Do you remember your first date? What do you think it cost?

The first date I had with my wife, Ann was over a Coke. We went to a Christian college and coke dates were “the thing”. Coke and conversation. Simple as that.

Today the average cost of a date is around $100! But, here’s some ideas to stretch your dating dollars.

First, stay on budget by planning ahead.

Proverbs 21:5 says: The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

Consider these options:

Start your day with a special breakfast or time spent over a good cup of coffee.

Then, head outdoors! Pack a picnic and go for a hike, a bike ride, or visit a botanical garden. Farmer’s markets are always fun and a way to support your local farmers.

Canoe, fish or horseback ride if you have connections to keep the cost down.

See what’s going on in your local community –  oftentimes there are free events. Check out museums, colleges, and theatres for concerts, sporting events, concerts and plays.

If you love movies, go to matinees – they’re cheaper than evening shows.

Play board games. Ann and I enjoy the competition of Scrabble with popcorn on a regular basis.

Use coupons – you’ll totally impress your date with your frugality. Restaurant.com, RetailMeNot, Groupon or Living Social are good sources for local deals.

Another idea is to enroll in a MoneyLife Study at Crown.org It’s a way for you to get on the same page and improve your finances.

Invest in your relationship, but keep Christ at the center. Frugality truly is fun and rewarding!

If you need encouragement, wise counsel or prayer to manage your finances, we’re standing by during office hours. Call the Crown Help Line at 800 722-1976 or visit Crown.org