cutting your budget's beer belly
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Cutting Your Budget’s Beer Belly

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If you look in my refrigerator right now, half of its volume contains beer. And not just one type of beer, either; we have a few varieties crammed in there. Guinness, Saint Arnold, and Karbach—oh my!

Mr. Picky Pincher and I like to unwind after a day at our 9-to-5 jobs with a tall pint of good beer. Ahh.

Needless to say, we love our beer. But we don’t love the costs that come with buying it every week. While we could always improve, we’ve come up with a few methods to save money on beer.

How to Cut Your Budget’s Beer Belly

Find the best price

We’ve started buying beer almost exclusively at Spec’s because they have the best prices. They’re usually about $1 cheaper than the grocery store. We also love that they offer discounts if you pay in cash, which makes the purchase even cheaper!

If you’re looking for an affordable beer source in your area, check out the sale papers in the mail to compare prices. See if you can get cash discounts, too!

Limiting beer altogether

We don’t limit beer as strictly any more, but we severely limited our beer budget for 6 months while we were saving for a house. We set a fixed budget of $50 and we didn’t allow ourselves to go over. No excuses!

This plan elicited more than a few grumbles, but by cutting back on the beer, we managed to slash our beer budget in half. And that means paying debt off faster!

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I could make the argument that beer isn’t a necessity and to cut it completely from your budget. While it’s true we could live without beer, we’re not out to punish ourselves or institute austere measures that limit how much we enjoy life. So yes, while abstaining from alcohol would be the greatest route here, it’s an expense that we welcome, but limit within reason! Frugality is all about conscious consumption, after all.

BYOB for parties

We’ve gone the BYOB route for the get-togethers we host and it’s gone over swimmingly! Instead of forking over $100 for party beer, we ask friends and family to bring a six pack or bottle of their favorite beverage. We always end up swapping beers while we share stories and eat lots of great food. Ahhh, that’s the life.

BYOB doesn’t have to be stingy; I’ve found that it encourages sharing while saving a chunk of cash.

Switch to an affordable alternative

Few people aren’t Picky about their beer. But if you have a palate that craves expensive craft beer, consider alternatives. You can always buy less of this beer that you love, but you can also try out a comparable beer that might be a few dollars cheaper.

I haven’t always been a wine person, but after I read about Mr. Money Mustache’s love affair with the Bota Box, I gave it a try.  Y’all. This was some tasty wine. I was judgy about it coming in a box, but I got over that pretty quickly. The Bota Box is about $16 in my area for 2 liters of wine—that’s A LOT of wine, guys! So I can buy one Bota Box (cabernet sauvignon, specifically) and I’m set for the entire month for $16 (a daily cost of about 50 cents).

I’m particular about my bubbly, too, but it may be worth it to switch to more affordable drinks.

The Bottom Line

The Picky Pinchers love beer, but not the cost. We shop smart and limit costs wherever possible to keep our little vice in check. Use some of these tips to trim your budget’s beer belly and be one step closer to financial independence.

We want to know: How have you cut alcohol purchases to save money?

Reduce your total credit card payments by up to 30% to 50%

19 comments on “Cutting Your Budget’s Beer Belly

  1. We recently got an Aldi in our neighborhood and their prices on everything are amazing. I decided to give their house brand beer a try, and it is actually really good. I particularly like their Belgian Amber Ale. Cheaper than buying name brands and still delicious!

    1. Aldi wine is great too! Comparable to Trader Joe’s two buck chuck at $2.89 a bottle in my area…white, red, blush all good!

    2. That’s pretty nifty! Aldi is 30 minutes away for us, so we still haven’t checked it out yet. One day!

        1. Oooh that would be fun! I’ve always wanted to check it out just to see what all the fuss is about. 🙂

  2. I like your attitude about being frugal. I like my glass of wine while making dinner & found one I love. So I buy a case at Costco & store in my garage. My dh buys his rum there also. Being frugal means making my money work for us. I spend wisely, buy on sale . So I can indulge in fresh veggies & fruit as I love to cook. Using the sale meats & cooking from scratch we can eat pretty much everything we want. Life is to enjoy & knowing you have money to pay bills & enjoy a simple life is priceless

  3. I have to agree with the others on Aldi; we like their wine and beer! We also get their Bailey’s knockoff (O’Connell’s) for about half the Bailey’s price. Super nice addition to a cup of coffee or cocoa in winter!
    You’re right that it’s not always about saving EVERY single penny possible. That can work for a short time if really necessary, but I think we all would eventually return to our comforts like beer anyway! It’s like the super-strict diet plans; for most of us they’re not sustainable. I think since you’re doing frugality for the long haul and still saving really well, enjoy those drinks!

    1. Ezzactly; life is supposed to be enjoyed, so budget in a few smart treats. 🙂 I had no idea Aldi also sold hard liquor! We live in Texas and the liquor laws are kinda weird–just beer and wine can be sold in grocery stores and hard liquor is sold in liquor stores.

  4. Oh bless you! It is such a relief to know that we aren’t the only ones out there in the financial blogosphere who have a fridge full of beer (and wine on our wine rack). We try to buy when stuff is on sale, but we certainly aren’t going without.

  5. I second (third? fourth?) Aldi alcohol. The wine and beer selection may not be vast, but everything I’ve had I’ve enjoyed.

    Mr. Beach Life and I went through a BotaBox phase once. We grabbed the big one off the shelf, took it to the register and it rang up as $4.99. I gave Mr. BL HUGE eyes, which he interpreted as me thinking the price was too much and then we RAN out of the store with it. When we got to the parking lot I told him it should have been $16.99. Maybe I should have said something, but the cashier scanned the box. We paid regular price for the rest of the boxes we later bought, though!

  6. There are a lot of great ways to save on beer. I love buying the deal of the week on Ibotta or whatever sales/rebates I can stumble across. I have employed the BYOB idea in the past and it works well. There isn’t a rule that states you must supply all alcohol for parties after all, right? And you know what I realized? Everyone is glad to bring a six pack over and hang out.

    Thanks for the other great ideas as well!

    Bert, One of the Dividend Diplomats

    1. Oh, does Ibotta do rebates for beer? I tried it out a year ago and never saw much of anything on there that I liked. But it’s good to know they have beer on there! Beer is expensive when you buy it every week, so it’s good to know how to get it nice ‘n’ cheap.

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