Living Frugally – Dating for Less

If you’re in a committed relationship, then planning and having special events with your significant other is essentially mandatory. Many people dread dates because it usually means dressing up, going out, and spending beyond your means for an evening to please your loved one.

Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to make the most out of  special occasions without breaking the bank.

Try these money-saving tips to make your date special:

1. Rent a Movie. Renting a movie is less expensive than ever, especially thanks to services like NetFlix and RedBox. Netflix allows you to rent unlimited movies per month for a nominal monthly fee. RedBox allows you to rent up to two movies at a time for the flat rate of $1 per movie per night.

✴         Netflix has a much wider selection of movies, but you have to request the movie with enough time for it to ship to you unless you use their on-demand streaming service. RedBox allows you to rent movies on the fly, but the system typically only offers recent releases and hit movies.

✴         Consider that the monthly cost for a Netflix membership costs less than a single movie ticket at the local theater.

2. Cook a romantic dinner. Cook a meal at home, but avoid making your typical meal. Instead, experiment with something interesting or exotic. Combine in-season fresh produce with new herbs and seasonings to surprise your loved one with completely new cuisine.

✴         Some of the in-season vegetables and fruits during the month of February include arugula, beets, asparagus, bok choy, carrots, cilantro, clementines, fennel, grapefruits, lemons, rhubarb, turnips, tangerines and tangelos, shallots, pears, parsnips, and sweet potatoes. Buying fresh produce in season almost always nets you a good deal.

3. Make your own sweets. Buying candy and sweets can be costly, especially just before big holidays. Offset these costs by making your own sweets.

✴         For example, make cake pops. Bake cake mix, then crumble the cake up and mix thoroughly with frosting. Roll into balls and skewer with lollipop sticks. Now dip the cake balls in melted chocolate or candy coating and decorate as desired.

✴         Making your own sweets also gives you greater control over the ingredients. There are no surprises about what may be lurking inside each chocolate in the box.

A homemade, customized dating experience can be significantly more memorable than a mass-produced, overpriced, and commercially-driven date night. Just enjoy it!