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Mar 30, 2011 07:32 AM

Foodie Date = NO MONEY help!!

So it finnally happend, founded an awesome girl that is really into food scene. After a couple of weeks going out with friends we ended up on a formal date or two. I paid for the dates however, she is quick to order up drinks or apps at a bar setting.

Here is my issue, I recently bought a new car, house hunting , and life itself leaves a set ammount of money. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW SHE pays for what she does.... Call this a male ego stigma, but I DO NOT want to say , " I would love to go, but can't afford it right now" I have suggested some less expensive places in the past, I just need some type of solution.

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  1. Tell her, "I would love to go, but I can't afford it right now." If she walks, you saved yourself a lot of future grief.

    1. May seem like a simple idea, but why not offer to cook her dinner in? Or cook the meal together? Almost always cooking a "foodie" meal at home is cheaper than an average meal out. Also, what about ethnic restaurants? I don't know where you live, but ethnic restaurants can be delicious and usually inexpensive. Also, restaurants frequently have less expensive lunch and brunch menus. Maybe suggest that on a weekend to save money. What about packing a picnic with great meats, cheese, etc... and take to a park. Or visit a local winery (if you have one) and enjoy your picnic there along with a wine tasting. However, none of these ideas will solve your problem if it is the "scene" she is really into and not the food. And if you are going on frequent dates I really think she be offering to pay part of the time - or cook for you! Don't go broke trying to impress her :) Good luck.

      1. Is she into the food or into the scene?

        I am very price sensitive, so although I can afford to splurge, I more than satisfy my quotidian food cravings with papusas, tacos, pizza, and all manor of Asian cuisine. I can have a full meal for what your gf pays for two drinks at the bar.

        I think you need to take the same approach, just like we proselytize on Chowhound. DIg up some info on holes-in-the-wall about specialized ingredients or dishes. not that I know anything about Pittsburgh.... Go to a Chinese/Thai/Vietnamese place and ask if they can prepare food off-menu (of course they can). Nothing fancy or elaborate, but something special that you can't order otherwise. Make the experience more truly food-centric than scene-centric. Make it cool to spend less money.

        1. I'm a little older than you, but I'll give it a shot.

          I agree you shouldn't say that you can't afford a date right now, but maybe approach it another way. Like, offer to show off your skills by packing a delicious picnic lunch, and enjoying a fun spot for the day. Satisfy her foodie soul with creative sandwiches and a nice bottle of wine for a fraction of the cost of an expensive dinner.

          I had a guy take me canoeing once. He did the whole picnic, champagne, checkered table cover thing. It was so romantic (sigh). Looking back, I realize he was probably broke, but it wowed me at the time.

          Maybe "activity" dates - horseback riding, museums, hiking, white water rafting...

          If she's expensive in bar settings, steer clear of them - Control the environment. She'll never realize you're avoiding $11.00 martinis if you show up with tickets to a baseball game.

          Good luck.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Whinerdiner

            Whinerdiner, have you priced tickets to a baseball game lately? Well, at least if we are talking my (World Champion :-)) Giants, that might not be a cheaper option.

            I do like the wine tasting and picnic ideas, although I am in the 'I'd love to go but I can't afford it right now' camp. You don't need to go into details, but honesty is a good policy here to avoid future grief. Just be sure to follow that with, 'wny don't we try and cook a meal out of XX Chef's cookbook instead: that woud be a lot of fun' so she knows you want to spend time with her...

            1. re: susancinsf

              You hit a good point Sussancinsf... I dont want it to cross her mind I am not interested in spending time with her...

              1. re: susancinsf

                Phillies tickets aren't so bad, and there are several Minor League teams around here with nice new(er) stadiums. I assumed the same would be true in Pittsburgh. Don't know what Pirates tickets cost, but my thinking was they could spend a fun day together and put a cap on the spending, as opposed to ordering drink after drink at the bar.

                I agree completely with the wine tasting, and I like your cookbook idea.

                By the way, since today is opening day for baseball, the Giants won't be World Champions for long! : -))

                1. re: Whinerdiner

                  I am from Pittsburgh.. . Soon they might pay us to go see the Pirates .. ( PNC Park is a GREAT place, Pirates are rough, but staduiam is just awesome!)

                  1. re: Augie6

                    Ha Ha - Well then, that would be an inexpensive date! And who knows - you guys might just be their lucky charm.

              2. re: Whinerdiner

                Every once in a while I find myself in the garage looking fondly at my picnic basket on one of the shelves. It was that basket that iced it for me with my wife. It’s truly amazing how far a $6 bottle of OK wine, some decent cheese and a baguette can get you. If that basket could talk… I have to dust that thing off.

              3. If you're on your third date going out to eat, it's time she offers to take YOU out. If she is fully willing to have you pay for bar/meal #3 or #4 without reciprocating in any way, then she's a taker.
                When I dated, I'd offer to pay on the second date, or I'd cook dinner at home. I was acutely aware of the fact that the guy was spending hard-earned money!
                Regardless who pays, suggest ethnic eateries, or go get coffee or do lunch vs. dinner or do apps vs. entrees.

                7 Replies
                1. re: monavano

                  I'm with monavano on this issue. When I dated, and I dated A LOT, I always offered to pay on the second date. I would usually wait until after the third or fourth date to cook a meal. Call me weird, but to me there is an intimacy about cooking a dinner for someone that didn't feel comfortable until I knew more about the person.

                  I was also sensitive to their income levels. If I knew, or suspected that there were limited funds, I would always suggest a lower cost option such as an ethnic restaurant. To me, it wasn't the cost of the meal or date that was important, it was the person's character.

                  1. re: mtngirlnv

                    And who says the date has to involve food in a formal, sit down fashion? It would be fun to go into town, see some sights and hit up a street cart.
                    BTW, I think it was my seafood alfredo that snagged my DH ;-)

                    1. re: monavano

                      Or food at all really ? I love food, love to cook and totally also get that early dating jitters usually mean going for drinks etc..... but that's not all I like to do.

                      1. re: monavano

                        That's what Debra thought too about her Lemon Chicken.....on Everybody Loves Raymond.


                    2. re: monavano

                      Plus plus on this one. Expecting you to pay is outlandishly outmoded. If expensive food and making a scene is her trip and is something beyond your means, I really think she should be a little more sensitive to your circumstances and offer to pay. On the other hand, she may not be that psychic, and it wouldn't hurt to see how well the two of you can communicate behind something like this.

                      1. re: mamachef

                        +1 on communicating. The OP sounds like a very smart and responsible individual. That's quality stuff! If she thinks that's a deal breaker, well then, that is very telling.