Want to go on a date, but are on a tight budget this month? Are you on a tight budget every month? Every week, there seems to be more bills than paychecks. We always tell ourselves “okay, no more spending. Gotta save up!” But then how would you treat your date when you go out? You don’t want to look cheap by just going for a walk and calling it a night!
Have no fear, fellow young working-class romantics. I have some ideas of things you can do to still have fun when you are on a date that cost $0.
1. Go to the grocery store and watch the lobsters
We can’t all afford to go to an aquarium, but luckily this aquarium has a $0 entry fee and no gift shop to worry about! You can impress your date with some lobster facts as you watch these dirty decapods duke it out!
Did you know:
- When lobsters communicate with each other in battle or courtship, they communicate by peeing on each other’s faces. Different scents of pee mean different things. They also pee out a gland in their face!
- Not only do they pee out their face, but they have teeth in their stomach, and they smell with their feet.
- Lobsters can also regenerate their limbs when lost
- Lobster used to be prison food. In the olden days, folks would find dozens of these gross ocean cockroaches washed up on a shore after a storm, and feed them to their prisoners. Kind of crazy that they are considered fancy-people food now.
A bit of lobster-watching with your fun facts will make you seem like a regular marine biologist, and will surely blow your date’s mind. What could be more romantic?
2. Go to a dog park!
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a man in possession of good company, must be in want of a dog. We all know this. Less and less apartments are pet-friendly, or one of your 33 roommates you need in order to afford your two-bedroom is allergic, barring the option. It’s easy to find dogs walking around your neighborhood, but asking permission to pet them is nerve-wracking. Fortunately, dog parks are usually free to enter!
The trick is to lie down in the middle of the ground, and all the dogs should swarm you with curiosity and wagging tails to sniff and lick you. This is actually a VERY romantic look. Best-case scenario: you and your date steal a dog! Worst-case scenario: who needs a date when you’ve got puppy friends?! They’re all such good boys! And good girls!
3. Go to a fake museum
If you’re like me, you got Animal Crossing: New Horizons when it was released in March 2020 right at the beginning of the lockdown (sidenote: is that a suspicious coincidence or is it just me?) and had lots of bugs and fish to catch while we were all out of a job over the spring and summer. Maybe it’s been a while since you dusted it off and played the game, but if you log back in, Blathers’ Museum is open 24/7 and you can go right from your couch!
Explore freshwater and open ocean aquariums, the butterfly garden, rooms full of towering fossils, and even any famous art you may have acquired! It’s a truly beautiful museum to explore. Your date will forget all about your 33 roommates and your second-hand couch as they explore fascinating 2D relics on a screen. Is it less tactile? Yes. But it’s free!
4. Make your own movie!
With just your common smartphone and some props around your apartment, you can easily make a low-budget remake of your favorite classic. Or even write and direct your own masterpiece! You and your date can go to free places like the park or the street outside, or do it all indoors as you film different scenes. You can prop your phone so you can both be in it, or just have one person be all the characters a la the style of Olaf’s movie recaps.
Who knows? Maybe you could even post it online as a reminder of your date! It could even go viral if it’s funny or done well enough. A lot of famous TikTokers or YouTubers start out by posting harmless joke things with their pals, so it could even turn into a career! This is an important moment. Working with the talent can be hard, but when you’re making your debut you need the best. And if your date doesn’t have what it takes, well, that’s showbiz. Best to recast. You can’t mess up your masterpiece.
All in all, planning dates should be something truly creative that leaves an impression. You could google free first dates, but everyone has been to the park or gone on a hike. Your date should be memorable! So long as it comes from the heart and you are able to make your date smile, I call that a successful night.
Hopefully with a few free or cheap dates, you can save up for the things that really matter, like the Animal Crossing: New Horizons DLC or a dog of your own. Then, people will be lining up to date you! Go forth and be frugal, my romantic friend!