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New Year's Eve Ideas That Don't Cost The World

Unless you're splashing out, New Year's Eve always seems to go with a fizzle rather than a bang. But there's plenty of fun to be had, if you know where to look. Just check out the list below. Something that's value for money but doesn't cost the world – the new HP Stream 11.

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1. Go to a midnight concert.

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Why queue for an hour and squeeze into a sweat-filled club when you can attend a midnight concert and enjoy music that you actually like for the same price, or cheaper? Jambase have a list of what's on worldwide. Just enter your location at the top, and it will find you an event in your area. Design My Night is also good for finding free, late venues and have lists of NYE specials.

2. Watch the fireballs in Stonehaven, Scotland.

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This traditional parade goes back 150 years, and involves local people parading while swinging flaming wire cages around their heads. The event starts at midnight and is held to burn away the bad spirits and bring in luck for the New Year.

4. Watch the fireworks from a dazzling viewpoint.

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Rather than paying to see your local fireworks in a crowd, take some blankets and a midnight picnic to a high point and watch them there instead. A rooftop bar, bridge, or other high point would also provide you with beautiful Instagram photo ops.

5. Dress up in Newquay.

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Everyone LOVES fancy dress, and this is a fancy dress carnival held each year where the whole town dresses up and dances around the town. The procession ends at Central Square for the countdown to midnight.

6. Anti-Resolutions Party.

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Invite people over and either ask them to dress up as their best quality or a bad habit that they LOVE. At midnight, everyone vows to stay their same amazing selves forever and ever.

7. Host an outdoor mini-festival.

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Ask guests to bring fireworks, light a bonfire, and cook up a pan full of spicy chilli. Cook baked potatoes on the fire, and toast marshmallows. Play music and sit near to the fire with blankets. Ten points if someone brings a guitar. If you're feeling extra fancy, make hot chocolate or mulled wine in a pan or slow cooker to keep out the chill. Warm clothes are a must for this one.

8. Hold a murder mystery evening.

If you don't want to splash out and buy a set that you can only use once (because you'll know who did it) search online and find some free games. Red Herring Games have a whole selection of murder mystery games that you can buy or download for free.

9. Have a potluck food festival.

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Ask everyone to bring their favourite food – whether that's a takeaway pizza or a homemade apple pie – and drinks to share that goes with it. You could end up with 14 starts and no main, or a wide mix of world foods, but that's the beauty of the game. Dot the foods around the room, and serve buffet-style. If you want to amp it up even more, ask people to dress like their food's country of origin.

10. Throw a "make a friend" party.

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Ask your usual crowd to each bring along someone new to the group. Think up some icebreakers and party games (I Would Never, Jenga, and Beer Pong are ideal) then leave everyone to it. The idea is, you'll start 2015 off with a whole new gang of mates to see it in with.

11. Throw a "not your parents' cheese and wine" party.

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Your parents gave them a bad rep, but cheese and wine nights are amazing. Mainly, because, cheese. Ask everyone to bring a chunk of their favourite flavour and a bottle, wear something fancy, and start the evening off with a feast (before moving on to the dancing and champagne, obviously).

12. Hold a grown up sleepover.

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Go by the theory that everything that was fun when you were 12 is fun again now. Don your brand new Christmas pyjamas, make duvet and pillow nests in the front room, and plan a snack and movie marathon – accompanied by retro, sweets-inspired cocktails. Candy floss dropped in champagne is amazing. Play spin the bottle, if you're really daring.

Works just as well if there's two of you, or 22 of you.

13. Throw an all-night movie marathon.

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Guarantee you'll stay up to watch the clock hit 12 by watching spine-tingling horror movies. Or stick on some classics that have multiple sequels: Think Rocky or Die Hard. Serve with bags of microwave popcorn, hot dogs, and nachos.

14. Throw a spa night.

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Club together with some friends, and hire a beauty therapist or two for the evening. While this isn't a pennies option, it's considerably cheaper than going to a spa and about the same as a night out at a club, but with far better results.

Failing that – round up your unwanted Christmas presents, odds and ends of products, and a few fave products, and skill-trade amongst your friends (ie., you might not be able to paint nails, but your friend can – and you can help her dip-dye her hair).

15. Spend the night fortune telling.

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Search the internet for some New Year's Eve fortune-telling rituals (eg., throwing apple peel over your shoulder and seeing the pattern it makes, or lighting tin foil with a match, dropping it in a bowl of water, and seeing what shape it casts).

You could even learn tarot cards or palm reading for the night. (With the internet, you can become an expert in anything in an hour.)

16. And celebrate New Years in every country around the world – without leaving your sofa.

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OK, so you can't visit every country, but you can work out when each country hits midnight and go online to wish them the best.

If you like making your money go further, check out the new HP Stream 11.

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