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Date Night On the Cheap at Lake of the Ozarks

Updated on January 17, 2018
Vicki Martin Wood profile image

Vicki Wood is a self-employed mother of four grown children living in Mid-Missouri. She was formerly a nurse and is getting back to writing.

How to do date night on a budget

Is it really possible to do date night for just twenty bucks? Doesn't seem possible, right? In my area it really is, and I will tell you how to do it.

Happy Hour

This is where to start your cheap date night!

Here is a list of a few places around Lake of the Ozarks to do a really cheap date night. Most places have happy hour weekdays four to six pm, and some even do happy hour all day Saturday or Sunday.

  1. Hyvee Market Cafe- Every weekday four to six pm you can get half-price appetizers, but most importantly the bar serves drafts at 1.50 and then they are buy one get one free. This is my pick for starting your twenty dollar date night.
  2. Tuckers Shuckers-Located on the historic Bagnell Dam strip, happy hour is three to five weekdays, and appetizers are usually around five dollars, and very filling. When I go, I have found wine and beer specials for five dollars. In the warm months, the view of the strip is fantastic from the balcony.
  3. Pappos Pizza- Half price beer and appetizer specials 3-6pm. The apps are amazing, the meatballs being my favorite. You can make a very nice meal out of happy hour here.

Dinner on the Cheap


A Few of the Cheap Places I Have Found to Eat Dinner

When dining at Lake of the Ozarks, the choices seem endless. But I am focusing on how to do date night within a budget. Because, let's face it, as moms and dads we need this night. We've earned this night! It keeps our sanity, especially in the long, cold winter months. Money is usually tight for everybody this time of year.

Cheap Dinner Eats

My number one place to eat cheaply is El Charco Azul on Tuesday night. This is our designated date night because there are other deals on Tuesday nights at Lake of the Ozarks-see Entertainment on the Cheap.

El Charco Azul in Osage Beach, Missouri features $1.00 Taco Tuesdays year round. You can choose from soft or hard tacos, and beef or chicken filling. Their chicken tastes like a grandma has stewed it all day on the stove top. I have never had better-pulled chicken. There is no minimum or maximum for this deal. You can carry out if you want to picnic with a lake view. They have a really nice patio if the weather permits. We usually order four each. With water, that is only 8 dollars plus tax of our twenty dollar date night budget used. With happy hour at Hyvee Market Grille, we are only up to ten dollars of our twenty dollar budget used.

Another Taco Tuesday choice is Mexicali Blues in Osage Beach. They also have a dollar taco special but they have a few rules. One is that you have to order the same type of shell, no mixing on your order. You can, however, order different fillings and they offer pork as well as chicken and beef, and your beef can be ground or shredded. The shredded beef is very good! I think there is also a minimum five taco order. But you can still just drink water to get a cheaper bill. They do offer a margarita special on this day too.

Steak and Shake is always a good option. With their large offering of 3.99 specials, you can do cheap date night at ten dollars, if you drink water with your meal.

If I ever can get away from Taco Tuesday, I am sure I can find other cheap eat deals at Lake of the Ozarks. If you have any suggestions, send them my way!

Entertainment on the Cheap

How To Have Fun on a 20 Dollar Budget

Here are a few things I have found to do to keep your date night on a budget.

  1. Tuesdays at Eagles Landing Movie Theater- Five dollar movies are the special on Tuesdays at this theater. They also have great concession specials for this day. These are first run movies offered. We often wait until Tuesdays to see a new movie out instead of fighting the crowds on the weekends.
  2. Eagle Days-This event is the first weekend of January and is completely free. To get the best viewing you will want to have date day instead of night. There are three viewing areas, Willmore Lodge, Osage National, and The Historic Bagnell Dam. I love watching these amazing creatures.
  3. Polar Bear Plunge- This is completely free to watch, and man what fun to watch people freeze their fannies off jumping in the lake!
  4. Bowling- A lot of the bowling alleys in the area have afternoon play specials, but when my husband and I first started dating, we played pool here more than anything.
  5. Busters at Miner Mikes- Across from the Factory Outlet Mall, this is a grown-up arcade. So with five bucks, you can play for an hour.

How Did We Do?

My date night consists of Tuesday night specials. We usually do the same thing every Tuesday night. I am getting old and boring. So my total is 1.50 for BOGO drinks at Hyvee Bar, 8 dollars plus tax at El Charco Azul, and 10 dollars at Eagles Landing Movie Theater. Maybe someday I will venture out and find more. Please send any suggestions my way in the comments!


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    • Gregory DeVictor profile image

      Gregory DeVictor 

      5 months ago from Squirrel Hill, PA

      Vicki, I hope you get the job. Besides, people need to know where the best deals are for happy hour or just dining out in general. I believe you have what it takes to provide them with that information. For example, whenever I go back up north and visit Erie, I want to know where I can get pepperoni balls for $1.00.

    • Vicki Martin Wood profile imageAUTHOR

      Vicki Wood 

      5 months ago from Eldon, Missouri

      Thank you Gregory, I really enjoyed researching and writing that article. I recently applied for a freelance writing job with an area newspaper. If i get the job, I hope to be able to expand this article into a regional series. I have an article on the hit series "Ozark" in the works. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Gregory DeVictor profile image

      Gregory DeVictor 

      5 months ago from Squirrel Hill, PA

      Vicki, thanks for a really appetizing article. I especially enjoyed reading everything about the tacos.

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      Thanks for your comment, Larry, the lake area is so much fun in the warm months. You should come up and visit. Follow me, i plan to write more about it.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      10 months ago from Oklahoma

      Looks like a lot of fun, and I'm always looking to save a few bucks.

      Great read!

    • Vicki Martin Wood profile imageAUTHOR

      Vicki Wood 

      10 months ago from Eldon, Missouri

      Update-Hyvee Market Grille bar only offers the two for one drafts on Tuesday happy hours, but I also found out that during a Kansas City Chiefs game, you get a free draft for each touchdown during the game only.


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