Cut the cost of your social life

We all work hard and deserve to have fun. But how do we get to live large and still manage to save? In the interest of maintaining a rocking social life without having to max out your credit card, we’ve put together a few quick tips on cutting the cost of your social life.

Join group deal sites
The savings are definitely worthwhile, whether it be for a weekend away, an adventure sport activity, a beauty treatment or a meal out.
However, it is easy to fall into the trap of buying deals for the sake of deals. To avoid this happening, make sure you budget for entertainment at the beginning of each month, and buy only within the allocated amount.

Start a book club
Buying a book every time you want to read one is an expensive habit. Book clubs are an excellent cost saving and a great evening out.

Start a dinner party rotation
Get a group of friends together and allocate a dinner party to each member over a specified period of time.

You could even allocate a group monthly budget to the dinner parties. Each member can put a certain amount into a kitty, and the allocated chef needs to make do with the total figure. Not only is the saving noteworthy, but it’s amazing how inventive you can become with a restricted budget.

Visit our Grocery Section for tips on how to save at the supermarket.

Do cheap stuff
There is so much free and cheap stuff to do in South Africa, whether it’s lying on the beach, taking a hike, having a picnic, or visiting a gallery. Get a group of friends together who are also trying to save, and organise activities which cost you less – games evenings, matinees, camping, Ladies’ Nights. Take a look at our Cape Town Guide and our Johannesburg Guide for ideas on how to have fun on a budget.

Be smart when eating out
Lunch and breakfast are usually cheaper than dinners out. And certain restaurants run great deals throughout the year.
Take a look at our restaurant specials for the latest deals.

Save on event tickets
There are always ways to save on tickets. If you’re a theatre lover, try volunteering as an usher or go to matinee performances which usually cost less. Take a look at our Theatre lover’s tips for ways to cut costs on theatre tickets.
For deals on sports tickets, subscribe to Flook.
Cinemas currently run a variety of specials and partnerships deals. Take a look at our Movie loyalty programmes guide for more information.

Use your local library
They’ve got everything, from books to DVDs to CD’s. In Johannesburg, the Sandton Library has a great selection of children’s books, magazines, DVDs, videos, story-time and holiday programs. Contact them on 011 881 6413.

The Johannesburg Public Library in Market St has over 1.5 million books, an internet cafe, story time for creches, holiday programs, an aftercare centre for kids and DVDs to watch at the library. Call them on 011 870 1225.

In Cape Town, the 56 year old Central Library has free children’s activities and workshops. There are books in all 11 languages, and a Central Library card will give you access to 102 libraries in and around Cape Town. For more information, call them on 021 467 1500.

Trade babysitting
If you’ve got kids, the extra cost of babysitting can increase the expense of a night out. Rotate babysitting duties with your friends – not only is it free, but you’re guaranteed that your kids are in good hands.

Trade Exchanges
Give a friend a Yoga class in return for a massage. Walk someone’s dogs in return for a cooking class. We’ve all got hobbies we love – exchange the gift of your hobby with a friend. It’s fun and free and you get to feel like a pro.

Last Minute Bookings
For weekends away, try booking.com or lastminute.com for late booking specials.

Happy Hour, Ladies Night
Check out our entertainment deals for great spots to drink on the cheap.

Remember: if you’re a student, a pensioner or if you’re making a group booking, you are usually liable for a discount…so don’t be afraid to ask.

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