Impre$$ Your Date

“He proposed on a Valentine’s day, although he didn’t do it face to face, he did it in one of the little Valentine message bits in the paper. I think he had to pay for it by the word, because it just said ‘Lee love Dawn, marriage?’ which, you know I like, because it’s not often you get something that’s both romantic and thrifty.”

-Dawn, The Office (British)

Often people feel that they have to impress their date by spending a lot of money.  I feel strongly that you can just as easily impress someone by showing them your fiscal prowess through saving and well-planned spending.  Not sure how to do it?  I have just a few suggestions to get the ball rolling for you.

  1.  If a gift of some type is necessary, use a coupon to purchase it. When your date expresses gratitude and seems pleased with the gift, offer a second copy of the coupon, so they might buy another if they like.
  2. As a fun alternative activity, purchase some three-ply toilet paper, and invite your date over for an intimate evening at home. Together you can peel the toilet paper apart, such that you triple your supply of toilet paper into several single-ply rolls. Your date will surely be impressed with your economical sensibilities and will be eager to repeat this exercise with you another time.
  3. Concerts are exciting and fun, but they are financially and metabolically expensive. Instead, place a variety of small items from around the house (paper clips, nails, popsicle sticks, light bulbs) atop a high shelf, and keep a broom handy. Invite your date to your home for a private musical show. Sit a fair distance from the shelf, and use the handle of the broom to slowly push the items off the shelf onto the floor. The unique clatter, clanging, and crashing is similar to many modern musical groups, and the view rivals many of the pyrotechnic visuals seen at concerts today. The best part about this experience is that no two shows will ever be the same – this is sure to be an exciting activity that can be enjoyed over the years together.
  4. A fancy dinner at a high-end restaurant can be delicious and romantic, but a well-planned meal can be just as delightful but much more economical. Invite your date to meet you in front of a local bakery about five to ten minutes before it closes. Right as they begin to close up shop, head to the dumpster behind the establishment. When an employee brings out the day’s trash, request any food items that would have been thrown away. Often this will a reasonable quantity of hardly-stale baked goods – certainly much more than would be provided at such ultra-chic restaurants as mentioned above. Head to the local park where picnic tables are available, and savor your well-earned meal. Try to choose a table near a drinking fountain, to ensure an ample supply of beverages.

As you can see, with just a little foresight, you can have a wonderful time on a tight budget. Write in with your own suggestions!

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