How to Date Without Breaking the Bank

By Kira D’Amato - University of Connecticut

In New York City, the average dinner and a movie date costs roughly $174 with movie tickets being $24 and dinner and drinks in an upscale midtown restaurant for two $150 . That does not even count the cab fare! Going on a casual date should not have to break the bank. Instead, these date ideas can easily cost between $0 and $10. These tips can also help to create the strongest connections and bonds.

Nature is Free 

Take advantage of mother nature! Hiking really can be the perfect date. You can easily get close to someone by admiring the horizon together and bonding by helping each other climb the last leg to the summit and it’s obviously cheaper than going out to dinner!. The Mattabesett Trail in central CT is said to have the best views.

Take Advantage of the $1 Movie Bin

Movie rentals through On -Demand or even everyone’s favorite, Netflix, can get pricy when you want to keep switching it up. Many drug stores and department stores have $5 or below movie bins. These movies are usually only a few years outdated and if you dig, you can snatch a great find! The only other thing you need is generic brand microwave popcorn and a cozy fire and you have the perfect night in! Uconn students can head to North Windham's walmart for a cheap flick.

Volunteer at your Local Animal Shelter

This might sound random, but what could be better than your cutie surrounded by precious pets? These types of non-profit organizations are always looking for help. It's not limited to pets though, you can go to a soup kitchen or volunteer at a fundraising event for the day. Philanthropy will leave your date with a positive impression. Only about a half hour from UCONN is the Connecticut Humane Society in Newington.

Game Night > Spending on Dinner 

If the idea of a first date alone is intimidating, call up some other couples and make it a group date in a dorm room which is cheaper than going out! A round of Pictionary or even create your own Mad Libs to keep your date laughing all night. If you do not own board games, call up family or a friend and ask to borrow one. For snacks, make it potluck style and have everyone bring a dish.

Always remember that impressing a date does not mean draining your bank account. Being yourself is worth more than filet mignon and roses. If you have the right person, they will not need anything fancy, just your time!