How to date on a student budget

(Graphic by Kate Turner)

We’re all struggling students with a limited budget for entertainment purposes outside of schooling and living. However, it is also inevitable that at one point in your university career, you will go on a few dates. This also means that you will have to impress them with a stellar date that will make them want to come back for more.

You don’t want to look too stingy, but you also want to budget appropriately so that you will have enough money for your rent and schooling. Thankfully, Waterloo is full of great potential date ideas that are both low-priced and romantic. You will be able to please your date while also still being able to have a sufficient amount of money left in your bank account.

David’s Tea
This is usually the best place to go for a first date, not only for the limited selection of things to order, but also because of how cheap it actually is. For just two cups of teas, it comes to a total of exactly $6 and the atmosphere is perfect to sit down and talk for hours as you get to know one another, further proving that talk really is cheap. It also helps that David’s Tea offers a great selection of unique teas, which are all the rage right now.

Princess Cinema
This quaint movie theatre has a reputation in this town for its quirkiness and reasonable movie prices. If you don’t want to go to Cineplex and spend a ton of money on tickets and popcorn, go here. Your date will love the overall atmosphere of the cinema and the good old yawn and stretch move will have the same impact as it would at any other theatre.

Picnic in Waterloo Park
This date option just goes without saying. With the lake nearby and the sun hopefully shining above, a picnic will not only save you money, the person you are taking on the date won’t be thinking about the fact that this date is essentially free. Your date will most likely be too enthralled with the time and effort you put into making peanut butter and jam sandwiches and homemade cookies to realize that a picnic date costs you very little money. Once the picnic is done, you can both walk hand-in-hand through the park and look at the animals together. Clichéd dates like this usually work because they’re typically economical.

Skating in Waterloo Square  
If your relationship is becoming quite serious, it’s always best to think ahead about those dates in the wintertime. Waterloo is famous for its skating rink located in the town square. Holding hands while skating flawlessly alongside one another is always the key ingredient to a successful skating date. If one or both of you lack talent in the skating area, then at least you will both have a laugh as you help each other up from the ice.

Ethel’s Tacos
It is almost comical how cheap Ethel’s is. On Taco Tuesdays, you are guaranteed to not spend more than $2 for about four tacos. Even if your date wants to order something other  than tacos, don’t worry about it; your entire meal will still be under $10.  A casual date here will have your wallet singing with glee.

There is no better date than indulging in a deli sandwich and a hot cup of coffee. The sandwiches are all in the $10 range and their pastries are $5 and under. This is the ideal stop for a lunch date.

Symposium Café
This café only seems expensive; you have to know which days to go. The best day to go on a date is on Sundays because they have a two for one cake special. You’ll only have to pay for one piece of cake even though you get two and the price is almost always under $15. It’s a delicious deal! Plus, who really wants to share their dessert? This is one date that is sure to be a hit, so don’t be surprised if your date asks to come back.

Although these dates are great and inexpensive, just know that eventually you will have to take them out on at least one fancy date. It is always best to mix the two kinds of dates up so that you are not a total cheapskate. So it is time to start saving for that.

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