Shopaholic Cuts Back – helping you to do the things you love for less!
I don’t want you to feel too deprived if you’re trying to save, so let me give you a whole load of cheap (or free!) options on how to go out and enjoy yourself, while still looking after the pennies.
You must know about Orange Wednesdays, right? Well, what about everyone else, who can’t afford an astronomically priced cinema ticket? Never fear, I have some options for you.
There are a couple of websites offering free tickets for previews. Show Film First and Tell Ten (website addresses below) ask you to sign up, and will then e-mail you when tickets are available. This means that not only can you afford to go the silver screen once in a while, but you can see brand new films before any of your friends do.
The TasteCard is a good option for anyone who enjoys dining out on a regular basis. You can get up to 50% off a meal, but this can involve eating at anti-social times. Membership for a year costs £80, so it’s worth having a think about whether this would benefit you. Although it seems like a lot to shell out initially, you’d only have to use it on four £40 meals out for it to pay for itself. If you’re not sure whether you’d really use it enough to make it worthwhile, you can always get a month’s trial for free.
Vouchers for individual restaurants are available via MoneySavingExpert. These are updated regularly, though, so check the website often if you’re looking to go somewhere specific. As I write there are deals for Prezzo, Ask, Strada, and many more.
Going for Drink
I’m not going to suggest you go hunting for discount vouchers on alcohol; there are not many around, and for good reason! Still, there are ways to spend less on drinks, if you follow these nifty tips. How about pairing up with friends, to take advantage of Happy Hour 2-for-1 cocktails? Where I live there are loads of cool bars (not just national chains) that do this.
Don’t drink. Okay, this tip is slightly cheeky, I know. But how about alternating between alcohol and mineral water, if you’re on a big night out? If you go out a lot, how about alternating between this and water-only on different nights? Another way to do it is to get an alcohol substitute, such as non-alcoholic wine or beer, or an alcohol-free cocktail. My favourite drink is a virgin mojito, which also conveniently saves me a couple of quid on the rum.
Going to the theatre is my favourite thing to do on a Friday and Saturday night, and the way I do it often makes it cheaper than going for a drink with a friend. I’ll readily admit, being young helps. Living in London, and being under-26, can do wonders for your cultural life. As soon as the National Theatre releases a batch of ticket, I will be pouncing, grabbing the £5 tickets for as many shows as I can. You just have to sign up to their Entry Pass scheme, which not only gives you cheap tickets, but also exclusive access to fantastic workshops and talks.
The Barbican also has a programme for youngsters like myself. “freeB” offers discounts and free tickets. Again, signing up is free, so head to: https://www.barbican.org.uk/eticketing/fbmembership1.asp
As if I haven’t given you enough options already, if you’re under 26, you can also bag one free show per year. Check out this government initiative: http://www.anightlessordinary.org.uk/