Well, here's the thing about dates: the point is to get to know the person. And vice versa. So rather than trying to dazzle with theater or concert tickets, or dinner at four-star restaurant, share something with them that you enjoy doing. Most everyone has a few simple, free activities that they enjoy: wandering around used bookstores, sitting in the park, trying a new recipe, window shopping, going to the public museum. Why not try to connect with a new special someone on that everyday level? Something that doesn't require a whole itinerary and reservations.
Here's an idea: look up a nice fall soup recipe. Then, take a trip to the local farmer's market with someone you want to get know better. Grab a cup of cider and some carbs, then walk around visiting the stalls, talking about whatever. Pick up the various ingredients you need, and anything else that appeals to the both of you, and then have her over for some tea and cooking.
Then you'll be cooking with gas*!
* Unless your stove is electric. Loser