How to be Frugal When at the Bar

The bar is the heart of any good weekend. Sadly, it’s also a money sucker. An average Friday or Saturday night can completely wipe out all your disposable income for the next week. In between sobbing into your drink in a fit of rage and guilt, think about how you can turn it around.

We give you some top tips for being frugal at the bars and still having a good night out on the town.

Don’t Drink as Much

This is the obvious thing you can do. You might also want to consider not drinking as much of what you drink now. Instead of downing vodka shots by the hundred, consider a glass of cheap beer instead. Most of the time, you’re paying for the brand over any genuine difference in quality.

By doing this, you’ll also make the more expensive drinks special and better appreciated when you do order them.

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[Photo courtesy of Christian_Birkholz/]

Talk More Drink Less

Most people who overspend at the bars tend to do so because drinking is the main priority. It’s a sad state of affairs when you’re going out exclusively for the purposes of drinking as much as possible. You could do that at home. If you aren’t going out for the company, you might as well drink at home.

Distract yourself by talking to others more. Chat to them for longer and you’ll find yourself drinking less. They’ll also appreciate the distraction!

Choose a Different Bar

If you’re always going to a sports bar, consider changing your surroundings. A dive bar might not look like much from the outside, but people tend to be friendlier and the liquor is far cheaper. A lot of people find they’ve avoided these bars in the past simply because of stereotyping. They’re shocked at what they’re really like.

Go online and try to find a local guide of your town or city. You might even discover a small, secret bar that few locals know about.

Drink Some Water

Beer is a remarkable drink. It has the power to quench your thirst and create it at the same time. Beer actually dehydrates us. It’s why we often sweat when we’re drinking heavily. For every pint or two you order, get a glass of water. Drink the water and it will quench your thirst. You won’t feel as if you HAVE to order another beer.

Furthermore, by drinking water you’ll reduce the severity of the inevitable hangover the next morning.


The pre-gamer is where you have a few drinks before you actually go out. This is common practice amongst college students who don’t always have the money for a full night out.

A pre-gamer helps to get you tipsy and reduces your need to splurge on expensive beers and spirits in the bar. It encourages you into being frugal at the bar. You’ll feel less of a need to drink and your wallet will thank you for it.

You could even invite your friends round and have some pre-gamers together before heading out. It’s a great way of bonding without all the noise and hassle associated with a bar!

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