London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun if you're on a budget. If you tend to spend too much on nights out and need to save some pennies, it is possible; you just need to look in the right places. Here are some of the best ways to have a night out in London without breaking the bank:
As any student would know, predrinking is one of the best ways to save money on a night out. Or, you know, not drinking at all... But if you do want to drink, getting together with your friends and buying a few bottles of low-cost alcohol from your local Aldi or Lidl before you go out can save you a lot of money in the long run. You also won't have to queue as often in the bar or club if you get thirsty. Just make sure you don't drink too much - you don't want to get thrown out of the club.
2. Make the most of Happy Hour
There are plenty of bargains to grab your hands on at bars all over London. For example, Simmons Bar has branches all over the city (including Fulham, Soho and Camden) and Happy Hour typically lasts from 4 – 9 pm between Sunday and Friday. Beer and wine are available for only £.2.50, which is super cheap considering it's London. If you're in Shoreditch, be sure to stop by Barrio East – who can resist cocktails for just £5?
3. Leave your card at home
Not taking your credit card out with you will force you into sticking to a budget and you'll be less likely to spend more than you can afford. Work out how much money you'll need (bearing in mind you'll have to get to the venue and back) and hide an extra £20 in another part of your bag (or even shoe) in case of an emergency.
4. Avoid kebab shops and McDonald's
Drinking can make you really hungry but eating fast food on your way home from a night out can get expensive. Instead, leave out some snacks in your kitchen or bedroom to munch on when you get back, and don't forget to have a proper nutritious meal first. This will line your stomach and give you plenty of energy for when you hit the dancefloor.
5. Get your name on the guestlist
Save a few quid by putting your name on the club's guestlist before you arrive. If you're lucky, you might even be able to enter the club for free, especially if you get there at a certain time. Head to Bar Rumba in the West End, The Grand in Clapham or Heaven in the Strand for free entry.
6. Have a night in
Of course, you don't HAVE to go out. Clubbing isn't always that fun and sometimes it can be nice to stay in and watch movies instead. Having a film night costs next to nothing and it means that you won't have to wait around for a taxi or endure the London Underground at 2am in the morning. However, if you want to get out of the house, there are plenty of alternatives to bar crawls and clubbing, such as bowling and going to a comedy show.