Experienced penny pincher David Pollock offers up his suggestions on how to make your money go further in the restaurants, pubs and bars of Glasgow city centre.
To make full use of Glasgow's potential as a place to get out and about on next to no money, you should be prepared to let your hair down and get your hands dirty. The area around Sauchiehall Street and Bath Street is where you'll find the majority of the pile 'em high, flog it cheap after hours establishments. So, to start your evening off with a bite to eat, might we recommend China Buffet King (349 Sauchiehall Street (E3), 0141 333 1799). The equivalent of Chinese fast food, it offers a serviceable 'all you can eat' spread for £5.99 (£6.99 at peak times), and is enduringly popular.
Or if the objective is to get to the bar as soon as possible, Bloc (117 Bath Street (F3), 0141 574 6066, www.bloc.ru) is also a winner. A snug basement bar not too far from the area's nightclub action, it does affordable two-for-one deals on pizzas.
Cheap drink deals also proliferate in the area. For example, Bunker (193-199 Bath Street (F3), 0141 229 1427, www.thebunkerbar.com) offers a limited selection of cheap booze on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays, while all but their most expensive lines are £1.40 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Bar Budda (408 Sauchiehall Street (F3), 0141 332 2010) will do you selected cheap lines every day of the week, although these are generally subject to a 50p surcharge (therefore £2 rather than £1.50 for a vodka and mixer) on Fridays and Saturdays.
For a bit of everything, Firewater (341 Sauchiehall Street (E3), 0141 354 0350, www.myspace.com/firewaterglasgow) is tricky to beat. Besides their beefburger and pint/soft drink for £3.45 offer, which runs at all times food is served, they also have daily drinks offers and live bands and DJs until 3am. Campus (396, Sauchiehall Street (E3), 0141 332 9052, www.clubcampus. co.uk), meanwhile, is aimed squarely at the hard-partying element among the locals, and its sometimes boisterous atmosphere is fuelled by knock-down booze deals: all drinks are £1.50 Mon-Fri and £2 on Sat.
As for where to go later on, most clubs have cheaper door fees on nights outside of Friday and Saturday. Early arrival on any night will often get you in for free or at a reduced rate. On most nights of the week the superior chart and party atmosphere at the Garage (490 Sauchiehall Street (E3), 0141 332 1120, www.garageglasgow.co.uk) or the more indie-centric ABC (300 Sauchiehall Street, 0141 332 2232, Thu-Sun only www.abcglasgow.com) will cost you around £5 on the door.