Fresh out of college I used to blow through $300/mo. on alcohol easily. Living in NYC and going out at least 3 nights a week killed me – and that was WITH all my frugal tricks! I never reached the spending capacity of my friends (who could drop $200 *a night*), but it’s safe to say my wallet’s in much better shape now.
These days my drinking costs me about $50-$100 a month, and even less if you take out the Mrs. from the equation. We both drink a beer or two a night to relax, sometimes a little wine, but nothing a couple of cases & bottles can’t solve every month. It was really the cutting back of the nightlife that curbed our spending. Not that I’m encouraging it or anything (I definitely miss all the adventures!), but just that it was the main factor in our change here.
And I tell you what, people were spending a crap load on Halloween night! My goodness. Either I’m getting old or inflation is really creeping in here. Regardless, there are still a few tricks we can do to cut costs a bit. Here are some that cross the mind:
- Drink cheap beer/wine. Beast, Natty Light (if you really don’t care about taste), 3 buck chuck.
- Stock up in bulk. Your favorite beverage 20%? Buy a few cases now and store it away.
- Hit up more happy hours – 1/2 off drinks and appetizers beats full price anytime.
- Pre-party at a friend’s place before going out! Why spend $10 on a drink when you can get 6 for the same price? Bars and restaurants jack up the prices way too much, might as well enjoy a little before letting them rob you.
- Bring a flask with you. I don’t know if this is illegal or not (or even all that smart), but it IS cost effective :) Especially if you’re a fan of the mixed drinks. $1 Cokes is much cheaper than Jack & Cokes, and it only takes 10 seconds to pour a little in whenever needed.
- Drink Coffee/Energy drinks instead. It all depends on the effect you’re going for, but coffee and energy drinks get you pretty hyped up at a 3rd of the price. You might look weird drinking it while dancing to the Thong Song, but I swear it works!
I’m sure I’m missing a lot here, but you get my point. No matter how much you’re spending on something there’s usually a way to cut down. And when your friends are in on it, it’s even easier! Not the Joneses, of course, but the ones who actually care about saving their money ;)
So how about you all? Anyone still spending $300+ a month? How about $15 like Well-Heeled?