Coming up with fun yet relatively inexpensive dates on the fly is a Herculean task in itself. When you’re spending a lot of time with someone you tolerate enough to call your significant other, you’ve done it all before. The wining and dining. The all day brunch bender. The night spent in jail from public indecency. It’s time to step it up without blowing your savings.
Life is hard enough, so feel free to use the below cheat sheet of universal date hacks from an actual girl. If this blows up in your face, just make her feel guilty by trying to reassure her that it’s the thought that counts. On that note, I probably need higher standards but, whatever.
Picnics are a great go-to when you don’t feel like shelling out for a sit down meal with booze, but still want a quaint AF aesthetic. It doesn’t have to be harder than grabbing a baguette, wine, and some form of charcuterie (like prosciutto or mortadella) and cheese (like brie or ricotta). Trust me, she’ll be so thrilled that you took the ten minutes to shove a plaid blanket and these easy to find items in a bag, you could be getting park dome in no time. And isn’t that romance at its finest? Cheese, carbs and head?
Cost: Roughly $30, depending on how cheap the wine is.
2. Rooftop movie screening
Okay, this is going to take some effort but if you have a friend with a projector (or are still in school and cant rent one from the AV closet) then this is going to blow her mind and instagram feed up. Simply tack a white sheet to the wall of your roof deck, and pick out some tolerable rom com or her favorite movie. Grab some popcorn and other assorted movie snacks, booze, a blanket or chairs — and let the VIP private screening begin. Of course this is also dependent upon the weather and if you actually have a semi-private roof deck with an available wall, but that’s between you and your God.
Cost: Price of movie snacks, booze and whatever you had to bribe your nerd friend with to use their projector.
3. Chocolate Fondue
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that bitches love chocolate — specifically dark chocolate. Not only does it taste better to the more refined palate (hand jerking motion) it’s supposedly healthier from the antioxidants. In a pot over the stove, melt a bag of dark chocolate chips or a few bars of dark chocolate on low heat while periodically stirring (so it doesn’t burn and taste like utter crap). Or go all out and you know, use a fondue pot and its included accessories. Grab blueberries, strawberries, bananas, apples — really any fruits or cut up pieces of cake to dip in the fondue and voila, she’ll be disturbingly happy.
Cost: Depends on whether you spring for a fondue pot or not. Otherwise, minimal.
4. Apple Picking, Pumpkin Picking/Something Seasonal
Thanks to social media, Instagrammable events have become the status quo, if not a competition. Nothing will delight the apple of your eye more than her donning plaid, riding boots and being caught in the act of fake laughing while plucking Eve’s damnation of man from the garden of Eden. Only attempt a seasonal ‘gram if she is your actual girlfriend though, because as we all know, side pieces stay off social at all costs.
Cost: Depends on how many gourds or seasonal bounty you manage to truck home.
5. Making Mulled Wine
Chances are, the both of you enjoy wine and any sort of seasonal activity that ends with the both of you intoxicated and not remembering how you got so many rug burns. There are many recipes for mulled wine, but you essentially combine red wine, brandy, oranges, lemons, sugar and a bunch of spices and bring them to a boil over low heat for twenty minutes. And voila, a simple recipe that doesn’t run the risk of too much domestic intent.
Cost: Around $30, but for some ingredients you can use over and over again because time is a flat circle.