Out and about on a dollar-drought
Posted: Friday, Oct. 05, 2012
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Becca Thiessen is a senior Elementary/Early Childhood Education major at Anderson University who is looking forward to making a positive difference in children's lives. Becca is having a blast planning her wedding, which is scheduled for next May, with her fiance, Jason Perry! Contact Becca here.
Here's what Jasons and my dates have looked like school has started: lunch and dinner in our campus dining halls, surrounded by 100 of our closest friends, most of whom are dressed in sweats, pajama bottoms, or stinky gym shorts that wouldn't mind a cycle or two in the washer.
Real Gone-With-the-Wind, knock-you-off-your-feet romantic, huh?
But where's the time and money to go out to a nice dinner? We're both your stereotypical, dirt broke college kids who think a Big Mac from McDonalds is a delicacy. Time for dates? Ha! We're both recovering from cabin fever due to intense and dangerous levels of projects, assignments and tests.
Jason and I realized that something had to be done in our to save our crumbling date nights.
I have to give credit where credit is due. Jason is probably one of the most creative guys out there; he loves, loves, loves to plan out his plans. In another life, he would be a personal planner. He puts so much thought into all of our dates and that is what makes the dates memorable. Sometimes however, plans fall through and that's when I come in- Miss Spontaneity as Jason refers to me.
When a super planner and a spontaneous person come together, date nights never fail. Jason keeps the date going while I fill in gaps or help to figure out what to do if the restaurant is closed.
Here's just a few of my all-time favorite dates that Jason and I have been able to have with a tight budget and time schedule (and they're still incredibly fun):
Go to a local, one-of-a-kind restaurant and split a meal. Jason and I do this all the time! Since we're both in school and don't want to grab dollar menu food when we go out, we go to a nice restaurant, find a meal we both really enjoy, and split it! This works extremely well for us and our three local fav's: Papa's and Beer, Trio's, and Olive Garden (a chain restaurant but still, it's great). Sure you won't have leftovers for the next day, but you save money and it's kind of romantic to share a plate and feed one another. :)
We do coupons and we do them often. Don't be afraid to clip out coupons! We have a local place in town, for example, that serves frozen yogurt (Yogo's) that rocks our socks. They give out coupons out the wazoo and they're delicious; they're our dessert destination whenever we have a hankering for something sweet. Always be on the lookout for coupons or specials; they'll save you money and make you feel better about splurging for that glass of wine or dessert.
Make dinner together! This is hands-down my favorite date night. I LOVE to cook and bake with Jason; it's just plain fun, it's much cheaper than going out, and you get more bang out of your buck. I will simply whip out my favorite cookbook or raid my Favorite Recipes board on Pinterest. The picture at the top of this blog is one such recipe (Spanish Chicken and Potatoes- it's glorious). There's just something romantic about cooking with one another.
Here's a website I found by ML-Random Thoughts From a Southern Girl that describes more date options if you're interested in saving some money without sacrificing those special moments. Jason and I are already checking some of them out so I'll give you an update next week :)I would love to try out any date night ideas that you have to share! Happy Date Night!
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