Every year, British singles splurge thousands of pounds on dating-related activities. Of course, love is priceless, but the costs of finding it can really start to rack up before your eyes. These costs range from the obvious, such as food, drink and activities on dates, to more more hidden outgoings such as spending on new clothes, beauty products and haircuts to impress your prospective partner.
We’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way! Check out our top 7 tips for how to lead an exciting dating life without breaking the bank.
1. Make the most of MatchDining
With MatchDining, you can get amazing restaurant discounts across the UK. Purchase a six-month subscription to Match and you’ll get it FREE automatically! With up to 25% off, you’ll be able to save money while still enjoying delicious food at some of the best restaurants in the UK. What are you waiting for? Click here to find out more and redeem the offer.
2. Have drinks or dessert at home before or after your date
Most of us love going out to eat, but when you order a drink or two, a meal, and that dessert you can’t resist, your bill can quickly get out of control. So why not try and enjoy one of these things at home instead of at a restaurant? Have a glass of wine (or two), or a cocktail at home before the meal, and water with your meal. Or drink wine with your meal out, but then savour dessert at home – home cooked desserts are cheap, and especially romantic. Win-win!
If you’re keen to spend as much time with your date as possible, this is a great way to extend the evening and get to know each other on a deeper level. Next time they can return the favour and host drinks or dessert at their house!
3. Split courses with your date
Of course we don’t want you to go hungry, but occasionally splitting a starter, meal or dessert on a date is a great way to cut back on your spending. It also means that you get to try more food, and that’s never a bad thing. Sharing a dish can break down any barriers you have and bring you closer together – you’ll have to get up close and personal. Just don’t get possessive and definitely don’t kick off if you think they’ve had more than you – no-one likes a date who can’t share!
4. Going Dutch on the bill is the new normal
It’s 2019, and we’re no longer stuck following archaic dating rules. The man isn’t expected to pay for every date anymore, and neither is the person who makes more money. If this is something you work out with the other person, that’s fine. But if you don’t want to, or you’re not there yet, you shouldn’t worry about asking to split the bill — it’s simply the done thing. You also don’t have to pay separately every time. Make your own rules and do what feels comfortable for you and your date.
5. Mix date nights in with going out
For many of us, staying in is the new going out! Think about how long it takes to get ready, get to a bar, restaurant or other date venue, wait for a table, get your drinks and food, get your bill, and get home. Sometimes you’re really in the mood to spend this time in return for a delicious meal out, but sometimes you just want to cosy up at home.
So spend more quality date nights at home, and make that extra bit of effort to differentiate it from any other night. Cook a delicious meal together – just make sure you decide who’s in charge and who’s sous-chef in advance, otherwise you might have a power struggle on your hands. Gather your favourite old-school snacks and snuggle down to watch a classic movie or TV show. Or have a few drinks over a wholesome board game… use your imagination and create a unique, romantic evening for the two of you.
6. Look out for dining deals
Spending money while dating is pretty much inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be smart about it. Research places that offer deals on dining: often lunch out is cheaper than dinner. If you can’t do lunch, look for restaurants that have an early dinner menu or other kind of set menu to get more bang for your buck. If you’re heading out for drinks, go somewhere that has a happy hour.
7. Go for thoughtful, not extravagant gifts
Just because you’re trying to save money doesn’t mean you have to slack on the “courting” aspect. You can still give each other thoughtful little gifts without breaking the bank. A cute bunch of flowers from your local florist, a hand written card for a special occasion, a photo collage of the two of you, or something unique for their house or flat are all affordable gifts full of meaning.
Sadly it looks like money isn’t going to start growing on trees anytime soon, so it’s up to us to keep our spending in line, especially in terms of dating. It can be easy to get carried away when you really like someone and are eager to impress them, but you also don’t want to drain your bank account. Try to implement a few of these tips, and you’ll see what a difference they can make. Your date nights don’t have to go downhill in quality just because you’re saving money!
Register now to start your dating journey and make the most of MatchDining, or check out our other dating advice for more helpful guidance, like 6 steps to attain bulletproof body-confidence for dating or how to spot a catfish.