Wooing on a Budget:
How to make him swoon while you're waiting for your next paycheck...
Romance doesn't come in a Gold card or expensively wrapped gift boxes. Romance comes in gestures, and how those gestures make you feel. There's never a need to impress someone by seeing how much money you can spend or how many platinum things you can lavish him with. Here are some suggestions on what to do when you're broke and still want to make an impact.
Bah! Put away that credit card and woo him the ol' fashioned, cheap way.
- Buy flowers.
Such a simple thing, and yet, no one does it anymore. Is chivalry dead? Not quite, but why wait for him to buy you flowers when you can surprise him first? An inexpensive bouquet can still look quite lovely, and even if he's not into fauna, he will still feel special.
Tip: If you're really, really broke, sneak into your neighbour's backyard and steal some of their flowers.
Plan a picnic.
This tip comes courtesy of our own Michelle, who told me about picnics a while back. And yes, she was right. Picnics are a nice and inexpensive way to spend a lazy afternoon. Just put together a basket, grab something to sit on, and a bottle of bubbly, and off you go to watch the sunset on a blanket for two.
Tip: If you're really, really broke, gather what you can from home. For example, last night's leftovers make a nice light lunch.
Make a card.
For an anniversary, birthday, or just because, nothing beats a custom-made card. Even if you haven't touched arts and crafts since grade six, it doesn't mean that it can't be done. Trust me, he's not expecting Van Gogh. Buy a card and stick a picture of yourselves in it, a poem you wrote, or something naughty you've been dying to say to him. Or better yet, grab some construction paper and scissors, and let your imagination do the talking.
Tip: Stick some sexy coupons in the card, i.e. a free dinner for two, a massage, and so forth, which he can claim at any time.
Plan a day getaway.
Just you, him, and the open road. The only thing you need is a tank full of gas and a map. Blindfold him and let him pick a point, and then go there. It doesn't have to be costly - pack some food and your childhood car games. The point is that you get a day to yourselves in a new environment. Who knows, maybe you'll see a shooting star.
Tip: Grab a disposable camera and see what spontaneous moments you can capture.
Write a letter.
In this electronic age, writing a letter is the perfect way to get back to basics. Heck, in the Victorian days they used to write letters more than they actually talked to one another. So get out your best stationary and let your pen do the talking. You can get as playful, romantic or as freaky as you like. Dab a little perfume on the letter, drop some rose petals in the envelope, seal, address, stamp, and you're good to go.
Tip: If you're really, really broke and don't have stationary or postage, write the letter on some white paper and hand deliver.
Plan a night in.
If you're Martha Stewart's protégé, then show him with a little home cooking. If you're not, grab some take-out and set it on the table with some candles and soft music in the background. Even if it's Taco Bell, he'll definitely appreciate the gesture (and all the trouble you went to placing it on nice plates!) Alternatively, you can plan a movie night. Grab two or three movies and have a little marathon.
Tip: No cash for movies? Then re-watch some of your favourites. There's nothing better than a little cuddling on the couch.
Explore the great outdoors.
Go for a walk in the park, take a stroll through some of your favourite neighbourhoods, rediscover the city. It's inexpensive and it's great bonding time.
Tip: If you're both really into the outdoors, pitch a tent in your backyard and watch the stars. If you're not, pitch a tent in your nice, warm living room, pig out on S'Mores, and scare yourselves silly with ghost stories.
Scan the local paper.
There are always free (or cheap) things going on in the city - the key is to find out where they're going on. Grab one of your local free papers and scan the weekly Events page. Whether it's a poetry reading, a live band, an art show, or a play, there's something in there to please every thespian.
Tip: Surprise him by leaving the night in your hands. Give him little clues each day to keep him enticed. He'll love the mystery.
Spend a day in bed.
Had a long, hard week? Then spend a day lounging in bed, talking and laughing. If you feel silly, have a pillow fight. But don't leave the bed unless you absolutely have to. It's perfect for those long, winter days, and if the mood strikes you…well, you're already in bed.
Tip: Wake up a little early and surprise him with breakfast in bed. You can take turns feeding each other strawberries. Ooh, yummy.
Visit your childhood haunts.
Everything was so much cheaper when you were a child. So revisit those childhood places and take your honey along. Whether it's the arcade, candy store, or playground, it's a fun way to spend an afternoon. Ask him to take you to some of his favourite spots, and share a little bonding time with each other.
Tip: Can't make it to your childhood spots? Then spend the day reliving your childhood games. Bust out your old Nintendo system or Monopoly board, and get ready to play. If you're so inclined, you can make a bet on the game for a massage, dinner, or anything else that strikes your fancy. ¤ C.Ho.