HOUSTON (CBS Houston) Let’s face it. We need lives of our own outside of the workplace and beyond commitments. It’s important to socialize with others and when those socialization moments turn into an attraction to others, we desire to get to know that special someone on a more personal level.

Dating is important but does not have to be stressful. Check out these ways I think dating can be economical, fun, festive and promising!

1.  Coupons As a woman, I love being “wined and dined”. Sometimes, however, I will have in mind a great place to meet a date and even a great coupon or offer that is at the particular restaurant of my choosing. I find that men love for women to take a bit of initiative and plan great places to meet. I decided to do such for a date and went online and found a great coupon for a free appetizer with the purchase of cocktails. Needless to say, my date paid for the cocktails as we enjoyed a big platter of free potato skins! We had a great time and he even asked me to hit the dance floor later on our date! He paid for admission into the dance club, we “salsa-ed” the night away and enjoyed even more cocktails and great fun! So before your date, go online and see who has great offers for great food and great festivities and “freebies”. There is no shame in the “money saving game”!

2. Off-Peak Dates! Where is there a law written that stipulates you must go on a date to the movies during the evening times only? I have gone on many dates to movies… at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. in the afternoon! Movies during the day are cheaper and believe it or not, the crowds are not as heavy. On a great summer day, museums, shops and other specialty places are great to have that date in the afternoon. There is no law that says that you must go on a date in the evenings. I am certainly not opposed to evening dates, but consider fun and festive dating alternatives during daylight hours!

3. Dutch? Another way to cut costs is to eliminate the burden of one person paying for the entire date and going Dutch. Paying for yourself is a great way to cut costs. Many times, I vibe with a great guy and we end up going to a movie, a restaurant, a coffee house or a cocktail lounge all in one date. If he pays for the movie, then I pick up the tab for the cocktails or the dinner or we each pay for ourselves. Splitting costs and going Dutch is a great way to save money while dating. Sometimes, a guy sees that you value a hard-earned dollar and he is that much more inclined to treat you like a princess! You never know where great money-saving habits will lead you when it comes to meeting a great person!

4. Free Places Houston is a great place that offers year-round entertainment and sometimes that entertainment is quite cheap or free! Meeting a date at a free festival or at a free outdoor concert is a great way to save money. Last year, there was a free music concert being held in Downtown Houston. No one had to pay for the concert and even my date offered to pay for my parking. The concert also offered free drinks and food. So my date only paid $5.00 for that entire date. We even joked about how cheap our date was and he was more willing to “step things up” on our next date. Needless to say, the following weekend, he paid for dinner at one of Houston’s premiere restaurants. When dating, remember: free can be fun and can lead to more fun! Choose free when it comes to hanging out with that special someone!

Do you have ways that you save money while dating? Share them and watch related below!

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