21 Secrets to Make Your Money Go a Little Further in Leeds

· Andrew Porter-Emery · Culture

Insider tips for getting more bang for your buck.

Humboldt penguins at Harewood House

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Whether it’s the financial hangover after a big event or you want to stretch your money, everybody loves a bargain.

City living can be expensive. But those in the know can sniff out a good deal at thirty paces. This list isn’t just about cheap things to do in Leeds, it’s about getting your money’s worth. Sure, there’s cheaper pizza, yep, there are thriftier days out, but these tips deliver in terms of being both quid-friendly and high quality. We’re talking getting fit without snapping your wallet, culture fixes that won’t break the bank and even free festival tickets!

Feast on half-price slices at Dough Boys

Dough Boys

When it comes to hand-stretched pizza, Dough Boys is the king and queen. Their slices are a perfect snack, whether you’re at Belgrave Music Hall for a drink, a gig or one of their many events. But what’s even better is that you can get a half price slice every single day of the week. From Sunday to Thursday there’s 50% off until 7pm, on Fridays and Saturdays the deal ends at 5pm. Will you start with the spicy Salami of Darkness or the wondrous Baa No More with its Moroccan-spiced lamb? At this price, surely the answer is – all of the above!

Dough Boys, Belgrave Music Hall, 1-1A Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.

Enjoy animal magic at Meanwood Valley Urban Farm

Meanwood Valley Urban Farm

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Barnaby Aldrick

A brilliant family day out at any time of year, Meanwood Valley Urban Farm is home to everything from alpacas to turtles, goats to rabbits, as well as pigs of both the guinea and regular oinking varieties. Entry to this working farm is a steal at £2.50 for adults and 50p for children. The little ones will not only meet – and feed – these charming animals, they’ll also get a valuable insight into farming, right in the shadow of Leeds city centre. There’s a farm shop here as well, in case you want to take home some lovely local produce.

Meanwood Urban Valley Farm, Sugar Well Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 2QG.

Cram in cut-price culture at Opera North

Street Scene, Opera North

Culture can be costly, but you can catch a show for much less than you think. Opera North runs a couple of schemes that put bums on seats for cheap. ‘Try it ON’ is for those new to opera – you can buy your first pair of tickets for £20 each and you get a free tote bag to boot! Their Under-30s membership is free, and this gives you priority access to £10 tickets, but it doesn’t end there. They host exclusive Under-30s events, you can get money off at Howard Assembly Room and there’s even discount at Manahatta and Belgrave Music Hall. Boom!

Opera North hold events at Leeds Grand Theatre, Town Hall and Howard Assembly Room.

Sort Sunday lunch with Man v Roast

Man v Roast

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Joseph Sheerin

Everyone loves a good home-cooked roast dinner, but sometimes you don’t need the hassle. The shopping, the chopping and the washing up can turn your roast into a chore. Happily, Man v Roast exist for exactly this reason. Order online and you can collect your roast at their Burley HQ or, for maximum chilling out points, have it delivered. Their carvery boxes are a snip at just £7 – for that you get your choice of meat, two veg, gravy, stuffing and a Yorkshire pudding. If that’s not enough, you can add a classic pud with custard for a mere £2.50.

Man v Roast, 144 Cardigan Road, Burley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1LU.

Grab just the ticket at Leeds Grand Theatre

Grease The Musical

Credit: Manuel Harlan

Leeds Grand Theatre has a packed calendar year-round, from family-friendly pantos to touring shows and boisterous musicals. If you’re a regular theatre-goer, there’s a great way to cut the cost. For £30 a year, you can get Priority Plus Membership. Not only can you scoop hot tickets a week before they go on general sale, but you can get them at a cut price too. Discounts are available on selected shows, Monday to Thursday, but if you take the whole family regularly, that’s a great saving, with 10% off those all-important intermission drinks.

Leeds Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.

Go to the cinema for a snip with Vue Mini Mornings

Vue the Light

Heading to the cinema is a failsafe way to keep the kids entertained, but once you’ve stumped up for tickets, popcorn, drinks and pick ’n’ mix that seem to weigh more per gram than diamonds, it soon adds up. So get your big screen fix for a lot less by heading along to Mini Mornings at Vue. It’s aimed at families, shows the latest kids films and tickets start at a very reasonable £2.49 each. It runs on Saturday and Sunday mornings, as well as every day during school holidays, so you can catch a family screening for just £10.

Vue, No. 22, The Light, The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL and Vue, Cardigan Fields, Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2DG.

