Stretching Your Dollar: Inexpensive date ideas


Posted on May 15, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 16 at 7:52 AM

What makes a date romantic is not how extravagant the price tag is but how much you reveal of yourself and how creatively you interact with one-another. Most free romantic date ideas are far more enjoyable than their pay counterparts. These cheap date ideas require something of your creative, and sometimes wild and risky side. Enjoy them all!

Cheap Date #1 - Take two pads of lined paper, some nice pens and visit a quiet coffee shop. Order two cappuccinos, and write the stories of your lives. After one hour, read them aloud to one-another. Then ask lots of questions.

Cheap Date #2 - Take a digital camera, go to a downtown or busy area of town and make believe that you are paparazzi, gathering as many candid shots of interesting people as you can. Upload your paparazzi shots which you took in number three to a computer either at home or at an internet cafe and write fantastic or crazy news stories incorporating the photos. Email them to a friend or post them on a free web site and send friends a link. This is great fun during our festivals and athletic events.

Cheap Date #3 - Here’s a romantic date idea for when you don’t know one-another well. Go to a cemetery where your relatives are buried, plant flowers and share with your new friend some stories about your family history.

Cheap Date #4 - Take bicycles or roller blades pack a lunch and choose an easy trail ride like Audubon Park or The St. Tammany Trace. Stop often when you find something interesting to look at or just to rest and talk.

Cheap Date #5 - Visit the various art museums, conservatory or botanical garden. Stop to sit on every bench, hold hands and kiss. Our museums are world class.

Cheap Date #6 - Get tickets to a local high school or college musical or drama performance. Ask the stars of the show for their autographs on your program. Afterward, go for a walk or get a snowball at your favorite stand.

Cheap Date #7 - When in season, go to Ponchatoula and pick a few baskets of fresh strawberries of your own. Return home with your produce and create a special fresh-fruit-in-season dessert. Strawberry shortcake is my favorite.

Cheap Date #8 - Make a trip to the grocery store and pick up some creative pizza ingredients. Take your groceries home and assemble your masterpiece pizza together. Choose a CD of music, light candles and enjoy.

Cheap Date # 9 - Check with your local parks and recreation for the schedule of summer dramatic and musical performances in the parks. Prepare a picnic supper, take in the concert, then go for a quiet stroll after the show. We have plenty of opportunity for this just check

Cheap Date #10 - Get your school district’s community education program literature and choose a class on a subject about which you know absolutely nothing. Attend together. You’ll be surprised at what you’ve been missing.

Cheap Date #11 - Pick up the Sunday TP and look up the local parade of new homes. Get in the car and visit three of the most expensive homes making believe that you’re really rich. Be careful that you don’t sign anything! Afterward, stop at a service station to pick up their 3 for $1 hot dog special and a coke.

Cheap Date #12 - Call your local college or university and inquire about their film society’s schedule. Take in a screening of a foreign or art film and join the discussion group afterward. You’ll enjoy the departure from the usual theater and DVD fare. With all the universities New Orleans has, there is lots of opportunity.

Cheap Date#13 - Take your digital camera, choose 10 or 12 unusual or even bizarre locations and ask a stranger at each location to take a picture of the two of you. Go home and prepare an album of your day out or post them on a free website and send friends a link. We have an abundant of places to choose from.

Cheap Date # 14 - Here’s our simplest, yet most traditional and romantic cheap date idea. On a hot August night, take a stroll along the Lakefront on either side of the lake and talk about how fortunate you are to live in this great city with so much to do.

Cheap Date #15 – Rent a canoe and paddle down Bayou St. John. This is what Bonnie and I did while dating, it’s romantic and the sights are enjoyable.

Cheap Date #16 – Go to one of our abundant nice restaurant but limit your order to salads. You get to enjoy the ambience without breaking the bank. This is another date night special when Bonnie was in anesthesia school and I started Resource Management. There was no money, just bills; but we still enjoyed romantic evenings.

Cheap Date #17 – Check out for daily specials. This one was new to me, but they offer impressive discounts on restaurants and other events.

My three daughters helped me with this. Their words of wisdom were: “When you are enjoying each others company or trying to get to know one another it’s the simple out of the ordinary dates that are the most memorable.”