If you are part of the 40% of American households who aren’t prepared for a $400 emergency, you should definitely take a look at how much you spend on those nights on the town. We’re not saying you can’t go out and have fun, but we do think there may be some methods you could use to still have fun without breaking your budget. Here are some ways to dial back the dollars for your next night out and about.
Have pre-drinks at home. Save money by starting the party at home with supermarket brand booze. Generic alcohol is not only cheaper, you won’t even notice the difference, especially if you’re mixing it with something else. This is probably the single best way to spend less at the bar. You don’t want to go overboard before the night even gets off the ground but starting the party at home can really cut down on your bar bill once you hit the town. If you plan it right, you’ll only have to pay for one or two drinks while you’re out.
Load up on carbs or have some ready. If you’re subject to the boozy munchies, plan ahead. Eat before you hit the streets or have some snacks at the ready for when you get home. A $7 pizza from the grocery store will taste just as good as one twice the price at a pizza joint. And if for some reason it doesn’t agree with you well, you’re at home, so there’s that.
Share transportation costs. Whether you use public transportation, share an Uber or Lyft, or all pile into a friend’s car (with a designated driver, of course!) sharing the cost of transportation is a great way to save a few of your hard earned dollars during your night out.
Share a pitcher of drinks. Just like sharing a ride, sharing a pitcher of beer or margaritas is also a great way to have a good time and not overspend. If you’re a wine drinker and so is your bestie, go for the bottle, not the glass, of wine. It’s a much better deal.
Choose free entertainment. There are lots of choices for cheap to free entertainment, from outdoor concerts and musical showcases to comedy clubs and street artists. Look for a battle of the bands or county fair for low cost fun, especially during the warmer months.
Pay cash and leave those cards at home. After a few drinks, you just might forget about that budget you set for going out. One good way to get around overspending is to take along exactly how much money you want to spend in cash and leave your cards at home. When your cash runs out, so do your drinks. Simple but effective.
Alternate booze and water. If you can’t nurse your drink for an hour or two, alternate with a glass of water. Choose soda water and add a lemon or lime, and for all anyone else knows there’s booze in that glass. This will also help with hangover possibilities the next day, as staying hydrated is a great way to avoid the day after regrets that cpme with too much booze the night before.
Have a BYOB house party instead. To really save on partying costs, stay home and let the fun come to you. Lay in some pizza, chips, beer, wine, a mixer or two, some fresh lemons and limes, and a bottle or two of hard liquor, and let your friends bring their drink and mixer (and possibly snack) of choice. Have a good source for tunes for those who want to dance, and you’ll spend a lot less money and have just as much fun as you would taking it to the streets.