Just because you have no money doesn't mean you can't show someone a great time.
Step 1: Figure out budget Figure out what your budget is. Five dollars? Ten dollars? Nothing?
Step 2: Check the paper Check local papers for free or low-cost events like community theater and dance productions, art openings, and festivals.
TIP: In some communities, you can volunteer to work as an usher at the local theater in exchange for free passes.
Step 3: Check bookstores See which bookstores in your area offer readings, lectures, and/or live bands that you can enjoy while having a coffee and pastry.
TIP: Look online for dozens of event listings in your hometown.
Step 4: Call museums Call local museums for current and upcoming exhibits.
TIP: Many museums offer a reduced-price or free day during the week.
Step 5: Make it charitable Make it a charitable date: Take part in a fundraising walk/run or bike ride; join a local park clean-up effort; or help out at an animal shelter.
Step 6: Make dinner Make a romantic dinner at home using ingredients that are on sale at your supermarket.
TIP: Make dinner preparation part of the date by going apple or berry picking, or by picking up a bottle of wine during a winery tour or tasting.
Step 7: Think nature Think nature. Prepare a picnic, go to a park or lake, plan a hike or bike ride, or visit a zoo or aquarium.
Step 8: Check for BYOB Check local listings for bring-your-own-bottle restaurants.
Step 9: Crash a wedding When all else fails, take a cue from Wedding Crashers--put on formal clothes, go to one of those reception places than run a half dozen large weddings at a time, and hit all the cocktail hours.
FACT: Singles on the West Coast are the most likely to spend $100 or more on a date while those in the southern and eastern regions of the country spend only $25 to $50.