Yes, it is possible. And no, it doesn’t make you a cheapskate. If you’re worried someone won’t want to date you if you don’t take them out for a 3 course meal and a Broadway show, then you probably don’t want to date them at all. While economic stability is nice in a mate, it’s not fair to expect someone to break the bank just to take you out.
For a first date – keep it casual and not too long. A full dinner and drinks afterwards at the bar can really add up. And it can often be so noisy that you can’t really here what the other person is saying. Something like a casual coffee, or a nice stroll by the lake (weather permitting) can be a great first date. In the nicer weather, a lot of cities offer free outdoor activities – movies, concerts, and plays. If you really feel you need to *go* to something –try cheap night at the movies, or at least skip dinner – just do a movie, and then for something light afterwards. Mr. Canuck Buck’s and I first date was at the cheapie theatre.
For special occasions – going out is nice, but why not a home cooked meal? I’ve yet to meet a soul who said “So and so cooked me this amazing meal instead of going out – how dare they”. Trust me – both genders are a sucker for a good cook. You can still get dressed up and go “the whole nine yards” – you just get to do it on your schedule in the peace and quiet of your own home.
Once you’ve been dating a while – hopefully, if you’re growing together as a couple, you’re in synch financially. One of you doesn’t want to hit McDonalds all the time, while the other wants caviar and champagne. If you really like to go out a lot, try something like the Entertainment Book or a group discount site such as Wagjag to get discounts on restaurants. If you’re more homebodies, like Mr. Canuck Buck and I are, a date can be as simple as picking up subs and putting on a movie.
If you really want to go all out – watch for special events in your town. In Toronto, there Summerlicious and Winterlicious, which offer 3 course “prix fixe” (add link) meals for a good deal – usually for 15-25 dollars, depending on the menu and whether you go for lunch or dinner.
What’s your best cheap date idea?