12 Budget-Friendly Ideas for Dining-Out Romance in Houston

We recently posted a list of 20 Romantic Restaurants, and while the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, a few readers pointed out that most of these places are on the expensive side.

It's a fair point that needed to be addressed, so here are a dozen budget-friendly ideas for dates that include some kind of dining out. One big cost-cutting tip: Nothing will add to the tab faster or more significantly than alcohol. Consider this: Two glasses of wine is pretty much the dollar equivalent of buying a third entrée. It's cheaper (and safer) to have a nightcap at home after dinner.

Each of these ideas costs around $60 or less -- no creative skimping required.

12. Dinner and a Movie at Alamo Drafthouse Theatre

Both the Alamo Drafthouse locations at 114 Vintage Park in far northwest Houston and in Katy on 531 South Mason can be terrific for date night, depending on what kind of evening you're looking to have. A full menu of appetizers, entrées and desserts makes them one-stop shops. Order popcorn and feed each other. Cut down costs by ignoring the wine, beer and cocktail menu, or just hold it down to one drink each to keep things modest. A two-hour break from the rest of the world is a treasure, especially if you're both stressed out more than usual. The only downside is that you don't actually get to look at and talk to each other, but holding hands and having something to talk about afterwards has value, too. Movie tickets are $9.50, or take advantage of the current late-night special where showings after 10 p.m. are only $5. There's a late-night menu with deals on food, too.