Cheap and cheerful ideas for an evening in

These are strange times economically speaking; lots of people seem to have lots of disposable income, many others seem the opposite, and there doesn’t seem to be too much middle ground.
But money never made anyone happy – unlike friends and family – a happy social life, cheery outlook and being kind to others.
Nevertheless, we need cash for some things, but if staying in really is the new going out – then there are lots of ways you can have lots of fun if you find yourself as one of the “have-nots” when it comes to that disposable income!
Obviously, everything is cheaper to begin with; some nice food and wine from the supermarket is just a few pounds and you can entertain a group of people quite simply with a few nibbles and dips, crackers, cheese, nuts, crisps – and, the wine, definitely the wine! Oh yes – and some chocolates never go amiss either.
Next, set up a few social games. These can be simple things for which you need no equipment, like charades – or perhaps a good old-fashioned board game, or bingo. This can all be a good old-fashioned laugh or, if you have a tablet, laptop or even just a phone, you may decide to play bingo online as there’s at least the chance of a life-changing jackpot to split between everyone at the party if it comes off. With some online bingo providers like BGO, 32 Red and others – there’s even a straightforward free £10 to get you started; no strings attached. Go to and you’ll see the offer on the page.
There are lots of other fun games on this site and others like it that can be played for free in demo mode as well – such as chat games, instant games and more – and there’s a chat room to talk to other players as well. The best part, though, is undoubtedly the thought of winning a real jackpot. This keeps the night in more interesting for a while at least!
If none of this appeals – then how about a home-spun karaoke night? These days, it’s quick and easy to find songs with their lyrics on YouTube. This works particularly well after the afore-mentioned loosening glass of wine or two. Just promise not to post the results on the same website after the event! The songs that work best for the laughs, by the way, are those heart-wrenching ballads or rock anthems. Think Michael Bolton, Meat Loaf and Gloria Gaynor singing “I Will Survive” and you’ll get the picture!
Or how about a theme night? These can be really good fun if everyone enters into the spirit if things. You choose a theme and centre all your arrangements around that theme – food, music, maybe a movie, wall art and, most importantly of all, the fancy dress costumes your friends have to turn up in. So, for example, this could be a Mobster night, with Italian-American gangster dress, spaghetti and meatballs and the Godfather CD playing! Other ideas are the usual Halloween and Christmas themes etc. Or how about a beach party themes in the depths of winter? Bathing suits, Wham’s “Club Tropicana”, a few interesting cocktails, a bag of sand on a sheet of plastic and some d├ęcor and you’re on the Med – but in December; great fun to be had by all!
Of none of these appeal – then dig out your old game of “Twister”; this is always a sure-fire winner.

Written by Catherine Miller, a part-time writer and mum of two. Since giving up her job in catering Catherine now loves to plan parties, whether it’s for her friends or her kids!

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