By Petro-Anne Vlok
10 November 2014

Being in love and broke doesn’t have to kill the romantic vibe – read on for some penny-pinching tips.

You’ve found your special someone – he or she makes you laugh and brightens your life. You even finish each other’s sentences. Or you’ve finally plucked up the courage to ask that cute classmate out on a date. Luckily you don’t need a big wad of cash to spend some quality time with your crush.

Go for a bike ride

If you’re both sporty and love the outdoors, a relaxing bike ride is the perfect date – and you get a workout.

This could be the faultless first date – there’s no pressure to talk all the time so those first-date jitters won’t get the better of you.

Go ice-skating

Ice-skating doesn’t cost the earth and if you struggle to get the hang of it, your date will be there to catch you when you fall. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea to pretend to be a terrible skater so you can fall into his arms anyway . . .

Sing karaoke

If you have games such as SingStar or Band Hero at home why not organise a karaoke night? All you need to make it really festive are a few snacks and cooldrinks.

If your voice is so off key you think he may run in the opposite direction – and never stop – then Guitar Hero (a fun video game where you pretend to play on guitars) is your answer. You and your loved one can battle it out to see who plays the most epic riffs.

Board games night

Who doesn’t have fun playing games such as Monopoly, Cluedo and 30 Seconds at home? It also brings out the competitive side in people, which will give you a sneak peek into what makes your special someone tick.

Board games work better with at least four people, so if you decide on this activity make it a double date.

Get back to Nature

Pick a pretty place in your town or city – for example, Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town, EmmarentiaBotanical Gardens in Joburg or the JapaneseGardens in Durban – and go for a leisurely stroll. You’ll be relaxed and in a better state of mind to pull out your best flirting tactics.

Play putt-putt

You played it with your pops when you were a kid, but it’s still as much fun – even more! This activity allows you to chat away in a fun environment and the soft-serve ice cream shop is usually right next to the putt-putt offices. What’s not to like!

Have a picnic

Few things are as romantic or economical as having a picnic. Grab one of your mom’s picnic baskets and fill it to the brim with yummy snacks. Now all you need is a blanket and sunny weather and you’re on your way to having the perfect date.

Go to a museum, art gallery or planetarium

If your date is the arty type, you can’t go wrong with an art museum – or any museum really. Of course nothing says romance more than staring up at the stars – so if you have a planetarium around, that’s a great bet. Best of all is that most of these places offer discounts to school kids.

Go 10-pin bowling

Bowling is fun, social and it’s pretty easy so you don’t have to worry about embarrassing yourself in the sporting department. Also it’s weather-friendly – so come rain or shine, it’s always an option.

Go to markets

Markets are all the rage these days – from those that offer yummy food to those who sell handmade jewellery, clothes and other goodies. You can spend hours rummaging for cool stuff or just save money and window-shop.

The best thing about these markets is the vibe – it’s always lively and will surely keep your date entertained.

- Petro-Anne Vlok

Sources: dailymail.co.uk; starcelebritys.com; popsugar.com; cosmopolitan.com

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