Hitting up the clubs can be particularly expensive when you factor in cover charge, coat check and the inflated cost of drinks. Thankfully we’ve learned a thing or two on how to save a few bucks when at the clubs. Some tips may obvious, some unorthodox, but they all work.
So without further adieu, here is the Miser’s Guide To Clubbing:
#1 – Pre-Party
Pre-partying is essential for any night out at the clubs. Walking in stone cold sober is one way to ensure your budget gets blown within the hour. So invite over some friends, have a few drinks and get ready for the night. If you are going out solo, and are the type that doesn’t like to drink alone, never underestimate the power of a shower beer. They’re so good you might even want to bring two.
#2 – The Early Bird Gets The Worm
One way to save a little money, and ensure that you will get into the club, is to arrive early. Sure, this might mean that you have to start your pre-game drinking a bit earlier, but since most clubs don’t get started until after 11pm you’ll have plenty of time. Be one of the first to arrive and you will likely get in without having to pay cover.
#3 – Never Pay (Full) Cover
One of the biggest burns to your budget is the cover charge. Going early might be able to save you cover entirely, but if you don’t want to be that guy, you might consider travelling in a pack. Many clubs will offer a discounted rate if you bring your whole entourage with you. It’s always best to call ahead to negotiate the price before you get there. The more women you have in your group, the more likely you will be able to get in.
#4 – Leave The Coat At Home
Most clubs have a mandatory coat check, and depending on the time of the year, a coat may be essential to your survival. If you can, leave the coat at home, or in the car of a designated driver. Failing that, try to double your coats up on one hanger and save a bit of money. For the ladies, a big purse and a thin jacket will work wonders.
#5 – Where Everyone Knows Your Name
One of the best ways to save money is to become a regular. Get to know the staff and the owner. Becoming a friend will help you to get in on the busy nights, usually without having to pay cover. The wait staff and bartenders may even buy you drinks, or at the very least, have a heavy hand when they are pouring them.
#6 – Cash Only
If you really want to save some money you should only bring cash and your ID, leave all plastic at home. Never, I men never, use the ATM machine inside the club. In some instances you can end up paying up to $10 in ATM fees each time you make a transaction. And when you are buzzed, taking out extra money may seem like a good idea at the time, usually more than once in the night. It’s also best to stick to the budget you set for yourself and try not to borrow cash from that friend who always seems to have a little too much cash on hand.
#7 – Special Of The Day
Do a little research and find out which clubs have specials, whether they are Ladies Nights, happy hours, two-for-one drinks or just specials on specific brands. Drink on the cheap and you can drink longer for less. And if you are a guy on Ladies Night you can always ask the ladies to buy you a few rounds.
#8 – Price Is The Difference
The fastest way to blow through your cash budget is to order drinks without knowing the prices. It’s not uncouth to ask for a price menu before deciding on what you want to drink. Knowing where your money can be best spent to maximize your alcohol intake will help you to stretch out the night further.
#9 – Keep It Simple
Now that you’ve seen the price list you’ll quickly understand that the simpler the drink usually means the cheaper the price. Unless there is a special on certain drinks or alcohol, domestic beer is typically the cheapest way to go, and draft even more so. If you are not a beer drinker, always order from the rail when ordering spirits.
#10 – It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint
Even if it is a two-for-one special you should always pace your drinking. These specials work in benefit of the club, the more you drink the faster you will forget about your budget and the more money you will spend. Remember, you have the whole night, so pace yourself and interject a bottle of water between every other drink. Not only will you save money, but also your body will thank you for it in the morning.
#11 – A Shot In The Dark
If you really want to blow through your money then order shots. Heck, buy a round of shots for everyone at the bar with you. But if you really want to save your money, then just stick with beer or whatever cocktails that are on special.
#12 – Be One Of The 10-15%
This may be counterintuitive if you are trying to make friends with the wait staff, but one of the easiest ways to save money at the club is to not tip, or at least not over tip. If you can, try to start a tab. If they won’t let you start a tab without a credit card then be careful with your tips. Tipping $1.00 with every beer purchase can quickly add up. If your beer is $4.00 that is a 25% tip, generous, but not needed. A tab will enable you to leave a tip of 10-15% on your total bill, but if you are unable to open a tab try calculating the amount of money you will spend in the night and leave the full tip at the beginning. Not only will that help you to curb your tips, but the move may also impress the bartender enough that you won’t have to wait for a drink the rest of the night.
When out with a group of friends one of the hardest things to do is leave early. No one wants the party to stop and you’ll usually be browbeaten into staying to have just one more. This quickly turns into another round, and before you know it you’ve closed the bar once again. In order to avoid this extended bar tour and save some money learn how to pull a Houdini. Simply disappear, apologize for it in the morning or send a text message while you are in the cab on the way home. Going home early is not a sign of weakness, your body, and your wallet, will thank you for it in the morning.
- For the guys: Try not to buy drinks for the girls, and definitely stay away from those girls who will only use you for drinks.
- For the girls: Use men for drinks.