10 ways to rack up the savings on a night out
Think of us as your financial guardian angel. A fairly tipsy financial guardian angel.
At studentbeans.com HQ we’re realistic people. We know that you’ll be spending a lot of time enjoying yourself in the first few weeks of the university calendar. And we also know that, accordingly, this makes it a very expensive time for even the tightest ‘I’m not going to go out out’ of students.
But never fear! We're here - as ever - to step in and save you a load of cash, your own pocket hungry hippo which gobbles up your loose change for a rainy day (or the next night, anyway). Here are some tips and tactics – some more ethical than others – you may want to implement the next time you’re venturing to the pub/bar/club/all of of the above.
1) Don’t drink
It may sound horrendously ridiculous, but you can have fun on a night out without alcohol! Seriously. Get a group of you together on a ‘sober’ night – it’s a lot easier if you’re not the only one not drinking – and watch the savings pile up. You may need some Red Bull or Pro Plus though (or discount shop equivalent).
2) Go for value
And by this we don’t mean for you to hoover up the suspicious-looking not-quite-clear Ukrainian vodka lurking behind the bar. Rather, use your noggin. If you can get two singles for a fiver and a double for three quid, then bite the bullet and double up if you were going to drink it anyway. Generally, clubs and bars will have some sort of promotion on, so do your research and check it out before. There may be a chance that your alcohol-addled brain may just remember it come 11pm later that night.
3) Organise food before the night out
A clubber’s worst foe: the post-night out gorge-fest which is the kebabby/Subway/dodgy pizza-curry-hybrid place. Alcohol causes your blood sugar to lower, stimulating your hunger receptors to raise it back to normal levels. Science lesson over – but there is a (sort of) way around this, and a way we found particularly money-saving.
Simply make too much dinner, put some in a Tupperware container and reheat it when you get back – et voila, money (and probably calories) saved. Sausage casserole was a particular favourite.
4) Use those legs
Fact: unless it’s raining/snowing/really cold, taxis are a waste of money. Now we know that a) we’ve pretty much summed up the British climate, and that b) girls will complain of the age-old problem with heels, but take a pair of flats in your bag, grit your teeth and make the intrepid trip to wherever you’re going by foot. Not only will it save you money, it’ll burn off some alcohol calories, and we can guarantee you’ll have some of the best times of your night on the walk down to or back from your night out.
5) Make some new friends
If you believe in karma this probably isn't the one for you. Times are tough, every penny counts, so if someone you vaguely know or have only just met offers to buy you a drink, accept it gladly. They’ve offered, so you’re under no obligation to return the favour (even if it defies social etiquette).
6) Become best buds with the bouncers
If you’re a regular at a certain club, then start up a conversation with the staff there. You never know, you may be able to wangle a free drink or discounted entry. If they’ve got a Facebook page, let them know in advance that you’ll be frequenting their premises that evening and you may be given something complementary if you bring a big group. If you don’t ask, you won’t get. Simples.
7) Pick up as many discount cards from freshers’ fair as you can
Often, the local clubs and bars will make a point of setting up stalls in freshers’ fairs to give out some lovely discount titbits (and if you’re really lucky, some samples). Some special deals require you to have one of their cards (Varsity, we’re looking at you), so make a point of grabbing anything and everything you can.
8) Leave your card at home
Ah, your loyal old friend Mr Debit Card. When your temperamental buddy Mr Cash runs out on you, he’s always there in all of his chip and pin glory to save your night.
BUT… he’s a sneaky little bugger, Mr Debit Card, and always tends to leave you out of pocket in the long run – along with a thumping headache.
And the moral of the story, kids, is to budget yourself a maximum spend and leave Mr Debit Card at home. Your wallet – and your head – will thank you in the morning.
9) …And if you don’t, for god’s sake don’t use card machines that charge you
As tempting as it is to get money out at the dodgy-looking off-license to avoid queuing in the centre of town, DON’T DO IT. You’ll probably be stung with a £1 or £2 charge. That, and you’ll avoid spending the inevitable pound on the chocolate bar you didn’t know you craved.
10) Pre-drink like a BOSS
We’ve had a few articles on some fantastic drinking games recently – 10 amazing drinking board games is my personal favourite – and everybody knows that unless you’re on the Grey Goose, drinking will be cheaper with what you buy from the supermarket. So get some friends together, spend half an hour deciding on definitive Ring of Fire rules and paaaaaarty!
…Just don’t forget to actually go out afterwards.