My husband and I rarely go on dates anymore ever since I gave birth. It's something normal between couples who are new parents. So when we do, we make them special...and as cheap as possible. We usually go on quick dates so a movie and dinner date is always favored.
For this date, we watched a movie. We are lucky here because we can actually bring our own food inside the cinemas. I brought a bunch of snacks including the tub of Pringles above. My husband was actually surprised when I pulled it out of my purse. Cinema snacks are expensive especially drinks so I brought my own water bottle too. My husband wanted a Coke so we bought one can from the supermarket instead of from the snack bar because it is way cheaper there. Snack bars usually charge double than supermarkets.
After the movie, my husband wanted to have dinner. I wanted to eat somewhere more affordable but he insisted that we eat somewhere more special since we rarely go on dates. I said yes because we already saved a lot of money by going to a cheaper cinema and bringing our own snacks. And no, we didn't blow our budget during dinner. We still had a lot of saved money left.
Before going home, I got my son a box of mamon (90 pesos) as pasalubong. Without the dinner, our date only cost us less than 500 pesos (around 11 USD) including the pasalubong.
Tips to remember:
1. Search around the Internet for cheap tickets when you want to watch a movie. There may be special deals lurking around in your local cinemas. Also, you may want to wait a few days or even a couple of weeks before watching a major movie. That way, the prices have gone down already.
You can also look for online deals for meals, drinks, etc.
2. If your cinema allows it, bring your own snacks. You avoid allergies, you can stick to your diet and keep your cash in your wallet.
3. If you can't bring snacks, drop by the supermarket before you go to the cinemas to stock up on snacks.
4. If you really want to go somewhere fancy for dinner, compromise. You may want to skip the movies altogether if you are in a tight budget.
5. Planning is key to be able to have a stress-free date. Talk to your partner about the "ground rules" before leaving so that you don't have to be stressed while you are in the actual date. You avoid telling him/her that you can't do or buy such and such because of the price.
In the end, just enjoy your date and if you find yourself going over-budget, just charge it to experience (as my BFF Ahne always tells me). You can try again next time!