Strapped for cash this winter but still want to have fun with your new love? That try on these cheap and cheerful dates for size!
1. Screen Queen
Yes, Netflix is packed full of movies but sometimes there’s nothing like heading to the cinema for a classic date. That way, you’re parents aren’t looking over your shoulder and your little brother isn’t running into the room demanding you put on his favourite show. Going to the cinema may be one of the oldest dates in the book but where else can you cuddle your crush in semi-darkness, share popcorn (in between holding hands) and then stroll through the town afterwards discussing the plot and the dreamy lead actors. All that for about a tenner? Not bad! Plus, if the guy or gal you’re with turns out to be a bit of a ‘mare you can stare at the screen for the next two hours and avoid the awkward efforts of conversation.
2. Skate Mate
For a winter date, just picture the scene – you’re both in your cutest winter woollies and Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas begins to play as you and your love glide hand-in-hand around the ice-rink, it couldn’t get any more romantic. Plus, if you’re not great at the skate they’ll have to hold your hand the whole time, and if you fall on your bum you can have a laugh about it to help break the ice (not literally, of course!).
3. Culture Club
First up, forget all about boring school trips to the museum. When you’re forced to go to these things with 20 other classmates and the teacher from hell it can be a pretty horrendous experience. However, there is a lot to be said for strolling around an art gallery or museum at your own pace with the boy or girl of your dreams. You can take your time, absorb the atmosphere and all that new information and discuss it all over a coffee and some cake afterwards. Best of all, most galleries in Ireland are free so they’re easy on the wallet too.
4. Go Italian
Next time, instead of going out for pizza, how about you suggest the two of you stay in and make it together? Not only is it really tasty and easy but it’s all about teamwork – a great way to bond! Buy ready-made bases, raid the cupboards and the fridge for cheese, tomato and all your fave toppings and get creative. The sky’s the limit and, you get to know each other’s likes and dislikes. Best of all, you get to enjoy the fruits (of veg rather!) of your labour once the hard work is done!
5. Cafe Society
Meeting for a coffee may seem like something you only do with your mates but it can also be a pretty cute date too. It gives you great opportunity to chat and really get to know each other. And if you choose a coffee shop that has those big, snuggly couches you can get all cosy as you sip away on your giant caramel latte, or hot chocolate, or herbal tea! Best of all, if things aren’t going great you can always neck your coffee and leg it with no commitment to a long date. Just remember to go easy on the caffeine as too much of the stuff with have you bouncing off the walls.
6. Game Stop
If you’re more motivated than mushy then maybe something a little more energetic might hit the spot. How about tenpin bowling, pitch and putt or a game of pool? Not only will you be getting a little more exercise but you’ll have loads of fun and you’ll get to know one another without all the awkward silences. It will also help you get to know your crushes likes and dislikes so that you can plan the next date (fingers crossed) accordingly!
7. Home Double Date
If you’re awkward about bringing your new crush to your parents, or feel it would be too much pressure on them, why not invite him or her over as part of a gang for a movie night? That way, you can get to know them in an informal way with friends around. There’s less pressure for you two to keep the conversation flowing if there’s another couple or group there too. Pick your favourite flick on Netflix or Hulu show and get the sweet treats and popcorn ready. It’ll save you plenty of cash too and eliminate that awkward ‘come to my house for the first time’ stress.
8. A Shore Thing
Okay, so it might sound quite corny but strolling along a beach on a fresh winter’s day can be so romantic. Opt for a chunky knit and cute hat and your crush won’t be able to resist holding your cute mittened hands. If you’re not near the beach, a park or riverside will work just as well. Best of all, it costs zip, especially if you pack a picnic or a flask of hot chocolate. Aw!