Wine and Dine 1

Wine and Dine on a Dime

If you were one of those people dreading Feb. 14 this year, maybe it wasn’t because of the cliché Hallmark cards or the inability to escape all things heart-shaped, but it was more for the fear of post-Valentine’s Day debt. I mean, let’s face it, things have gotten a lot pricier since the days of cutting out hearts from red construction paper and giving them to your sweetheart in third grade. But fear not, if your wallet is bleeding love after the designated day of romance, there are ways to keep wooing your valentine on a budget throughout the year.

I mean we really should tell and show our loved ones how much we care about them every day, and not on just one day of the year. That being said, here’s a list of cheap date ideas besides Netflix and chill that’ll make the romance last beyond Valentine’s Day. One idea is to explore your own city. Seek out some new restaurants, parks, and shops or even take a walk down memory lane with your significant other.

There are few things better than grabbing a cup of tea or coffee with your favorite person, and for many of us, that’s usually our boyfriend or girlfriend. If it’s a first date, don’t fret. Grabbing coffee is the best way to go. Specialist professor of Communication Kristine Simoes speaking from her own daughter’s personal experience offers advice for a cheap first date, “She only does coffee day dates, that’s her Tinder-Bumble go to. She always makes sure to avoid doing a full meal, especially on a first date,” she said. 

Also, try out different coffee shops. Some even have board games to awaken that competitive spirit with you and your sweetheart. For my Central New Jerseyans, Ink Well in Long Branch has the great coffee, ambiance, and board games, which equates to the best date!

Volunteering together is another good way to spend time with your significant other. It’s been proven that feel-good hormones are released when you give back to others, and volunteering with your love can only heighten the prevalence of these hormones. If you ask me, it’s a win-win. Also, the experiences you share while volunteering will be more memorable than any candlelit dinner.Lace up your Nikes, grab your Clif bar, and hit the hiking trails. Hiking is a great way to get outside with your significant other. Sophomore communications student Colleen Moretti says, “my boyfriend and I love to hike together and have picnics because its nice to be outside in the fresh air away from all the chaos.” Wining and dining doesn’t always have to mean eating at a five-star restaurant. Grab a picnic blanket, sandwiches/pizza, and some drinks to romance your date with the most ambiance, the outdoors.

Wine and Dine 2Singing along to music, mincing onions, and wearing cheesy matching aprons are only some of the reasons why cooking with your Valentine is the absolute best. Regardless, if you’re good cooks or not you’ll enjoy creating something that is somewhat edible together. Bon Appétit!

Isn’t the expression, couples who work out together, stay together? Motivate each other to stay healthy by hitting the gym. Let’s be honest, who likes to work out alone? Your date will most likely become your favorite workout partner. Going to the gym together is a great way to spend time together while also staying healthy.

Forget a plane ride or hotel stay, take a day trip to a place nearby you’ve both never been. Between the road trip playlist and scenic route, there’s no denying the fact that there will be love in the air. Junior finance student Jordan Kuropatwa gives her own experience, “I love going on day trips to Philly during the summer with my boyfriend because we get to talk through the city and spend time just talking together,” she said.

Wining and dining doesn’t always have to mean eating at a five-star restaurant. Grab a picnic blanket, sandwiches/pizza, and some drinks to romance your date with the most ambiance, the outdoors. The best date doesn’t even need to cost a dime, but just being in each other’s presence makes life more magical.

PHOTO TAKEN by Campbell Lee

PHOTO COURTESY of Colleen Moretti