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September 02, 2008


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$50 for a medium price dinner isn't far off the mark around here. Especially if you tip 15-20% level. But $50 would be at the high end for 'medium' in my opinion.

Movie tickets are $9.25 each so he got buy a little cheaper than I would. They could cut the movie cost by going to the late afternoon matinee then going to dinner after, thats what we do.

I think they overspent on movie food and the coffee and cookie. After dinner I don't know how they could eat that much anyway.

For this date I'd probably spend :

$14 matinee movie tickets
$8 share 1 small popcorn & 1 drink
$50 dinner

Total $72

Usually around $150. Dinner to include wine of course! Going to Applebees will cost you $50. Most women would not be happy with a $30 meal.

I may be a tad skewed living in Miami, but really it's tough to find a $30 meal for 2. Also movie tix here are $10/per for a total of $20, not $14.

Being frugal early in a dating relationship is a good way to test long term compatibility. If your date rejects any attempt at showing fiscal restraint on entertainment, warning bells and not wedding bells should be ringing.

I'd say here on LI a decent date as you describe would be around $100. Movie alone is $20 for 2 people.

When I was single a date was about $50-$60.

$50 is definitely par for the course for a medium priced restaurant in a decent cost of living city. $30 is a cheap restaurant. Take the numbers apart

$6 appetizer + $8 entree * 2 + $2 iced tea * 2 = $26 + tax, tip = $30, say, applebees?
$8 appetizer + $15 entree *2 + $2 iced tea * 2 = $42 + tax, tip = $50, normal priced local restaurant

You can certainly find a cheaper or more expensive place, especially if you're going for a specific cuisine--indian food is generally low priced, sushi is generally high. But to say that $30 is as a normal price for a medium-priced restaurant suggests that you are the one who is out of touch.

We have a one-year old, so dates are few and far between. I guess the last one we went on was a baseball game in July. Here's the breakdown:

Lunch before the game - $15
Parking - $6 (saved $10 by walking a few blocks)
Tickets - free from my employer
Snacks at the game - $10
Babysitting - free courtesy of the Grandparents

Total - $31

Depending where and what I feel like eating.

It can range from 25-55 dollars

It depends a lot on who you are dating. I'm 24, and so sometimes I'm going with girls straight out of college and I spend very little ($30-40 on dinner, maybe another $10-20 on an activity).

But if I'm going out with a girl who works and has grown out of the college life, dinner alone will cost $60 for sure (with drinks), and if we go for an activity or out to a bar afterward, that can add another $20-40 or more. Not to mention I have to rent a zipcar for some dates, or pay for parking, etc.

Also, for MasterPo, who said that $30 for a medium dinner is out of touch, I agree, but then look at the fact that a movie is only $14 in his estimate. It just shows that we live in a much more expensive city (it costs $22 for me to take a girl to a movie).

Sam - Reread my post. I said a movie for two in my area is at least $20!! And I said NOTHING about $30 for dinner for two being out of touch.

Please be more careful before you malign someone.

A typical date for me is Applebees type restaraunt and maybe a movie or mini golf or something. Usually around $30-$40 for dinner, $10-$14 for the movie or activity, depending on the time. So about $40-$60 total would be typical. I could easily see how if you added snacks at the movie and ate at nicer places it could run you a lot more. We have pretty inexpensive tastes and live in a pretty cheap town.

I just dating a guy a few months ago and I would say our dates have ranged from $10-$60. We have tended to do more inexpensive things like flower gardens and picnics (well that actually wasn't that cheap since I was trying to impress and got good deli meat and rolls from the bakery...but it could be a lot cheaper). The most expensive was a trip to the lake/gardens and Red Lobster. The $10 date was taking in a concert at my church and going out for a pop afterwards.

I'm fairly new to the city, but I would say dinner at at a place like Applebees could easily be $30-$40, movie $20 so that's $50-$60 and if you go out for drinks afterwards, easily another $10 or more, so $70+ for the nite. But I could see how a date could cost $100+ depending on what you do (heck theatre or concert tickets could easily be $80-$100).

