Whilst TV and computer games can be cheap entertainment alternatives, it's important financial hardship doesn't prevent us meeting up with mates and actually getting out of the house! Here are five ways to have a good night out on a shoestring budget...
1. Theatre tickets
If you're under-26, you could snap up theatre tickets for absolutely nothing. A Night Less Ordinary - an initiative run by Arts Council England - lets young people grab free theatre tickets for shows all over the UK.
Check out this page of the website to find out more. Unfortunately, the scheme is being wound up in March this year, so you'll need to act fast to take advantage of it.
2. Radio show tickets
There are always free tickets available for many BBC TV and radio shows. To get a place in the audience, keep an eye on this page of the BBC website.
Just be aware that tickets for the most popular shows get snapped up extremely quickly, so you need to be on the ball!
3. Gallery viewings
Private art galleries often hold viewings in the evenings (for example, showcasing the work of a particular artist). These are usually free to attend, and sometimes you'll be lucky enough to get a free glass of wine, too!
4. Meals out
Providing you're happy to go out on a weekday, there are always 2 for 1 and other meal deals to be had. (Unfortunately, many of these deals don't run Friday-Sunday).
Kepp an eye on our weekly deals round up - Freebie Friday - to find out about the latest discounts on offer.
5. Student performances
By this I mean concerts performed by students, rather than those with student-only audiences. Many universities hold evening recitals performed by their most talented music students, so you could end up enjoying a very civilised string quartet at a fraction of 'professional' prices.
Alternatively, find out when your nearest drama school is holding its public, end-of-year shows. Tickets are usually cheap, and you might spot a Judi Dench or Laurence Olivier of the future!