Discount Date Night: Build a better date on a budget for your every stage of your relationship

Peyton Callanan

The new found freedom you have upon coming to college coupled with the large co-ed student body may make it seem like your dating options are unlimited, but your “college poor” budget suggests otherwise. If binge-watching Netflix together is no longer cutting it, check out some of these affordable date night suggestions around Statesboro.

“We’re really just hanging out”


Being stuck somewhere between “just friends” and “Facebook official” can be awkward, but it’s nothing a little alcohol and good company can’t fix. Hitting up happy hour at your favorite restaurant or bar with a small group of friends is a perfect way to break the ice and get to know each other better without breaking the bank. Your friends can help keep the conversation from getting stale, and many local bars have different games and events each night that the whole group can participate in for free. You can test your knowledge of useless facts with trivia at Gnat’s, play a round of giant Jenga at South City, or even try a good old fashion game of drunk Bingo at Retrievers. Of course you should always drink responsibly; nothing makes worse impression than not knowing your limit.

“We just changed our relationship status”


In you are in the first few months of your relationship, being able to have a good quality conversation sans alcohol is a key part in really getting to know each other. Avoid noisy restaurants and quiet movie theaters where you can’t really talk, and try taking advantage of some of the free sights and attractions on campus that you may have ignored before. You could pack a lunch and hang a hammock in Sweetheart Circle, take a stroll through the Gardens of the Coastal Plain, check out the raptors at the Center for Wildlife Education, or take a look at the latest exhibit in the Museum. If you are here for four years you might as well take advantage of everything the campus has to offer, especially if it is free.

“We are starting to get pretty serious”

So you are past the whole “getting to know you” stage and are slowly moving into that scary thing known as a committed relationship. It’s probably time to start getting invested in your significant other’s interests. Are they a big sports fan? Hit a Georgia Southern University game. They are free for students and all of our sports teams deserve to be cheered on. Movie buff? Check out the $5.75 matinees at the Carmike. They have $2 popcorn and drinks on Tuesdays. Love the great outdoors? Check out the trips that Southern Adventures sponsors or take a stab at the rock wall in the Recreation Activities Center.

“We are knee deep in commitment”

Okay so you may or may not be in this for the long haul. In order to keep things fresh, you need to try new things. Remember that restaurant you always talked about going to but never followed through with? Now is the time to try it. Looking for something a little more outside-the-box? Go kayaking at George L. Smith, paint a masterpiece at Free Spirit Pottery, or even join the Swing Cat Society and try your hand at dancing. You could also do a spin of the classic “dinner and a movie” and see a play in the blackbox theater for $5 and then try out a new recipe for dinner at home. Some of these options may cost a little bit more than others, and some may take a little planning, but learning a new skill together or finally crossing something off of your bucket list will be incredibly rewarding.