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Could you really save money by changing your approach to going out?

4 min | 22 January 2024

The Chase team

Saving money doesn't always have to come at the cost of your social life. In this article, we look at ways you can stay within budget but still go out to restaurants, clubs and the cinema.

Dinner and drinks, cover charges and cinema tickets… the costs of going out can add up quickly.

But staying in isn’t the only way to reduce your spending. In this article, we share our tips to help you save when you're up for being social.

Hosting at home

Meeting friends for dinner or drinks doesn’t have to be a major expenditure, but hosting them at home doesn’t have to be an elaborate production, either!

Certainly, each approach has its benefits. At a restaurant, the cooking, cleaning and even general ambience are taken care of. At home, it’s all up to you.

But rather than drive yourself crazy learning calligraphy for hand-lettered place cards, focus on what’s really important: getting together with the people you care about.

Order pizza in and have each guest bring some wine; perfect your margarita and offer a build-your-own burrito-bowl bar; or simply serve cake and tea – the possibilities are endless.

And they can be economical. For example, to feed a group of 4 or 5 people, a build-your-own burrito-bowl bar can be done for around £15 with a round of margaritas (if you like them fairly strong) coming to about £20 – which would cost the same as you might expect to pay per person for an individual set menu at some restaurants.

Cutting down on cover charges

The obvious advice on how to save on entry fees, of course, is to skip the pricey places.

Beyond that, think about what it is you like about going out. If it’s dancing, consider taking a class (most are around £10) or joining a local group, which can sometimes be free.

If it’s getting together with friends, it might be cheaper (and perhaps quieter) to meet up for a meal at home.

Of course, if you truly love the nightlife, there’s no alternative to going out – but there are often ways to do it more economically.

For example, a club may be free until a certain time and only start charging an entry fee later. It will usually mean getting there early (which can, of course, carry a risk of spending more at the bar), but you may make a small saving.

Similarly, some club nights will do multiple releases for tickets, with prices increasing as more are sold or the event gets closer. Sometimes, purchasing or reserving your tickets well in advance can even get you free entry.

Finally, it’s always worth checking in with your real-life social network – you never know who might have a spare ticket or be able to put you on the guest list.

Saving on cinema tickets

The obvious advice on how to save money when watching films, of course, is to wait until the film comes onto a streaming service you subscribe to, or hope that you’ll catch it on your next long-haul flight.

But for those of us who have foregone streaming services (saving at least £5 a month) and aren’t planning any long-haul travel (another saving, at least £250) anytime soon, there are still ways to see films at the cinema on the cheap.

Local independent cinemas may get films with nationwide releases slightly later than the major chains, but the tickets could be a lot less. Plus, many of them will offer further discounts on matinee or other designated screenings.

If you’re dying to see the latest blockbuster on opening night, consider going the next day instead – you might be able to save a few pounds on a matinee.

For the serious cinephiles, it may make sense to become a member of your favourite cinema (or cinemas). The annual fees can vary, but the perks are often worth it. Some will include free film tickets (sometimes worth more than the cost of the membership itself) and nearly all mean discounts on regular screenings – sometimes as much as £10 – as well as food and drink.

Whether you can’t live without nights out or prefer quiet nights in, the Chase saver account makes it easy to put money aside for the things you care about. Open up to 10 saver accounts with us and set up dedicated budgets for dining out, going dancing or anything else you choose.

18+, UK residents. A Chase current account is required to open a saver account.

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