Love On a Budget

Five dollars for a date is manageable and can bring sweet memories.


Photo Juno Le

Bella Rodrigues (’23) and Austin White (’23) hold up a $5, the only money they have for their dream cheap date.

Zoe Thaxton, Online Managing Editor

Editor’s Note: The following story and page were created as an entry for the FSPA Fall Digital Contest, Date Night Feature Page.

Everyone knows the staples of teenage romance: hand-holding and PDA, the awkward first kiss and of course, the cheesy dates. From movies to arcades to dinner at a restaurant, dates range all over the place, varying from couple to couple. It’s meant to be a fun time out with a person they’re interested in.

However, dating in Tampa is not cheap (perks of living in a big city) and many teenagers don’t have an abundance of cash to throw out for weekend activities.

Does limited cash stop date night? Of course not, one just has to get creative and spend wisely. Imagine a five-dollar date night and let the ideas flow.

    Lame? Maybe. Fun? Absolutely. Being in nature is refreshing and beautiful. Tampa has plenty of parks around like Ballast Point. There are state parks just out of the city (like Lettuce Lake Park). Also, a big staple of the city is the Riverwalk along the Hillsborough River. It’s a long trail from the Convention Center to Armature Works, roughly 2.6 miles of walking. Walking the River Walk, especially when the sun sets is amazing (now Downtown parking is another issue, but not one I will bring up in this list).
  2. Dollar Store Shop-Till-You Drop
    Okay, play along with me. Almost everything at the Dollar Store is around a dollar, so play a version of that Target-couple game where they buy favorite drinks and snacks for each other. Maybe even buy a cheap puzzle, board game, chalk or coloring book. The possibilities are endless.

Overall, the most important part is enjoying each other’s company. That’s the whole reason for going out. Time spent with the person you love is never wasted.