Pay just once at Thackray Museum of Medicine

Thackray Museum of Medicine

The Thackray Museum of Medicine is a wonderful place. It shines a light on not just medical history, but also the history of Leeds as well. It’s fun, it’s interesting and it’s got those vital interactive elements that make it engaging for children. Tickets are £11.95 for adults and £8.95 for kids aged 5 to sixteen. But here’s the kicker – those tickets are valid for 12 months and let you go as often as you want. Heck, go every day and you won’t pay another penny! With seasonal events and exhibitions, it’s one of the city’s greatest secret bargains.

Thackray Museum of Medicine, 141 Beckett Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 7LN.

Rock out to bargain bands at Sela Bar

Sela Bar

Leeds is blessed when it comes to live music venues, and Sela Bar is one of the best places to see new and up-and-coming bands for pocket change. This cool basement bar is already a great place to hang out and hear music, washing down their perfect pizzas with craft ales or cocktails, but it comes into its own when there’s a music event. It could be Back Chat Brass with their pop, hip-hop and funk classics by way of brass instruments, or beloved regulars Howlin’ Ric and the Rocketeers. Whoever it is, it won’t cost you more than £5.

Sela, 20 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.

Let the games begin at Arcade Club

Arcade Club

Arcade Club has been a smash hit since it opened. It’s a wall-to-wall retro gaming heaven, from vintage Pac Man games through to air hockey, with an entire floor of consoles and even a beer and hot dog stall. You could get lost in there for days. And if that’s your plan, you’ll want to grab one of their monthly passes. They’re £40 for adults, £20 for children, with three months for £80 and £40 respectively. That gets you unlimited access to every single game, so it’s ideal for summer holidays with the kids or lost weekends taking on your mates.

Arcade Club, Unit 3, Abbey Retail Park, Savins Mill Way, Kirkstall, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3RP.

Waste not, want not with Too Good to Go

Too Good To Go

Fancy a cheap feed that helps reduce the very real problem of food waste? Download the Too Good To Go app and you’re on your way. Shops, cafes and restaurants often throw away surplus food at day’s end, but Too Good To Go lets you buy it before they bin it. Get restaurant-quality scran for a fraction of the usual cost, with loads of Leeds places signed up. You won’t know what you’re getting until you pick it up, so it’s a lucky dip of absolute deliciousness from the likes of Simpatico, Leon and Malmaison.

Too Good To Go can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Go clubbing for a quid at Pryzm

Pryzm Halloween

Credit: Adam Shaw

Megaclub Pryzm is packed to the rafters all week long, but Mondays are the night to head there for one of the funnest – and cheapest – nights out in the city. It’s called Quid’s In, and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Early bird tickets are just £1 if you’re booking and it’s also £1 on the door for anyone who arrives before 11pm. The three different rooms deliver indie, hip-hop and singalong hits until 4am. Once inside, their lip-smacking drinks start at just £1.50, making it hands-down one of the most affordable club nights in the city.

Pryzm, 16-18 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8LX.

Say hi to the Humboldt penguins at Harewood House

Harewood Penguins

Credit: Sarah Ayache

This grand old 18th-century house packs a punch. It’s your classic stately home, with a renowned art collection, but many of its delights lie outside. There’s a bird garden, Himalayan garden and a lake. You can see their gorgeous Humboldt penguins, take the kids to the adventure playground and explore the grounds. It changes with the seasons and rewards repeat visits – which is why becoming a member makes sense. For £40 you can get unlimited year-round access, and it’s just £95 for families. Membership pays for itself after three visits.

Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 9LG.

Get low-cost laughs at HiFi Comedy Club

Hi Fi Club Comedy Night

While the real big comedy tours cost quite a lot to attend, Leeds is home to a host of brilliant comedy nights where you can see household names with change from a £20 note. HiFi Comedy Club is an independent night that’s been going for over 20 years and has played host to the likes of Jason Manford, Chris Ramsey, Sarah Millican and Katherine Ryan. £15 gets you four comedians, a mixture of up-and-comers, circuit veterans and TV staples. Check their listings to see if one of your favourites is playing or chance your arm.

The HiFi Club, 2 Central Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DE.

Dive into cheap eats at Thai Aroy Dee

Thai a Roy Dee

Some offers are temporary, others are permanent. Thai Aroy Dee’s £7.95 happy hour deal has been around for ages, and it’s still one of the finest food offers in Leeds. From midday until 5pm every day of the week, your money gets you two courses of sizzling Thai goodness. Choose from classics like chicken satay, spring rolls or spicy pork spare ribs, then move on to mains such as pad Thai, maeng massaman or a fiery pad gra-prao. Whatever you choose, you can get chicken, beef, pork or tofu. Add a side of jasmine rice or chips for a fab feed.

