How to keep the romance alive on a budget

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romance-budget-Mateus-wine-love-letterWHEN YOU FIND TRUE LOVE CHERISH IT


Expensive restaurants, weekend getaways, fine wine and jewellery are great to splash out on for the love in your life, but it can be really expensive to maintain that level of  frosting in a relationship.

There are alternatives to these purchases that cost a lot less but still mean a great deal and say “I’m in love with you”.


The little things in life


Being romantic doesn’t necessarily imply that you run out and spend lots of cash on shiny things, quite the opposite depending on who your partner is and how you both view personal finance.

A hand written love letter seems to be a lost art these days, especially when you post it so your loved one receives it in the mail.

A card you bought from the dollar store can say “I Love You” just as well as that $5 Hallmark card version from the mall but you can afford that little effort more often.

You can go the Full Monty and make a card from scratch depending on your skill level in the art department.

I’m not sure that I would qualify as Hitch the professional dating doctor out to fix every Albert and Allegra when it comes to advice about dating but I can suggest tips for dating frugally.

There’s always room for improvement, my wife might agree to that. I would love to create more romantic situations, trips and fun things to do with her over the coming year. She deserves it, I just haven’t delivered too much of it yet.

She knows I’m not much for celebrating Valentine’s Day as I prefer to show my love and affection for her every day of the year. The reason being, I love her all the time and not just that one day a year.

Getting up in the morning and making breakfast in bed or just bringing in a morning coffee with a rose on the side can add that little piece of romance even if it is 7am. It’s not the coffee as such, more the gesture of love and affection.

Spending time making something or thinking up something to do together can be rewarding too. Cleaning out the refrigerator together does not constitute doing something together.

Couples can easily get caught up in the daily grind of life and start to take each other for granted. What was once new and showed a loving gesture in the beginning has now become a routine and although the gesture may still be genuine, it lacks the weight it once carried.


Things to see and do


Getting out and doing something different or going somewhere new can break the monotony in a relationship.

I know the cinema costs $10 or more per person to watch a movie but most cinemas run half price weekday afternoon tickets, though it depends on how that fits into your work schedule.

If getting out and about is your style, how about taking it further. Walks in the woods and a picnic or maybe a camping experience or boating on a lake.

You can try a day at the beach or there are many other places or things to see and do within a short distance of where you live unless you live in a remote area.

Research places and things to do, there may be more opportunities to do fun things than you thought. Embrace the cold winters and go sledding or tubing down the side of a hill.

Geocaching is fairly popular, just don’t spend too much on a GPS device otherwise the frugality falls flat on its face, but once the initial purchase is made the experience is free on an ongoing basis.

Instead of an evening out at a pub or club you could trade it in for a romantic evening of intergalactic proportions by researching astronomical events and watch shooting stars or comet tail displays.

A personal favourite of mine, although technically not astronomical in nature, would be to see at least once in my lifetime the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights with my cherished one.


Food and Drink


You don’t have to celebrate with a $40 bottle of champagne, there are alternatives like the Spanish Cava or the Italian Proseco.

Cheaper still is the easy drinking budget wines that cost under $10 which may not be to everyone’s taste but can still aid in celebrating an occasion or anniversary.

The wife’s’ particular favourite alcoholic beverage is Mateus a Rosé wine at $9.25 for the smaller bottle or a bargain busting $15 for a double size bottle.

If your going to spend an evening out watching stars or a comet then take along some hot coffee or tea for those cold nights.

Cook up a romantic meal for the evening instead of going to that fancy fine dining place in town. I’ve also heard that women find men who cook very sexy so don’t miss out on this simple opportunity to show her how in love you are with her even if that means using a spatula and mixing bowl.

Putting effort and time into creating a meal and setting the scene at home for a romantic night in is just as rewarding but a whole lot cheaper than eating out. Besides, not only do you save on the meal but also the tip and you are in control of the entire meal from start to finish. The best part is you know what goes into your meal because it’s made with your own two hands.

Meals in our home are mainly cooked by myself and sometimes with the aid of the wife since I love to cook and enjoy creating new recipes for us and my blog. Once you’ve mastered the stove and oven, creating a full meal isn’t that hard.

If it’s the first meal you’ve cooked then research and prepare in advance. It’s the effort that counts, the fact you went and created something for your other half will be just as important if not more than making a reservation.




Talking about saving, we budget for entertainment every month and we have a rendezvous account from the underspends in the grocery shopping which currently stands at $82.62.

You can track our rendezvous account by following or posting your shop in my weekly Grocery Game Challenge.

We can go out on a date, or two or more depending on how frugal we are with that figure. Spending too much on expensive gifts from over compensating can hit you in the financials if you are not careful.

Curb your romance enthusiasm and keep it simple, it’s the smaller things in life that count more.

The principles remain the same whether you’re dating on a budget or you’re just inquiring on how to have a lasting relationship on a budget.

Either way, which ever path you are currently on the level of romance doesn’t need to be budgeted, just the price of it.

Try something new or strange and let that love meter go from low to HELLO!

What other suggestions do you have for keeping the romance alive on a budget?



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  1. Great list full of great ideas that won’t break the bank. My girlfriend and I have recently started going for (almost) nightly walks and we both are loving it. It give us time to connect, talk, hold hands and get some (very light) exercise all at the same time. It doesn’t cost a dime and it’s become one of our favorite activities. In the spring we’re going to start going on more hikes as well.

  2. This is quite the list! My wife and I went to the beach quite a bit while we were dating and had very little funds. It’s amazing how many free public beaches there are.

    As far as geocaching, you really only need a smart phone and $10 app these days. No need to purchase a separate device.

  3. After 37 years a lot of the little things, like him bringing me a cup of tea in the morning have become a lot more seldom. But his health has not been good the last couple of years so right now showing I care tends to mean doing the driving to appointments and sitting with him while we wait for our turn to see the doctor, whether it’s at the hospital, office or in emergency. It’s just being there. Keeping track of what medications he takes and when, asking questions of people who are taking care of him, and standing up to the medical people for him. It’s staying calm while calling for an ambulance. Then following the ambulance in. Riding shotgun in the transport vehicle when the hospital arranges for him to go elsewhere for an appointment or a test.For better or for worse, in sickness and in health….. being there….

  4. My hubby will occasionally leave a thoughtful card behind a photo frame on the mantelpiece for me to find. When you’re in a long term relationship, it can be easy to take each other for granted so just doing nice little things like this can make a real difference. If I get up before him, I make him a cup of tea in bed (minus the rose – I should try that one day!).

  5. Nice post Mr CBB.

    My fella and I have a standing date to go “exploring” once weekly. We pack a picnic lunch, some bevvies, and maybe a small treat and head out on the road. There are some standing rules: With rare exceptions our destination must be within 2 hours’ drive of home (often there’s no specific destination at all: we just toodle along the backroads), and we buy nothing while we’re out – no food, no souvenirs, no drinks, nothing. It makes for an inexpensive date, we’ve had great fun discovering new places together, and – let’s face it – there’s something innately romantic about sharing an adventure and a picnic.

  6. Its said that its not the gift that matters but the very thought of giving it and reading your post certainly demonstrates this. Love doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. In the grand scheme of things, the best things in life are usually free or very cheap what one needs to do is get creative and spontaneous in expressing their love.
    What more could a lover ask for?

  7. A good dinner generally puts us both in a good mood. As we just came back from Spain we make sangria at the moment, and have a glass while watching the sunset. I also try to be nice once in a while, that’s free! 🙂 It’s the little things.

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