| June 6, 2012

Dating is fun, but doling out tons of dough each time you want to get to know someone better? Not so much. But our love lives shouldn't take a hit just because the economy has, right? We came up with ten ways to impress that special someone and have a good time, without having to resort to PB&J until your next paycheck.

Bowling & Beer
Who doesn't love bowling? Taking a date to the alleys shows you're laid back, you like to have a good time and you don't take yourself too seriously. It will give you the opportunity to get to know the other person and have fun at the same time. And the cost? It's anywhere from $8-$10 per person (approximately).

Rent a Movie
A good activity for a winter evening, renting a movie is always a nice way to get cozy with your special someone.

Make a Pizza
What better way is there to enjoy a meal together than to make it from scratch? It is said that cooking can be an aphrodisiac, so grab some wine and your favorite toppings and go to town! There are plenty of delicious (and low calorie) recipes online, so you won't be calling Domino's at the end of the night.

Go on a Bike Ride
Who didn't love the scene from Wedding Crashers when Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams took a bike ride to the beach? It seemed so old school and romantic. Plus, while things heat up between you and your date, you're burning off all kinds of calories! If you live in a warmer climate, take your date somewhere scenic (and not too hilly), perhaps with a picnic planned somewhere along the way!

Play Scrabble
Impress your date with your extensive vocabulary. You can sit around for hours coming up with interesting words to fill the board. Get really creative with what you spell out, and who knows? Maybe you'll land a triple word score!

Go to a Flea Market
Shopping on a date can be tricky, but browsing a vast land of quirky antiques is fun all of the time! It's a great way to get to know someone as flea market inventory always triggers memories and stories. Spending time with someone browsing the different stands will surely bring about new conversation and interesting perspectives.

See a Cover Band
Okay, so clearly you're not going to take your date to the Madonna concert, which would cost you at least a week's paycheck. But you could go see a sweet '80s cover band, which would probably break out at least a couple of Madge's big hits. You can let loose, dance and reminisce about where you were when "Jesse's Girl" came out.

Go to Trivia Night
Head down to the local bar for trivia night and woo your date with your wacky knowledge. As just the two of you, you'll probably join a bigger team, which will give you the chance to see how your date interacts with new people. You'll also get to see what weird knowledge he or she brings to the table! Most trivia nights cost about $10 a person, plus the cost of drinks.

Go to an Animal Shelter
Okay, you might think this a little weird, but spending time with animals can be both calming and fun. You can take the dogs out for walks or feed the bunnies, getting to know your date all the while. Just make sure he or she doesn't have some weird fur allergy before you go.

Wine Tasting
For those of us who like to keep a level of sophistication to our dating life, wine tasting is a perfect option. It won't cost you what a meal at a restaurant would, but will give you insight into your date's taste and personality. Plus, if things work out between you two, you can go back to the wine store and gift him or her a bottle of good wine.