Friday, February 3, 2012

Cheap Date Friday (Don't BE one, PLAN one!)

Maybe the biggest challenge of all when having to live frugally on a tight budget rolls around each weekend - date nights.  It's not always easy to plan out a budget-friendly date or give up eating out.  We've been there.  Actually, we still are there.

Which is why every Friday we'll be posting a Cheap Date idea for your weekend ahead.  Hopefully this will help you (and us!) to approach dates in a budget-friendly, adventurous way! 
{February 3 Edition}

 Visit a college campus.
  Before you mutter "nerd" under your breath, think twice.  Though you might not want to go tour a local college/university campus (although some people do find that fun!), you might want to consider heading to a nearby campus to find some great cultural, athletic, and unique events for a price you can't beat.  

Take for example, Franklin & Marshall College, a campus nearby to us.  In preparation for this weekend, Ben and I are scouring their college calendar to see what's happening on campus.  Check out the variety of things they going on during a cold, winter February weekend:

  • Men's and Women's Squash vs. Cornell 
(I don't know anything about squash, but I'd like to find out!) 
  •  An artist's gallery showing and a reception featuring drinks and appetizers
  • Afternoon Lecture about Sustainability and Design 
  • Women's Basketball Game
  • Men's Basketball Game
  • Philharmonic Orchestra Concert

 F&M also has an on-campus coffee shop that we'll check out, plus a bookstore to peruse, a writer's house that features poetry readings, and a small movie theater that shows independent movies.  Many campuses now have their own theaters that play current releases, independent movies, or student films.  Some show for as little as $1!!  When was the last time you paid that for a movie?

It may not be the first place you think of, but give your local college or university campus a try!  They often get great speakers and events that are open to the public at a low (or no) cost and offer a chance to broaden your horizons by trying something new (like, squash...).  Have fun, and most importantly, remember that it's really about enjoying each other and being grateful for the chance to be together.  Make your date night a chance to really focus on what you appreciate about your spouse.  Author Sarah Ban Breathnach describes gratitude this way: 
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." 
 While you're exploring a local campus, take the opportunity to pay attention to the things about your spouse that make you so grateful to share your life with them.  And then let them know!  

1 comment:

  1. Great suggestions! Working at a university means I hear about all this stuff and it's not always where I want to spend my down-time, but I think there are a lot of people who don't take advantage of what's offered :)