5 Smart Ways to Save Money On Your Next Girl’s Night
Whether you’re a college student, busy mom, working professional, or retiree, all women could use a bit of downtime with their friends. However, a high tab can quickly ruin a fun girl’s night — and if money is tight, you might seriously think twice before heading out the door.
Socializing is essential for your well-being, though — which means you shouldn’t cancel plans just because you’re trying to budget. Instead, simple money-saving tricks will ensure you have one less obstacle standing in the way of getting together with your best gals. Here are five ways to save more by spending less on your next girl’s night.
- Avoid Places With a Cover Charge
Many nightclubs, comedy clubs, and bars have a cover charge to enter — and it isn’t always cheap.
According to a 2018 HomeToGo report, a $25 cover charge is typical in New York, while Las Vegas nightclubs charge an average of $45 at the door. With additional drink orders, patrons might pay over $60 for a night out in NYC — and if that’s twice a week, they’re likely to spend more than $120.
When arranging your next girl’s night, save money by choosing a place without a cover charge. You can still visit the hottest spot in town, but you should plan your outing during a special Ladies’ Night with discounted entry and drinks or at hours when they offer free access.
- Swap Drinks for a Coffee Outing
You’re not imagining things — the price of drinks has increased exponentially in recent months as restaurants and bars struggle with inflation, labor shortages, and the supply chain.
For example, at the Ponyboy club in Brooklyn, New York, the owners now pay nearly $100 for a case of limes, whereas one case only used to run around $30 to $40. Meanwhile, major liquor suppliers have warned of a 15% price hike in the coming months, forcing bars and restaurants to raise drink menu prices.
Unless you want a surprise on your bill, it may be wise to take your girl’s night from your favorite swanky bar to a cozy coffee shop instead. Although a cup of coffee also costs more than it used to, it’s not nearly as expensive as a craft cocktail at an upscale bar, and you’ll likely only need to order one drink.
- Have Dinner at Home
According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry has raised its average menu prices by 7.2% since April 2021. Yet, even though consumers have to spend more on groceries due to inflation, you can still save money by eating at home.
How about skipping out on that steep restaurant bill and opting to have your girl’s night at your house instead? Ask everyone to bring a dish for a potluck dinner or plan to cook something together.
In addition to saving money, eating at home is a much healthier option —know precisely how much of each ingredient goes into your dish and alter the recipe just how you like.
A girl’s night in is also a great way to avoid drinking too many sugary cocktails at a bar. While making at-home mocktails with your girlfriends, use low-calorie ingredients like produce and herbs that are more nutritious and energizing.
- Look for Activity Freebies
You may have trouble finding a free evening class, but learning a new activity is a great way to bond and catch up with friends if you can swing it.
Even if you attend a class during daytime hours and gather at someone’s house afterward, it’s still less expensive than signing the whole group up for a sip and paint party. For example, Michaels offers several free crafting classes, and while you may need to buy a few supplies, the outing remains relatively cheap.
Some community centers might offer free drop-in yoga, entry to museums or tours and even cooking classes. Likewise, perhaps you or a friend can host an art or cooking class in someone’s home instead. Get creative when planning a fun, free activity for your group.
- Bargain Hunt for Deals and Promos
Take advantage of bargains on Groupon or other local discounts on restaurants, entertainment, and activities. Did you stumble upon a coupon for nighttime mini-golf? Maybe you found one for a wine-tasting tour downtown.
Organize your girl’s night around a special promotion, or begin looking for ways to save as soon as you know the game plan. Unless your group typically splits one check, you’ll likely pay your way for the evening anyhow — in which case, come prepared with your bargains.
Of course, the nice thing to do would be to let your girlfriends know where they can find deals, as well.
Pay With Cash
There’s something therapeutic about swiping a credit card, but it makes it much easier to lose track of spending. That’s why paying with cash is a better option for those trying to save money.
When you visit the ATM and take out cash, you give yourself a set amount you can spend on dining and entertainment. If you withdraw $50, try to stay under for the evening.
Cash payments may also help you reduce your debts, so you won’t have to miss out on quality girl time. Making new purchases of goods and services avoids additional interest charges. Paying with cash is also a better option if you’ve prompted your annual percentage rate (APR) penalty to kick in, which may increase your interest charges by 30% every time you use your credit card.
Have Guilt-Free Girl Time With Savings
With these helpful tips for saving money on your next girl’s night, you can rest assured that you’ll have lots of fun without looming dread over how much you spent. All that’s left to do is call your friends for a fun night on the town.