Making staying in the new going out: 5 great ways to have fun without leaving the house

Even though it's freezing outside and you're skint anyway, there's still plenty of fun to be had inside. Here are five brilliant ways to have big nights in without breaking the bank

"I am an impoverished student". It’s a statement heard a lot at university, and a statement I can make myself without any shame or compunction. My money goes on clothes sales, £2.50 wine and vaguely green things from the supermarket that make me feel like I’m eating healthy.

Like the rest of the student population, I need to save my pennies when it comes to having a big night out, which is why in our house, we’ve begun slowly to replace them with big nights in. It’s something you’d probably expect from a much older and more sensible swathe of the population, but we’re avoiding the over-priced taxis and queuing in the rain, in favour of big nights in where the heating can go on and you don’t have to wear six-inch heels that hurt like hell.

There are a lot of good things to be said for a night in; no pricey drinks or risk of getting spiked, no girl fights on the dance floor, and absolutely no overly friendly guys who don’t understand “NO” when it’s yelled in their faces. Instead, you can enjoy a handpicked selection on your nearest and dearest, that aforementioned £2.50 wine and the opportunity to wear your pyjamas to a party. Who wouldn’t want that?

It’s also a pretty big money saver. Taxis are pricey for one, and here in Cardiff it costs at least £4 just for the honour of being picked up past midnight. Do that more than once a week, and there’s a substantial hole in your pocket already. Then there’re tickets, if you’re considering one of the classier establishments or a big night at your student union; costing you another £3-5. Then booze; pre-drinks at £5 a bottle of vodka, plus a costly mixer at your chosen club and the inevitable round (or five) of Jaegerbombs. Total that all up and we’re looking at a fair few pennies, especially if done more than once a week. And we haven’t even looked at the cost of new clothes to get all glammed up in, or the panic buying that goes with themed club nights.

So here, at a fraction of the cost, I present to you five of my favourite ways to have a great night in.

Board games

Don’t ever underestimate the fun you can have with a collection of board games. Give everyone a drink and add some extra penalties (for example: down your glass if you go to jail in Monopoly) and you’re laughing (and quite possibly drunk). Even without the booze, most board games can provide a funny, competitive and essentially free night in, as everyone has a cheeky copy of Cluedo chilling out in the back of their cupboards at home.

Average cost: whatever one night's pre-drink outlay would be. In my case, roughly £2.

Murder mystery

Another passtime mostly reserved for the older generation, but it can be a genuinely hilarious night in. The do-it-at-home box sets begin at as little as £5 and you can entertain a group of eight with it and split the cost equally. Everyone gets a character, so they can put on their gladrags and do their hair and faces, but in a fashion that doesn’t require hours of wrestling with the dress-up collections at your local costume shop. You don’t have to follow the menu on the game rules either, just ask everyone to bring one item along, or club together and order in. Booze is optional, but an extra drink or two tends to make the questions from your fellow suspects a lot more amusing!

Average cost: working from my own experience, roughly £5-10 a person, spread across food, wine, and the contribution to the game.

Movie night

Easy peasy pumpkin pie. Just pick a genre, and max out your film collection. You can go as heavy or light with the theme as you please. Either pop on a horror film and call out the clichés, or go the whole hog: dress as a wizard, make a staff from your beer cans and watch all eight Harry Potter films in the space of a day and a bit. Everyone has a film or five they brought to uni with them, or with the magic of the Internet you can watch them straight off somebody’s laptop.  Make it a sober night and hit the popcorn, or devise your own drinking game based on the film you’re watching.

Average cost: £2-3 pounds for booze and snacks.

Cocktail evening

When the funds began to run low towards the start of summer last year, my flatmates came up with a genius plan. We clubbed together to buy spirits and juice, got out our pots and pans and made poor man’s cocktails in great quantities in our tiny kitchen. Just to make it extra classy, we all wore our suits and dresses, and made a limo out of cardboard we’d politely asked for in local shops. You don’t have to commit to the theme as much as we did, but either way it makes for a classier twist on the standard house party. You also get the seriously cool experience of drinking your cocktail out of a wok.

Average cost: £2-£5 each depending on how many of you there are and how drunk you plan on getting.

Themed nights in – get creative

There is a wealth of insane and awesome ideas for a night in on the Internet, and even more are likely to be living in the mad little heads of your nearest and dearest. Go mental and make your own rules for Ring of Fire or tape a bottle of wine to each hand. Alternatively, stay sober and be a big kid for the night, make a fort out of the items lying around the house (newspapers and tape work if you’re in halls of residence, and don’t have any sofa cushions) or have an art'n'craft evening and decorate the house with your creations  You don’t have to be drinking or dressed up to the nines to have a good night in.

Average cost: anywhere from completely free to as pricey as you can afford.

Sarah Rose is a second year English Literature Student for Cardiff University. You can, and should, follow her on Twitter here.

 

News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Business StudiesTeacher

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Supply Business Studies Teacher...

English Teacher

£110 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: English Teacher - CaerphillyT...

Welsh Speaking German Modern Foreign Languages Teacher

£115 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Full time WLM German Supply T...

Modern Foreign Languages Teacher - French

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Modern Foreign Language Teach...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?