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How to go out in London without breaking the bank

Updated: Nov 24, 2023


Group of people sat around a table holding food while laughing and smiling

In these times of rising prices across the country, it feels almost impossible to plan a budget-friendly night out. However, we have a few London-based tips so that you can enjoy your evening with friends while making the most of your budget. Check it out!


Keep your eye out for deals at the pub


Many pubs across the city offer appealing deals to encourage locals to visit. From 10% discounts, to 'Buy one get one free’, you’ll find your local pubs are offering great deals, advertised in a myriad of ways. These deals can be discovered by keeping your eyes peeled on your commute as you pass the pubs, because some places just put signs outside. Or, you can follow your favourite pub’s social media and see when they post about specials. For those who’d rather live their internet life outside of the social media bubble, some pubs send regular newsletters which you can subscribe to. While other pubs prefer to keep it old school and stay offline almost entirely. In these cases, it never hurts to ask in person! You can also see if they have a loyalty programme. You never know what bargains you might find!


If you plan to go out, one quick glance, conversation, or website stalk could save you up to 50%, definitely enough money to buy another bowl of chips!


Here are some examples of pubs that have special offers:

  • Union Tavern: £15 two course lunch deal

  • Star of Bethnal Green: 2 for £12 cocktails on Thursdays, £5 margaritas on Mondays

  • Sheephaven Bay: loyalty programme that gives you 10% off food between 11-3, and drinks between 11-7, Monday through Friday

green pub with the name 'The Star Of Bethnal Green' painted above

Plan when you go out


Time is key! By going out earlier, you can benefit from happy hour discounts (sometimes up to 50%!). The Haverstock Tavern offers happy hour deals between 12:00 and 7:00 pm Monday through Friday, where you can get £4 drinks! Fancy going clubbing? Some clubs will have a discounted or free entry if you enter before a certain time. Clubs and bars also tend to have drink specials before their peak times. Another added bonus is that you don’t have to queue outside for ages in the cold and the rain!


By planning your nights out, you can also avoid peak tube times and prices. Peak tube times are Monday through Friday, between 6:30 and 9:30 am, and 4:00 and 7:00 pm, with prices that go up between 10 and 30%.


A crowd of people in the underground waiting to board the tube


Get £100 worth of free food & drinks


If you enjoy discovering new independent pubs across London, CityStack is a great way to save money and support indie pubs at the same time!


This £25 stack of beer mats that lets you get £100 worth of food & drink at outstanding independent pubs across London!


Each pack comes with a special beer mat that gives you £100 worth of food and drink. Show it at any ten of the 50+ pubs handpicked by the CityStack team, and have it stamped to get £10 off £20+ spend. Collect 10 stamps to save £100!


Each pack provides a fun experience too, including a map and a stack of collectible informative beer mats to learn more about a fantastic selection of London pubs.


Hand holding orange coaster over bar, black and white CityStack box labelled 'London Pubs Collection'


Enjoy the student deals


If you’re a student, don’t be shy about flashing your student I.D. when you go to pay! Plenty of bars and restaurants (like the Crown & Shuttle) offer student deals, but they don’t always advertise it. As my mum always says, “if it’s worth having, it’s worth asking”! The free app/website UNiDAYS is also a great system for uni students looking to save on a night out. UNiDAYS provides higher education students with discounts galore, as well as entries into prize drawings.


Person wearing grey backback holding a stack of books, a folder, and a binder.


Subscribe to London newsletters to be in the know


There are also a multitude of different free newsletters that can alert you to new and exclusive deals across London. If food is the way to your heart, Soft Launch London is perfect for you! What started out as a platform to provide amazing discounts on new soft launch London restaurants, now offers an incredible variety of food and drink bargains.


Another option is Cheapskate, an online publication that alerts you to different free events and activities in London, allowing you to plan an exciting night out! Their newsletter lists different programmes day by day, so you can choose activities best suited to your schedule. Don’t miss out on all of the different events included in Cheapskate; markets, exhibitions, pop ups, workshops, lectures, festivals, and more!


Two people laughing with each other, wearing white jumpers with 'cheapskate london' written on them.


Take advantage of cheap tickets


For those who enjoy the dramatic arts, TodayTix is a great platform that allows you to see top tier shows for exceptional prices. But wait! Their tickets don’t just stop at plays and musicals, ranging from the theatre to popular attractions and cultural sights across London. Whether you want to see the latest hit west end show, see historical sights, go on a tour of some sort, or do an immersive experience, TodayTix has you covered.


Pink background with Todaytix written

 

Even though prices are continually rising, it’s nice to know that there are businesses out there that are working to help you have a good time on a budget. We at CityStack are dedicated to supporting independent pubs and helping people do the things they love whilst saving money. If you’re interested in saving £100 at amazing indie pubs, take a look at our packs of money saving beer mats.


Stack of orange coasters on a bar counter, next to black and white square box with 'london pubs collection' written on it, with 'city stack' written on the bottom right corner of the box, orange coaster peeks through a cut out in the box.

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