It's a well established fact that going out isn't cheap. Annoyingly it's also the most important part of uni. Yeah, there's that degree thing you should get round to eventually, but you've got a heck of a lot more partying to do before you can worry about that. If only your budget could accommodate the levels of debauchery that have come to be expected of you.
That's where we come in. We've got some helpful hints to save you money by being a bit cheeky, a bit sneaky and even a little bit freaky. Christmas may be a time for giving, but what is giving without receiving?
1. Go to the club early when it's free
Most clubs have free or reduced entry in the early stages of the night. This does mean turning up as early as 8pm, but you’ve got to be dedicated if you want to save some moolah!
2. Get the stamp, go back later
Who says you have to stay? Go in, have a drink then go back out again, but make sure you get stamped! Some of the bigger clubs are wise to this, though; they can change their stamps over the night, so do some research first.
3. Share stamps
It’s a classic. If your friends are in the club before you get them to come out and meet you, gently wet the back of your mates hand where the stamp is (lick ‘em if you have to) then press your hand against theirs. If done correctly you’ll end up with something that looks enough like a legit stamp that it’ll get you in.
4. Sneak a drink in
Hip flasks aren’t just for old blokes, y’know. Fill a vessel up with your cheap vodka, sneak it into the venue, then nip to the toilets every time you want a drink. Be careful with this though, bouncers aren’t stupid and they’ll chuck you out if you get caught.
5. Flirt outrageously for a free drink
Ladies, if you’re ready to bury your pride you can coast through a whole night without paying for a single drink. Choose your marks-- I mean suitors carefully; you may well be drop dead gorgeous but there are fellas out there in the same boat as you.
6. Make manly bonds
Two can play at that game, ladies! Lads, might not have much luck trying to convince someone of the opposite gender to buy you a drink, but if you form a bond with another bloke they may just buy you a drink for being a decent chap. Which, ironically, you’re not.
7. Finish other people’s leftover drinks
We’re joking, DO NOT do this. Not only is minesweeping just too scummy for words but it’s also incredibly dangerous. Yes it’s free, but so is the hospital.
8. Go to Aldi or Lidl for your pre-drink spirits
Not quite ready to sink to the depths of Basics vodka? The booze at shops like Aldi is cheap and actually pretty good quality.
9. Make friends with the promoter
Better still, convince your friend that starting that techno-classical dubmetal night he’s always going on about is a good idea. People like to feel powerful and demonstrate that power; if they can get you in for free they almost certainly will.
10. Convince your friend to get their bf/gf to give you a lift
If they love your friend, they’ll give all of you a lift into town. If they really love your friend, they’ll come and pick you all up too. As long as they’re together, you’ll never pay for a taxi. If they haven't got a car, enquire about piggy backs.
11. Pre-drink at your generous friend’s house
Everyone has a friend with loaded parents who are easy with their cash. Their offspring, in turn, is easy with the booze. Invite yourself round to theirs and, oh what a surprise, there’s a bottle there already! After all, pre-drinking is a serious business.
12. When you’re pouring out the drinks, be good to yourself
Go halves on a bottle of Eastern Europe’s finest export with a mate then take over pouring duties. You know, your glass does look slightly less full than theirs, better give yourself a top up.
13. Buy a pitcher for everyone early in the night
Don’t make a big deal about it, just come back to the table with a pitcher and a bunch of glasses. Make sure everyone gets a drink, they’ll be compelled to get you one later. Do this with the right crowd and you won't pay for a drink all night.
14. Tip the bartender
Tip them over then steal all the drinks. Just kidding. Slip them a nice tip when they serve you your first drink. This may seem like just throwing your money away, but as tipping is generally pretty uncommon in British bars and clubs it will come as an unexpected surprise. If all goes well, your humble drinks server will become your best friend for the night, and friends help each other out.