I have to agree that $30 for dinner at a "medium-priced restaurant" is unrealistic... that's ~ 2 x $12 entrees, + tax/tip, without appetizers or drinks.

Dinner for 2 usually falls in the $40s or $50s for me, definitely heading up around the $100 mark for nicer restaurants.

There isn't an easy answer for how much should a date cost. It all depends on the girl (student vs career woman), the image you're trying to convey (average guy vs high class), the stage in the relationship (first date vs long-term), etc. In any case other than starving student, when you are trying to woo a girl you should be prepared to spend some money. The farther along you are in a relationship the more casual and varied the dates can be. Since you are really just spending time together.

Here's what I do:

I like to go light first dates. Coffee (<$10) or lunch (<$25) are good. Get to know the girl without paying too much. And you can get good quality coffee and lunches relatively cheep.

Second dates are at nice local restaurants maybe with a movie ($50-60 total). After that, I start cooking for the girl. Can cost me around $25 total for the food, but that same meal would cost at least $50 at a restaurant. Activities can range all over the board price wise. Walks in the park are free. Museum exhibits or concerts can be $50+. Depends on what my date and I want to do and what's available around the area. Once you've started dating I think it is okay to ask the girl to help out a bit paying for things. If she refuses or dumps you because of that she's probably a gold digger and you're better off without her.

Occasional fine dining is essential to me. Its both classy and romantic. I don't mind ponying up $100+ for this if the food is good.

"Light Dates" sound great on paper but I rarely had found a girl willing to go "light" for a first date. Almost as bad as wanting to split the check. ;-)

$100 sounds high for "average" but it's not unreasonable. A decent restaurant in a city will run you $30-40 per person, including a glass of wine and tax/tip. If you add a movie I could see how you'd get to $100.

Yet another reason why it's good to venture away from the dinner-and-a-movie formula and do something more original :)

Me and my girlfriend can get off pretty cheap then. Well go down to the local pool hall and spend $9.00 an hour to play pool. Add in a few beers each, were lookin at another $15. Well also just grab food there. More expensive but its worth it to me. Usually around $50 total.

P.S. I want to spend only $14 on movies for me and my girlfriend!!!! Down here in Southern California we spend $10.50 for one person. Thats just the ticket. Then well share a large rootbeer and 1 candy each. Thats another $12 right there. Well we are members so we get free stuff everytime we go now with the rewards.

Living in an expensive city (Chicago), it is *at least* $100 for a decent night out. Figure $20 for cab rides, $20/round of drinks (2 rounds for the night), dinner ($30/person + tip), and if you meet up with people after your date, add another $20 for a round of drinks or cover.

These estimates are a little off for any larger city like Vancouver, Toronto, or Los Angeles.

Around these parts, the breakdown would be more like:
$50 dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant
$23 movie for two
$10 after movie snack/coffee
$10 transportation costs (gas, etc.)

And that's a pretty modest night out with no snacks at the theatre.

Sadly my girlfriend lives about 3000 miles away from me, so my dates are pretty cheap. :-( When we visit each other (About every 6 months or so) I usually spoil her a little bit which in my mind I think is fine since we don't see each other very often. But that time is usually fairly inexpensive too, because I love to cook for her or with her, and cuddle up on the couch or bed ;-) and watch a movie.

Yep - any date runs about $100, if you have both dinner and an activity.

Even pizza & beer is $30 or more if you share a medium pizza, at $12-15, and order a beer apiece.

In my city, drinks are more expensive than in many larger cities. Happy hours are illegal in my state, and even the usual Bud/Miller/Coors is $3.50 at any place with a date-like atmosphere. I can't get the cheap domestics under $3 without tolerating a significant amount of cigarette smoke [think pool hall], which I won't do, and most beers are $4 or more everywhere else.

I am trying to date again, so I am in the realm of lots of 1st or 2nd dates - expensive territory. Generally, the guys refuse to let me pay, but by the time we've been on 3 or 4, he's spent enough $ that I feel uncomfortable saying I'm not interested...

It really makes me wonder how guys afford dating, and understand why so many will put it off until they're in a better career position.

