Manchester on a budget
Keeping it cheap!
For most students, money is tight. I, for one often find myself more than a bit short on numerous occasions. Student debt and that daily (completely necessary) Starbucks seem to pick at your funds little by little. Then there’s that agonizing decision between paying the water bill and that big night out that’s on the cards… So a little help never goes amiss.
Manchester in general isn’t that cheap. Skipping into one of the city centre’s many bars and ordering your usual probably isn’t going to be cheap unless you’re really lucky. But that doesn’t mean that Manchester can’t be cheap. As long as you know how, you can get along fairly reasonably, minus a few splurges here and there.
Perhaps first on the agenda is where to drink. A double vodka red bull can cost you anything between £2 and £12 (for those of you hitting the Grey Goose), so it’s best to know where’s going to be kinder to your bank account.
Any ‘Spoons’ is always going to be a good bet. Cocktail pitchers are dirt-cheap and you’ll get a bottle of wine for around £6 (not the finest wine you’ll ever have but hey, we’re students), so it’s a good post pre-drinks/pre-night out venue. Ladies, be warned, some of the older Manchester gentleman may try to catch your attention or (let’s be honest), be downright pervy, but it’s generally nothing more than a few catcalls. A small price to pay for cheap drinks, some might say?
If you fancy your drinks a bit shorter and a lot stronger, Baa Bar is definitely the one for you. It has a huge menu of crazy shots and shooters, so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Plus, at a pound per
shot, you can’t go wrong. I’d recommend a ‘Brain Damage’, if only for the sheer creepiness of downing a drink containing a gloopy ‘brain’. You can find Baa Bar in Fallowfield, Deansgate Locks
and Canal Street, Manchester’s gay village. The Fallowfield venue tends to be more of a get in, buy some shots, get out type of place but both Canal Street and Deansgate seem to hold more of a party crowd.
If cocktails are more your style, then Font is the perfect place. You’ll find one in Fallowfield, and a bigger, busier one on Oxford Road. Catch them on a Friday or Saturday night and they’ll be packed. There is a reason for that though, and the reason is cheap drinks, or more specifically, cheap cocktails. It has a surprisingly good list of drinks, from Cheeky Vimto’s to Mai Tai’s, to Long Island Ice Tea’s. They start at £2 and go up to around £4. Sticking with the cheap two pounders will definitely keep your night cheap and cheerful (and probably rather merry).
Jabez Clegg is a pub/club just off Oxford Road, the main student campus. It’s fairly cheap in the day, and every Friday night it transforms into the legendary club night BOP, a firm Manchester student favourite. Every week is a different fancy dress theme, and everyone goes all out. The atmosphere is great, and (more importantly), the tickets are only £3.50. The standard drink is the Green Monster. You’ll find everyone wandering round with these murky green pints. Probably best not to know what’s in them.
5th Avenue, or ‘5th Ave’ as it is often known, is the marmite of the Manchester clubbing scene. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying the fact that it is cheap. You’re going to get some underagers, and probably a few beer showers, so it’s not the place to crack out the gladrags. But if you want a cheap and cheerful night out, it’s going to be top of your list. At the most, double vodkas are £2.50, and bottles are around £1.50. Always a good option for a cheap night, though perhaps not for those with 9am starts!
As they say, look after the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves. Or at least buy you a few jagerbombs…
Written by Sarah, Manchester Uni