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7 ways to have a cheap night out | Don't Ever Look Back

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7 ways to have a cheap night out

7 ways to have a cheap night out

This is a guest post by Candice Walsh from Candice Does the World. Candice is a travel writer and blogger currently stationed in St. John’s, Newfoundland. When she’s not shooting whiskey and hitting on men, she’s eating nachos and dreaming about her next big adventure. She writes for Matador Network, AOL Canada, CheapO Canada, NileGuide, and more.

I’m a cheapskate. I like my nightlife, and it is not an inexpensive hobby to maintain. And while I do enjoy buying everyone a round of JagerBombs on occasion, I have a BA in English and I am shit poor. You might already know some of these tips, but maybe not all.

And don’t get all ethical on me for “ripping off” a bar/business. Do you know how much they mark-up the price of their alcohol? I don’t know either. But it’s a lot.

1. Sharing Stamps

When you’re hand-stamped after paying the cover fee, slip out back, meet your friend, lick your hand, and press it to hers for a few minutes. Don’t worry about toxic ink. Sharing spittle not your thing? Go home, prude.

2. Leave the bank cards and credit cards at home

This one really only works if you have willpower and the ability to mentally negotiate with your drunk conscience. Typically, this does not work for me, and it won’t work for the “casual” drinker. Before heading out, only bring enough cash for bar cover and a cab home. Leave the credit cards and bank cards behind, and remember not to spend your safety cash.

3. Drink Beforehand

Drink Beforehand

Probably the most logical, obvious option: down those drinks before heading out. Think about a half-case of booze, totalling about $12 – that’s about $2/beer. At bars, the price can be triple that amount, thus leading you to pay nearly $40 for a crappy drunk.

4. Use your feminine wiles/manly charm

Alright, so it’s mean to lead people on, but sometimes they deserve it. Ladies, how often have you been approached from behind by a man and his denim penis? If you’re a woman, simply flirt up a storm with a guy who’s looking to get some, until he offers to buy you a drink or two. He’s easy to spot: greasy hair, watching from the sidelines, checking out every girl who walks past. But watch your drink, and keep friends nearby for an easy escape route.

Guys, you possess the ability to instantly create bonds with other dudes. At nearly any venue, you will find an older, drunken man who is just dying to beguile you with tales of old fishing days, life as a war veteran, or the problems of youth today. These guys are lonely, and they want to chat. Invite one over to the table and engage in friendly conversation: he’ll be buying rounds before long. You get booze, he gets companionship. Win win.

5. Trick the bartender

This one is courtesy of Cosmo magazine…which, now that I think about it, I’m embarrassed to have read. Find an empty beer bottle, fill it up in the bathroom with lukewarm water, and return it to the bar complaining it was served warm. Voila, icy cold, free beer. Even if you’re a sleazebag for doing so.

6. Scope out the specials

Almost all bars have happy hours, specials nights, or themed weekdays. Ladies’ Night, One-Dollar Shots, Two-For-One White Russians, and more. Search entertainment listings online, or check for some mobile phone apps. Or, hey, ask a local.

7. Go early

In most venues, you will rarely have to pay a door cover during the afternoon, even if the venue is popular. Show up around 1, have a pint, and: a) stay all day until the place starts rockin’ b) leave and request a hand-stamp so you can come back later.

This is a tricky one, however, because some bars will change their hand-stamp colours/design when the night staff takes over. Do a little research beforehand.

Well, there you have it, folks. Now you too can be a cheapskate like me! You’ll thank me later.

Flickr Photo: Hop Talk


  1. Posted April 20, 2011 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    hahaha, amazing! Number 5 is kind of hilarious and I might just try that, sleazebag or not!

  2. Posted April 20, 2011 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    number 5 is awesome, however I’m sure it can get tricky when they have bathroom attendants

  3. Posted April 20, 2011 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Number 3 is an especially a good idea. Also in many countries, drinking in public is legal so you can buy drinks from a supermarket and walk around with it. When I was in Munich, I bought a micky of jager and couple of red bulls and hid them in my jacket.

    Re: Number 4. This is why I never buy women drinks until AFTER I have slept with them 😉
    Roy recently posted..A Petition For More Whores

  4. Posted April 20, 2011 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I’m totally all about scouring the papers for cheap drinks. I wish I could pull off the flirting to get free drinks thing. I think I come off as scary or over aggressive – I send people running! LOL!
    Erica recently posted..Puerto Vallarta- Mexico

  5. Posted April 20, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never thought of number one or five. Nice list!

  6. Posted April 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Very great tips & #3 is a must!!!!
    Jaime recently posted..The “Traca Traca” in Granada!!!

  7. Posted April 20, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    LOLLLLLLLLL at #5!!!!! HAHAHAHAHA! I’m a PRO at getting free drinks from bartenders…pretty sure it has something to do with the fact I have a “culo of perfection”…or so I’ve been told 😉
    sheryll recently posted..2 Week Notice

  8. Posted April 21, 2011 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    I happily engage in No. 3 with Jager shots… No. 1 had me laughing, but if it works, awesome!
    Scott – QuirkyTravel recently posted..Visiting the National Civil Rights Museum

  9. Posted April 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    For the hand stamp thing – when I was underaged, I used to bring one of those 4 color pens with me and copy the stamp by drawing it on my hand. The other way it only work if the ink is still wet (it’s not) and the stamp is symmetrical/has no lettering in it. Surprisingly I got into clubs with a fully charged mohawk – you’d think they’d notice that they hadn’t seen me before, but it always worked.

    These days the bastards use ultraviolet ink. Hard to copy that.
    Kate recently posted..What’s Wrong with That Tummy

  10. Posted April 22, 2011 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    Hahaha, thanks guys! Glad you don’t judge me too much. 😉

    Kate, that is amazing. You are a crafty lady.

  11. Posted April 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Ahah great list of tips. Although I’m pretty sure they are easier to do if you are a cute girl, I will definitely have to try the N°5.
    I’ve done the hand stamp thing quite a lot of time and I agree with Kate that most of the time it can be even easier to just redraw them with a pen.
    Alex recently posted..Doc Brown chronicles- Playboy magazine in the 50′s

  12. Posted April 29, 2011 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Fun list. My wife used to be quite good at #4. I never seemed to pull it off, probably too old to try now.

  13. Posted May 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Wow these are really great tips! I’m sure i really am going to have a cheap night out by doing these stuffs! This could be fun!
    drew recently posted..Dating Tips for Single Parents

  14. Posted July 27, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    #5 I’d pay my own way rather than steal any day. Cos’ I’ze got class. But seriously, what happened to morals?

One Trackback

  • By Thrifty Thursday Recommends Having a Cheap Night Out on January 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    […] post I just read came from Candice Walsh through a guest post on Don’t Ever Look Back called 7 ways to have a cheap night out. Thank you, Candice, for your witty insights and know-how to help us all continue our wild ways and […]

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