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Cheap Date Ideas without Being a Cheap Date

Romantic and Cheap Date Ideas without Being a Cheap Date

Are you starting to think about what you’ll be doing for Valentine’s Day?

Trying to figure out where to go or what to get that won’t cost a small fortune?

On special days, whether it’s Valentine’s Day, an Anniversary, Birthday or the big proposal, we all like to do things for our significant other to make them feel loved.

But while buying a beautiful piece of jewelry or spending a fortune on dinner may make them feel special, creating a mound of debt in the process isn’t ideal.

Every couple can come up with creative ways to keep that date cheap without being a cheap date.

Have dinner

Eating out for special days is really important and there are quite a few ways to save a lot in this area and still have a nice time together.

Lunch or brunch can be half the price of dinner. Go to your favorite restaurant’s Twitter or Facebook page and see what specials they are offering to get the best value. Some of these values are only offered to social media friends.

You can also go to where gift certificates go on sale. You can get a $25 gift certificate for your favorite restaurant for as little as $6 by applying the coupon code found at RetailMeNot.

Also check in with local group buying sites such as Groupon or Travelzoo’s local deals. There are dozens of half price dining options that sometimes offer a show as well.

We had paella at a traditional Spanish restaurant for half price and watched live Flamenco dancing, which took me back to my summers in Spain. My only regret was that I left my castanets at home!

See a show

If you have a little more to spend, and want to take in a show, then go to or goldstar to find great prices on tickets.

We saw Phantom on Broadway for 50% off and got great orchestra seating.

Or, if you want to give a gift that will cost less each time you use it, buy a season’s pass to a museum, and not only can you visit your local museum whenever you want for the year, but you also have reciprocal privileges at 400 other museums. The same applies to zoos and aquariums through AZA (association of zoos and aquariums.)

There’s an app for romance

There are quite a few apps you can buy for those who are romantically challenged.

The app called Creative Romantic Ideas gives ideas that are ranked by price and difficulty, from personalized M&Ms to more elaborate ideas that go beyond the usual candy and flowers.

Open Table is another great app that will help you from being caught without a restaurant reservation. This popular app helps you find restaurants that are nearby, checks to see availability and make a reservation within your budget.

Finally, there’s a free app called Cineplex Mobile which is useful for dates or any other occasion when you want to find out what’s playing at a theater near you.

Finally, check out Foursquare where by checking in, you can get free appetizers, discounted entrees and more.

Low tech, high impact

For those with little to no budget, it’s time to be creative and demonstrate your love at the same time.

For that special day, you could trade chores for the day. Surprise your loved one by completing all of his/her chores.

Add a special touch by leaving heart shaped cookies in the home or a meaningful note in their car. No matter how small the chore, having someone else complete it will be sure to leave a smile on your loved one’s face.

Make a book of coupons. The coupons could include a massage, free pass for a girls or guys night out, cooking a favorite meal, or even promising a day of sports TV without any interruptions!

Recognizing things that are important to your significant other will go a long way.

My husband just presented me with a 12 year old coupon that says, “good for a new corvette when I sell 100,000 copies of my book. I passed that mark several years ago and he just found the coupon when cleaning out a drawer!

Hearts apart

For those who are separated from their mate due to business travel or military deployments, there’s good news as to how you can still keep those special dates meaningful.

The app called Voice Valentines allows you to create an e-card that you can send by email, Twitter or Facebook.

Design your card, add a photo and message and it will be delivered in your own voice.

With the app called Build-A-Card, Cupid Edition you can create customized e-cards to email, Facebook or Twitter. It allows you to take photos from your camera, your album or your Facebook account to build a one-of-a-kind card.

Another way to keep connected when you’re apart is to burn a CD of your favorite songs or those that are special to your relationship and mail it to your loved one.

Create a personalized cover with photographs of the two of you and place it in a plastic CD case for presentation. You can also load a special mix onto your significant other’s iPod or MP3 player so you can share it when you are back together at home.

Do you have any cheap date ideas?

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Photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

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About Ellie Kay

Ellie Kay is a regular expert on national television with ABC NEWS NOW’s Money Matters and Good Money shows. She is also a national radio commentator, a frequent media guest on Fox News, and CNBC, a popular international speaker, and the best-selling author of fourteen books including her newest release, The Sixty Minute Money Workout (Waterbrook, 2010). For money savings links visit Ellie's blog.