Southampton recently came top 10 in another league table, although this might not be one that will make us quite so proud. According to a recent report in the Metro, Southampton students are amongst of the booziest in the UK – spending a massive average of £28.42 on alcohol.
To me this seems crazy – living on a limited income as a student, that I spend nearly 50% of my rent on booze a week! For those of you that do drink, it’s an expensive part of uni life, but for many, a big part – so here’s a list of money-saving tips for those boozy-nights.
It may sound insanely obvious, but pre-drinking can save you a hell-lotta money. Avoid buying expensive drinks in clubs, bars and restaurants. Plus, everyone knows pre-drinks are the best part of the night! It’s a great way to get to know people and play some games!
2) Go to student nights
Southampton has a great nightlife – with venues catering for all kinds of music tastes and styles. Some can cost much more than others – look up student nights and go to them. Generally sticking in Portswood is going to save you money rather than heading to the city centre. Also, make sure you bring your Student I.D., just in case.
Last year a study showed that using sugar-free mixers dramatically increases the speed at which you get drunk. As the sugar in regular fizzy drinks absorbs the alcohol. So, using a diet mixer will get you merry on much less alcohol, and save you a lot of money!
4) Alternate alcohol with soft drinks
Soft-drinks will control the speed at which your drinking – so you don’t embarrass yourself. Plus, they’re a lot cheaper than boozy bevarages – so you’ll save your pennies.
5) Buy bargains
If you can stomach it, buying supermarket own brand soft, and alcoholic drinks can save you a lot of money. A two litre bottle of Sainsbury’s Diet Cola will set you back 20p – a 1.75l bottle of Diet Coke is £1.85. When you’re adding spirit to it, lets be honest, there’s not much difference in taste.
6) Go out early
7) Get loyalty cards
Getting a Jesters Card, Revs card, Sobar loyalty card, any other card – can be a serious cash saver if you use them well. If you have to pay for them though, maybe wait a few weeks and discover where you like to go!
You can save a lot of money by buying your booze at the right time of year. Especially spirits, where you can save well over £10 a bottle. Lager and beer has savings of up to 50% too! Here’s a full table of the best dates to stock up!
9) Go out in big groups
Calling up a club and saying you’re bringing a lot of people along, will often give you discounted, if not free, entry. There’s always a reason to celebrate. Surely, it’s someone’s birthday? No? Well it is the third Tuesday of the month – time to celebrate!
10) Think about your travel options
It might seem cheapest to walk or get the bus, but these aren’t always the safest or cheapest options. Cab fares in Southampton are more than reasonable, and often a full cab works out cheaper than individual bus fares. Unless you’re one of those lucky people with a free bus pass – but please stay safe, and don’t walk home alone.
There you go, 10 easy steps to save you from spending nearly £30 a week on alcohol! Of course, the easiest option is to boycott drinking completely, but I’m not sure if I’m going to convince many students to do that…
This piece also appeared in Wessex Scene.