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Valentine’s Dates On A College Budget

Evan Sahagian/Collegian

February 14 has arrived, marking another Valentine’s Day. Some celebrate it with one they love. Others, mostly singles, celebrate the holiday by cherishing the love you have for good friends, your mom, cheesy greeting cards and chocolate. But before you go write a Facebook status or tweet complaining about the holiday (What has it ever done to you?), why not try celebrating instead? You can celebrate with a date, a friend or even just yourself. Here are a few, inexpensive date suggestions for you to get in a festive mood.

Date #1

One inexpensive date is going out for a cup of coffee and a good conversation. Right in downtown Amherst is a very popular destination for such occasions, Rao’s Coffee. Here you and a date can enjoy a coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or espresso, for just a few dollars a cup.  It is a cool atmosphere and a relaxed place for any rendezvous.

In addition, you can head over to the Lumber Yard restaurant in Amherst to see musician Eric Love perform from 8 to 10 p.m. Love features a folk rock and pop sounds that will makes it a date to remember.

While the meals at Lumber Yard are kind of pricey coming in at $14 for a burger or $23 for salmon, there are ways to keep the cost of your meal. The local restaurant has a late night menu that starts at 8 p.m. featuring cheaper meals such as Mac n’ Cheese for $9. Burgers are still $14 though. If this is still too pricey, consider only ordering a dessert as you enjoy the music.

And if you want to catch the show, don’t forget to get a reservation. It is Valentine’s Day after all.

Date #2

Another affordable Valentine’s date for students here at UMass is going to the movies. With our student discount, students can save a significant amount on each ticket. In addition, rates vary on the times you choose, but the earlier in the day you go the cheaper it will be.

To make sure your wallet takes even less of a hit from Cupid’s arrow, be sure to stop at the Dollar Store in Amherst to get all of your candy and snack needs. In case you were wondering, everything there costs a dollar.

The suggested flick to catch with your date would be “Safe Haven,” which opens today. Is it purely coincidence that it is being released on Valentine’s Day? I think not. The movie is a love story based on the novel written by Nicholas Sparks about a woman running from a mysterious path and the widower who saves her. The movie stars Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel. It has all the makings for a romantic date night film.

Date #3

The last reasonably priced date to suggest is an Amherst favorite: Antonio’s. It’s not the most romantic place, but for just a few bucks a slice, Antonio’s is a fantastic choice. They have an enormous variety of pizza and customize to every patron’s needs. Pizza is all they do and they do it the best. It’s a small, casual place with lots of character. The restaurant is fast paced and you are sure to get your slice(s) quickly. The line can be out the door at certain hours, so be sure to get there at a time when you can grab a table for your date.

To complete your evening get a delicious frozen yogurt at Froyoworld located only a few storefronts down. It’s another funky place with a great atmosphere. You are able to customize your dessert with at least 10 different flavors and a huge selection of toppings. And for Valentine’s Day they are having a buy one get one free sale. That’s music to our poor college student ears.

Amherst is a fantastic town for dates thanks to all of the fantastic restaurants, cafes, bars and nightlife, but you don’t have to go far to have a bargain date, even on Valentine’s Day. Choose any one of these dates and you will be sure to please not only your date but your wallet, too.

For bonus points and just a few more dollars, pick up a bouquet of flowers on your way to pick up your date. Plus, if you remember to bring flowers, your date will think you are a big spender no matter where you take her.

Kayla Marchetti can be reached at kmarchet@student.umass.edu.

 

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