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How To Save Money On A Night Out

Whether you're simply heading out for a couple of beers with friends, or planning on dancing the night away in a club this guide of how to save money on a night out will ensure you have a great time without blowing the budget.

Don't Buy An Outfit Especially For The Night Out

In the past, I've bought a brand new, £20 / £30 shirt for a night out. Only for some drunken idiot to throw a whole flavoured cocktail or a pint of beer down it (or worse, the guys next to me to get in a fight and me get covered in blood as the bouncers drag them away – true story!)

While I understand the feel-good of a new outfit for a night out, once you're in the bar, pub or club, wherever you're going nobody see's it anyway because it's dark.

Instead, stick to a classic outfit and dress it up with accessories. If you really must buy a new outfit, be sure to buy an investment quality piece and aim to get a lot of use out of it for the long term, or a great second-hand garment.

Pre-Drink (Prink, In Our Case)

When looking at how to save money on a night out, you'll need to look at the highest expense and in most cases, that's going to be drinks.

There's a couple of ways you can save money on drinks on a night out, and one of the biggest and most popular is pre-drinking (we nicknamed it Prinks, I'm not sure if that's a common term or just some random phrase us drunken idiots thought of at the time)

Pre-Drinking can be done in a number of different ways;

You can pre-drink solo or as a small group as you get ready for the night out. Although be warned, this can result in drunken make-up sessions etc.

You can pre-drink at a friends house, dorm room etc. As you spend an hour socialising, catching up, basically doing all the things you would do in the pub/club but in your kitchen or living room watching X-Factor.

Don't Buy Rounds

In most social groups I'd like to think buying rounds is a thing of the past. Everyone knows that one or two people essentially end up getting ripped off as a result.

Not only does this lead to you buying drinks for people you may have never met. It leads to you buying drinks that are far more expensive than your own (there's always someone who buys a super expensive cocktail or double spirit when you're buying, but when they're buying, they'll have half a pint)

Then you find yourself waiting around for other people to buy your drinks, even if you want to go home, just so that, out of principle, you're getting your money's worth.

You Don't ALWAYS Have To Buy Alcohol

If I find myself talking to myself as I sit in the toilet cubical, I know it's time for a little break. Some folks can be funny when someone buys a non-alcoholic drink on a night out.

However, there's a way to ensure they never really know. This is especially true if you're drinking spirits and mixers.

In which case, simply order the mixer, but with no spirit. You'll want to get it as the same size, with the same trimmings (lime, straw etc.) to be super inconspicuous.

That way, you're not only saving yourself a couple of pounds on that drink, but you're also saving yourself from getting absolutely…

That way, you're not only saving yourself a couple of pounds on that drink, but you're also saving yourself from getting absolutely…

Check The Clubs Free Entry Times

The majority high-end clubs, even in my hometown of Wakefield charge an entry fee after a certain time.

In most cases, you'll have a certain club you ‘end up in' so be sure to check out the Facebook page of that particular club. You'll be able to see the entry times, more often than not clubs offer free (or reduced) entry to people before a certain time.

Being that entry prices can be as much as £10 per club, there are pretty big savings to be had on this one.

So be sure to brief your friends during ‘prinks' that you can get in free before a certain time and try and initiate that you'll get to the club before this point.

It is likely the club will be pretty quiet when you first arrive so arrive as close to the time limit as possible, and have a plan for when you arrive so you're not just 5 people in an empty club on a dance floor (unless that's what you're going for – in which case, that's totally cool!)

Check For Offers

While you're on the Facebook page of the bars and clubs you're planning on visiting take note of any other special offers.

You'll also find special offer flyers being handed out in the streets, or on the walls in the toilets.

This info will show you what drinks to buy in which bar/club in order to save money (of course, be careful not to mix your drinks too much).

However, if a certain pitcher is half-price and a cocktail is just a couple of pounds less, consider splitting the drink with a friend and you should get much better value for money.

Same goes for the beers, you'll often find they are on a 2 for £X amount or 3 for £X amount. Again, split with friends – just be sure they pay up prior to ordering.

Don't forget plenty of bars and clubs offer student deals (especially in the University towns and cities) and you don't have to be a student to get a student card.

It's a great talking point with a group of friends, who will all be really impressed if you tell them how to get one too.

Avoid Paid ATMS

Picture me this, you're in the club, having a great time, but suddenly you realise you're out of cash.

Conveniently, however, there's a cash machine in the bar or the club in some corner, except it's £2… £3… sometimes even £5… to withdraw your cash.

Yet, in most cases, you can get a stamp for re-entry and nip to one of the free cash machines within feet of the entrance of the club and not pay a single penny.

There are two ways to save money on a night out here;

You could opt to pay for your drinks at the bar on a card, there's possibly no charge but there might be a minimum spend, and it can be a slippery slope once you open that can of worms.

Secondly, you could just go out and withdraw the cash you need from the bank. If you're going to do so though, be sure to tell the group you're out with where you're going and always take a friend if possible.

Of course, there is just the third option. You've spent your allocated budget for the night and it's either time to pack it up or go home, or carry on without buying any more drinks and just enjoy yourself and have a good time.

Or Avoid Bringing Out Bank Cards All Together

As I mentioned earlier, there is a risk of bringing out your bank card and using it in any capacity. Therefore, you could avoid bringing your bank cards out altogether.

Not only does this reduce the risk of you losing them in any drunken state. It also prevents you from overspending as once you're out of cash, you're out.

However, be warned. I've done this on a number of occasions and more often than not I get so drunk that I decide to spend what should be my taxi fare on more drinks, and then find myself walking three miles home alone – not a smart move Cora.

Of course, this was prior to the days of Uber which do slightly reduce this issue. Just, of course, be sure you're in an Uber service area, have your bank details already entered into the Uber application and that your phone is fully charged in order to get one if you're going to opt for this method.

Pre-Cook Your ‘Drunk & Hungry' Food Of Choice

The flashing lights of a take-away are enough to tempt any person whether you've had one drink or fifteen drinks.

However, I often find in the glaring neon white lights of a takeaway I'm stood waiting for far longer than I'd like, in the cold (because these places always have the door open), for mediocre food (at best)

Instead, I recommend pre-cooking yourself a ‘drunk and hungry' meal. Something with plenty of carbs to soak up the alcohol is always a great option.

Not only does this save you money on your night out, it also prevents you from the disappointment of lukewarm chips with a block of cheese on top (again, speaking from experience)

That's my guide on how to save money on a night out. I hope you've enjoyed it. Of course, if you've any advice on how to save money on a night out, let me know in the comments.

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