Single summers can be amazing if you’re ready to mingle. If you’re coupled, you may find yourself being more adventurous especially if you live near a major city like New York City. Planning dates doesn’t have to be a tedious or expensive ordeal. Some good old fashioned fun and creative thinking are all it takes to find some good date ideas on a budget. If you’re in the New York City area I have a few ideas for you.

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1. Movies in the park and summer outdoor screenings. 

Grab some microwavable popcorn, a bottle of wine or whatever you like to drink and some other favorite snacks and take your babe on a movie date to the local park. What can be more romantic than watching a movie in some lush greenery under the stars? TimeOut NYC has put together a really good calendar of free movie screenings around the city up til August.

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2. See some art, see some world. 

Spend a day getting cultured on museum row where most of them ask for suggested donations or admissions as low as $15 dollars. Take some time exploring art and pick your favorite piece and talk about it over a cup of coffee or if it’s too hot some ice cream. Trust me, even if she’s not that artsy type, she’ll enjoy just being in your company and talking to you. Not sure where to go? CBS Local News NYC has put together an awesome list of museums perfect for dates on a budget.

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3. Take her shopping. 

Now I know you might be thinking, “how the heck is taking a woman shopping a cheap date?” Hear me out though. One of my male friends made a really great point and said a great date idea would be to take her shopping with you. If you have grocery shopping to do or a impromptu trip to Target take her and spend time walking through the aisles talking. He believes you can learn a lot about each other based on what you buy. Interesting right?

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4. DIY Date

Make lunch together, try a new recipe, make a dinner together, do a crafty project together. Women love creating things with their significant other as a keepsake.

Being in love or taking time to figure love out doesn’t have to be financially taxing. It’s all about being creative and thoughtful.

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