Dates for FOOD



Zombie ACOSTCOlypse

WHAT

Costco Membership (or just goto Wal-Mart) and some Zombie knowledge

If you've never seen a a zombie movie before, you're going to need to be a fast learner.
Also, you'll probably need to grab a shopping cart (duh...) and maybe even a disguise (assuming you want to come back here and shop someday).

WHEN

Special Holiday Hours? Or is it just Tuesday?

Pretty straight forward way to narrow down the "when" is: business hours.
Short of being a key-holding store employee, you will probably need to stick to the standard open-to-close times provided on their website.
But once you have that window figured out, you can further determine the best time. Weekend afternoons are AWAYS going to be busy, but they are also always going to have the 'Senior Buffet' aka the billion sample brunch. There will be no less than a dozen employees, setup & handing out food samples. While you're filling your cart with survival essentials, make sure to fuel-up with all the samples you can eat. Plus, this may possibly save you from having to pay for a real meal later. Always thinking...

WHERE

Costco Locations

Better make sure there are at least a couple options in your area and you're not having to drive hours to find a warehouse club store

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I Think I L-IKEA You

WHAT

Browse IKEA displays & role-play your future

What would your lives be like living in this display room? Does IKEA rent these rooms out after-hours to people? Maybe a new revenue stream for them...? Like an AirBnB, but IKEAirBnB. They can even provide a continent breakfast (only 1 continent). I don't know, but it's something you two can discuss..

WHEN

Timing is important.. but so are Business Hours

Play it safe, go check their website and figure out when they close. Yes, I too like to live dangerously, but some things you just don't leave to chance...

To further drill down, what are you looking for? Relaxed conversation? A platform for people watching? If it's busy (like on the weekends or around "back to school" time), you will have a slew of interesting people to observe and create backstories for. Otherwise, if you want a little less chaos, you might want to stick to non-peak hours/days.)

WHERE

IKEA Locations

Hopefully there's an IKEA location around you (you can use the "Find A.." feature to check). Assuming so, then this should be pretty straightforward.
If there is NOT an IKEA location close by to you... pick a different activity.

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Ain't Got TIMESHARE For That

WHAT

Timeshare Presentations = free meal + Visa Gift card - Your Time + Funny Story

Seriously. My parents used to do this all the time. Granted, they were in like the top 1% for RCI or VI or something, so there was no reason to ever buy into more points... but the presenters never knew that (until the end). That's one way it made it very easy to say "no thanks" to the high pressure sales tactics.
Another way to avoid that is by just being super cheap or poor--you either don't want to afford it or simply can't! Brilliant!

Find a Timeshare presentation that offers a free gift or at least a meal you are interested in, find a date who's game for it, and enjoy! You can even dress up and pretend to be a long time married couple, even if it's your first date.

WHEN

The 3rd week of any months ending in Y..

You're pretty much at the mercy of whatever company is putting on the presentation. It's not like a standard restaurant where you can just call and make reservations for a time you want. You have to be on the lookout for these events and if you see them, make sure to make note of the date & time.

WHERE

Timeshares, Free Dinner Events, Free [something] Seminar, etc.

Sometimes you'll get these things in the mail, sometimes you'll find them online, sometimes you'll get recruited by your friends and neighbors. Either way, be on the lookout for these opportunities to get a free meal, gift card, or some other thing of value to you. If you dig around a little, you'll find a whole bunch of these types of events in your area.

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Trail Mix & an Urban Hike

WHAT

"Hikes need trail mix..."

Everybody loves a hike. Well, some people like them. However, there's not always a great place to GO for a hike; maybe you live in the city?
Not to fear! You can even kick it up a notch by adding in a DIY-trailmix portion to the date!

Hit the best bulk-food section of your local grocery store and create a trailmix concoction you and your date can munch on while you wander.

WHEN

Day, Night, Sun, Rain, Snow... eh, mostly just Sun..

Any time is fine, as long as you are ok with the elements. Sunny afternoons work great, but sometimes a stroll around sunset or an early morning excursion will better fit the bill. An umbrella and boots may be necessary if you live in the Pacific Northwest (but if you're really from here, you don't use an umbrella). Consider you'll be outside, it could be slippy (this is apparently a Pittsburgh) so make sure your footwear is appropriate. If it's after sunset, consider bringing a flash light (and then you can tell ghost stories or something later when you find a park bench).

