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  • Nurul Khairiah Mohamed Yusof

6 Affordable Date Ideas While Avoiding Crowds

Looking for some affordable date ideas with your partner while avoiding crowds? Here are some ideas for you to try out.

Whether you are a couple who are courting, newly married, or even married with kids, dating is a way to strengthen the bond between you and your partner.


However, dating has several challenges. Firstly, it can cause a serious dip in your pocket especially when it involves frequent indulgences like fine-dining meals. Secondly, with the on-going pandemic, there are SOP restrictions of varying degrees that put a damper on your plans.


Here we list some affordable date ideas that you can do with your partner without causing some serious dip in your bank.

Date Idea #1. Virtual Dinner Dates


Hey, a video call is not just for the work-related meeting only! You can still communicate with your loved ones using video calls. Why not set up a virtual dinner date with your other half? All you need is a good internet connection, a digital device with a camera, and food.


A video call can be a great way for an alternative to connect and catch up with each other. You can opt to cook or order a lovely dinner.


This affordable date idea is great for couples who are separated due to the Movement Control Oder (MCO), or need to stay apart for other reasons. You can chat and chill with your partner while remained socially-distanced.

Date Idea #2. Cook a Meal Together


If both of you enjoy experimenting with recipes, take some time to create a meal or prepare a special dessert together. Try some new and exciting recipes that require two people to prepare. Tasty recipes are abundant on the internet!


Create a romantic atmosphere with candlelight, flowers, etc – without having to wait to be served and without the additional expensive price tag.


Maintaining social distance? Switch from in-person to a video call. Set up a webcam and a computer and share recipes with each other. You can even have a virtual cooking contest since you are in separate kitchens.

Date Idea #3. Go for a Run Together


What better way to bond with your partner than to exercise together? Grab a pair of running shoes and head out for a run or outdoor workout with them. You might think that is not the best idea for a date (you know, the sweat and all) but if you’re both looking to get fit and staying healthy, this can be a great start!


Exercising with other people can increase motivation and lead you to be more encouraged to workout. Bonus: you don’t need to spend money as exercising is free and you can develop better stamina and a healthy body.


Maintaining social distance? Go for a run at the same time but on your own. Stay in touch and share your experience with your partner by sending pictures of the things you see on your run. You can also start and end your run with a video call to discuss your expectations, feelings, and experience.


Do take note of the latest SOP allowed in your area regarding exercise if you decide to pursue this affordable date idea.

Date Idea #4. Dining with Discounts


During MCO, many restaurants and cafés run various discounts and promotions to attract more customers. This can be a good advantage for you to save money while dining out together or when ordering food in.


Do some research beforehand to find out what is the current promotions and how you can make use of them. Browse the restaurants’ official website and social media accounts for their latest update on promotions. Discounts are sometimes available with their partners such as with certain credit cards, e-wallets, and also apps like Fave (Google Play, Apple Store) – previously known as Groupon.


Maintaining social distance? Order your meals to be sent to your respective homes and set up your webcam so you can still enjoy a virtual date together.

Date Idea #5. Game Night


Playing board games and tabletop games are a great way to sharpen your mind while bonding together. While these games are certainly fun, you can also learn new skills with educational ones such as Scrabble and Monopoly.


Video games, computer games, and console games often make for good date nights too. Taking turns (when one person “dies”, the other gets to play), or even try splitting.

Solving jigsaw puzzles is also an affordable idea as many can be found at a reasonable price. The best thing about doing a puzzle together is that it’s a collaborative activity. There is nothing like searching for one particular piece and discovering it. This adds some sense of accomplishment that can be shared between both of you. You even can glue the puzzle together and hang it on the wall as a picture! This has a little bit of an extra cost associated with it, but it’s probably more meaningful.


Maintaining social distance? The Internet is a treasure trove of games you can both play together virtually.

Date Idea #6. Indoor Cinema


Do you have any TV shows or movies that both of you want to watch but haven’t had the time for? Make a movie date at home for some binge-watching marathon session.

Most people nowadays have a subscription to a streaming service that provided ample choices for you to choose. If you are getting bored with movies in streaming service, YouTube is another alternative as they have so many series and documentaries that sometimes surpassed the production of a big-budget movie. Complete that watching experience with popcorns and drinks, just like in the cinema.


Maintaining social distance? Choose a movie to watch in your respective locations. You could set up a webcam to see each other while watching the movie (awww!). Alternatively, you can start and end with a video call, and maybe text message in between if you are the chatty kind.

Conclusion


Going on a date is one of the best ways to keep the flame of love alight and burning. Even with budget restriction and MCO, you can make the best of your dates with affordable alternatives that won’t cost your wallet too broke. If it helps, you can also allocate some money in your monthly budget for dates. This way, you can monitor your expenses and ensuring that it doesn’t cost a fortune. Dating doesn’t have to be expensive when you know how to budget around it.


What are your ideas for affordable but romantic dates?


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