Our Inexpensive Dates Because Love Don’t Cost a Thing (Well, Almost)
It’s not easy to plan a date, even harder if you are on a tight budget. But if you’re creative enough, treating the person you love on a budget can be a meaningful and rewarding experience.
As we send Z to college, V and I have committed ourselves to an ultra frugal lifestyle. Not that we live an extravagant one, but we are vigilant more than ever with our expenses now that one of our incomes has to pay for Z’s college. We had our share of debts that can give you nightmares; such a hard way to learn the lesson of living within your means. Everyday we remind ourselves to spare Z from learning the hard way, too. We try to show her by example because after 20 years of being married, we have become a little bit wiser with our choices.
We’ve set aside our dream of getting a new car for now as well as a grand vacation, but if there’s anything we can’t set aside, it’s our weekly dates. That one time in a week where we go out for a bit to reconnect with each other with as little distraction as we can. And because of our current circumstance, we needed ways to go out on a date without spending a lot.
Our date is basically eating, talking with lots of funny chismis, catching up on our schedules, taking reflective walks, and then watch a movie at home. All of which should be within a ₱500 budget. Yep! That cheap! The budget goes to food mostly. We hardly ever go out farther than the 10 minute walk to the nearest mall or only as far as a 30-minute travel. The objective is to really just spend quality time together. Fancy places not required. Heck, we call our afternoon streetfood food trip in the neighborhood a date. If it was quality time together, it’s counted as a date.
We got technology working on our side, here are our favorite apps to use when we go out. The apps mentioned below are not sponsored. I wish it was though 😀 But atleast we can really say, we just genuinely enjoy using these apps as they really give bang for our buck.
Use Booky’s one month free trial to see if you can really make the most of paying monthly subscriptions. We decided to get a membership after we were sure the Booky partners in our area are places we actually want to go to. The places we considered were Clark, San Fernando, Katipunan and Makati. Clark and San Fernando were the biggest considerations since this is where we are most of the time. We take advantage of Real Buy 1 Take 1 deals. Promos where we atleast get a 40% discount are good deals. Watch out for Booky’s flash sale in shopee. I got my booky prime 3-month subscription from shopee at ₱149. Our personal booky partner faves are Gong Cha, Chef Tony, The Pretzel Maker and Krispy Kreme
There are only a handful of Eatigo partners here in Pampanga but since this app does not require payments to avail of subscriptions, we still think that this is worth it. We take advantage of 30% to 50% discounts from this app. Most of these discounts are available for brunch, late lunch or 2 hours before a store’s closing time. Honestly, we really don’t mind the hours. A small adjustment in exchange of the huge discounts. V and I would usually reserve brunch or late lunch and do some window shopping in between. So far, we have used Eatigo at Roberto’s in Clark, Savory in Telabastagan and FatFook in North Edsa. Super excited to use it in Katipunan and Makati, too.
V started paying our utility bills using this digital wallet. The rebates we earn are the ones we use for simple treats like halo halo, burgers and fries. V also uses the rebates for his prepaid load and to book Grab.
Our post paid and prepaid accounts from Globe both earn rewards. The only time we buy treats from Dairy Queen and Jamba Juice is when we have enough Globe Reward points to purchase treats from these stores. We have Dairy Queen, Jamba Juice or Gong Cha during our reflective walks. I have also tried using discount promos from their partner merchants like a 15% discount from a recent shopee purchase. Globe rewards can also be used to pay for cinemas in SM and Ayala Malls.
A teammate from one of the organizations I belong to introduced us to shopback. Use this app to go to your favorite shopping and booking sites. They get a commission everytime you purchase and then they split the commission with you. Aside from cashback, we also take advantage of coupons and deals. We use this app mainly for MetroDeal, Food Panda, Airbnb, Shopee and Lazada. That teammate, by the way, has about ₱11,000 worth of cashback from this app. He probably use it to book his flights and buy his gadgets.
I share my netflix subscription with a friend which is why I only pay half. V and I love staying in and watch a movie or two on weekends. We hardly go to theaters lately as netflix have really been enough for us. It’s cheaper and we can watch it anytime we want to, in our pambahay, in bed with my favorite blanket with our BOGO Chef Tony’s popcorn.
There are special occasions when we splurge a bit. We really save up for it first. But V has been so used to getting good deals through these apps when we go out that he isn’t easily impressed anymore when we go to fancy places as he would be comparing it to my cooking or how much savings these deals are instead.
It has never been about fancy places for him especially when we’re paying in full lol. We’re learning more from paying for Z’s college. And it has only been her first year, first semester. We take pride living frugally. Maybe we’ll add more income soon to have bigger savings and to afford little luxuries every now and then. But until then, we’ll find joy from these little tweaks in our spending habits.