Inexpensive date ideas abound. And guys, one of the great things about an inexpensive date, is if you do it right you will impress the girl with your creativity and thoughtfulness. The best date ideas are fun, and enable you to get to know the other person. If you go to the movies for example, you have to spend the ticket, the treats, and the gas to get there, and you may not even have much time for a conversation. Save the movies for a second date. Or better yet, wait until you know the person pretty well and you want to be entertained, not worried about furthering the relationship.

Unique date ideas are often found in the realm of reality TV. Not all of them are cheap. But they do give you an idea of the variety of things available. For example, who would have thought of taking a guy to a gym? Not me, but on one reality TV show I saw, a cute little gymnast took her blind date to the mat. It gave her a chance to be dressed in nothing but a leotard, interesting, and cost her no more than the gym fee entrance. If you want to stretch a guy past his comfort zone consider taking him to your yoga class, a meditation workshop, or a flute retreat. New Agey guys love this stuff.

Things You Will Need

You need a yellow pages for stuff in your area, a local newspaper, and a thinking cap! Look around and see if there are any free events locally. A craft fair, a musical event, anything in a park guarantees some walk around time. If you like the guy you can pop in a coffee shop to sit down and chat, if you don't like him, make sure one of your friend's calls during the date so you can beg off. Who can forget Marsha Brady's famous line, "Something just came up!"

Step 1

For a picnic in the park date, don't be afraid to get a professional to pack your lunch. It's bound to be more interesting than what you come up with, and may spark some interesting conversation. A similar inexpensive date is to meet and go hiking, and it doesn't require bringing more than some water, a few apples maybe some gorp. If you are hungry afterwards and like the girl, you can offer to take her to a juice bar or out for a salad. The great thing about a hike is the fun things you see along the way.

Step 2

Another fun first date which is inexpensive and can be romantic is community theater. It is much less expensive than taking a girl to a professional play and can be the most inadvertently funny thing you ever saw. If you have friends who like to act you might even be able to score comp tickets, and look awesome when you introduce your new friend to members of the cast. Plus it's a win-win to be supportive of your friends and their crazy hobbies. You will look like one soft hearted guy. Along the same lines are taking her to your nephew's soccer / little league game. One of the better things about taking a lady to a family event is that you can see how she fits into your real life. If she absolutely doesn't dig going to your niece's dance recital, you got a bead on what your marriage might look like with the gal in question.

Step 3

Fundraising events. If you are religious and belong to a church, invite your date to a fundraising event. Once again, these events are usually inexpensive, and enable you to see how the person would operate in your real life. If it is your regular social group, for example clean up day for the Sierra Club, or couples dinner at church, you will be able to get your friends' opinion of your date later. It may not seem crucial to get outside opinions, yet don't discount them. In the fuzzy infatuation stages of meeting someone, many of us are quite to overlook what our friends and family quickly notice. Save yourself a lot of heartache by not being too secretive early on.

Step 4

Staycation, or dinner in. Everyone likes someone who is skilled in the kitchen. If you are a woman, respond to date number two by inviting the guy over for a nice home cooked meal. If you are a guy, you may want to have another couple over, or make it a party so the woman doesn't fear being lured to your apartment alone. Then pull out all the stops, make your best thing, that you are most confident in for the meal. Set a pretty table, invite over other guests. After dinner play a board game designed for conversation such as scrabble or Pictionary in lieu of renting a movie.

Don't be afraid to make up your own game. We used to play something called "finish the story" which was exactly that, and caused each person to come up with something amusing and creative. Charades can be played without buying anything. Some people published books with conversation starting questions such as what would you do with a million dollars. If it's something you want to know, you look less like a nosy parker if you read the question out of a book, and play like you are playing a game, than if you ask it out of thin air.

The helpful date. Guys you really win brownie points with women if you find out something she needs that you can do. If she wants to learn how to fix something around the house or on her car, make it a date! Don't do it for her, do it WITH her. Once again, learning if you have the skill to work together bodes well for a relationship. If you find yourself fighting, you learned something valuable. Don't think because you are a woman you can't create a "helpful" date. I've had men ask me to teach them how to bake bread, and how to make pizza, and it was a lot of fun showing them how.

Tips & Warnings

Don't be too cheap! I saw a guy on reality TV once spend the date reading questions out of a book to the poor lady. He turned the whole date into a job interview! You don't get asked out a second time for doing this.