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Success F inan ce ALT DATING You don’t need to break the bank to woo someone on your first date. There are fun and creative ways to save money while having the time of your lives. Here are some awesome alternatives that can take any date to the next level. T E X T BY R O S PR A D O DINNER & A MOVIE Typical Cost: $143 $12 Appetizer; $40 entrees; $15 dessert; $45 bottle of wine; $20 movie tickets; $10 Popcorn Alternative 1: Skip the restaurant and try a potluck picnic instead. You bring the appetizers, they bring the entrée, and you both can battle it out to see who has the best cooking skills. Alternative 2: Forget about the movie theater. Indulge in a fabulous dinner but skip the popcorn and the crowds. Crash the couch and watch Netflix instead — because two is always the best kind of crowd. BAR DRINKS Cost: $100 $75 Drinks; $25 Tapas Alternative 1: Try a DIY wine tasting at home. Have each person bring their favorite types of wine and cover the bottles up for a blind tasting. Not into grapes? Try a beer tasting! Alternative 2: Skip Saturday night and meet on a Thursday afternoon for Happy Hour. The city is sizzling and the drinks are cheapest right after work. It’s a great way to get a drink and a date in one sitting. PRIVATE COOKING CLASS Cost: $150+ Alternative 1: Skip the private lessons and join a group class. This can drastically cut the price by up to half and it allows you to see how your date interacts with strangers. Alternative 2: Forget about the guided class entirely and try using a cookbook to prepare a feast together instead. Pick an exotic recipe and spend the afternoon cooking a feast while drinking wine. Just make sure to clean up before and after. Nobody likes a hot mess. 56