Sydney is very expensive. Entrees are around 7 - 15$ and mains from $25 - 50. Normally when I eat out I factor it's going to cost about 40$ a head at least (more if I get an entree and drinks). Actually I feel pretty bad for the guy so I try to even it out or at least contribute - he pays for dinner I pay for the movie and coffee (movies are about 15$ a ticket and coffee $4 - 5 a cup). At the moment I am single so I feel pretty guilty at the amount of money my dates shell out (I estimate it would be around 200$ a night). I try to recommend reasonable smaller restaurants, not doing both dinner and movies or take turns paying to help him shoulder the load.

For cheap meals, I often suggest we go Chinese or other Asian cuisines as it is usually a lot cheaper (only 20$ or so a head). Other cheap ideas: we make a date out of making dinner (making our own sushi or paella or something).

Our definition of a "date" is: food, entertainment, and affection. My wife and I tend to spend $20-$40 for a date, which usually includes a meal at someplace tasty but inexpensive (pizza, Chinese, Teriyaki, or burritos) and some time spent together laughing and talking, usually in a park, museum, mall/store, or other low-key venue. If there's some sort of cool technology (airplanes, computers, really big cranes, etc.) that qualifies as doubly entertaining, but often costs a few bucks more.

I've never liked movies for dates. If I'm spending time with someone, I don't want to be distracted watching whatever's going on on screen.

is it just me or are dates just expensive??? Dating, I balked at spending more than 20 bucks! I think guys were shocked at how frugal I was and insisting we go to Lubys or just get something at Burger King and catching a matinee!

The price of a date doesn't equate to the state of the potential coupledom/future of a couple. I mean, is a marriage going to last just because someone spent 100bucks on dinner when they were dating?

Hey, whatever happened to the "cheap date"? You know, packing a picnic from the grocery store, watching the stars come out and wink at you, and snuggling on a blanket in the grass? Cheaper than BK's and matiness, but a little more romantic, I think. :)

When I have light dates (aka Starbucks), I don’t see much relational progress.

The average first date price for me would be $50-75. Dates from that point on vary greatly, I might not pay if the other person my date is hosting me we are attending a party/get-together. On the high end, I have spent $150-250 on a single date once I have been on several dates with someone.

I agree with the other poster that after a few dates you should have an idea of whether you want to pursue or be pursued romantically someone. That said there have been people who have grown on me after I did not see any possible romantic interest in them.

I never thought I would date anyone over 50 miles away as I prefer to those within a short enough distance so I can do lunch and have short weekday dates. These types of dates are always cheaper than weekend events.

The person I am currently dating lives about 100 miles away. This distance limits the types of dates I can have with her. On the weekend, we will spend most of a day with one another engaging in a bunch of activities.

The trick is to find someone who gels with you on a financial level, and if you're frugal, that means finding someone you a)enjoy just being with and b)shares your views about finance

I'm lucky I don't have to date, because I wouldn't be able to afford to do so and still be on track with all my financial plans. Compounding this would be the fact that dating is a very "show off-ish" situation: when you're first getting to know one another, you want to put your best foot forward, and this can be incredibly expensive, especially if you're overcompensating.

And really, who doesn't? :p

I am very frugal myself so I would just love to have a guy just take my to a park, walk the paths, pack a small picnic lunch and for me that would be a great date. That is if I get one and the company is good too. (LOL).

"Dinner and a movie" is indeed an expensive date, especially if you live in a bigger city, consume alcohol and/or take cabs. In Dallas that night would easily be $100, even without the cabs (even at a pizza place a bottle of wine plus pizza plus parking/valet can run over $50). However there's no reason to do both especially on a first date. Dinner OR a movie is more than enough. You can always take a walk or grab coffee after if the date is going well.

It's hard to get around the more expensive first dates, but there's no reason to keep that up every weekend. There are lots of cheap date options like a picnic, the arboretum or zoo, an art museum, a concert, or dinner and a movie at home.

I've been seeing someone for a while and our dates have ranged from no cost to around $100. Due to time constraints for both of us, sometimes we just accompany one another on errands or watch a rented movie, when we have more time it might be a special dinner. For us the spontaneous dates are much more relaxing and fun, and often lower cost. A date does not have to be costly to be enjoyable.

