How To Tour Brisbane on a Tight Budget
Maybe you’re a student trying to save, you’ve got a family to support or you’ve just gone up to Brisbane on a whim and don’t want to splash out. Either way, it sure feels good to get a cheap deal sometimes. Brisbane can be very affordable with special deals on food, drinks and entertainment – you just have to know where to look. Luckily we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled this guide to doing Brisbane on the cheap:
If there’s one thing that bargain hunters know best, it’s that Tuesday nights are the cheapest to go out. This applies to entertainment, drinks and food – especially pizza! Opt for a cheap night by heading to big pizza franchises like Pizza Hut, Eagle Boys or Dominos on a Tuesday and you could come away with a pizza for half the usual price, or two pizzas for the price of one in Pizza Hut’s case.
Other take out options include the street cart Wandering Elephant where you can pick up South East Asian treats, all for under $10. Or try an $8.50 kebab from Nono’s Lebanese Food in Red Hill, $5 ramen from Menya Mappen Noodle Bar in Sunnybank or perhaps a kilogram of buffalo wings for $10 at Tippler’s Tap in Newstead. And if you can wait to have lunch a little later in the day, you’ll find that many sushi, sandwich, Chinese and Thai shops heavily discount their food to get rid of it before the day is done.
If you prefer to make your own food then you can save some cash my waiting until the afternoon to do your grocery shopping. Supermarkets tend to roll out the discounts in the afternoon, especially on the basics like bread and milk. Places that are always cheap include the grocery clearance warehouse The Grocery Club in Rocklea and The Golden Circle Factory Outlet in Capalaba. For meat, hit up Brisbane’s Super Butcher.
If you love to eat out but can’t stomach the high prices, don’t despair, you can get some good deals at restaurants if you choose your days wisely. Try The Exchange Hotel for $1 tacos on Tuesdays and $10 dinner deals on week nights. Grab a roast lunch for only $7.95 any day of the week at The Paddington Tavern or explore your local RSL.
There’s a fine art to discovering cheap drinks in Brisbane, so here are some ground rules:
1. Go early. If you’re into the club scene go early to avoid expensive cover charges. But if you missed the cover charge cut off try The Family because it only charges entry after 10:30pm.
2. Pubs are cheaper than clubs. The Royal George Hotel on Brunswick St Mall is renown for cheap drinks and and the Mustang Bar has particularly cheap drinks before 10pm.
3. Monday night is the quietest, and therefore cheapest, night of the week. Sling Bar in West End is a classy joint but on Mondays they have a list of cocktails for only $10.
4. Mid week drinks will save you cash. The Regatta is well known among university students as the place to go for cheap drinks on a Wednesday night, so it’s always packed out. The Exchange Hotel is another winner with $4 basic spirits and The Embassy will also serve you well with free entry and cheap drinks.
Entertainment and shopping
Cheap Tuesday also applies to movie tickets, so visit Event Cinemas for a $10 movie on this day. If you’d prefer to be entertained for free then visit the Museum of Brisbane, Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, Natural History museum or other museums and galleries – entry is 100% free. If you’d prefer to get outside, then Southbank beach doesn’t cost a cent and there are often free events in the area like zumba, pilates and yoga classes, film screenings and children’s activities. Or head out to Brisbane lookout on Mt Coot-tha to get a panorama of the city. You can also wander among the stunning Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, have a picnic, go bike riding or take a look at the Herbarium and Cosmic Planetarium. It’s a great spot for a cheap, yet romantic date!
Finally, bag a bargain by shopping at the right time of year. Hit up those massive end of financial year and Boxing Day sales, check out the DFO’s at Brisbane Airport and Jindalee and the always-cheap Trade Secret and Rivers stores. Op shopping can also be a great way to get brand name clothes without the expensive price tags. The Woolongabba Lifeline Supa Store on Stanley St is a student favourite, as is the Salvo’s Store in Red Hill and Archerfield Salvation Army Super Store.