4 Dates for the Cash-Strapped
By Laura Snyder
After doling out the checks for your skyrocketing bills, you may not think your meager paycheck can sustain the dinners, movies, and rounds of cocktails you rely on in your social and romantic life.
Here's how to save cash while coupling up - and without looking cheap!
Stay in for Dinner
Even with the rising price of food, you'll still save a lot of cash by cooking dinner together than hitting up your local romantic cafe. Hit up Mom for a fool-proof recipe (almost any patient person can roast an impressive looking chicken) or stick to the prepared-food section of your local grocery. Don't forget to pick up an inexpensive bottle of wine.
Ever notice all those personal ads that talk about "long, romantic walks on the beach?" Give it a try. If you don't have a beach handy, try your local park or hiking trails. Borrow or rent bicycles or in-line skates for bigger thrills. Fly a kite. Feed the ducks or squirrels. Hit up the swing sets. You'll look fun and athletic - and it won't cost you more than a few calories.
Find a restaurant that specializes in tapas or "small plates" you can share. Or agree to meet for just drinks or for coffee and dessert. Staring moonily at each other over a shared sliver of chocolate cake is both sweet - and economical.
Cruise your town's arts and entertainment calendar and keep an eye out for free lectures, readings, or gallery openings. Colleges are often a great source for these, as are bookstores and cafes. Museums often have free or discounted-admission nights. You may even score some free wine and cheese. Don't you look smart.
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