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5 Methods For Trimming (Not Erasing!) Your Alcohol Budget

Americans really love beer, wine, and liquor. And this subsequently means we spend a lot of our hard earned dollars quenching our thirst (for excitement). Think you’re exempt from this societal norm? Have a go on this alcohol spending calculator. The results may surprise you.

5 Methods For Trimming Your Alcohol Budget

Sometimes, at the end of the night when the bartender hands you your tab, it can feel like your bill is wayyy too much. But drinking doesn’t always have to be so expensive. Here are five great tips to keep from going broke while drinking your favorite alcoholic beverage(s). And rest assured, one of the tips will NOT be to just drink less, so read on!

alcohol budget1. Find a Happy Hour

If you really like to go to bars and drink, go there when the drinks are the cheapest. Happy hours often offer drink specials that are heavily discounted, sometimes fifty percent or more below the standard cost. Exercising a little discipline and only drinking the cheap drinks during happy hour can make it way less painful to settle your tab when it is time to head out. And there are even happy hour apps for smartphones now that can help you find happy hours anywhere, and at any hour of the day. So no more excuses. If you care about your alcohol budget, don’t hit the bar until it’s happy hour.

2. Eat Before You Go Out

If you’re saving money on drinking by hitting the bars at happy hour, don’t blow all those hard earned gains with a plate of nachos and a hamburger. Eat at home before you go out and refrain from ordering food once you start drinking. And if you have good rapport with the bartender, you might even be able to get a complimentary bowl of peanuts or chips to tide you over while you’re drinking, too.

Plus, by doing this it won’t take as much alcohol for you to feel it…

3. Buy in Bulk from the Big Box Store

When it comes to stocking up for the home or parties, hitting your favorite warehouse store and buying in bulk is the way to go. Getting your bulk booze at Sam’s Club or Costco or BJ’s can save you big money; you don’t even need a membership at Costco to buy alcohol, either. You can make your drinking money go even little further in those warehouse stores if you’re willing to by the in-store Kirkland wines, too. And speaking of in-store brands. . .

4. Lower Your Standards (Or at Least Your Nose)

One of the best ways to save money on liquor is to simply buy cheaper liquor. Buy a domestic beer instead of an imported one; settle for a six-pack of cans instead of those bar bottles. Choose the $9.99 bottle of pinot noir, instead of the $14.99 one. Better yet, go for the two-buck chuck. In most cases you won’t be giving up quality for the savings you pocket, either.

5. Brew Your Own

Finally, if you really want to save on your alcohol budget, you can brew your own beer and wine at home. Home brewing is actually pretty mainstream at this point; millions of Americans have converted their garages into makeshift wine cellars, and that old extra fridge into a kegerator. You can buy a standard homebrewing kit for around $75, and begin brewing five-gallon batches the same day. While it takes a small investment of time and study to make your own alcohol, that investment can pay off handsomely. Depending on your access to ingredients, you can keep yourself supplied with all the beer, wine and cider you can make pretty economically.

Start Trimming Your Alcohol Budget!

Drinking, even in moderation, can really put a dent in your wallet. So start drinking smart.  Follow one or more of these tips, and you can leave the bar tonight with enough money in your pocket to buy the first round tomorrow. Cheers!

This out-of-the-box post was written by our talented staff writer, Will Lipovsky.



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I was told to buy less whiskey… Never could find that brand

    • 😉

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