Many of us don't usually factor our love life into our budgets, but dating can be expensive AF. When you're super broke in college, you may begin to think it's a luxury you can't really afford, but literally, #NoWorries. Every date night doesn't have to be fine dining and the most expensive bottle of wine on the shelf.
Even that would get pretty old after awhile. There are plenty of free or cheap date ideas that any broke college student can take advantage of. That's not saying you should make microwave Ramen noodles for a first date when you're low on money, but here are nine fun college date options that are just as cheap and actually quite romantic.
1. Have A Movie Marathon In The Dorm
When hitting up the movie theater begins to drain your wallet, you can take advantage of accessing some of your favorite classics right at home. Get to know each other a little better by having a movie marathon in the dorm, alternating your top picks. Set up your laptop or TV for the perfect viewing, and get the popcorn going. You could build a blanket fort around the screen so it's intimate and cute.
2. Find A Bar With A Solid Drink Deal
If you're 21 and up, you probably know there are a ton of bars around campus with great drink deals. Take advantage of them. Find a bar with a solid deal to go to for a few brews with your bae. There are even some places that give you a hot dog or slice of pizza for every drink you buy.
3. Plan A Sweet Picnic In The Park
A picnic can be a really cheap, but super thoughtful plan. Pack whatever you have in your dorm, or even stop by the school cafeteria where you can use your meal plan to score some snacks. Find a cute area in a local park, or right in the quad. Spread out a cozy blanket, and have a romantic meal together. If you want to plan your picnic for nighttime, make extra brownie points with some stargazing.
4. Show Your #SchoolSpirit At A Sporting Event
No matter the season, your school probably has sporting events or plays going on all year long. You can get tickets for dirt cheap, or even free. Who needs professional events when you have players just as good at your school? Plus, there's most likely something fun going on every week, so you'll definitely never run out of events to attend.
5. Hold A Flirty Study Session
OK, this one definitely isn't the most traditional date, but you'll be spending time together and you have to study eventually, so why not do it with the person you like? You might play games to help each other memorize things, which can be flirty and oh-so-fun. Plus, you can reward each other for working hard by ordering a pizza at the end of the night.
6. Visit A Museum On "Pay What You Wish" Day
A lot of museums have a "pay what you wish" day. It's donation-based, so you can contribute as much as you'd like. Find a museum you both have been dying to go to, and find out when the donation day is taking place so you can make the trip.
7. Reap The Benefits Of Your Student ID
You can get so many free or discounted things with your student ID. Since you both have one, build a date around all of the fun things you can do together for super cheap. This could mean discounted meals, inexpensive matinee movies, or even shopping with a ton of epic deals. You could build a short bucket list of all of the discounts you can get, and make it like a scavenger hunt to see how much you can get done in one date.
8. Take A Donation-Based Yoga Class
If you're a couple who's all about the outdoors, you can totally make a date out of that. Take an outdoor donation-based yoga class, or even go running through the park. You're feeding the mind, body, and soul, while also enjoying bae's company.
9. Make A Yummy Dinner In The Dorm
It's cheaper to make dinner than going out, so why not cook a dinner for two in your dorm room? You can make your dinner follow a specific theme, like "Italian," if you met in a Renaissance Fine Art class, or maybe even movie pun foods, like "Lord of The Onion Rings," because you met in Film Studies. Chances are, even if you're totally broke in college, you'll still have a great time together no matter what you're doing.