Our Guide to Saving Money on a Night Out
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person in want of a fortune will continue to go out until they have drained their bank account of all their funds. Sometimes, it just can’t be helped. If your friends are messaging you, and all you have to look forward to is a dull night spent on your sofa in front of the tele, it can be awfully hard to say no…
… Luckily, you don’t have to! There are plenty of ways that you can curb your splurges on a night out. There are loads of tips and tricks we can offer you that’ll mean you wake up without having to dread checking your ever-expanding overdraught. However, we still can’t guarantee that you won’t be dreading checking your Instagram story - we’re not miracle workers.
1. Have pre-drinks
I don’t know about you, but there’s something about inviting your mates over before your big night out that is so much more exciting than meeting them in the queue for the club. Getting the two litre bottles of Coke and 7UP out, along with that bottle of Gordon’s that’s collecting dust in the cupboard, and sticking your favourite playlist on Spotify is the best part of a night out, before you’ve had a chance to overdrink and lose all of our possessions.
It just so happens that it’s a lot more wallet-friendly to buy drinks in the supermarket for pre-drinks than it is to buy doubles and shots all night at the club just to get yourself a nice buzz. Even if you’re buying Grey Goose and Hendrick’s gin in Sainsbury’s, it’s still going to work out cheaper.
2. Eat beforehand
It might seem like some serious pre-planning, but if you actually manage to pre-empt your 3am post-club munchies, you’ll save yourself some serious cash. When you think about it, it makes sense. You know you’re going to want food at some point in the night, and if you eat beforehand, you might actually be able to pass by KFC without your usual boneless banquet + hot wings. Failing that, you know you’re going to splurge less – just chips?!
My pre-night out go-to is a lovely big bowl of carb-heavy pasta. Drinking on an empty stomach turns me crazy anyway, and it means that I’ve got the energy to dance all night instead of the alternative; getting so hungry at midnight that I have to bow out early. No one wants that.
3. Happy hours
Nothing makes me smile like a happy hour – two Long Island Ice Teas for the price of one?! Sign me up. That’s ten shots of different alcohols for a tenner. Happy hours are huge nowadays – it seems like everywhere you go, there are bars offering two for the price of one, two for ten pounds, or something in between.
Usually, happy hours are confined to the shots and/or cocktail list, but that’s no bad thing – cocktails are notoriously expensive with a famously high ABV%, so you can really get your moneys’ worth here. However, there are other bars and pubs that offer happy hour prices on all their alcohol, so if you are more of a beer and wine drinker, be one the lookout for those!! The unicorn of bars are those ones that also have happy hour prices on their food… getting a basket of wings and curly fries for a just over a fiver is such a victory.
4. Bottomless brunch
Bottomless brunches have really come into their own over the past five years. It seems like they’re everywhere. Not only are bottomless brunches a great opportunity to let loose and enjoy yourself whilst the sun is still up, but they’re also a great way to have fun without breaking the bank. The clue is in the name… bottomless brunches offer an unlimited amount of alcohol, usually for around 90/120 minutes. This means that you can get a seemingly endless amount of drinks for a pre-agreed amount of money. Prosecco is pricey, so if you can drink almost two bottles for the price you would pay for one, you’re definitely winning!
Also, bottomless brunches also have a fantastic food menu laid on, and this is really where you get your money’s worth. Usually, you’d pay £30+ for food alone, but with a bottomless brunch you’re getting food + booze for around the same amount. Sign me up!
5. Check free entry times
Clubs often only start charging you at a certain point in the night, because they know that that’s when most people turn up, and they want to get as much money as possible out of their Friday night. This is fair enough on their part, but if you want to cheat the system that’s your prerogative. Arriving early has gained a bad rep for being a bit… lame… but honestly, there’s nothing wrong with it. All it really means is that you’re a hardcore clubber, experienced and eager enough to know that the best way to have a good night is to be dancing by 11pm with the bar to yourself, rather than out in the cold queue just half an hour later with hundreds of other poor planners.
What’s the difference between half an hour, really?! Well, sometimes the difference is about £15! That kind of money would cover a round of shots or an extra cocktail, so who’s lame now?!
6. Have a house party
Really CBA with clubs?! They’re full of people who don’t know, music you’re not too keen on, guys you’d really rather not share air with… cut out the middle man and have a house party! BYOB (Bring your own bottle) is your best friend on nights like these… just get the Bluetooth speaker out, clear the living room with all your most precious items, and invite your nearest and dearest over to party.
Yes, you may end up with some gatecrashers, and maybe your oversized Sports Direct mug will mysteriously disappear, but that’s all part of the fun. Some of the best nights of my life have been house parties at either my place or somebody else’s, and they’re a great way to dodge the extortionate fees of pubs and clubs and taxis home.
7. Avoid Saturday night…
Whigfield’s hit song ‘Saturday night’ is a bit old-school nowadays, and so is the whole culture of going out at the weekend. With the advent of home working and student nightlife, it’s no longer necessary to go out on the weekends, spend extortionate amounts of money to have two drinks at the bar, and waste the rest of your precious time off at the weekend being hungover and unable to stomach food.
There are some great drinks and entry deals on club nights during the week – Thursday is the new Friday, after all!
Words by Rebecca Clayton - all GIFs courtesy of GIPHY!