This article discusses create ways to save money while still hanging out with friends. This article contains affiliate links, for more information please see my disclosure policy.
Many people find it impossible to have a social life without constantly spending money. Maybe you feel like your friends always want to go shopping and grab drinks and that is taking up a major chunk of your budget. Next time, try suggesting some of the ideas below.
Ways to Save
Host a Pot Luck
Instead of meeting up with friends for expensive dinners out, why not suggest having a potluck? This is a great alternative because you can better control how much you spend to host instead of spending the $20+ to go out. You can have a lot of fun with it and people can share their favorite recipes. You could also have themed food nights to add some extra excitement.
Groupon and LivingSocial
Groupon is a great site to find discount activities and food. Before hanging with your friends, search Groupon and LivingSocial for a cool activity and recommend it to your friends. Not only will you save money on these sites, but you also might find new things to try that you hadn’t thought about before. For even more savings, buy your Groupon through Ibotta or Ebates and get extra cash back!
Pre-game at Home
Hitting the town for a night of drinking can be a blast, but it can also blow your budget. In order to cut back the number of drinks you are buying at the bar, have a couple at home first (as long as you aren’t driving later :)). Making a drink at home is normally more than half the cost of having one out. You can also use the app bevRAGE to get cash back on alcohol purchases (think Ibotta for alcohol).
Use my link for bevRAGE and get an extra $2 when you redeem your first offer.
Being the designated driver for the night can save your wallet (and your friend’s life). Not feeling like spending money or drinking, but still want to hang out with your friend? Be the DD for the night. Most places will give free soda to DD’s and you get the added peace of mind that everyone will make it home safe.
A good old fashioned game night is a great way to have fun with friends without spending money. Have everyone bring their favorite game and get the party started.
If you and your friends are dead set on checking out a movie or maybe a show, suggest going to a matinee. Some movie theaters also have a discount night which would add even more savings!
Check your local paper and online for fun free community events to check out with friends. During the summer you can normally find lots of free outdoor concerts and fairs. Sometimes museums will have discount/free days for the community. Also look for hiking and biking trails for some fun group fitness.
If your crew is headed to the mall, try window shopping and playing dress up without buying. Many times shopping at the mall leads to impulse buys that wreak havoc on your budget. You can still look around but instead of buying, go home and take time to think about your purchase. Then if you still need/want it compare prices online and use apps like Ebates to get the best price.
Use my link for Ebates and get an extra $10 when you redeem your first offer.