If you’ve ever cashed in your jug of loose change to enjoy a night on the town, you know that dating adds up. Whether you’re single and going out several times a week or married and carving out regular date nights, finding frugal fun helps you enjoy special nights out (or in) more often. EBONY asked men and women:

What are your best date ideas for under $10 per person?

He said …
I am the king when it comes to planning dates that impress on a budget. The key is to put thought, effort and creativity into the day or evening. It’s hard to beat a free concert or play at the park or beach. The little extras that make it special:
>Bottle of wine from Trader Joe’s (merlot for evening, moscato for brunch): $2
>Cheese of choice: $2.38
>Crackers: $2.85
>Homemade music CD of songs that commemorate
the evening: $1
>Cell phone photo to capture that special moment: free
>Rose petals from a local
florist [sprinkle them on the picnic blanket]: free
>Handwritten poem: free
It hits a home run every time.
—Roland Hinds,
Los Angeles

You want to impress a lady, invite her home for the full fine-dining experience. I make a delicious panang curry beef for a total grocery bill of $10–$15. Thai food is tasty and seems fancy but usually isn’t that difficult to cook.
—Chris Shupe, 24,
Tampa, Fla.

The dollar store is a real secret weapon when it comes to impressing a date with a thoughtful gift. Find out what animal is her college or university’s mascot and present her with a plush toy. Celebrate her promotion with a greeting card. Many dollar stores now have fruit; a fruit basket will make her day.
—Rodric Bradford, 31,
Scottsdale, Ariz.

She Said …
My husband took me to a free one-hour introductory tango lesson. The instructor, an award-winning pro, made the class so much fun.
—Angele D. Russell, 30,

The best cheap date I have ever been on was a trip into the mountains. The only expense was the cost of the gas to fill up an electric-blue motorcycle. No fancy clothes, red bottoms or reservations required; just the two of us, in the wind, enjoying the scenery.
—Shalita Heard, 31,
Little Rock, Ark.

For about $15, my date and I enjoyed a picnic of fresh fruit and veggies and wine at the beach. After the sun set, we walked around a nearby festival holding hands. It was sweet and romantic.
—Rasheda Kamaria, 33,