WHERE

A city stroll or high-rise hopping

Pick a walk around your city--
Include stair-cases, hills, even buildings with elevators! You can use something like MapMyRun to create a route and utilize your phone's GPS to keep on track.
Something fun

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Post(perfect)mates Delivery Date

WHAT

Earn $$$ while going on dates!

No joke, it doesn't get any cheaper than negative costs! This idea is genius for like 6 different reasons!

Load up your Fleet App (or Instacart or Grubhub or whatever delivery driver app you use), get in your car with your date, and wait for orders.
Again, you'll need to do this during a peak time for best results... otherwise you'll just be sitting in your car with someone you might not really know very well yet.
Another good tip is to be somewhat close to a number of popular restaurants. Some prior scouting can do a world of good for this (as in: do a test run alone to see which restaurants are most popular and during what times so you know where to hedge your bets toward).
All in all, if you play your cards right, you can have a fun time earning some extra cash and possibly even end up with a really cool date story.

WHEN

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner!

This should be a no-brainer. While your standard "romantic encounter" usually happen within a certain section of the clock, this date lends itself to an "outside of the box" experience.

While many dates tend to be an evening thing, you could have some real fun hanging with your newest hot-homie and delivering lunch to people too lazy to go pick it up themselves!

For that reason, an afternoon delivery date during a mid-week lunch rush is a great construct for a memorable time.

WHERE

No Planes or Trains, but yes @ Automobiles

So, this wouldn't be 100% accurate if it didn't include the option of a tandem-delivery-bicycle. Yes, that is a possibility. Plausible? Not exactly.

But more than likely, you'll be in a car (either yours or your date's). The car can be great because you essentially have a captive audience (and not captive in the way a crazy person would mean it) who you can get to know without the standard distractions of a bar, restaurant, or whatever dive your date destination would have been.

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Picnic In The Business Park

WHAT

An indoor picnic in a fancy business building

Instead of waiting for the perfect sunny day and all the other moving pieces to fall into place schedule-wise, consider hosting your picnic in one of the nice office buildings around your area. Scout out a cozy little spot in advance, pack a casual meal or snack, (maybe a bottle of wine?) and bring your date to your weather controlled oasis.

WHEN

Timing is everything.. or most of it... sometimes..

Aside from worrying about business hours (i.e. getting in and not locked-in), the only other consideration I'd advise you on... considering.. is if the area gets busy during a lunch rush.
If that's the case, try to pick an off hour--maybe even an early dinnerish sort of thing.

WHERE

A suburban business complex common area

There are no doubt a local business complex around your area, and the newer they are, the more likely they are to have a nice little "common area" with tables, couches, fake plants, and other stuff to make it seem like it's a nice place... and not just where people goto work.
So, either hit a Google search for business complex locations in your area and go do a little recon. The things I look for would be as much privacy as possible, though this is sort of counter intuitive for these types of areas. However, they do exist, you just have to do a little bit of looking.
And if anyone starts questioning why you're there, just claim to work in the insurance agency--there is ALWAYS an insurance agency in these types of buildings. Claim you just started and that's also why you'll have no other information, probably including the name of the place you just asserted that you're employed at. Oh well..

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Backpack, Boardgame, & a Bottle/Beer

WHAT

Backpack, a Board (or card) game, and something inebriating

Other than those things listed above, a simple place to eat/play is really all that you'll need...
..and a blanket or something to sit on to make it pic-nic'y

WHEN

Pretty much whenever? (weather permitting I guess)

I almost made this mistake once and had to rush to make it with my date before they closed. So, lesson learned is check the store hours during the planning phase of this outing. 9pm was when the Dollar Stores closed for me, but Dollar Tree or Dollar Emporium or Dollar-Whatever you have in your area probably has different hours.

WHERE

Is it flat? Good enough...

Ideally, a picnic is outside, but it doesn't really matter. You could even post up in your living room on the floor if it's raining or you're just lazy as hell and trying to score.

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21st Birthday Mulligan

WHAT

"I'm older, wiser... and my friends can actually afford to buy me drinks now!"

It's fun to pretend to be 21 again. And if anyone gives you a hard time about it, tell them to "F off, I identify as a 21 year old tonight."

WHEN

Before 2am?

Honestly, any day is great. Doing it on an actual birthday is a little better, but definitely not required.

WHERE

The more laid-back the bar, the better.

