The credit crunch is spawning a new “staying in” culture as people look for ways to cut back on spending without cutting down on being sociable and having fun. It is true that more people are staying in, but they seem determined not to be miserable about it.
Poker evenings with a bunch of mates and a few cans is just the ticket for many fellas and even just watching telly can provide a form of cheap social interaction, there seems to be a growing trend for people to invite their friends over just to watch the box with them on a Saturday night. A bottle of wine, some food and the Xfactor is considered a cost conscious alternative to hitting the town. Games consoles have become the new entertainment centres and the focal point of many a gathering of friends for a cheap night of laughter and mayhem.
Board games are being hauled out of dark cupboards and given a dusting off, could this herald the return of Jenga, Hungry Hippos, Monopoly? Here’s a tip, almost any game can be made 10 times more fun in mixed company by simply placing the word “strip” in front of it. M&S’s two dine in for £10 offer has been a huge success with couples, but also with single people looking for a little cost managed 2nd date quality time with their new beau or belle. Takeaways may be expensive when compared with home cooking, but even sales of the carry out are said to be up 20% since the start of the year as people choose to eat in rather than go to a restaurant. Pot Luck dinner parties can be great fun, that’s where everyone brings a little dish of something and no-one has a clue what will be served up, fusion cooking at it’s best (and worst). Online DVD rental site Lovefilm said it expects to see a 70% rise in its customer base as cash-strapped consumers choose to stay in and online dating web site Plentymorefish.com has reported massive 25% growth in membership month on month since April of this year. So it seems that even making new friends can be done more cost effectively from the comfort of your home.
In conclusion, it seems that as money gets tighter people get more inventive. We seem to be discovering new and re-discovering old ways of entertaining ourselves and our friends that don’t involve going on a bender. With any luck, the credit crunch might just end up making us all a little bit more sociable.
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