For all the guys out there – in the beginning of the relationship, you likely wooed your woman with fancy dinners, bottles of the best wine, and expensive floral bouquets.
But now that you’re saving up to buy an engagement ring, the most romantic thing you’ve done lately is get the door when the pizza delivery guy knocks. Sound familiar? It doesn’t have to.
You can still be romantic when you’re strapped for cash. Check out these four winning ways to woo your woman while still stashing some scones in the bank and saving for an engagement ring she’ll love.
1 . Book a Wine Tasting
You don’t have to go to Napa Valley to visit a romantic winery. There are plenty of vineyards all over the country – and probably one or two near you. Do some research and pick a winery that’s on a scenic route that hopefully swings by a farm stand or two, or perhaps a rural vegetable market or bakery. Then make a day of it – hit a quaint coffee shop on the way for a mid-morning snack, and arrive at the tasting around noonish. Take your time, and pick out a bottle of wine you both like. Be sure to check out these tips for saving money buying good wine.
Make it part of your dinner plan that evening, and pick up some of the meal ingredients via a few casual shopping stops on the way back to town. Some fresh strawberries here, a great loaf of country-baked bread there, and the whole day becomes a lead-in to a romantic dinner at home you’ll make together. Did I mention this one will likely get you laid? You’re welcome.
2. Buy Annual Passes
This is a great way to make sure you can afford to take her to the places she enjoys on a regular basis. Rather than dishing out a hundred bucks a pop on every date you go on, having a few passes to a variety of venues such as the zoo, art museum or local theme park will keep you prepared with a variety of experiences that have essentially been paid for in advance.
What’s more, after you’ve visited these places more than once, you’ll have the lay of the land and be able to navigate minor roadblocks on her behalf, like a latte Jones or snack craving. Women love a man with a plan, and looking like the best boy scout ever in any situation can only be a good thing when it comes to deciding if she wants to commit.
Bonus? Since these dates cost essentially nothing, it’s easy to take it to the next level without breaking the bank (i.e. you can afford a hot dog at the snack stand. Nothing says romance like sausage). Either way, you’ll be banking the cash for that ring, buddy.
3. A Matinee and Happy Hour
Basically, I’m talking dinner and a movie in reverse here. Knock off work early and hit the theater for a great afternoon of affordable entertainment (matinees are usually only 60% the price of a night-time movie). Afterward, head on over to your favorite happy hour establishment and perhaps even meet up with a few friends. Since it’s basically expected that happy hour involves half price drinks and dirt cheap appetizers, you won’t look like a cheapskate. It’s just built in to the activity plan.
This is an especially great idea if your girlfriend is a single parent. It won’t be a huge chunk of change to spring for an after-school babysitter for a few hours. You’ll be home before it gets too late, the children’s routine won’t be thrown off, and the entire outing will still sink you less money than the traditional dinner out.
4. Love Coupons
My husband does this for me, even when we aren’t pinching pennies, and I love it. Sometimes when things get busy, I don’t want a fancy night out. What I want (and I can assure you I’m not alone here), is for him to notice what I need or haven’t been able to do for myself lately and make a pledge to make it happen when I request it. No questions asked.
So he prints up little coupons on the computer for things like a night off from making dinner, running to the store for that emergency Snickers bar, or a 30-minute foot rub. He gives me a fresh stack from time to time, and always lets me redeem them whenever I want without complaint. They aren’t things that cost very much, but they have a huge value to me when I’m needing them the most. So whip up a stack for things you know she loves and put them in a card. You’ll get major brownie points, I promise.
There you go, guys – four serious strategies for wooing on a budget, so you can save for that diamond engagement ring. Keep up the romantic gestures and I guarantee when you do finally drop to one knee, all you’ll hear is a resounding “YES!”
Have you used any of the romance tips mentioned above? How did it work out?