Love may be free, but dating can get expensive. Here are some tips to have fun and keep your costs down.

Whether it’s your first outing together or a milestone anniversary, date nights can be hard on your budget. With a few easy tips, you can save money and make your time together memorable.

Coffee & Lunch Dates

A mid-day meet-up for a bite to eat or a coffee can be a great way to save money and keep the date casual. Find Me Coffee is a good place to find a coffee shop right in your very own neighbourhood, or choose one that is close to the café of choice for eats. You can even impress your date by researching the restaurant before you get there by checking out the menu and reviews. Avoiding alcohol will help to keep your bill manageable.

Happy Hour

Hungry or ready for a drink? Happy hour is your friend. Look for restaurants and pubs that have daily specials in your area. Drink Owl and Zomato can help you find the hot spots at the right costs.

Local Events

Sometimes the best dates are the cheapest. Check bulletins, blogs and newspapers in your city for exciting free events like movie screenings, concerts and festivals. Yelp is a great tool to use as you can filter by location, date and even narrow it down by event categories to find something that’s right up your alley!

Staying In

Staying in is the ultimate way to make your date economical. It’s also a great opportunity to impress your date with your cooking skills. Find a savoury recipe and make it happen! You can even make it a themed night with the taste of Italy – cook a nice Italian inspired dish, enjoy a glass of  Valpolicella and finish off the meal with some tasty gelato.

After dinner, get your favourite streaming service going and find something special to watch together.

Game Night

Decide to stay in on a weekend evening and host game night in the comfort of your home. It’s is simple, fun and inexpensive and you can even make it a double-date! Keep it effortless and nibble on your favourite eats that don’t take a lot of preparation, like chips and dip – and even have your guests bring along a treat as well. If you want to mix things up a bit, you can always try some new snack recipes to go along with your favourite four-player game. Don’t forget to tell your guests: BYOB!

Get Creative

The possibilities for a date are practically endless! Use the seasons to your advantage: in the winter, take them ice skating or tobogganing, or take your date to see the leaves change in the fall. Have a dog? Go play fetch in the park or go for a hike with your pooch. The more creative the activity, the easier it is to show your date that you don’t need to spend money to have fun.

Have any other tips you’d like to share? Tweet them to @AffirmFinancial!