How to Save Money Dating without Appearing Cheap!

Dating can get expensive for men (and women) especially if you are out there in a big way and trying to meet someone special.  I have heard stories about men who are dating several women at one time until they decide who the one is.  Just add up the numbers and if you are taking women out for dinners and events several nights a week, then it can really put a dent your bank account.

In this day of equality it is still customary for men to pay for the majority of the first couple of dates, even if the woman offers to pay something like the tip at dinner or for the popcorn at the movie.   It’s a challenge to find ways to save money dating while having a good time.

Here in DC we are fortunate to have many venues where you can go for free, especially in the summer.  This is true for many US metropolitan areas.  The museums are free in DC and before you can buy a reasonable lunch or dinner options afterwards.  Even so, going to the museum’s café for coffee and a desert is a thrifty option to save money dating.

Other low cost date ideas for $50 or less are:

–         Find a free outdoor concert and bring a picnic (Extra points for home cooking!)
–         Go to the local theatre that has an amateur acting company with desert afterwards or an Asian meal before.
–         Walk along the river or the canal in the afternoon and have ice cream.
–         Seek out free outdoor movies with a picnic or take out dinner from a nearby area restaurant.
–         Find a dance in the area (many are around $10 admission) and a reasonable dinner.
–         Play miniature golf and have a low cost dinner of pizza or salad.
–         Go paddle boating and have ice cream on a Sunday afternoon
–         Bowl in the evening and order dinner at the bowling alley.
–         You can go ice skating or roller skating all year long.  Don’t forget the hot chocolate!

Some of the best dates that I enjoyed cost my date little money.  What matters most is the time you spend together having fun and enjoying each other’s company.   So women, don’t expect a guy to spend too much on you on his first couple of dates.  When they do, these men appear to be trying too hard to impress you with material stuff instead of who they are.

In the beginning my husband took me out to several very inexpensive dates: a free concert with a picnic outdoors; a free outdoor play and for some ice cream afterwards; a bike ride with dinner by the water. Within a month’s time he took me out to a rock concert.  I appreciated his low key approach and understood his desire to get to know me first without spending a bundle of money before stepping up to more expensive dates.  By that time, there was expressed mutual interest and he had a better feel for where the relationship was going.  He was willing to make that investment at that time.  I had also invited him over to my home for a home cooked meal. That is how I was able to reciprocate his generosity.

Both men and women have to be sensitive to each other’s financial picture and willingness to spend money for dating, especially before mutual interest is expressed.

A guy will most likely spend a minimal amount until he decides he really likes you and then will be willing to invest more in the relationship.  I am more impressed with someone who is creative and his effort put forth than someone who takes me out to an expensive restaurant and a show on a first real date.  So instead of calling a guy cheap, I suggest you use the adjectives:  thrifty, generous, financially adept, and smart!

So what is your experience with thrifty dates?  How do you save money dating? Which ones were the best?  This curious coach would like to know!

Intentionally yours,

Coach Amy

PS.  Please post your experience with “cheap dates” on my facebook page at

Tagged with: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *