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The $50 Date - Including a Babysitter!

Updated on April 29, 2012

The Date Guru

the Entertainment Guide will help us choose our dates well, and cheaply
the Entertainment Guide will help us choose our dates well, and cheaply

Or enjoying your hunny for less money, dating your spouse

My husband and I like to go out on dates. For a few years that was put on hold when our children were babies, but now that the kids do great with a sitter, we are back at it. Sometimes our tastes run a bit on the expensive side, a typical dinner and a movie with a babysitter used to cost about $75-$100. We have figured out that we need to be more budget-wise on our dates to stay within the monthly family budget. We have cut our costs down to about $50 a date, actually on Friday night we only spent $47. We need to allow for $20-$25 for the babysitter for the evening at $5 an hour. We have started using our new Entertainment Guide coupon book, which we bought from our son through a school fundraiser for $30. I consider that money well spent. Most of the coupons in the book are "buy one get one free" or similar, so it is by far the cheapest way for us to go out and eat.

There are advantages of using the book to pick out our restaurants other than just the money savings. One is that it allows us to discover new little towns in the area. I also do not have to think too hard about where to go, it takes the planning out. The guide has become our dating guru by telling us about new places never visited before. We search through the guide and find a new place that we have not been, then we mapquest it and go. The place the guide took us to this week was called the Harley Blue Bar and Grill in Blue Mounds, WI.

Blue Mounds is a very small little town, population of 855. The businesses include a "computer guy", a bakery, some little bars and restaurants and a church. I have been to Blue Mounds State Park before, to Cave of the Mounds and to Little Norway, but I never realized there was a little town in between those attractions. Thanks to my Entertainment book, not only did we discover a great little town but also a fantastic Wisconsin Friday night Fish Fry! This is something I have been looking for in my area for a while. I have great restaurants in town where I live to go eat at, but I have been looking for a new fish fry place. This is something of a tradition in Wisconsin. In high school, my family went out for a fish fry at different restaurants every week, at least it seems that way in my memory. My husband is not a huge fish fan, so we haven't really been actively searching for a fish fry. However there is always, in the back of my head, been this search. The eternal search for the best fish fry.

Harley Blue Bar puts on a great fish fry! I am not sure if I would ever go into the bar without the coupon, so for that I thank the Entertainment Guide. The bar was definitely old, you could tell there were always "regulars" in there. Half of the customers had on leather Harley jackets. The staff was very friendly and greeted us right away. We could tell we were probably in for some good food. The floor was jammed packed with as many fold out tables and chairs as they could fit. The salad bar immediately looked great and their homemade soup was excellent. My husband had chicken gumbo, I had the New England clam chowder. I had the 2 piece fish fry ($10.95) and my husband had the chicken dinner ($7.95, and with the coupon it was basically free). He had two beers and I had one, we were out of there in under an hour and for under $30 (technically it was $27 including tip). By the time we left at 7:30, the bar was jammed. I would highly recommend the trek out to Blue Mounds to enjoy the Friday night Fish Fry. Wonderful.

My husband and I then checked out the town and drove all over looking at property and local parks. It was my first visit to Brigham Park in Dane County. There are some nice camping spots there, along with a great park and views of the beautiful hilly, farmland. We found 12 acres we want to buy when we win the lottery. We also drove over towards Blanchardville, WI, which is near another State Park where we want to take the kids camping. So, we had a relaxing, fun, yummy dinner. We took the long way home and enjoyed the views of gorgeous Southwestern Wisconsin. And we had a date night under $50! A wonderful ending to a great 8th anniversary. Love you, honey! Many more dates from our Entertainment Guide Guru to come. I hope you can find some good deals in your area too, I will take you along and let you in on the deals we find on our adventures.

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  • amberld profile image
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    Amber Dahnke 5 years ago from New Glarus, WI

    I've had one before that I didn't utilize well, now that we are budgeting our money more, it has become essential! I love it. And next time, I promise to get pictures of where we went, I was kicking myself after we left. Plus, it is so pretty in southwestern WI, some of the views are breathtaking and I want to share that with the reader.

  • barbergirl28 profile image

    Stacy Harris 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

    I think I bought the Entertainment Book once... and once I had it... completely forgot about it. But I have to agree it is definately a great way to get in a date for a decent cost... and to find some cool places to eat that you might not have tried before. I grew up in Wisconsin so I am familiar with Friday fish fries. Man do I miss those! If I still lived there, that sounds like a great place to go dine. I love the little hole in the wall type establishments... they always have the best food... but usually only the regulars know about them. Great hub about saving money and introducing a new place to try!

  • ShepherdLover profile image

    ShepherdLover 5 years ago from Portland, OR

    The Entertainment Guide definitely sounds like $30 well spent...thanks for sharing! Going out on dates with your spouse is so important, I love to see tips for how to do so without spending a ton of money :o)

  • amberld profile image
    Author

    Amber Dahnke 5 years ago from New Glarus, WI

    Thanks for reading! it was a great bargain night and there are so many good deals out there. I have used Groupon also to get "buy one get one free" meals, also "my Madison perks" sends me daily deals. I will try to get some pictures on our next date to illustrate the place we eat at, most likely another little bar in another little town. :)

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

    What a good bargain for $50! I enjoyed the date with you on this one. It is fun to see how much you can save having a good time. Voted interesting and useful.