Thai Aroy Dee, 120-122 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL.

See a festival for free with Oxfam

These days, festival tickets come with eye-watering prices, but we have a secret that can you in for less. A great way to attend the celebrated Leeds Fest for free is to do it as a volunteer. Oxfam run a festival volunteer program that lets you attend for nothing more than a little of your time. Whether it’s stewarding, campaigning or running a stall, you’ll get to work with like-minded people, help raise money and see the amazing acts on stage. Okay, you won’t always be on the front row, but you’ll get the full festival experience for a fraction of the price.

Leeds Fest 2022 will be at Bramham Park, Leeds, from Friday 26th to Monday 29th August 2022.

Double up on cocktails at Outlaws Yacht Club

Outlaws Yacht Club

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Katie Nicole

Outlaws Yacht Club is a cool place for a drink and a snack – the grilled cheese sandwiches are the stuff of local legend – but it comes into its own on Wednesday nights. That’s when it’s 2-4-1 cocktails kick in. These aren’t pre-mixed cocktails where you can barely taste the alcohol. Oh heck to the no. Instead, it’s delights such as the Kirkgate Market-rita with tequila, passion fruit, green tea and lime, or the bourbon/coffee/chocolate orange mash-up of their Espresso Old Fashioned. £8.95 for two of those bad boys? Sold!

Outlaws Yacht Club, 38 New York Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DY.

Grab clothes by the kilo at Blue Rinse

Blue Rinse

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Katie Nicole

Blue Rinse is a treasure trove – nay, a veritable Aladdin’s Cave – of classic and forgotten fashion. You can pick up gems galore here, from 70s styles through to 90s sportswear, rare trainers and even reworked items for a unique purchase. But if you want to get truly bargainacious, watch out for their kilo sales. At these popular events, you can fill up your bags with clothes sold for £15 per kilo. Choose what you want from the retro racks, get it weighed and you could be walking away with a whole new (pre-loved) wardrobe for super cheap price!

Blue Rinse, 9-11 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7DH.

Sweat it out at bargain bootcamps with Trailblazer Fitness (and the kids go free)

Trailblazer Bootcamp

Credit: Antony Newby

Launched by Antony Newby, Trailblazer Fitness has been a real Leeds success story, with an emphasis on making exercise fun and approachable for everyone. At the core are their bootcamps, with one held somewhere in Leeds every single day. You can just drop by and join in for £5 a class. It’s a great alternative to expensive gym memberships – and you can very much find your own level. But what to do with the kids while you’re getting fit? Worry not, they can join in for free, making for family fun and no babysitter’s fees!

Trailblazer holds 13 classes throughout the week in locations across Leeds. Each session costs £5.

Borrow at the Buy Nowt Library of Things

DIY

The deceptively simple yet genius idea behind the Buy Nowt Library of Things is that you can borrow things instead of buying them. Got a shelf to put up or a drive to pressure wash? Don’t want to buy the necessary gadgets for a one-off job? Just borrow it. They operate a ‘pay-as-you-feel’ policy and you get to keep the item for a week. Alongside tools, they have gazebos, tents, tables, chairs and lights if you’ve got a party coming up. It’s only available in the LS6 postcode at the moment, staffed by volunteers, but it’s invaluable to locals.

Buy Nowt LS6 Library of Things, Methodist Church Centenary Room, 1 Chapel Street, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3HZ.

Bag a bus ticket for just £1.40


First Bus Nights

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Amy Heycock

It’s all well and good knowing where the secret bargains and great value nights out in Leeds are, but how do you get there? Cabs can be costly, as can parking, so why not take the bus? Travel after 7pm and a single is just £1 on any First Bus West Yorkshire service – bargain! You can meet up with friends for comedy clubs, theatre, escape games or whatever takes your fancy. Dinner with your mates? £1.40 bus. Getting home after impromptu post-work bevvies? Just a quid. You can pay both on the bus or using the First Bus app.

Travel after 7pm from £1.40 on bus and on the First Bus app. The app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Get a pint with change from a fiver at The Angel Inn

The Angel

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Sarae Akhamal

A pub serving a good, cheap pint – it’s a truly dying breed. In the age of £8 schooners and 11% pints, old school is something of a relief, especially for your wallet. Enter The Angel Inn. Tucked away in one of the atmospheric alleyways off Briggate, this friendly, no-frills Samuel Smiths drinking hole is a well-kept secret. Order a pint of Old Brewery Bitter or Taddy Lager and you’ll be surprised at how much change you get from a fiver. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of bang for your buck – this is an atmospheric old pub with a history dating back centuries.

The Angel Inn, Angel Inn Yard, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LN.