It’s 2019 and, despite the feeling of optimism that the turn of the year can bring, it turns out that we’re all still pretty skint.
All those Christmas and New Year’s celebrations have a horrible habit of breaking the bank. And that’s before our rent payment goes out.
So, with the cold nights drawing in early and barely a penny left to rub together, what can you and your pals do to fight off the boredom? Well, there’s always Netflix, but we think your nights in deserve something better than old episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (as good as they might be). That’s why we’ve put together a list of fun nights in that won’t put your weekly food budget at risk…
Break out the board games
Board games aren’t what they used to be. Scrabble and Monopoly remain all-time classics, but there’s a new generation of highly competitive, hugely skilful yet accessible board games that can dominate entire evenings. Catan, a game of competitive land and resource domination, is the most popular example you’ll find, but the likes of Pandemic, a cooperative game of saving the world from apocalyptic diseases, mean that there’s something for everyone.
You can get as nerdy or as mindless as you want with modern board games. Of course, they need purchasing first, but from then on you’ve got an instant night in, ready to go whenever you are.
Plan a poker night
With just a deck of cards and some chips (not potato), you and your mates can enjoy what’s basically the best card game ever invented – poker.
Standard Texas Hold’em rules are easy to grasp, even for beginners, and once you’ve all got a hang of it, you could each put a few pounds in to make it a game worth winning and prevent over-enthusiastic players from piling all their chips in on their first decent hand.
Skilled players will rise to the top, but you can always get ahead of the game with a little practice on Paddy Power’s video poker. You can play free games without placing a stake to learn the rules and hone your skills before the playing with your mates. Just make sure you’ve perfected your Poker face and nailed the art of bluffing before the big night!
Cook a feast
Cooking might not be in the lexicon for most students, but it’s a great way to spend an evening and, best of all, it’s a brilliant way to twist your friends’ arms into cooking for you at a later date.
The internet is overflowing with delicious, innovative recipes that can be rustled up on a modest food budget. Choose a dish or two from the endless cooking tutorials on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, roll up your sleeves and make a something that will, hopefully, be more than a match for what’s on offer at your local takeaway.
Invite your pals around for a great night in feasting on your culinary delights, and you’ll quickly gain the reputation of being your group’s answer to Gordon or Nigella.