[dropcap letter="W"]ho said that you have to burn your wallet when going out on a date? Spending time with tu amor doesn’t have to be pricey nor fancy. It’s all about enjoying each other’s company no matter where you are or what you do, and hoping that you don’t drive each other crazy by the end of the day. And now that summer is here, it also pays to know when to splurge and when to save, because money is better spent on memorable beach trips more than anything else!

Here are some budget-friendly date ideas that you can do:












Because a couple that works out together stays (healthy) together. So put on your running shoes and challenge each other for two straight laps in UP Acad Oval. Better yet, make it three! You’d be surprise by what little friendly competition can do. The best part is, you’ll only have to spend on hydration and protein.




 









Take a walk around Escolta and feast your eyes on Manila’s former shopping district. Escolta takes pride on its buildings’ detailed art deco and architecture. It’s been gaining a lot of buzz lately, thanks to 98B, a multidisciplinary artist community that’s been working on reviving this historical street. Explore the entire area and feel the once again growing artistic and business vibe of the whole community. Most of all, don’t forget to take IG-worthy photos!




 








Spend an afternoon munching on fish balls, kwek-kwek, barbecue, isaw, adidas, calamares, and other grilled and fried food that you can find. Enjoy this with gulaman or whatever your favorite pampalamig is. You can also ask what the vendor’s secret is, in keeping his fish balls unbelievably cheap after all these years (still at 50 cents apiece!). Just brace yourself for his answer, if he ever gives any.



 








And by treasure, I mean books and other vintage finds. Look for cheap yet awesome titles in Booksale. This perfectly fits couples who could spend hours and hours reading. And if the Booksale gods permit, you might even find a Michael Chabon title hidden somewhere among the piles of 10-peso books! You could also head to the nearest thrift shop and look for that vintage toy or trinket that deserves a place in your home.



 








With the huge success of Art Fair Philippines and Art in the Park, there is indeed a thriving creative community in the country. See the works of our Filipino contemporary artists and mingle with fellow art enthusiasts and supporters. Makati cradles galleries that exhibit the works of Romeo Lee, Nona Garcia, MM Yu, Ryan Villamael, and many others. And who knows? You might even bump into THE John Lloyd Cruz in one of these exhibits.



 









Nothing beats a date prepared with e-f-f-o-r-t. Enjoy the beautiful quiet afternoon listening to good music, while indulging on your four-layer tuna sandwich, fresh fruit shake, and homemade brownies. Share your smile to everyone who looks your way, because life is wonderful and it’s great to be in love.




 









Take a rest from your cheapskate adventures and have a date night right at the comfort of your own home. Surprise your partner with your hidden Italian cooking flair and make that pasta recipe that you’ve been watching over and over again on Youtube. Remember, happy hearts always go well with satisfied tummies!




 









Watch "Pretty in Pink" and other John Hughes films on young love. Share a blanket and make it a comfy movie night, complete with popcorn, pizza, and soda. In the mood for something more challenging? Then re-watch mind bending films like "Inception" and have a stimulating debate after, whether pretty boy Leo managed to get out of the limbo or not.

 

Got any cheap date tips? Post them all in the Comments Section.

Kata Garcia

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