How to Save Money When Going Out
You’re broke. I get it.
That doesn’t mean you should be sitting at home on your ass. It just means you need to get smarter when it comes to spending those limited funds. With nearly a lifetime of experience in being broke, I’ve learned a thing or two about stretching a dollar. Here I’ll try to translate that into more drunken nights on less money.
1. Find a bar and become a regular.
It is a known fact that a regular’s dollar goes further than your dollar. This doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with the bouncer or bartender. Just make sure they recognize your face—and for the right reasons. Tip well, be patient and don’t be fancy with your ordering. If you’re patient, you’ll eventually be rewarded with free and/or stronger drinks. But don’t expect this treatment every time, and don’t forget to tip even when the drinks are free.
2. Tip as you go.
I know a lot of people say to leave a big tip on your first drink so as to ensure proper treatment throughout the night, but this is a gamble. At busier bars, sometimes the bartenders switch off and you’ll be stuck with someone who has no clue you left a $50 early on in the night. So tip as you go to avoid losing out big in the beginning.
3. Buy two drinks at a time and tip as if you only ordered one.
You should always tip—but if you’re trying to save cash, sometimes combining the order can save you a couple bucks. Sure, you probably look cheap as hell, but at least you’re playing by the rules.
4. Don’t buy from shot girls (or anyone attractive for that matter).
No matter how broke you are, you’ll end up tipping more than you should because you are weak. A little flirting is fun, just not when it results in you spending more than you should—just because they had a nice smile. Trust me.
5. Don’t buy people shots, buy pitchers of beer.
Not only is it cheaper up front, but you still end up with a bunch of people feeling like they owe you something. In the best case scenario, offer to buy the first pitcher without making a big deal about it—and make sure you pour everyone a beer. As long as you plan on hanging out with those same people (and they aren’t assholes), you’ll be drinking free the rest of the night.
6. Drink the good stuff first and then switch to the cheap stuff.
Obviously as you get more drunk, you’ll quickly realize you can’t taste the difference between Patron and that curious clear liquid on the bathroom floor. At that point, it’s not worth wasting money on something you’ll never remember anyway. Spend accordingly.
7. Beware “specials.”
Just because Patron is two for one shots tonight, does not mean you should order it. It’s still likely more expensive than anything you would normally order, and well…that’s just ridiculous.
8. Set your budget before you leave your place.
If you put $40 in your wallet you’re going to spend $40. If you put $70 in there, you’re going to spend $70. Get the picture?
9. This should go without saying, but pregame if at all possible.
Not only is the beer cheaper, but maintaining your buzz will be infinitely more manageable once you’re at the bar or club. Instead of dropping all your money to get your buzz going, you can order a drink to sip on and spend your time socializing instead of standing around waiting at the bar.
10. Buy what’s on draft.
It’s almost always cheaper than buying by the bottle. I usually order draft until I’m ready to start moving around a bit and then I’ll get a bottle to carry around with me.
11. If you’re going to be a baller and tip ridiculous, leave $20s not $50s.
They carry the same general effect and you can do it more often. Plus you’re less likely to wake up the next day wondering how you’re going to pay rent.
12. Bring a close female friend, and make sure it’s ladies night.
You’ll be drinking free all night long. Just make sure it’s not a female friend you’re interested in romantically as you’re probably going to lose all your dignity.
13. It sounds dumb, but get to know your cheap beers.
Often times bars will jack up the price a bit on Budlight bottles or Miller Lite because they know that’s what most people default to. If you know a few alternative cheap beers, and your goal is to get drunk fast, you’ll be in a better position to stretch that dollar.
14. If you plan on going to a bar that has a cover, try to get a on list.
This will keep you from waiting in line and sometimes avoid paying a cover. Just scan Facebook for someone working for a promoting company and message them. They need you just as badly as you need them.
15. Figure out the food situation before you start drinking.
The drunchies will take over at some point, and if you’re not careful you’ll wake up the next morning wondering how in the hell you spent $60 at Waffle house. Make sure your designated driver knows where the nearest Taco Bell is and orders for you.