How to Save Money While Clubbing / Pubbing in Singapore

Ryan Ong
How to Save Money While Clubbing / Pubbing in Singapore

To be honest, the most I recall about my clubbing days is a sort of bluish haze, followed by the taste of toilet tiles. Oh, and being the only one leaving with a full wallet every night. Because I’m so kiam I preserve fish just by standing close. That’s right; alcohol (and in fact crowbars) will never part a dollar from this tight-ass fist. See, once you learn the Tao of Cheap, you can club / pub as much as you want, and not go broke. In this article, I reveal the way:

Before we go into this, a frank admission: some of these tactics are crass and cheap. Like half the clientele at Butter Factory. You may want to avoid them if you’re trying to impress someone. Alternatively, you can practice them on the sly and hope your date doesn’t notice.



1. Being Late Will Save You Money

Some people will tell you turn up during Happy Hour, thus saving you money. They are a bunch of n00bs, because this method will get you drinks for free.

Assemble a group (five or seven is a good number) and arrange to meet them at the club. Then turn up a full hour late (at least). Once you join the group, there will already be drinks on the table. Because the suckers early birds would have ordered them while waiting.

Upon joining the group, say something like “Oh, you guys got started without me! Heck, I’ll get the next round.” Believe me, after a few bottles of whatever they ordered, a CPA couldn’t track who bought what. With sufficient skill (and friends), you can go three or four nights a week like this. Remember, they would have been drinking a bit more than you, thus giving you a head start in the clarity department.



2. Hustle People With Games

You should practice a few specific games to perfection. The next time you’re in a pub / club, play them with a “loser buys a drink” approach. Most people aren’t very good at certain games, but they’ll happily give it a go anyway. In the process, they’ll end up buying you half a liquor store.

Pick the games that are accessible to everybody: just about anyone can pick up a dart and chuck it, but not everyone can play Texas Hold’Em. Because I am a total writer geek, I challenge people to stupid bets. Like asking them to write instructions on how to tie a shoelace. 90% of the time, any random stranger in the pub / club will agree the instructions are inaccurate, winning me a drink.



3. Socialize with the Marketing Manager

Most pubs / clubs have someone in charge of marketing. Ask the bartender or wait staff who this is. You want to meet them with your group of friends behind you, thus suggesting you bring crowds.

Ask if you can get discounts if a lot of people (like 30 or 40) were to buy drinks. Not that you’d actually organize it, but it suggests you might. This usually gets you free entry the next two or three times. If the marketing manager really likes you though, you may get in free all the time.



4. Dress Elegant

Everyone knows dressing right gets you drinks. What a lot of people miss is that dressing elegant has the most consistent results.

The jacket may seem inconvenient, but you can take it off when it gets warm. And it’s amazing how many drinks it will get you. Likewise, ladies who do up their hair and dress like it’s a ball will get through the door faster, and find a lot of free drinks on their table.



When I was young man WHICH WAS NOT VERY LONG AGO, I used to crunch numbers on which outfit got me the most drinks. Invariably, it was a formal looking shirt and jacket, with a tie that I’d loosen. I have a face that makes me a poster child for abortion, so I’m fairly sure it was the outfit that attracted the drinks.

In short: when dressing, prize elegant over loud. You’ll find it saves you buying a few rounds.


5. Keep the Group Size to at Least Four

Points 1, 2, and 3 work best with groups. As a general rule, you want to make sure you never have less than three people around you. There is a significant increase in expenditure once the group size falls below four, because:

  • Four can fit in one taxi. You want to split a single taxi fare as many ways as possible
  • When there’s fewer than four people, you are likely to be caught not buying drinks
  • Most of the better deals (like beer buckets) cater to groups of four or five
  • In pubs, big groups make it more likely that someone will order food. No one will mind if you pinch a few chicken wings without paying.

The next time you’re out pubbing or clubbing, try some of these methods. And if you save a bundle, buy me a drink sometime.



*Special thanks to Eugene Tay, old clubbing buddy

Image Credits:
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