Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Guest Post: Fifteen Fabulously Frugal Date Ideas

A re-habbed spendaholic, The Happy Homeowner began blogging as a way to stay accountable and to chronicle her quest for financial freedom. From paying off over $14,000 in credit card debt in one year to purchasing her own condo in the expensive Boston real estate market (on her own!), she shares her financial ramblings, musings, and fabulously frugal ideas here.

Romance and finances.  As a society, we’re seemingly starved for the former and oblivious to the latter.  What is it about the blending of these topics that can sometimes make a grown (wo)man cry?  In my opinion, it’s the lack of awareness that romance doesn’t have to cost copious amounts of money.  Nor does it have to be commercialized, perfect, or over-the-top.  In a world where some people are struggling just to put dinner on the table when others are lavishing their significant others with $400 dinners, it’s obvious that homage should be paid to the fabulously frugal date.  

With that notion, I give you the Happy Homeowner’s Fifteen Fabulously Frugal Date Idea
  1. Star Gazing:  pull out a blanket & get cozy in your backyard, nearby park, or beach.
  2. Biking Picnic:  load up your bike basket (or backpack) with food that’s already in the refrigerator, hop on your bike, and pedal away. 
  3. Beach Day:  head to your local beach or pond and collect a variety of shells, acorns, driftwood, etc.  Have a passerby take your photo and put it in a frame that’s decorated with your finds (hot glue the shells, etc. to a dollar store frame).
  4. Road Trippin’:  Get in the car and drive away, making turns only on streets with a certain letter or postings for garage sales, etc.  Make sure to have a map or GPS with you so you can get home!
  5. Open Houses:  Find open houses in your neighborhood and explore the homes while you create your own “life’s story” of the two of you living in the house.
  6. Tiny Bubbles:  Take a free brewery or winery tour or attend a free tasting in your area.  Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy afterwards.
  7. Cherry Picker:  Visit a local farm or orchard and pick fruit.  Turn that fruit into pies and enjoy the “fruits” of your labor
  8. Lights, Camera, Action!:  Find out if any movies have been filmed in your area or close to where you live.  Rent the movie first and then go to those spots where it was filmed near where you live and re-create the scenes.  Don’t forget your camera!
  9. Burn, Baby, Burn:  Turn a love of sports into an exercise-fueled date—go for a run, play ball in the local field, go for a hike.
  10. He Went Thatta-Way:  Start your date by following a random stranger wherever they go.  When they stop or you can’t follow them anymore, pick someone else and do the same.
  11. Around the World:  Pick a theme or region of the world and cook a dinner based on the food found there. 
  12. Bathing Beauties:  Light some candles, pop some bubbly, and soak your worries away.
  13. One Dolla-Holla:  Set a budget of $5 or $10 each and go to the dollar store.  Have a contest to see who can create the best/funniest/most romantic gift for the other.
  14. Book Worms:  Read a book together, taking turns but stopping periodically to have the other guess what will happen next.
  15. Snuggle Bunnies:  Take a nap together.  Seriously, napping is such an amazing luxury from time to time!

These ideas are in addition to the standard free events, $1 movies, walk in the park, etc. that any Google search can pull up.  The idea is that with a wee bit of creativity, anyone can fit in a fabulous date despite the tightest of budgets.  After all, if we allow our money to dictate our lives and relationships, are we really living?!


  1. These are great ideas. If you would ever want to swap with me on guest posts, I would be up for that.

  2. How about cooking for your date. A home cooked meal is a great frugal date.