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Let’s face it, going out to the same restaurant every weekend with your significant other can get a little bit tedious. Traditional dates can often be expensive and dull. The good news is, with a little creativity, you can not only enjoy fun and unique adventures, but you could also keep the spark alive in your relationship.

So consider taking control of your relationship without losing control of your credit card with these five cost-effective date ideas.

1. Go on a Hike

This type of date can be rewarding, challenging and help you get into good shape. The only cost you are typically paying for is any necessary travel and parking, which usually is around $10. You may want to consider bringing a sandwich with you and enjoying it at the highest point of your hike. You can choose to go solely with the object of your affection or with another couple.

Going on a hike can also be a killer first date. Some trails can be long, so it’s a great time to get to know each other. If you are struggling to find a hike that best fits you, you can download a free app, like All Trails, to help you get started.

2. Chase a Sunset

Instead of paying for a costly dinner date, why not take your dinner to the beach or a nearby lake? Take a drive down an hour before sunset. You may want to consider bringing a meal to eat while you watch the light fade, or purchase a bite on the way. If you are feeling romantic, spice up your date with a little champagne to top off the night. Pro Tip: The prettiest sunsets happen after scattered showers. You will see more contrast with a little cloud cover in the sky. ‘Grey days’ can result in great sunsets.

3. Have a Picnic

As the weather gets nicer, instead of going out on a lunch date, you may want to consider enjoying lunch in the park. Take a fun bike ride over to your local park and bring a “picnic backpack” along. You may want to pack your bag with a blanket, fresh lemonade, fruit and mini sandwiches to enjoy together. You two can take in the beautiful weather while enjoying refreshing beverages and scenic views.

4. Attend an Exhibit

This type of date is not for everyone, but can be a great experience. It can be very romantic and enlightening to learn something new together, so why not start at an exhibit? Check out your local listings to find something you might both be interested in.

5. Movie Under the Stars

Instead of paying for a costly movie at your local theater, why not watch your movie with a view? Take your date to a scenic spot and consider bringing your laptop or tablet with you. You can bring a blanket and watch a movie under the stars. During the summer, many cities offer free summer movies in local parks. Be sure to check the schedule and consider planning your date in advance.

[Editor’s note: If you’re looking for other everyday ways to save money, check out these painless penny-pinching tips. And remember, while making loan and credit card payments on time can help you save money on interest rates and penalties, nearly everyone has room to improve their credit scores (which also can save you money). You can see what areas of your credit profile need work by getting a free credit report summary on Credit.com, updated every month.]

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