Cardiff is a warren of clubs, the promise of a good time and plenty of drunken regrets. However, many of those drunken regrets don’t exceed the sober regret of checking your bank account the morning to realise you spend £68 on jäger bombs. Damn you, contactless card. 

Amongst my friends, I am known for having an ability to sesh on a budget. In this article, you will find some of the best tips and tricks allowing you to party like a baller whilst budgeting like a student. 

You have legs, they are free

I appreciate the initial thought of trekking your way through Cathys and into town isn’t the most appealing, especially since we live in Wales and it’s always raining, however, there are ways of making it bearable. Assuming there is a group of you, grabs some bevs for the road and turn the walk into a drinking game, I know the couple quid on the taxi doesn’t seem like much, however, over the term, this adds up. 

£3 taxi there and £3 back = £6 a night. 

Say you go out twice a week that’s £12. 

In a month that’s £48.

That’s 19 VKDs in Juice you are missing out on. Priorities, guys.

I calculated that the money I saved by not getting a taxi in first year paid for my Reading Festival ticket, which makes those drunken, cold stumbles to town worth it.

Obviously, be safe here guys. If you’re too drunk or you’re on your own then definitely take a cab. 

Know which nights are free 

A simple solution to a cheap night out is cutting the entry costs and going somewhere that’s either free or arriving early enough that you miss the entrance costs. There are so many bars and clubs in Cardiff to explore and you never know what gem you are going to come across, so it’s definitely worth having an explore and cutting the hefty Pryzm entry.

Popular club nights and when they’re free:

Glam Monday is free before midnight

The Lash’ SU Wednesday is free before 11 pm

Pryzm on a Friday is free before 11 pm

There are many bars which have dance floors such as Live lounge, Coyote Ugly or various Weatherspoon’s around the city, where you can have a great night without paying the entry fee.

Check the SOCIAL section of this site for more information on this.


Food is another big killer for the wallet on a night out and one way around this is to think in advance. If you know you’re going to eat when you get back, despite your new diet and budgeting plan, then dig a pizza out the freezer and cook it before you leave so it’s ready for when you get home. Trust me, your drunk self and bank account will thank you.

Pre drinks is your best friend 

Go hard early: this tactic is all about timing. You want to time it so you get drunk enough to handle Glam but that you still get let in. Ideally, the alcohol will hit you once you are inside and preferably on the dance floor. It will take some experimenting to get this right and it is likely you may misjudge this a few times and end up way too sober to be in Soda or trying to persuade the Revs bouncer you’re not as smashed as you look. Once you’re in, just enjoy having a good time on the dance floor and don’t worry about the drinks. This also has the bonus of avoiding the hangover the next day as the alcohol starts wearing off before you call it a night.

Hip flask 

A hip flask will become your trusty companion on a night out and make you everyone’s best friend. Forking out a fiver every time you come to the realisation your sobering up and need a drink makes going out unnecessarily expensive. Plus, the bonding that occurs from cramming into a cubicle and swigging some vile liquid together is priceless. Being discrete is key to avoid stern looks from the bar staff or being kicked out by an unamused bouncer. Also, don’t be that idiot who makes a point of obviously ordering lemonades at the bar and obviously winking to all your friends, it isn’t subtle and you will be caught.

Keep exploring



Written by Ruth Squires, 9 months ago