1. Retrace Your Steps.
Who This Is For: Couples Who Are At (Or Have Passed) Significant Milestones In Their Life Together
What’ll It Cost: Depends on how much you’re reliving. We suppose it could be anywhere from $0 to $1 jillion.
If that first date was expensive, don’t recreate the whole thing. Just find one inexpensive something-special that you did together that evening and then redo it. In George Santayana’s “Reason in Common Sense,” a portion of his larger work, The Life of Reason, the writer states famously, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” While we can see what Santayana was getting at from a leadership POV, the past doesn’t have to be such a bad thing with regard to your love life. This is a fun, nostalgic way for veteran couples to stir up the romance before it goes missing for good. I personally used this one on the night I proposed marriage to my wife. Luckily, she said yes, and after we finished breaking the news to our families, we went out for dinner and revisited all the locations of our first date.
2. Roku Together.
Who This Is For: Couples Who Are Past The First Date Jitters
What’ll It Cost: With many of the channels free-of-charge, all it really takes is the purchase of a Roku (about $80 new, we got ours for $20 from a Facebook friend, who was getting rid of his, and it works perfectly, so shop around).
If not a Roku, apply the same logic to whatever device you’re thinking about getting. We’ve called this section “Roku Together,” but in reality, you don’t have to own a Roku to make this one work. It could be anything: media center/apps on your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, Blu-ray or flat-panel television with SmartTV function, your laptop. The point is that you find a good how-to video of mutual interest and then, together, try to recreate the project. Obviously, cooking works the best. Channels like Chow.comoffer a variety of step-by-step tutorials on food preparation that can be quite fun to tackle as a team. And if cooking isn’t your thing, there are also a variety of special interest videos you may want to consider — hunting, martial arts, fitness. Just tap in to your individual interests and your couples dynamic to determine the best subject matter.
3. Sport It Up.
Who This Is For: Young And Established Couples
What’ll It Cost: An initial investment in equipment and supplies (if needed); free ongoing.
Playing sports together and unleashing that competitive side can be fun and sexy for couples, who are looking to kindle the fires of romance. Whether you’re playing tennis, racquetball, or air hockey, sports gives you an opportunity to let down your guard and explore romantic tension, which can be so important to establishing a lifelong connection. This is something that can be done by the modest and immodest. Whether you’re idea of sports is a pair of bowling shoes and an eight-pound ball or a tight tank, short skirt, and tennis racket, you’ll like seeing each other’s competitive sides. And in case you’re concerned about ending up with someone, who doesn’t like sports, there are both primary and specialty dating sites on the web that can help you find the right match. Personally, we think this is a good entry on the list of inexpensive dates because it can also help you weed out personality types, who are either too passive or too aggressive (if that’s not what you’re looking for).
4. Fairs, Festivals, And Local Events.
Who This Is For: Newbies And Couples Tired Of The Same Old-Same Old
What’ll It Cost: Free to flexible Every city has an entertainment guide.
It may be a website or a free magazine that you grab from the lobby of a coffee shop on your way to the parking lot after a meal. Find it, follow it, and plan your calendar around it. You can use it to discover local concerts, attend art exhibits, hit county fairs and book signings, or visit a farmers’ market. These are great ways to spend time together and learn more about your potential mate.
5. Wine Tasting.
Who This Is For: Foodies And Wine Connoisseurs
What’ll It Cost: $0 to $100. Any more than that, and you may have a problem.
If Arkansas can have a winery, then we’re pretty certain there’s one lurking in your state. A trip to a vineyard will usually get you some free wine samples and a great meal as many have restaurants on the premises. The views are incredible, the tastes are magnificent. The only problem is that you may need someone to drive you home if you both over-indulge. But even with that, the location is great for walking one off.
6. Pop Some Tags.
Who This Is For: Second Date And Beyond
What’ll It Cost: Up to you (and your significant other)
The Macklemore-Ryan Lewis rap tune “Pop Some Tags” has an important message that you can learn in the dating world. Sometimes being cheap is a good thing. By taking your date to thrift shops, consignment stores, (some) antique stores, and other “Mom and Pop” type stores, you can indulge that love of shopping for a fraction of the price. Along the way, you can also discover some forgotten gems, childhood memories, using those trips down memory lane to reveal more of yourself to the other person.
7. Couples Classes.
Who This Is For: Couples Without A Roku (See No. 2)
What’ll It Cost: $50 to $100 per month — maybe more, maybe less It’s hard to put a price on what a professional will charge to teach you things, such as mixed martial arts, ballroom dancing, or pottery, but whatever it is, can be worthwhile.
I once did a ballroom dancing class for about $35 per month (per person). We met twice per month, and there were two of us, so essentially I took the girl on two $35 outings each month. Talk about an affordable date! As for finding classes, your local Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start.
Who This Is For: Couples With An Appreciation For History
What’ll It Cost: $0 to ?????
You may be living in a more interesting place than you think, and what better way to discover just how unique your town is, than with someone who shares your interests? The story of a country is the sum of many parts. Major historical events have played out across every landscape from Florida to Washington State. Same goes for anyone outside the US. Find out what it is about your state, city, or town, that’s cool, and then dig deeper into the experience. A museum of history is the perfect starting point. Example from where I live: Fort Smith, Arkansas, was the hub of the American West and the birthplace of the US Marshals. It’s where the John Wayne/Jeff Bridges film True Grit takes place (or originates), and it’s not far from historic Civil War battle sites. If my town is that interesting, so is yours. You’ve just got to seek it out.
There is seriously no shortage of inexpensive dates that you can put into practice. Which will you choose?