Well it's kind of difficult being a guy sometimes it seems.
Hi. I would keep your hand in the dating process, obviously avoiding women who seem materialistic. The first date with someone I meet online would ordinarily just be for a beverage, as so many such encounters lead nowhere. As to ideas for cheap dates now, it depends where you live.
One of my guy friends who has limited income is always asking me where
Stay out there, just be creative.
I agree, stay in there. the right woman won't care. And the first few dates should be something casual anyway, in my opinion. Coffee is a good option, not sure where you live but a nice walk on the beach or in the park is good as well.
Honestly, the best dates I've been on have been "cheap"...it's a little creepy when a guy from OLD starts showering a girl he's never met with elaborate gifts and dates...so in my opinion, keeping it low key is the best thing you can do.