6 Tips For Making Dating Work On A College Budget
Start writing a post

Romance On A Budget: 6 Tips For Dating When You Don't Have Enough Money To Afford Fifty Steaks

I promise, you don't need tons of money to woo your partner.

Romance On A Budget: 6 Tips For Dating When You Don't Have Enough Money To Afford Fifty Steaks
Emily Ruezinsky

I'm sure I'm not just speaking for myself when I say that I can't afford to go out to a nice place to eat every week. Frankly, it wouldn't even be wise for me to do that every month, and I cringe a little every time I buy a meal for over $10. So what does that mean in my dating life? Absolutely nothing.

I've rounded up five of my best tips for meaningful dating on the cheap. I hope they can help you out!

1. Take advantage of the little things.

Emily Ruezinsky

Seize little opportunities! Run errands together, study together (but actually study, it really is nice to just have them with you while studying), get your SO a pack of socks because he resorts to wearing no-show socks with sneakers when laundry day starts creeping up (true story), or just remember little things about each other. It all really means a lot.

This picture, for example, was taken just minutes before my last exam before Christmas break last year. A week or so prior, I had told my boyfriend that I love bruschetta and he was a little hesitant, but he filed the fact away. Then he got up super early before my 8am exam, told me to meet him outside before I left for the test, and he presented me with a bruschetta breakfast.

I actually walked into my exam smiling... and I'm sure it only costed about $5-6!

2. Create meaningful traditions.

AJ Davidson

This is especially easy around holidays, but don't limit yourself. Friday night binge sessions, monthly hikes, seasonal visits to grandparents, and even making dinner most weeknights could all turn into little traditions. The key here is that it should truly be something that the two of you enjoy instead of just another thing on a to-do list.

3. Use what you've got.

Emily Ruezinsky

Anyone have craft supplies lying around? Random food items you could probably whip into a meal, food scraps or seeds you've been meaning to plant, clothes you've been meaning to decide whether to donate, and blankets you could turn into a fort can all be made into a little date.

Pro tip: This site allows you to select what ingredients you have at home and it'll spit out a recipe that you can make with them. You're welcome.

4. Cook, cook, cook!

Emily Ruezinsky

Cooking is almost always cheaper than eating out. My boyfriend and I have actually gotten to be pretty good cooks, and we make meals together several times a week. It definitely takes practice, but with experience, this is a super cool thing to be able to do.

Cooking is awesome for couples because you get to spend time together cooking. You can actually learn a lot about people by the way that they handle themselves in the kitchen: so much so, in fact, that my boyfriend and I decided that when we cook together, we can absolutely not work on making the same dish at the same time. One of us will be in charge of a side, one the main course, and so on. Even so, it's still a good time.

This picture was actually what we made this past Valentine's Day: garlic and herb salmon, scalloped potatoes, and lemon and pepper asparagus. And yes, it was BOMB and just a fraction of what it would have costed at a restaurant.

5. Use the great outdoors.

Melanie Irizarry

You wanna know what's free? Going outside.

This is really only nice sometimes, so you should soak up as much outside as you can while the weather calls for it. This includes everything from taking nature walks to see flowers in the spring and leaves in the fall, to wading in creeks and going on picnics in the summer, to seeing Christmas lights in a nearby neighborhood in the winter. Bonus points if you know how to geocache, fish (unlike us) or bird watch (also unlike us)!

6. Be attentive.


There's no science to dating on a budget, nor is it always the most predictable thing. For example, I took this picture after a grocery store run. We found this bell pepper that looked like a mini pumpkin and my boyfriend decided to carve him, and I named him Summer Jack. Of course, we didn't anticipate walking out of the grocery store with a pumpkin-shaped bell pepper, but now we have a silly little memory that'll surely make its way into conversation around every Halloween.

Keep your eyes open for free community or university events, funky little knick knacks, and opportunities that pop up out of the blue. Those sorts of things can happen anywhere, and at any time. Try to miss as few of these opportunities as possible!

Like I said before, you don't need tons of money to woo your partner.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments