I have expensive taste. Unfortunately, my taste doesn’t seem to have caught onto the fact I’m pretty damn broke – I’m ballin’ on a budget. (I am cool enough to pull off saying that. No, I am. Shut up.)
After a good few years of regularly waking up deep into my overdraft after a night out, I’ve finally picked up a few tricks to help you booze if you’re ballin’ on a budget. (Yes, I’m sticking to that phrase – don’t @ me.)
- Handbag Vodka, obviously. Although, It’s not just as simple as slinging a hip flask in your clutch these days. Up your game or be caught out by bag searching bouncers.
- Don’t pre-drink. Hear me out with this one. I’ve found that it just gives you a taste for drink and you spend exactly the same, if not more, while out. You also end up waking up in the kitchen the next day; half naked, with the cat eating chicken from your hair. (Not that this has ever happened to me, of course.
- Sure, your more expensive, quality vodkas help ease the next day’s hangover, but a litre of Glen’s (the fun vodka) is only around 15 quid for a big bottle. Make smart choices.
- Learn how to blag. If you haven’t got the gift of the gab, make sure you’re mates with someone who does. Discounted drinks taste so much nicer. And you know what tastes even better? Free drinks.
- Get yourself an Independent Liverpool card. They have a whole load of bars on there with some pretty good offers. Plus, you’ll feel all smug that your binge drinking is helping the local economy.
- Learn which friend always gets the round in at Wetherspoons but, come your turn in somewhere pricier, isn’t shy about ordering herself a cocktail; leaving you spending a week’s rent covering one order. If you’re that friend, stop being mingebag
- That said, if you don’t mind being a mingebag now and again, here’s a little #lifehack: declare that you’re “not really in the mood to drink and you may just have a J20” and watch how fast free shots get poured down your throat.
- Don’t take your debit card out with you. Withdraw just enough for your taxi and the amount you plan to spend that night. I can’t personally vouch for this method as I live in town; when I want to carry on the night I just walk home to get my card. Drunk me is very determined when she wants more bevvies.
- Know when the night is over and it’s time to stop spending a fiver on watered down rum and rola cola and just go home. Again, I can’t speak from experience as I’m a regular at the 24 hour offy by mine at 5am; ordering beer, ciggies and inviting half the city back for a sit-off at mine.
- Give up smoking. Nothing makes you want a ciggie more than a pint of lager. Or a big glass of red. Or a whiskey. Or a cocktail. Look, I’m dying to light up just writing about alcohol. Ditch the biffs and save yourself 7 quid every time you go out – social smoking is still smoking. If you need any help quitting have a look at these NHS tips and the help available.
- Love cocktails? Don’t we all? Revolution (don’t turn your nose up, snobs) make some of the best (and strongest) concoctions going. Between 5-7pm on weekdays it’s 241 so take advantage of the four bars across the city and start your evening with the cocktail masters.
- Swerve Saturdays. Week nights are cheaper and drinking on a school night is so much more fun. It’s scientifically proven that if you have work the next day, you get at least 10 times drunker than you would normally. So that’s a money saver in itself.
- Work in a bar, club or restaurant? Pattersons Bar offer industry workers 20% off, 7 days a week. Don’t worry if you don’t work in hospitality – you can still get 50% off their buckets of chicken on their Wednesday Film Night. This place is a hidden gem; with chicken so good you’ll be telling the Colonel to keep his secret recipe, ta very much.
- Be prepared for a scrangover. The spending doesn’t stop once you’re home from the bar. After a night of drinking, I can easily spend more on stodgy, carby goodness the next day to feed my hangover than I’ve ever spent on drink. Fill your kitchen with preservations; a couple of pizzas, chips, crisps etc, and save yourself the pain of having to wait for all the takeaways to open at 4pm.
- Tip your bartender. This may seem an odd suggestion if you’re trying to save money but make pally with the bartender and you never know what freebies get sent your way. If you don’t want to tip, that’s fine but remember to speak to staff with respect – when I was a barmaid, rude customers barely even got a single measurement, let alone the double they were paying for. Don’t risk your drinks being under poured just because you can’t say please or thank you – costly.
- Learnt to love a shit hole. Don’t ask how, or why, but for a few months I found myself frequently drinking at the Irish American on Lime St after finishing work. Dirt cheap drinks and an absolute dream place for people watchers – it tricks you into thinking a Yates’ is fancy once you’ve become accustomed to the antics of Irish American regulars.
- Summer, or England’s interpretation of summer, is only a few weeks away and we know there’s nothing better than drinking in the sun. Invest in some bubba kegs and you won’t find yourself having to shell out a fiver for a mouthful of watered down Pimms at Chavasse Park.
- If all else fails, start working behind a bar and you’ll never overspend on a night out again – mainly because you’ll never get one off.