The Alternative Guide To Cheap Dates
So you’ve met that special someone who fulfils all of the movie stereotypes. Butterflies in your stomach, shaky knees, the works. Naturally, you’d want to spend more time with them. However, if you are anything like me, you’d be deep into your overdraft, living off baked beans and you get nightmares about climbing the scary mountain of debt you have to pay off post-graduation. Not to worry, you can have your cake and eat it too. (Pun definitely intended).
Here at Eat More Cake we believe that true love shouldn’t be hampered by anything as trivial as money. To help you on your journey to honeymoon-land we’ve put together 6 cheap date ideas that certainly do not involve your typical movie and takeaway night.
1. Make some art together
Don’t worry, I’m not telling you to re-enact the pottery scene with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze from ‘Ghost’ – we reckon that would be a little overwhelming for a first date. But the definition of art does not have to mean getting creative with a paintbrush. Think about making memories together in different ways. Grab a pad of paper, a pencil and the stopwatch app on your smartphone and do 30-second sketches. Take turns telling each other what you want the other person to draw. If you aren’t great at art, you are likely to make them laugh with your sketches, and if you happen to be the next Michelangelo, you’re going to impress the pants off them. It’s a win-win scenario.
For more great art ideas, head over to The Art Assignment on Youtube. They have videos about different homework ‘assignments’ you can complete. My personal favorite is ‘Meet in the Middle’, where you literally pick a point on a map halfway between the two of you and meet each other halfway at an agreed time. After that you are not allowed to speak to each other until you meet them there. There are a few more things on that channel, just pick one and make great, great art together.
2. Be tourists in your own town
Unfortunately, the dreams of taking your crush on a romantic whirlwind holiday to Morocco will have to be put on the backburner for a while. However, you could do some traveling right where you are in your local area. It may seem baffling at first to think of your university town or city as exciting in comparison to Paris or Hong Kong, but go in with an open mind and enough money for bus fare and you could discover something new.
What you should do is get an all-day bus pass or an all-day travel ticket on the train and stop at somewhere you’ve never stopped before. Take photos and walk around until you find something interesting. If you are not feeling that, people-watching is a great way to pass the time. This date is great for getting to know the other person. Riding around on buses all day is a great test of your conversational skills, because as we all know, looks aren’t everything in a relationship, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. (Probably).
3. Construct a Pillow fort
The idea is simple. Get four tall chairs, a blanket, and as many pillows as you can find or steal. Grab a couple of flashlights and tell each other ghost stories. Bonus points if you manage to wrangle some fairy lights. Even more bonus points if you make hot chocolate, and when it comes to your crush, I’d suggest you don’t hold back on the marshmallows. Let the cuddles (or more) ensue.
4. Eat out no more
Eating out is incredibly expensive. Besides that, a candlelit dinner is pretty cliché, and honestly, a bit scary. I think Murphy’s Law definitely applies to dinner dates. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong; spinach stuck between your teeth, embarrassing yourself by taking too long with your appetizer choice, toilet paper stuck to your shoe when you return from your bathroom break post a small panic attack…Nobody needs that kind of pressure!
The solution: make dinner together. Find a recipe online that tickles your fancy and get prepping in and chopping in the kitchen. There’s no need to dress up unless you want to, and however much you want to spend is entirely in your control. You could be creative and set the scene; you could invest in a few candles and dim the lights if you so wish. Ultimately the satisfaction you both will have after you finish a meal you made with your own hands will be incomparable.
Online suggestions: Head over to Sortedfood.com for easy, cheap recipes that are designed to impress. Alternatively, GoCookYourself.com is also great, with simple (and occasionally hilarious) recipe instructions.
5. Unleash your inner child
Go to a playground in your local area and run around like kids for a little while. It’s a great way to break the ice and have bucket-loads of active fun. Who doesn’t love the swing set or the jungle gym, after all? Just make sure you get ice-cream after and sit on the grass after.
6. Netflix roulette
Alright, if you really can’t escape watching a film with a takeaway, you can shake it up a little. Get on Netflix Roulette and watch whatever comes up. You could pretend to be movie critics and write notes and compare them after, or you could full-on heckle the movie you end up with. Whatever it is, have fun with it. You could even have create a drinking game! Load up on the popcorn and let destiny guide you on your way to his or her heart.