I won’t lie, I’m too old for clubbing and going out in general – by too old, I mean in my soul not because I’m 30. Tbh, I stopped enjoying it when I was about 25, but that’s because, in my heart, I’m a seventy-year-old who just wants to sit on the sofa in front of a good boxset with a glass of wine in one hand and 34 cats on my knee.
That being said, I still enjoy going out for dinner, going to bars and my absolute favourite thing to do (which is obviously the most expensive) is to go to hotel bars. They’re quieter, classier and they tend to have board games, comfy seats and a fire. See? Grandma.
If you suddenly find yourself on a tight budget (or, like me, are just tighter than a duck’s bum) don’t automatically think you can never go out again. You just have to be realistic about how much you can afford to spend on it and work it into your budget. I mean, you could do what I did as a student and live on Aldi pasta and sauce in order to spend your remaining £20 on clubbing: Monday nights in Sheffield: 2 for 1 cocktail
Monday nights in Sheffield (a decade ago mind you): 2 for 1 cocktails in Las Iguanas. We used to get Long Island Iced Tea because 1) it’s delicious 2) it contains basically every clear spirit going so it gets you good and hammered. And then onto the club. Our club of choice was Corporation, which, as any native Sheffieldian will know, is somewhat of a dive. However, they played the music I liked and vodka and coke was 75p. Boom.
Anyway, enough about me, we’re actually here so I can help you save some money and still have some sort of a social life. Here we go:
1 – Leave Mr. Debit Card at home
He’s only going to make your hangover worse. At best, you’ll take out an extra £20. At worst, you’ll draw out £100, book a holiday and leave him, along with the rest of your purse, balanced on the toilet roll dispenser of wherever you ended up. Have you ever tried to retrieve something from a club? It’s a nightmare.
Just. Take. Cash. It’s fine to take a little more than you think you’ll need (just in case), and if you spend it on shots (more on those tinkers later) maybe over time you’ll learn some self-discipline. At least you won’t be able to buy that bottle of champagne that seemed like such a great idea at the time.
2 – Don’t do shots
Ugh, that sounds like such an old lady thing to say…They’re just so overpriced, they last about 2 seconds and they get you absolutely wasted and make you more likely to overspend. Stick to things you can sip. The absolute best for me is wine (preferably fizzy) because it’s delicious and I can’t help but drink it slowly (ish). Beer’s also pretty good. Anything sweet and fruity can be dangerous because it’s like drinking juice. Also, bear in mind that the recipe for the worst hangover EVER is alcohol + sugar.
3 – Stick to chains
Places like Wetherspoons are awesome, because not only are their drinks cheap, but they do cheap food too. There’s nothing to let you up for a good night like nachos at 10pm. It also makes it less likely that you’ll order a £10 pizza at 3am, only to find that the whole thing’s been eaten by the dog because you left it in the hall with your shoes when you got in.
This is hard for me because, as I said, I love hotel bars so damn much, but I live in the arse end of nowhere and they’re pretty scarce in these parts.
4 – Rounds
A lot of people advise not partaking in rounds because you end up paying extra for people who have more expensive drinks than you BUT there are a couple of circumstances where they might work out:
- You drink a pretty pricey drink. Obviously not wildly more expensive than everyone else, but if you’re all drinking pretty much the same thing it doesn’t really matter.
- You’re a naturally fast drinker. If you’re forced to wait for the next person to buy the round, it’ll teach you to pace yourself – never a bad thing.
I personally tend to buy wine when I’m out, so rather than join in the round, a couple of friends and I will share a bottle (or 3).
5 – Promotional nights
You get many of these in my neck of the woods, but when they’re on, they’re amazing. They can be anything – new stores opening, new bars, introducing a new product – just keep your eyes and ears open. I recently went to a nearby hotel that was opening a cocktail area and it was INCREDIBLE. There was free prosecco on arrival (which was awesome) and a menu of 5 or 6 cocktails. So far so good.
After the prosecco, I queued up with my friend’s mum and when we placed our order the lady said she’d bring them over…and that everything was free. Like, everything. There was even a buffet. It was a great night, and of course, we’ve been back.
Christmas is a great time for things like this, especially in stores – there’s often an evening in November when shops introduce Christmas stock and you can go along for a glass of bubbly and a peruse of the new stuff. BTW if you’ve recently moved this a great no-pressure way of meeting new people BECAUSE you’re not actually there to socialise (you can just wander around looking at the shop) but you can if the opportunity arises.
Any other thoughts?
I think I’ll probably add to this post as I go along because I’m sure there are more ways to save than the five I’ve outlined, but it’s pretty long at the mo…so I’ll end here. If you have any other great ways to save money when you go out, be sure to leave me a comment. I was going to incorporate how to save money when you eat out into this post, but I think I’ve waffled on for long enough. I know Google loves it a long post, but we’re nearly at a thousand words already and that’s plenty I feel.
Anyhoo, go clubbing and try my money-saving methods. If you live in Sheffield and fancy trying out Corporation, good luck. It can be terrifying.