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Do you like to drink alcohol but don’t want to spend a lot of money?
Are you looking for ways how to reduce the cost of buying alcohol without compromising on quality?
If so, then you have come to the right place!
In this post, I show you how to spend less money on alcohol.
You’ll learn the best tips and tricks that will help you save money buying alcohol to drink at home or at the bar.
So, whether you are a casual drinker or a hardcore alcoholic, read on for some valuable advice.
Table of Contents
How To Spend Less Money On Alcohol
#1. Drink At Home
One of the easiest ways to save money on alcohol is to drink at home.
When you buy drinks at the bar or a restaurant, you are paying the markup making your drink up more expensive.
So if possible, choose to drink at home as much as possible.
#2. Learn To Make Drinks At Home
While drinking beer or wine at home is easy, it is harder when it comes to mixed drinks.
But if you enjoy drinking hard liquor, you can still spend a smaller amount of money by learning how to make these drinks at home.
Most are simple to make and you can find the instructions just by searching online.
#3. Visit Restaurants During Happy Hour
If you want to be social and not drink at home, make it a priority to visit the bar during happy hour.
Here you will score drink specials that will make the money you spend more tolerable.
Plus you can take advantage of food specials too like half price appetizers, making eating out less costly as well.
#4. Visit BYOB Restaurants
Another option for going out to drink is to visit a BYOB restaurant.
Here, you bring your own wine or alcohol and save money as a result.
This is because bringing your own bottle is going to cost you less than ordering a glass of wine with your meal.
As mentioned before, the restaurant is going to mark up any drinks you buy there, so by bringing your own, you avoid this additional cost.
#5. Skip Top Label Brands
Another smart thing to do is skip the top shelf brands when ordering mixed drinks.
These brands tend to have a price premium to them which only adds to your cost.
And truth be told, most consumers cannot tell the difference between the high end brand versus the house brand when consuming the beverage.
- Read now: Click here to see how you waste money
So stop spending extra on a name and just drink the standard drink.
#6. Order Beer On Tap
Just like it is smart to order house liquor, it is also smart to order draft beer that is on tap.
These will usually be cheaper options than imported or bottled beer and most times, beer on tap is usually on special, saving you even more money.
#7. Drink Beer
An alternative to wine and mixed drinks is to simply drink beer.
This will save you money because beer tends to be a more affordable option compared to the other two options.
And since there are a variety of beers to choose from so you can find one that fits your taste.
#8. Buy Pitchers Of Beers When Out With Friends
Buying a pitcher of beer versus individual bottles or glasses is going to save you money.
In a typical pitcher, you are going to get 5 beers of 12 ounces.
If you were to buy 5 individual beers, you will pay more than if you order the pitcher in most cases.
#9. Alternate Drinks
When going out or drinking in, substitute your booze with a glass of water.
Ideally you will switch back and forth after every drink, you don’t have to follow this logic.
You can have two alcohol drinks followed by a glass of water.
Over the course of a night, this could result in drinking 2-3 fewer drinks, saving you $20 or more.
#10. Buy Larger Quantities
If you are buying alcohol for consuming at home, a better idea is buying larger sizes or buying in bulk will save you the most money.
For example, a 750ml bottle might cost you $19.99 but the 1.75l bottle is $23.99.
You get twice the amount of alcohol for only $4 more.
Don’t believe me?
Check out the prices the next time you are at the liquor store.
The same holds true with buying beer.
Buying a six pack from the bar is going to cost a lot more than buying a case of beer.
#11. Buy Duty Free
If you happen to be traveling, consider stopping in at the duty free shops at the airport.
In some cases, you can find great deals and avoid paying taxes, saving you even more.
Of course, it is best to do this on your way home so you don’t have to travel to your destination and then back with a bunch of bottles.
- Read now: Learn how to travel cheaply
#12. Drink Non-Alcoholic Beverages
This idea sounds a little crazy, but if you change your drinking habits, like choosing to stop drinking wine and beer and instead choosing to drink non-alcoholic drinks.
Choosing a soft drink, iced teas, lemonade or even plain water will reduce your costs tremendously.
And don’t think you need to go cold turkey here either.
Maybe you alternate weeks where you drink one week and then not the other week.
#13. Join A Wine Club
If you enjoy drinking wine, it might make sense to join a wine club.
Many times you can buy a bottle of wine for a lower price since you are on a subscription plan.
The downside here is if you don’t drink enough wine, you will have an ever growing assortment of bottles of wine.
