and chai and browse the books for as long as we possibly can. Then we browse the magazines. Then we browse the sale aisles. We reluctantly leave either when I’m frozen (see this post) or it’s time to head back home.
  2. People watching. We haven’t done this in a while, well, because for two years we didn’t have a place to go people watch. We’re living withing ten minutes of at least three different shopping centers now so I plan on doing lots of it. It’s fun to make up stories about people or, heaven forbid, try to eavesdrop. It brings you closer together when you’re planning out others futures.
  3. Walk in the park. Our best walk in the park was in Vienna, Austria. It was just dusk and there were several couples walking hand in hand enjoying the crisp, cool air. We were admiring the golden busts and statues poised along the walkways. All of the sudden, out of the bushes, comes a man in a loose coat, hands in his pockets. NO, get your minds out of the gutter. As we were walking by he quietly whispers, “hashish?” and let us just continue walking. At first we had to check with each other to make sure we heard correctly. Firstly, because we were used to trying to “hear” things in German and we were confirming that “hashish” did indeed mean the same thing in any language. Secondly, because…wha!?! Who does that?!? We’d never been propositioned before. To this day that one word sends our minds back and reminiscing about our trip to Vienna.
  4. Star gazing. If you can afford a telescope it’s even better. This can only happen if it’s warm outside. I ain’t sitting out under the stars shaking and just wishing I was back indoors. We went star gazing at White Sands, NM once. It was amazing to lay on a dune of the finest sand in the world, gaze up at the most stars we’d ever seen before (and probably never will see again) and even see satellites orbit the earth. My mind really begins to ponder big things when I star gaze. I always leave with an awakened awe of God.
  5. Adult “toy” stores. Get ’em outta the gutter people. I ain’t goin’ there on this blog. Adults like to play as much as kids do. Our toys are just bigger and more expensive. It’s fun to go in stores like The Sharper Image, Hammacher Schlemmammammaccherrr, Bath & Body Works…and just browse. It’s kind of freeing knowing you’re just there to play so you’re not obligated to pull out the wallet. Get a free massage in one of their multi-million dollar full-body massage chairs. Try out every single lotion in the store and leave smelling like that million bucks.
  6. Volunteer. This is something I’d like to do more of, and now that we’re settled I can start looking around for places to volunteer. Many volunteer opportunities aren’t conducive to having kids around. Going with your spouse to help others can be one of the most fulfilling dates you go on.
  7. Go on walks in those neighborhoods. You know, the neighborhoods you’ll never be able to afford to live in, but isn’t it loads of fun to mentally create your dream house? We did this throughout our “four year honeymoon” in Germany. Whew! Our “retirement home” had all the trappings of a medieval castle, complete with turrets and a moat. And a hall of mirrors. And a grotto. We were living high on the hog…in our minds at least.
  8. Ice Cream. There’s something about getting a scoop in a cone (a cup for me) that makes you feel younger. Maybe even like a kid again. Talking about life while eating ice cream makes everything a little bit lighter. You think of new ways to tackle old problems while eating that frozen goodness.
  9. High School football games. Or college if you’re close to a town that has a smaller school. These games are fun to go to because you get the thrill of competition (albeit on a smaller scale) on the cheap. Take your stadium seats and blankets. Get a little stadium food. A watered down Coke. Be amazed at how much high school kids have changed since you were in school. Be thankful you didn’t act like that. And ladies, if you don’t know much about football, these games are easier for your hubby to explain the ins and outs (yes, high school, college and pro rules are different but the basic premise is still the same).
  10. Community events. Many towns, larger ones especially seem to go out of their way to always have something going on. Jazz nights downtown; free nights at the museum; festivals at the river walk; free days at the zoo. Get in touch with your Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s Bureau to see what’s on the calendar in your area.
  11. Geocaching or letterboxing. I’ve mentioned these before. With geocaching you do have make the initial investment of a GPS Receiver, but those are fairly cheap now days. With letterboxing all you need to buy is a stamp (with ink, not postage) and a note pad. Enjoy the thrill of mystery solving together while getting out in nature and enjoying your surroundings. We love doing both of these even if it is for different personal reasons. Du likes to get out in nature and enjoy the day. It’s the thrill of the hunt for me and the more we find in a day the better. We’re still together though.
  12. Dinner and a movie in. If you’ve got someone who can take your kids away from the house it’s fun just to stay at home and hang out there. Set rules though. No bills, no computer (what?!), no phones. Just you, your spouse, your favorite drink and a good movie. If you’re lucky enough your kids will be spending the night somewhere else.
  13. Miniature golf. Putt Putt! This is fun to do even if it’s just to make a total fool of yourself. I don’t play to win at mini golf, I play to see how many strokes I can actually take. Well, it’s not that bad, but I’m there to have fun. This also takes you back to younger freer times. If you don’t feel younger after a game of Putt Putt then I’m not sure anything would help.


 In 1996. Married for a couple of months.

 
Jan 2006. 10 Years of Cheap Dates.

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How about you? Are you a cheap date? What are your favorite (cheap) ways to go out with your honey?

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16 thoughts on “Friday 13: Cheap Dates

  1. dandelionmom says:

    I looove cheap dates! (I get the giggles when we try to look like more than we are)

    We love drives (which ain’t so cheap anymore are they?)-nothing else at hand that needs to be done by either of us-we both have a captive audience.

    I like fats-food in the car-in the spring-at a park to watch the baby ducks/geese (do NOT try to feed a baby goose french fries-just sayin’)

    wandering around the farm store looking at every last thing is a blast too.

    Hubby likes to drive around and show me RR signals he has worked on (yawn)-but at least we are alone in the car!

  2. My husband and I definitely love the “bookstore” date. We also like the “craft store” date where he can browse car models and I can pretend to be crafty!

    Stealing a few moments alone on the back deck isn’t too bad, either. 😉

  3. What a great list. We love high school football games. We love frozen yogurt. We love to BBQ. There are so many things you can do.

    I love to read. The used book store can keep me entertained for an hour. 🙂

  4. taking our bikes to the beach and going for a long ride is our favorite day cheep date, sitting in our back yard with a good drink and cheese and crackers is how we like to spend friday nights, I wish it was 6pm right now!!

  5. I absolutely LOVE the colors in your blog and the header design. THis list is so fabulous, and I loved the intro paragraph, too.

    I appreciate you taking the time to stop by my blog. I look forward to re visiting yours!

  6. What a great post! You gave me some new ones to think about, especially volunteering!

    My favorite cheap dates…are ones that aren’t even planned but you end up having fun and tucking it away in your memories!

  7. Kelley says:

    We love high school soccer & football too but Allen’s fave cheap date place is Bass Pro Shops. I usually end up sitting on a bench watching the fish swim in the big tank while he looks at the same stuff for the millionth time. (It is relaxing and I have been known to take along a book.) Today we celebrate 27 years of marriage:) God is soooo good!

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