Being a student has its perks, but when it comes to wooing your significant other with a fancy night out – a limited budget can really hold you back. If you need help making your loved one feel special, pick and choose between the ideas below and make them your own. The best dates need to be a little planned but flexible, a bit of an adventure but easy to enjoy. These ideas are designed to score you some serious points, who isn’t a sucker for a little romance?

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If you have a fireplace then this is super easy, all you need is furniture, blankets, and pillows to build a fort, mugs for hot chocolate and marshmallows to roast by the fire. If you don’t have a fire inside, you can gather firewood and build one just as easily outside, weather dependant of course and you might need more blankets for warmth

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This one takes some advance planning; you need three envelopes each with a different option for dessert. You let your date choose an envelope and then do whatever activity is inside. The ideas are up to you, but the first could be a recipe and list of ingredients – after a quick trip to the supermarket, you make it together. The second, grab an ice cream somewhere cute and close to home. The third, make a trip to Parnell and have one of the infamous hot chocolates at The Chocolate Boutique.

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Find a bookstore close to you that has a café in store and allows you to relax and browse through the books. Pick out a book you are both interested in and read it together, or pick out books for each other. Chapter in Mt Eden has an amazing selection of tea and stocks mainly romance fiction. For a broader selection, Baci Lounge in the Rialto, Newmarket is open late, does good coffee and has live music on Fridays.

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Get up early on a Sunday and venture to the local market in your neighbourhood or further afield if you wish. There are great markets in Kumeu, Clevedon, Titirangi, Parnell and Grey Lynn that have everything from arts and crafts to fresh produce. Create your own fun by finding the craziest/most useless things for sale, or split up and spend $5 buying something for your other half then reunite to exchange gifts.

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There is a lot to be seen in the night sky and not only is it beautiful but it’s totally free. All you need is an unobstructed view of the stars – a night with no cloud cover and minimal moonlight. There is heaps of information on the web about what to look out for or alternatively, you could loan a book from the library. Make sure you find a cozy spot away from the bright city lights with something warm to snuggle up under.

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Drag out all those board games you used to play as a child and spend a night in playing your favourites. If you have left them behind since moving out, head down to your local opportunity shop to get them cheap. Notable goodies include; Scrabble, Monopoly and Pictionary. Not only can you bond over nostalgia, but the interaction with each other is good for your relationship and builds memories.

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Buy some lunch essentials from the supermarket – bread buns and sandwich fillings, or buy some pasta, sauce and cook it beforehand. Find a nice location that is pretty and secluded, if you buy a loaf of white bread you can feed the ducks and have a picnic at your local park. Alternatively, you could buy fish and chips at night and head to the sea where you can feed the sprats off the wharf.

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The Classic Comedy Club on Queen Street is one of Auckland’s longstanding institutions. On Mondays they have the Raw Comedy Night from 8pm to 10:30pm, an open mic show that is $5 for adults and 2 for 1 for students. It’s a great way to see local talent and some hilarious acts.

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Rent a movie that you both want to watch but never have. Check out the specials at your local video store – Video Ezy has some great deals, $10 for 5 weeklies or $1 for recent releases on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you grab a few you could curl up for a movie marathon. Don’t forget snacks! Popcorn in a large bowl to share is essential.

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Get up early on a clear morning (perhaps when the weather is warmer!) and walk to somewhere that has a good view of the sunrise. Watch together as the sun comes up and grab a coffee at a nearby café after getting up so early. Listen to the birds chirping, take some photos of the view and enjoy being awake whilst everyone else is still tucked up in bed.

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