COLUMN: Cheap Dates

Cooking up new different routines

Think back on the first date you had with your significant other. Somewhere between meeting the parents and having that awkward first kiss, chances are you also went out to eat. For many, the first-date dinner can be a special occasion.

Move three months into the future. Romantic dinners are gone and in their place is Chinese takeout or pizza. The expensive meals of the past have put a strain on the boyfriend’s wallet, forcing you to familiarize yourself with budget-friendly burgers and greasy French fries.

Just because you have less money to eat out doesn’t mean dinners have to include waiting in long drive-thru lines. Why not dust off those old cookbooks lining the shelves of your mother’s kitchen and make dinner instead?

If you’re all thumbs when whipping up delicious delicacies, don’t panic. Put together some sandwiches, chips and fruit and picnic at a local park. It will get you out without costing you a fortune – and what could be more romantic then sharing a meal outdoors on a fall day?

And remember, those lovely restaurant meals don’t have to be restricted to blue-moon occasions. Try out different eateries in your area that may not be as well-known and sample some different types of food. Change can make dinner just as exciting as it was on that first date.

– Michelle Poje