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!
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.