Who says the term "cheap" is pejorative? After all, anybody can have fun with a large amount of money. At least we hope they can. But what about the young and the cashless? Does a good time have to come with a plus-size price tag? How much fun will $20 buy you? What about $10? Or even $5?
To find out, we gave three young, single correspondents $5, $10 and $20, respectively. Their challenge: To have as much fun as possible during an evening out without spending more than the allocated amount. That figure was per person; if they went with friends, we'd assume they were abiding by the same rule. Their objective was not to avoid spending money altogether -- that's another story, "Totally Free Nights Out" -- but to creatively stretch a small amount. If that creativity entailed eschewing restaurants with tablecloths and clubs with cover charges in favor of redefining Ikea as a dining destination and embracing the entertainment value of video games, so be it. In short, this may be the only time in history the admonition "Don't spend it all in one place!" wasn't meant sarcastically.
How did they fare? Read on.