17 Oct

Written by Lizzie on October 17, 2013


It may seem a little early to plan how you’ll be ringing in 2014 but trust me, planning ahead for big events is sure to save you some cash. NYE can be a difficult holiday; often hundreds of pounds are spent on parties, restaurants and clubs that aren’t enjoyed nearly as much as the price-tag might deserve. With the Telegraph reporting that over 75% of us opted to stay in last year, we’ve been thinking… instead of watching Jools Holland on TV and heading to bed at 12.15, why not take some helpful tips from us here at PCUK and make some plans? I’ve drawn up a couple of ideas to suit limited budgets and more ample ones so no one has to miss the party, no matter how full your wallet.

Blow-out Option Rent a holiday cottage! If you have a little extra left over from Christmas, or maybe you just fancy splashing out on something special this year, spend more the budget savvy way with a holiday rental. A self-catering apartment will bring down the extra food and drink spending that comes hand in hand with staying away from home, plus more bodies means you can split the costs more ways. Cottages4U offer luxury properties all over the country that come in at under £150 each based on 6 people sharing, including this gorgeous cottage in Frome for £902 for 3 nights.


  • Have your party make a kitty for food, drink and travel,  that way you should get a 3 day break for less than £200 each and no one pays more than their share.
  • Share your lifts to cut on petrol costs. 2 cars should be sufficient!
  • Pool resources and skills to save on meal costs. Neighbours have a great allotment? Get them to bring along the veg. Colleague make a mean chilli? Delegate dinner one night to him! Working together to plan means you try new things and save money by avoiding defaulting to takeaways and expensive processed foods.
  • Try Coast & Country CottagesMarsden Cottage Holidays and Sykes Cottages for other locations around the UK – don’t forget to consider local prices in your budget if you’re planning on activities, eating and drinking while you’re out and about.

Budget Option Gather your friends together and you’re guaranteed to have a good time, surely?! It’s easy: pile into one location and throw a right old shindig. If you’re hosting, shave pounds off your spend by asking your guests to get involved in an old fashioned pot-luck. Plan whatever kind of food suits you, that may be a full 6 course dinner or simply some tasty snacks, then delegate a course to each guest or couple. Ask them to get creative and when they arrive, lay each dish on a central table so everyone can see what’s coming up. When the time comes, pull off the lids and tuck in! With everyone helping out, no one should be out of pocket, and the same applies to drinks too!


  • If you’re after a little snifter of bubbly for the midnight countdown, buy a cheaper sparkling wine and spruce it up with a little chopped fruit and juice – you’ve got a fizzy sangria that will last twice as long as a few of bottles of fizz!
  • Instead of investing money, just invest a little time. Want to jazz up the house? Cut paper snowflakes and used curled ribbons left over from Christmas, your budget shouldn’t inflate by much. A few candles and fairy lights should create a welcoming atmosphere. Spend a couple of hours asking for song requests and compiling a playlist, your party will rock!
  • Keep the guest list down. Make your party an intimate gathering and you needn’t worry about the costs running away with you.
  • A gift isn’t a necessity, but if you think a small favour adds to the fun, think cheap. Try tubes of bubbles you can buy in bulk online, or joke moustaches to provide a giggle. You can even stock up on small bottles of Berocca – bound to make the guests laugh and likely to be a big help the morning after!

Something a little different Some people don’t want to spend their new year at home but money is still an issue. Check local venues and attractions to see if they’re putting on special events. Independent cinemas are a great shout, sometimes showing movie marathons all day and into the night, or cult classics usually limited to DVD viewing. The Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds is planning to show the 1939 classic Gone With the Wind! Zoos around the country often run after dark nights which are guaranteed to add something different to the average December evening too!


  • Keep a keen eye out from now on! It may seem early, but special events sell out quickly! It pays to stay organised and know who you’re celebrating with in advance so you can snap up the opportunity when it strikes.
  • Ask around. Neighbourhood businesses often help each other out and love to promote events run by others. There’s also a chance that a small business had been thinking about creating an event for a while. Now they know there is a demand, they might consider going through with it!
  • Be open-minded! New Year comes with a bit of a stigma these days. Don’t worry about it! Spend the evening just how you want, surround yourself with people you love and you’ll have a great time!

Go forth and plan your entrance to 2014! Have some better ideas? Feel free to share them with us in the comments or over on Twitter @LizzieShopScoop!

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