What to do for New Year? It’s the million dollar question and it sometimes feels like it really is a million dollars we’re talking about. When you add up the taxis, food, a high entry fee, drinks, another entry fee, and then some more drinks, that one little night can be an expensive business! For New Year’s Eve that is kind to the budget, Jurys Inn have come up with a few alternative ways to start to 2016.
Whether you’re letting the kids stay up, or inviting other families over to celebrate the New Year (with the little ones tucked up early), a small gathering of friends and family can be a cost effective way to spend the New Year. Place a few nibbles out and ask your guests to bring a bottle, set up some background music, set up a games room for the children in the spare bedroom or kids rooms, and just like that you have a low key, low cost New Year’s.
Host a Games Night
Hosting a games night at home is all the rage these days. Kylie’s doing it, Paris is doing it, even Justin is in on it! So if it’s good enough for the celebs it’s good enough for us. Invite your friends over for a New Year’s Eve retro games night, ask each guest to bring a bottle and their favourite old games - Twister, Kerplunk, Hungry Hippos - anything goes and hilarity guaranteed. All you need to do is lay out a few chips and dips, have a retro playlist playing in the background, and bottle of Prosecco in the fridge for midnight, and the whole night could work out, well, cheap as chips really.
Pop up Cinema (in your living room)
Why not create your very own little cinema experience for New Year’s Eve? Invite your nearest and dearest and enjoy a night of quote a-longs, sing a-longs, chick flicks, or action packed fun for next to nothing. Online film rentals can be as little as £2-3.50, subscriptions just £6.99 a month, or you can get your friends to bring over their old favourites - you can even set a theme like ‘Star Wars night’ and get everyone to turn up in fancy dress – the possibilities are endless.
Stock up on popcorn (if you buy the kernels you can have an endless supply for a little more effort), layout some sweets and chocolate bowls, black out the curtains and light sources, plonk some bean bags and giant cushions around the living room, and you’ve got yourself a New Year’s movie night for a fraction of the price.
A Home Spa Night – It’s all about you.
For some of us the very thought of going out on the town and partying brings on an instant migraine. So why not do the absolute opposite – have a super chilled, relaxing spa at home. Spa days can be an indulgent treat that can set you back as much as £100 for a day pass, and with the Christmas chaos calling for some relaxation, but the seasonal bank balance setting you back, making your own spa at home might be just the ticket. You’ll be surprised how easy and inexpensive it is to create - unlimited access, no travel and no fighting over the last lounger, now that’s a New Year treat! Browse below a few ideas to get you started:
Turn the lights down low.
Light a few scented candles.
Add some essentials oils.
These are readily available at places like Lush and The Body Shop and don’t cost the earth, you only need a few drops on your cushions or in the bath to create a beautifully scented atmosphere. Lavender and Ylang Ylang are great for relaxation, Peppermint and Eucalyptus both have invigorating properties - but that’s just the start. Find out more withthis Beginner's Guide to essential oilsand have fun trying the different scents to find the right one for you.
Create a Pampering playlist. Whether you’re into folky love songs or wind chime and whale music, by creating a pampering playlist on your ipod you’ll be winding down at the touch of a button.
Drink a herbal tea.
Take a Bath. Nothing beats a long hot soak to soothe those tight muscles and bathe your cares away, and if you shut all the windows and lock the door, you’ll create your very own steam room, a few drops of essential oil will be the perfect finishing touch.
Bubbly in the Bath. Before the clock strikes midnight, grab a glass of bubbly while you soak in bubbles and toast to a New Year all about you.
After saving money on your New Year’s Eve, what better way to spend New Year’s Day than to splash out on the sales? You can make some of it back selling any unwanted Christmas presents or clothes from an (early) spring clean of your closet on eBay or Shpock.
Hit the sales and bag a bargain
It may seem crazy to suggest spending money to save, but January is the one time when prices are slashed so ridiculously it genuinely is cost effective to hit the sales and bag a bargain. The trick is to have a strategy in place so here’s some tips to help you make the most of the sales.
Research online – many retailers will advertise their sale prices online beforehand so a few minutes of research in advance could get you the best deals. Pick your favourite top five shops and watch those closely.
Know what you want - Doing your weekly shop when you’re hungry isn’t always the best idea and the same principle applies to the sales - don’t hit the shops just to have a look. If you write a list of all the things you actually want or need before you leave the house, you’ll avoid spending a fortune on pair of stiletto heels you’ll never wear or yet another piece of exercise equipment that sits in the garage.
Sales within the sales – many retailers are now offering you extra discounts and free delivery through websites like vouchercodes.co.uk and HotUKdeals.com.
Ps - if you’re after a bargain break away, then don’t forget to check out the Jurys Inn deals.
If you're visiting the Scottish Isles, don't forget to celebrate Burns Night in style, you can check out more information on this annual event here.