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Category:  Romance

9 Romantic and Cheap Date Ideas

By Jamie Jefferson

If you can't afford the stereotypical date of dinner out at a fancy restaurant, don't worry. There are plenty of things that you and your loved one can do on a very limited budget.

Whether you're taking out someone special, rekindling the romance with your spouse or planning a night out with another couple, use these ideas for inspiration.

1. A picnic in the park. Few dates are as romantic as the simple picnic in the park. Pack a basket with some strawberries, homemade sandwiches and sparkling cider or wine. Even the most humble meal can be made special by eating it outdoors.

2. A bookstore visit. Go to a bookstore and read each other your favorite books from childhood. Pick out a travel book from a place you'd like to visit and share your dream vacation. There are so many things you can explore together at a boo store that you may want to go back more than once.

3. A walk on the beach. If you have an ocean nearby, be sure to take advantage of the romantic potential of a walk on the beach. Time your walk for early morning or late evening, just as the sun is making its most dramatic show in the sky. You can also visit a beach at night and enjoy a moonlit stroll.

4. Explore your home town. Go to the local visitor's bureau and see what free events are coming to your area, or what hidden gems are around town that you may have forgotten about. Pretend you're a visitor to your city and see it through new eyes. You'll probably find a lot of free, or nearly free, activities that you never knew existed in your area. For example, many towns have walking maps of historical homes and landmarks.

5. Make your own game night. Raid the dollar store for a variety of different game pieces and create your own game. Mix up pieces from different games, like cards, dice, game pieces, etc. Make up rules and then write them down so you can play again in the future.

6. Explore local arts. Local music shows, art festivals and poetry readings are great ways to support the local arts and have a cheap date at the same time. Look through the Friday newspaper to get in touch with what's going on over the weekend.

7. Travel games. Take a drive without knowing where you'll end up. Make up a list of directions that you'll follow before you leave your house. For example, "turn left at the first yellow house" or "go three miles past the first red sign."

8. Take a tour. if you have a local food or beverage factory, you have a potential frugal date destination. Call the factory to see if they offer tours and book a date.

9. Volunteer. This date idea is perfect if you and your significant other care about protecting the world and helping others. Decide on your favorite cause as a couple and then look for opportunities to make a difference. Local soup kitchens, senior care facilities and environmental groups are always looking for volunteers.

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