You can suss out the vibe of a venue the moment you step in. You probably already have a good idea of the spots that are chill and the spots that are... well, not. Either pick a 'home base' or use the Pub Crawl method. Either way, really any bar will suffice.

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Happy Hour Pub Crawl

WHAT

"Your own DIY Pub-Crawl"

Find a string of pubs/bars that are within walking distance of each other. Verify they all have a similar time-frame for Happy Hour. Map out your route-to-take; park your car at one place, walk to the further bar, and work your way back.
(or call a cab/Uber/Lyft)

WHEN

Every Hour is Happy Hour... but usually it's like 3-6, 9-close

Sometimes Happy Hour is whenever you say it is. I mean really, if you think about it, it's basically a state of mind (that also includes drink and/or food specials which happened to be based outside of your mind and within reality).
But all that aside,

WHERE

Map out a route

You can string together a series of pubs on Google Street View or even use something like MapMyRun to create a "rum route"

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Make-Shift Ice Cream Shop

WHAT

An Old-Fashioned Date With A Frugal Flair

Because lines at ice cream specialty shops tend to be long, sometimes you just want to get your treat and get on with the date. Patience is a virtue, but standing in line with someone you might have just met for the first time can be a bit of pressure. So, make it easier on both of you and skip the line entirely. Find a nearby grocery store (or even a 7-11 in a pinch) and head over toward the freezer section. There you'll find a variety of (probably overpriced) ice cream to choose from. If you're trying to keep it cheap, you can grab a single half gallon (oddly enough, generally cheaper than the specialty pints) of one flavor... or neopalitan if you're trying to be extra special. BUT WAIT! you're not done yet. Don't make the mistake of walking out of the store without AT LEAST some plastic flat ware or spoons for eating said ice cream. You could even go a step further and grab some Chinet bowls

WHEN

Ye Olde Ice Creame Shoppe... has short hours!

One of the bvest things about grabbing your ice cream from the grocery store is that most of them are either A.) open late, or B.) potentially open 24 hours.
For this reason, you can pretty much do this date whenever you can make it to the grocery store (or again, a 7-11 in a pinch... they have a small assortment of ice cream and it will due if you are just trying to fulfull your legal obligation to the date you outlined for your potential-partner.)
Play it safe and just check the hours of operation, but like I said, you're probably going to be fine at virutally any time.

WHERE

Does this town even have an ice cream shop?

What about a 'Shoppe'?
Even in a one-horse-town, there's probably a grocery store that has ice cream for sale. If listening to John Mellencamp has taught me anything, small towns ALL have a "Tasty Freeze" where Jack & Dianne will be sucking on chilli dogs.
Ultimately, you can probably leave it up to Google to figure out4 where the nearest grocery sotre or establishment that serves/sells ice cream is.

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Bar Hopping Scavenger Hunt

WHAT

Photo-Scavenger Hunt where the first to send the pic gets a point

The rukes are pretty straightforward and simple:
Find each item on the list, take a picture of it, and text it to your potential-partner before they text you.

This game requires you to have exchanged phone numbers (scoooooore!).

    Items To Find & PicMsg:
  • #7 Billiard ball
  • Half-empty beer glass
  • Parking meter
  • Toothpick or Mint
  • Graffiti on a bathroom wall/stall
  • Napkin with a name or number
  • Picture with a Bartender
  • Event flyer / promo poster
  • Dog
  • Numbered Street Sign
  • Tree
  • Batahroom mirror selfie
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • The word "Pub"
  • The word "Tavern"

Each item is worth one point. Have the least trustworthy person keep score.

WHEN

You don't have to go home... but you can't photograph here

As long as you start prior to last call (and you're a total night owl I guess), you can make this work just about anywhere. Obviously the easiest time to do this would be some sort of business hours that facilitate photo taking.
Example: If you're a shy person to begin with, you might not feel totally comfortable snapping random pictures. You might be the type of person who is constantly thinking, "...are people lookoing at me? Do they think what I'm doing is weird? Oh shit.. do they think I'm like a spy or something?"
So, if you're one of those people who (like me) is constantly "in their head" about stuff, you may want to choose hours/days that are traditionally not as packed. However, if you're a fan of people-watching, you may want to hit the peak hours where you have prime viewing.

WHERE

The Bar, Bitch!

The name sort of implies the location of the outing... so, if you didn't pick that up by now, well.. this one probably isn't for you (and this whole series of cheap dates probably isn't for you either come to think of it... no refunds, though.)

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