I definitely am not as cheap as FMF (who I think is ridiculously cheap at times and out of touch), but even I must cringe at the poster who says it costs 100 dollars to have a date in Chicago.

Um, no it doesn't. Yeah, if you take cabs everywhere and must be consuming alcohol on your dates and going to upscale restaurants, it is going to cost you that.

I can think of plenty of dates that were cheaper than that for me. Let's see, an evening at the Art Institute (free!), dinner at a nearby restaurant ($30) and drinks afterwards ($15). Some packed food ($15-20), train tickets ($10) and lawn seats at Ravinia ($20).

And those are the dates where money was spent.

Too many people define their dates around dinner at a fancy restaurant and drinking alcohol. If you do, what a shocker that you are forking over a c-note every date.

Here in Jacksonville, FL, we're pretty spread out, so I tend to figure out something local to the girl I'm picking up. As I tend to go through a lot of girls, it helps to know your way around the cheap areas of the city, haha.

I also am not a an of the dinner and a movie dates in general, for first dates or even 8th date...too impersonal and you can't really talk or get to know somebody that way. It's fine when you're in a relationship already, and just want the other person to shut up for two hours ;)

Few things to do, mostly cheap. Take a girl to the beach, there are some great restaurants with live music and cheaper entrees (Sun Dog Diner rings a bell here), $30 for the meal, plus any drinks. Then, a nice walk along the boardwalk/seawalk to a calmer bar with no cover (Jacksonville really isn't a cover town), and a few drinks there. Even a moderatly priced date would only cost around $60 or so, and that's with a few drinks each.

Another thing I like to do is take the motorcycle (at 45mpg) down the back roads, the scenic roads, to St. Augustine, again, not including gas into this, you can get by with a $40 date because things are cheaper if you know where the locals go.

My last date was at a mid range restaurant here in Los Angeles:

2 rounds of drinks at $8/pop = $32
1 Appetizer $9
2 Entrees at $18ish each = $35
Tax = 6
Tip at 15% = 12


I think this was too much for someone I am just getting to know, if she was my girlfriend it would be just fine but someone who I may never see again...I think it is very steep for just some boring conversation.

$50 dollars no way!!!!!! I must be doing something wrong. My dates with the girlfriend cost $200-300 dollars. Dinner alone is $150 including tip and wine and then drinks after also cost $15 each. The we always end up at a diner later on at night, so please tell me what I am doing wrong because that adds up to $800-1200 monthly.

I date quite a bit and I don't understand why anyone would want to spend $100+ dollars on a date. I try to keep dates under $40.00 First of all, a movie is out of the question. I absolutely refuse to go out to a movie on a first, second or third date.

I generally like to make my dates later in the evening, say 8:30 and then go out for a couple drinks. That way, you skip dinner all together also. I'm not saying get super drunk. Just have two beers and chat it up. Typically these dates cost me about $30.00 because I enjoy craft beer, but you could get it down even cheaper than that if you wanted to.(I don't include gas) I live in a city that has three microbreweries and it isn't too loud in them either. I have a friend who lives in San Diego and he says I spend too much. If you observe the three date rule you spent $300 just trying to get laid. He would rather cross the border and spend $86.00 on legal prostitution and a room.

If you absolutely must go out to dinner, Tom Leykis suggests that you eat beforehand and then when you get to the restaurant order a salad and saying you're trying to watch what you eat. Most women will not want to order a huge meal if they see you order a salad because they start to feel self-conscious about it. I rarely do this, but it does work. You can also bring in your own bottle of wine. A decent wine will only cost you $15-$20 and you will have to pay the cork fee of about ten or fifteen bucks. That is still better than paying $60.00 for a ten dollar bottle of wine.

Claz, If you really spend up to $1200 a month, you should probably get a new girlfriend or maybe not even have a girlfriend at all. If she is not willing to have a home cooked meal I would just DTMFA. You could spend a fraction of that, get laid and then invest the rest.

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