9 Top Money Saving Tips for a Night on the Town

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Money Saving Tips for a Night out with Friends

When you’re living on a tight budget, going out for a night on the town can seem like an extravagant expense, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways to cut back your spending but still enjoy a night of good food, drinks and dancing. So get ready to paint the town red while you save some green!

Be the planner. If you’re in charge of coordinating the evening, you’ll have more control over when and where you go, which is often the best way to keep prices down.

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Use public transportation. If they’re available near you, find out about nearby bus and subway routes. You’ll save money and ensure a safe ride to and from the bar or club. If there isn’t anything available in your area, consider meeting your group of friends at a central location and carpooling. You’ll save money on gas and parking, and you can alternate who is the designated driver. If no one’s willing to take up the task, share a cab instead. It’s safer and usually still cheaper than driving yourself and paying for parking.

Drink before you go. Once you’re at that central location and have chosen the DD, everyone else can start the evening off with a drink or two. Drinks at home are much cheaper than at the bar.

Look for open bars. In major cities, there are usually events with free drinks going on every weekend, so keep an eye out in local papers and websites like CraigsList. MyOpenBar is a website dedicated solely to listing where the open bars are in major cities. If a certain location hosts these types of events frequently, sign up for their online newsletter. Ask friends for their favorite websites to check for special events.

Compare prices. Of course, free isn’t always possible, so do a little research on prices at the places you like to go. Find out about discounts on food and drinks that are offered. Many places offer discounts for pitchers and $1 drink deals. Taking advantage of drink specials will not only save you a few bucks but also expand your horizons!

Schedule it right. Take advantage of cover-free nights and happy hours. Some bars have reverse happy hours, where the specials are offered in the evening instead of right after work. Make a point to only go out to places that are offering a discount of some sort.

Drink in moderation. When you drink, your inhibitions are lower, which means you’re more inclined to be a little loose with your wallet, so watch yourself. Consider leaving your credit card behind and only bringing along the amount of cash you’ve budgeted for the night.

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Don’t buy top shelf, especially if you are buying a mixed drink. It’s hard to tell the difference and you’ll save a pretty penny.

Look for free events. You can find everything from concerts to art shows to comedy shows. Yelp is one good site to find out about interesting and inexpensive events and locations. Goldstar can help you find discounted tickets to events. And local universities also frequently offer free events.

Of course, one of the best ways to save money on a night out is to make it a night in! For the price of one restaurant meal, you can make a meal yourself for four or six people. Purchase a bartending book and experiment at home. Switch off locations with friends or ask them to contribute to the evening’s cost. Sometimes a night in can be just as adventurous as a night out.


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