lady dates: going out for less money and more fun

Last night, I went to The Melting Pot with my mom for a lady date. Now, lady dates (not to be confused with actual dates involving ladies) are one of my favorite things in the world. It's great to just go out and treat yourself to something a little bit special, even when there isn't a special occasion. The problem, of course, is the price. When Mom told her coworkers she was going to the Melting Pot, they all asked "wow, what's the occasion? did you get a gift certificate?" Fondue is pricy, folks! But here's a simple (really simple, super obvious) tip for going out and spending less money: check the specials!

Almost every restaurant has a specials section on their website, and I'm always shocked at the number of people who pass it by. Yes, sometimes you need to plan your hang outs around a number of busy schedules and there's one night you can all make. But when schedules are a little more open, why not plan around the specials at whatever restaurant you want?

For example, at our local Melting Pot, Monday night is "Ladies Night Out." They offer a limited 3-course menu for $16 a person, or a 4-course for $25. This may not sound like a steal until you consider that just an order of chocolate fondue is $15. They also offer ladies night $5 drink specials; I tried a Pink Lemonade with pomegrante juice and acai vodka which was delicious! It was a really great way to have a night out at a "fancy" place without breaking the bank. Monday night has never felt quite so fabulous!

It feels kind of ridiculous to position this as a "tip" but I can't even count the number of times I've seen something totally obvious online and gone "oh! duh!" So, if you're not the type to check out special nights and offers at your local hangouts, hopefully this can be your "oh duh" moment, and you can start enjoying some fabulous nights out! (Or days! Less expensive lunch menus are also a great source of more budget-friendly outings.)

Plus, fondue! Yum! If you've only ever tried the chocolate kind (also incredible), I would totally recommend checking out the cheese. It's super tasty! We went the the 3-course instead of the four, so I haven't tried cooking meat in the fondue pot yet, but hopefully we'll have another chance soon...another ladies night :)

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