We’ve all been there. You’re itching to go to the pub, but you’re not sure you can afford to buy rounds of drinks, or fork out for pub-price beers. Don’t worry, there are alternatives! You can replicate a pub atmosphere pretty easily without setting foot outside your door. We’ll show you how.

Create a pub atmosphere
Ok, so you might not have any bar stools at home. But you can still get a social vibe going on by inviting some “regulars” over. Tell them its pub night at your place, and get them to bring any pub memorabilia they might have such as beer mats and pint glasses. You can use this stuff to create the desired feel. Can’t get more than a handful of mates together? There are a range of websites with free pub crowd sound effects, which you can use to recreate the ambiance of a busy bar.

Get your drinks on the cheap
For a really cheap night, get your friends to bring their own beers. Or, if you want to try your hand at being the barman (or barmaid), get in some beers from the supermarket, which will cost you a fraction of the price you’ll pay at the student bar. Try using one of the many comparison websites which allow you to compare the price of beer across different stores. Here are some other options:

    • Get everyone to chip in on a cost price keg of beer
    • Buy a cheap home brewing kit and ask everyone to do a beer tasting session

Fruit machines…from your living room
For the ultimate pub feel, get everyone to try some gaming. We’ve all bet a few quid on the slot or quiz machines in our local (with any winnings ultimately going on more beer). But when you’re trying to steer clear of the student bar slot games online are an option. If you take advantages of the welcome bonuses and promotions that many sites offer, it’s easy to get a few games for free which should save you and your friends some cash. It’s not for everyone, but if you’ve had enough of Call of Duty or FIFA, then it could be worth a try.

Make your own pub grub
Making your own traditional pub grub at home can save you a fortune where usually you would splash out on a dish or two at your local. When it comes to pub food, you’re spoilt for choice – and you don’t have to be Jamie Oliver either. Here are some suggestions you could try:

  • Lay out some bowls of peanuts, or Bombay mix, for the ultimate beer snack
  • Prepare some tortilla chips with guacamole, melted cheese and jalapeños
  • Cook chicken wings and chips until crispy, and serve with lashings of ketchup or BBQ sauce

Invest in a dart board
Having a dart board at home is a great way to get everyone in the pub mood. They’re a great investment as you can bring them with you to parties and friends houses. Can’t afford to splash out? Many shops now sell cheap dart boards which are just for fun. You could also scour the classifieds for a second hand one or – even better – get your local pub to donate one they no longer use.

Now that you’re armed with these inspiring ideas, it’s time to try them out. Have a fun night in!