How do we do it without breaking the bank?
First off, all alcohol purchased must fall within the weekly grocery budget, so there is no extra spending. The exception is Thanksgiving, when I go all out with food (just spent $30 on shrimp for instance), but otherwise, all extras have to still keep us under our $150 per week grocery budget. Sometimes, that means we'll choose a cheaper dinner to make up the difference, but we're not eating beans and rice for a week so we can get wasted. Instead, we do this for special occasions.
|Found at Trader Joe's for far less than $10.|
Side note: don't be afraid to look in unexpected places for good prices. My friends just told me that there's a CVS on the Missouri side of the state line that offers fantastic deals. I plan on visiting there soon.
|Cava, which is Spanish sparkling wine, for $7.99 a bottle.|
Finally, we keep our eyes peeled for unadvertised clearance items. For this week, we got two varieties for 60% off retail because they are about to go beyond their "fresh" dates. I've yet to have a skunky beer when partaking in such deals.
|The Apple Ale was priced at over $9, and we got it for less than $4 on clearance.|
Other strategies for saving money on holiday cheer in a bottle:
1) Consider serving a cocktail like mimosas or sangria (as opposed to something like a martini). That'll stretch the expensive stuff. Also, if you're mixing, you often can get by with a cheaper variety rather than the top shelf. Anyway, this'll tone down the strength of the drinks, which can be a good thing if Uncle Darryl tends to go too far at holiday dinners, insisting that everyone join in a rousing naked rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas (for the 8th time in one evening).
2) Buy by the case if you can because many stores offer a discount. A liquor store near my Alma Mater would offer women an even higher discount on Wednesdays.
3) Don't be afraid to try something new.
4) Save the expense for a special occasion rather than partaking every night this season.
Even cheapskates can enjoy a few drinks, so hopefully you can find a place in your budget to make it happen if you so desire.
Please don't drink and drive, though. Have fun, but stay safe this year!