In these current, often materialistic times, needing to be “frugal” or being on a tight budget is frequently seen as a negative circumstance to be in. Having to “watch our pennies” usually means we have very few to watch in the first place. But many have discovered that being frugal can make you the wealthiest person in the world where it matters most – in love.

Whether you are dating or have been married for years, being frugal where romance is concerned will open up a new level of intimacy that cannot be found in a piece of jewelry, fancy hotel room or extravagant restaurant. Romance on a budget will teach you to tune into your partner – to learn who he or she truly is, likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams.

For those who date with the intention to impress or those that are swayed by what advertisers tell them to do in the world of dating and romance (here’s what men or women “really want”), they are missing out on an opportunity to really discover their lovers. For example, all women are actually not alike, yet in modern dating you will find the same dates and rituals taking place – movies, nice restaurants, luxury hotel getaways, flowers and jewelry. These activities are very expensive yet tell you nothing about your partner. If it were truly the case that this is all women wanted, certainly it wouldn’t matter who you chose to date, because they would all be the same!

But the truth is that all men and women are unique individuals and true love has nothing at all to do with luxuries. Love is a bond that cannot be broken, even in the darkest of times, that is built on respect and appreciation for every unique trait found in your girlfriend or boyfriend, husband or wife. This is why frugal dating will put you on a path to building a beautiful relationship with your mate, because it will take away the flashy distractions and get you on the path to discovering who the person next to you truly is.

No matter how much money one has in the bank, all couples could benefit from frugal dating because it promotes a deeper connection in couples. Here are examples of frugal romantic dates to replace expensive, traditional dating rituals:


If your love cannot get enough of country fried steak or blueberry pie, imagine how romantic it would be if you took the time to learn to make these dishes, which would cost very little. You could pack them up in a picnic basket, complete with a blanket and candles, and have a private meal at the lake or the park. With no distractions, you will have quality time to talk, laugh and really connect with one another.

If you aren’t comfortable with cooking, you can pick up his or her favorite, inexpensive take-out meal and make a romantic picnic at home, on the living room floor. Serve it up on your best china, lay out pillows, dim lights, play music and enjoy one another’s company.


There is nothing more affordable than camping beneath the stars. A weekend together, surrounded by beauty, will promote a connection that is hard to find anywhere else. Snuggling in a tent, talking around a campfire and walking in the woods will give you the uninterrupted time necessary to get to know one another.

If your partner is not fond of sleeping in the outdoors, plan a “getaway” right at home. Devote a weekend to no interruptions, no visitors and only fun (you can even set up a tent in the living room).


Holding hands in a movie theater might seem romantic, but there isn’t any talking going on between you and your partner. Start planning free activities you both would enjoy, which promote laughter and communicating. Do things each of you like to do, to get to know each other better. Fishing, bike riding, playing frisbee or even volunteering together at your favorite charity will create a loving bond that can’t be found on a more traditional date.


Gift giving is a romantic ritual both men and women do for one another at various times in a relationship. Unfortunately, over the years, the cost of the gift is equated with the value of the relationship. However, that cuoldn’t be further from the truth. Going into debt to impress your partner is not what love should be about.

Instead of buying flowers, take time to learn a child’s craft to make a bouquet of tissue paper flowers instead. Write a heartfelt love letter and put it in a frame. Let your creativity flow and create a gift that has more value than anything else – one that comes from the heart, that can be kept and treasured for a lifetime.

Frugal romantic dates do win, hands down, when it comes to enhancing a meaningful, loving relationship. For a couple to grow, they need to discover one another, be best of friends and celebrate their mate’s uniqueness. That type of depth in a relationship isn’t something that can be achieved through money. That is why frugal dating should be practiced by everyone, regardless of their personal wealth. Even married couples can rekindle their love by “getting back to basics.”


Anna Perkins is a relationship writer who offers her own forthright opinion over the worlds of dating, romance, relationships , marriage and friendships. She loves cats, traveling, spending time with her son and husband.

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