We Millennials have it pretty bad. Wages have stagnated, unemployment is hitting us harder than anyone, and there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. But some of us still want to go out on a date from time to time. Is that too much to ask from the world?

But how are you going to impress that cutie you swooped in on in the Trader Joe’s produce section – ok, let’s not kid ourselves, here: off Tinder – without any money in your bank account with which to flex? Here are a few low-cost ideas that won’t make you look like the typical broke fuckboy.


Vintage Browsing

If your city has any half decent vintage shops, head in there and start looking at stuff with each other and just cross your fingers that neither of you finds anything TOO great that you’ll be sorta forced to buy out of a sense of once-in-a-lifetime fashion obligation.

Be sure to avoid going to any of the places that are highly curated as those tend to actually have stock that is pretty great, thus forcing you to consider buying. Conversely, don’t go to Goodwill. It’s picked dry and depressing as hell. There hasn’t been a good thing found in a Goodwill since long before Macklemore dropped “Thrift Shop.”


Urban Exploring
If you’re in a major metropolitan area like LA, there’s likely some industrial or mostly-abandoned sections of town that make for cool, adrenaline-pumping dates. This is all hinging on you being able to convince your new romantic partner to trust you to not murder him or her as you walk down a dark service tunnel to get to a man-made concrete riverbed.

This activity can be made even more fun by stopping at a fast food spot and liquor store to grab a little airplane bottle of booze to make you two some on-the-go whiskey/Cokes to carry with while you go places you aren’t supposed to be in.


Alt Comedy
Even the most podunk town out there has an improve scene or two these days. Usually they are fiending for audience members so you’re looking at free entry or like $5 max for top of the line stuff.

Paying to see stand up is just as much a sucker’s game. TRUE STORY: I once paid $5 to see a handful of random comedians and the opener was Louis CK and the closer was Marc Maron. Sure, neither you or I will ever top that funny sandwich, but the point is those deals are out there if you know how to Google your city properly.


Try To Fall In Love

If you and your date are brave enough go to a park or beach or wherever with some drinks or something and pull out this interesting little quiz that was compiled as part of a psychological study.

The conceit is that if you and your partner ask each other this battery of 36 questions, divided into three sections, it’s supposed to foster closeness and make you crazy kids fall head over heels for each other. It probably won’t, but it’s still a fun little bonding exercise that doesn’t involve trust falls.


Ice Cream
You’ll get points for being refreshingly quaint by suggesting the two of you go get some ice cream (NOT frozen yogurt. Different vibes entirely.) This date move harkens back to cute “going steady” dates of the ‘50s and usually cost more than a couple bucks. Even better, the artisanal boom of the past few years means that most towns probably even have a fancy shop that’s concocting high-brow flavors like “peanut curry” and “earl grey tea” instead of that usual Rocky Road garbage.


Chalk Tagging
If you’re the more adventurous sort, get some of those chalk markers and start tagging billboards, signs, whatever. Everything could look better with a funny penis or Hitler mustache drawn on it.

The great thing is, these tags wash off with water, so if someone catches you and wants to give you flack, tell them to chill out. Still, try to avoid doing this in front of any cops. You’ll probably get in trouble with them.