Love, Self

Date On A Dime Without Looking Like A Cheap Skate

Let's face it: The economy may be improving, but blast that lagging economic indicator—unemployment is around to stay, at least for a little bit. And while you may have plenty of time on your hands, the reality is that, more likely than not, your pockets will be a little bit emptier than desired.

Never fear, necessity is the mother of invention! And there are plenty of ways you can save money on a date (without looking like a cheap skate). Clever, low-cost date ideas will get you out and about in the world with your sweetheart and allow you to get to know each other better than any fancy-schmancy dinner could ever facilitate. Dating Tips Recession-Style

Below, Love Buzz examines five great tips for recession-proof dating and offers up a few of our own.

1. Make a good impression-ism: Most museums offer free admission one night a week.

What better way to show off your art history degree than now (and dad said it would never come into good use!) What's more, comparing artistic preferences will give you good insight into his world.

2. Find each other's chi: Many fitness centers and yoga studios offer intro classes giving first timers the chance to find each other's chi absolutely free of charge.

If you're not into yoga, there are other plenty of free physical activities you can find at local park and recreation centers. Go rent bikes, paddle a canoe, visit the botanic gardens, or take a hike.

3. Have an Earth date: Invite your date to volunteer at a local park cleanup and contribute to the earth and your love life at the same time.

Doing good, feels good: It's proven.

4. Read between the lines—go to a bookstore: Bookstores are often hosts to authors from around the world, celebrities and sports heroes, making your local bookstore the most interesting free venue in town.

Which lit-loving gal hasn't fantasized about rendez-vousing with the man of her dreams at a quaint, dusty book shop? Bookstores are prime locations for inspiration and fantasy.

5. Get your game on: One of the best ways to get the pheromones flying is with a little friendly competition, so grab a roll of quarters and hit the local arcade.

Or, get retro and go gin rummy. Make some great cocktails, set out a table, invite some friends over and have a fun night in showing off your skills.

Love Buzz Ideas:

6. Dinner and a movie in: Yes, yes, it's an oldie—but a goodie. Cooking with your sweetheart and then settling in for a night on the couch with a bottle of wine has been the start of many a beautiful relationship. Check out five couple-friendly recipe ideas.

7. Go for a walk: Explore your neighborhood, visit a vintage shop, catch a street fair. Be one of those obnoxiously happy, hand-holding couples on the street.

8. House parties: During the summer, you're likely to find multiple weekend BBQ and outdoor party invitations. Often times, either the food or the drink will be covered. Isn't it about time to have him meet the friends, anyway?

9. Art projects: Remember those Beastie Boys lyrics, "she's crafty, and she's just my type?" Why not get a set of cheap finger paints and see where the evening goes from there.

What are your cheap date ideas?