In the real world–and by real world I mean life post-college NOT the TV show–dating can hit a suitor’s pockets pretty quickly. When movie tickets range anywhere from $11-$17, your date better not even breathe the word popcorn. And while I in no way encourage women to “go dutch”, I don’t believe a slack wallet should completely prevent a good connection with a good person. But I also don’t believe lack of funds justifies dating laziness. So the broke dater has to get a tad more creative, yes? I present to you “20 Hot Dates Under $20” broken up by couple type. Sporty? Go bowling. Foodie? Farmer’s Market. Some of the dates might seem a little dry to you. That’s okay. You don’t have to like them all. Just find a few you’re willing to try out. And if you don’t like those, I have a few of my own that me and Mr. Right-For-Now have sort of accidentally indulged in.
(1) The Window Grocery Shopping Date
How do you window grocery shop? You go grocery shopping, only you don’t buy anything. You talk about the food you would’ve bought had you actually been grocery shopping. It’s a very good date for learning what he or she likes. From favorite cereal to favorite hot sauce brand, it’s important to know your grocery shopping compatibility before it’s too late. Although I warn you, this date isn’t for the hungry.
(2) The Library Study Date
One of my favorite (and cheapest!) recent dates with my honey bunny was going to the library to study together. Got a real estate exam? Theology classes? Papers to grade? The dim lighting, quiet atmosphere, and closeness of the study corrals, truly brought us together as well as any restaurant would–only we didn’t have to pay for anything AND we both got our work done. Now that’s a date no one feels guilty about keeping.
(3) The Classic Park Stroll
Walking and talking hand in hand never goes out of style. It works for the young couple and the aged couple, the new couple and the veteran couple, the active couple and the lounging couple. You exercise without realizing it, you set the atmosphere for excellent conversation, and you spend time with nature. This is an all around A+ date. You can up the ante to jogging or take it down a notch and set up camp with a blanket and a deck of cards.
(4) Car Shows
Ladies, want to impress that cutie in the next door cubicle? Take him to a car show. I’ve yet to pay more than $10 for a car show. I’ve even gone to free ones. But you get a lot of horsepower for your buck. And the guys go ape shit! Tis true what they say about boys and their toys.
(5) Faux Mattress Shopping
If you go to a customer service based mattress store, they’ll take the two of you on a sleep journey. In fact, the good mattress stores work kind of like a dating service. And as you hop from bed to bed finding out what you like and don’t like, feel no shame. You don’t have to take any of them home to meet Mom. Have fun hunting for the bed you both agree on (you’d be surprised how hard that is)! At the end, simply explain to the clerks that you didn’t find one to suit both of your needs. Although it’s more work for the clerk (so this isn’t a good idea if the store is crowded), a woman never forgets the first guy that got her in bed.