| December 28, 2012

Between car payments, rent, food and Fluffie’s cat litter, your hard-earned paycheck gets stretched pretty darn far. And the last thing you want to skimp on is your love life.

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So how can you woo that special someone without breaking the bank? We’ve narrowed down some great date-night ideas that won’t make you look cheap (even though they are).

For That Intellectual Outing: Donation-Only Museums

There are some great museums where you don’t have to pay entrance fees, just a simple “donation.”  So dip into your pocket and pass out two ten dollar bills — It’s roughly the same price as going to the movies, but your date will love the atmosphere. That's all it takes for a fun-filled, cultured, practically free afternoon. For us New York City dwellers, the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art will welcome the budget-conscious with open arms.   

The Showstopper: Broadway Shows

Don’t get overwhelmed by the seemingly high price tags of theater tickets. There are ways to beat the presumed ticket price, including the famous NYC TKTS booths and standby lines. Most theaters offer discounted limited-view seats, or call lines (you get there about two hours before showtime and get cheaper tickets). Just call the box office before you head to the show. Break a leg!

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The Super Saver: Deal-a-Day Lists

Between LivingSocial, GiltCity and Amazon Local, deal-a-day email listings are fantastic tools for saving on special outings. From wine tours to hikes, casino day trips and beer tastings, you can save big on your next adventures. Just sign up with an email address and let the savings roll in.

The Green-Thumbers: Farming Fun

From pick-your-own apples to pick-your-own pumpkins (heck, even pick-your-own peaches) dates are more fun at the farm. Take a drive out to your local orchard, grab a basket and get started. Most places offer a flat fee (as much as you can carry) so bring a coat with extra pockets!

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Stop Your Wine-ing: Wine Tours

Cascading landscapes, fresh rural air, and a crisp glass of your favorite wine … what could be better?  We’re talking wine tours! What’s great about most wineries is you only pay for what you drink. A “flight” (4–5 glasses, sipping size) is roughly $20–$40, and more often than not you can bring your own munchies.  So plan on a little picnic with your partner and make a day of it.

So there you have it, my friends. Anything to add to our list?