#14. Skip Learning To Brew Your Own Beer Or Wine
It’s become popular to brew your own beer and wine.
And while there is nothing wrong with trying new things, know that this hobby could cost you a lot more money.
Not only do you need to spend the money on the supplies, but odds are your first few tries aren’t going to amount to anything worth drinking.
In other words, you are going to spend a lot of money and time, and not end up with anything to drink.
So unless you have a passion for this, you are better offer buying beer instead.
#15. Use Cash At The Bar
It’s easy to overspend at the bar after you’ve had a few rounds of drinks.
You keep buying more drinks as you are having fun and you might even start ordering food too.
If you swipe a credit card, you can wake up the next day in shock with how much money you spent.
The same is true using debit cards too.
As a result, it is a good idea to only carry a small amount of cash to the bar.
This way, when you run out of money, you will know it is time to stop and go home.
- Read now: Click here to see how to avoid ATM fees
#16. Pay With Credit Cards
On the flipside, if you are buying alcohol to drink at home, look at the prices at your local grocery store and other places.
If they do and the prices are reasonable, you can save money by using your credit card.
This is because many credit cards offer cash back or rewards points on your purchases.
You can use this cash back or the points to save money on travel or simply for the cash.
#17. Find A Fun Bar
If all you do at the bar is drink and talk with your friends, chances are you are going to drink a lot.
Going to a bar that has trivia or other games to play means you will drink less alcohol since you are doing other things at the same time.
Another solution is to simply slow down.
You can take smaller sips and talk or listen more in between drinks.
Finally, don’t feel like you need to keep up with others when they need another round of drinks either.
Drink at your own pace.
#18. Do A Tasting
Another great way to keep costs in check is to do a beer or wine tasting.
You will get to sample a variety of drinks and the cost is usually less than paying full price for a couple of drinks.
#19. Find Deals
Before going out, jump online to see if any local bars have specials.
If they do, consider visiting these bars as you can save a lot of money.
Just make sure the specials apply to you.
If the special is half price long island ice tea and you only drink beer, it doesn’t make sense to go there.
The savings on this more expensive drink won’t save you money if you never drink it in the first place.
The best deals are ones on the drinks you typically order.
#20. Order Simple Drinks
Speaking of complicated mixed drinks, the more ingredients a drink has, the more expensive it will be.
So try to stick to a simple mixed drink and use the earlier tip about only using house liquor to keep costs down.
#21. Understand The Specials
If you do find a place with specials, make sure the specials really will save you money.
For example, there might be a special on a certain brand of liquor that even though it is on special, it is still more expensive than other liquors.
Make sure you know the prices of different alcohol so you can make a true comparison to see if you will save money.
#22. Tip Less
This one is a little controversial, but the easiest way to save money is by tipping less.
You will look cheap and you might have to wait longer for another round, but you will be saving money.
In order to look less cheap, you can always order two drinks at once.
For example, say you usually you buy a beer and tip $2.
If you buy two beers and tip the same $2, you just saved yourself $2 because ordering them at separate times would cost you $4.
It’s a simple trick to look a little less cheap.
#23. Drink Cheap Stuff As The Night Goes On
Here is an easy way to stop spending money on pricey drinks all night long.
If you do enjoy top shelf brands, one option to lower your alcohol spending is to switch halfway through the night to house brands or less expensive drinks like beer.
Most people will be OK with this as their taste buds won’t notice as much as a difference as they get a little tipsy.
#24. Drink With Girls
If you have some female friends, considering going with them to the bar on ladies night.
While you will have to pay to get in, you could save on drinks by having her order and pay for some of them.
Just don’t have her order everything, especially if it is not crowded as you will stand out by not buying drinks but having them.
#25. Use A Designated Driver
While this isn’t directly related to buying drinks, it can be a way to save thousands of dollars.
If you decide to go out for a night of fun, make sure you have a friend who is a designated driver or call an Uber to get you home.
If you happen to get pulled over and your blood alcohol is over the legal limit, you are going to be in a world of trouble.
You will have to pay fines and could lose your license.
This could lead to you losing your job as well.
The point is, don’t ruin a fun night out by being stupid.
There are 25 ways for how to spend less money on alcohol.
No matter if you are drinking at home or out at an establishment, saving money is easy to do.
You just have to get a little creative.
If you are willing to do this, you can enjoy drinks knowing that you aren’t going to break your monthly budget in one night.
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.