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When eighty-year old Doris Drum began dating young men in the neighborhood, in 1932, a movie cost about 25 cents – and that included a candy bar and a comic book. Grandma Drum reminisces: "My brother, Leck, was given a $1.00 bill from our Dad to take a girl out on a date. Oh my …How things have changed."

-- Doris Drum Visitor from Nebraska "I usually spend about $100.00 on a date. Can’t really get around it. Soda and popcorn at a movie, alone, runs like $10.00. I guess you could save money with a picnic or something, but nobody does that stuff anymore."

-- Andrew Kochan 30-year-old from Los Angeles

What do you want to do? I don’t know, what do you want to do? Well, let’s get a bite to eat and hit a movie. Not so fast ...If you’re in a major American city, you better have at least $100.00 to $125.00 in your wallet.

Guess what? New York tops the list., one of the longest running Internet romance communities, just completed the initial phase of their cost of dating index designed to give rough comparative estimates of the cost of dating in the following 14 American cities: Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Tuscon.

While many dating costs have remained the same for the past few years, some have skyrocketed. The following figures were estimated from an index of flowers (single stem red rose), average dinner and tip (estimated from a group of "favorite picks" from a variety of restaurant guides), movie tickets (randomly selected movie theatres), two drinks, and transportation (either cab fare or .31 cents per mile @ 15 miles).

The biggest variable, of course, is food costs. All other costs being nearly equal, here are the results. Not surprisingly, cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco top the list. But, what’s at the bottom? Later, we’ll take a look at sporting events in some of these cities.

Dinner & Movie: A Look at 14 Cities

New York $135.00 Chicago $128.60 San Francisco $124.00 New Jersey $117.00 Honolulu $114.00 New Orleans $110.00 Los Angeles $109.00 Philadelphia $110.20 Tucson $98.80 Seattle $90.60 Dallas $86.00 San Diego $85.40 Portland $82.00 Las Vegas $74.60

The cost of food by thieves behind movie concession counters was not included in our initial survey. We also compared the average cost for a pair of average basketball tickets (in those cities with teams).

Dinner & Basketball Game: A Look at 6 Cities New York $338.00 Los Angeles $231.00 Dallas $220.00 Seattle $204.00 New Jersey $165.00 Portland $145.00

Looking for some ideas about how to save money on your next date? For a complete list of 10 Tips for Frugal Daters, go to

© LLC 2000 is an exciting online community for singles, couples and romance lovers. has romantic resources, advice, poetry, message boards, event postings, greeting cards, contests, personals, opinion polls and more. Featuring quality links, categorized in our search engine covering the topics of love, sex, dating and relationships. In-depth information on, gifts, matchmaking, personals, sexuality, health, things to do, travel, writings, and literature. Find everything from a date to an advice or a place for a romantic weekend. Stop on by and visit Dear Carol,'s own advice columnist and sign up to for your own free personal ad.

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