I live on a pretty strict budget. I set aside a certain amount of money every week for groceries and entertainment, and withdraw that money in cash. I use this money to buy food, go to the farmers’ market, meet my friends at the movies, and buy beer and wine. Once I spend the money, it’s gone, and I have to make do for the rest of the week.
Because of this, I employ a variety of money-saving tactics to make this weekly allowance go further. I shop at Costco (with a strict list!), go to the farmer’s market for my vegetables, and try to eat out once a week or less. I also have a few money saving tips to spend less on beer and alcohol, since I love craft beer and this makes up a pretty large portion of my budget.
I Brew Beer and Wine
Well, technically my husband brews our beer and wine, but the point is that the vast majority of wine and beer that is consumed in my home or at house parties originated in our basement. My husband has been brewing wine for years, and he even brewed the wine for our wedding (all 90 bottles of it). The equipment required to make wine is doesn’t cost much and lasts for years. On average, we can make a bottle of wine (red or white) for $3 per bottle.
On top of that, my husband and I recently added beer making to our repertoire of homebrewing skills. The equipment required to brew beer is very similar to wine, but you’ll need a new set of bottles, caps, and sugar. Each six pack ends up costing $8.10, which is much less expensive than buying it at the store, and the quality is great. To save time and money over the long term you can opt to use a keg instead, but that entails large upfront cost.
Know Sale Days at Local Breweries
I love buying local, craft beer, but it can be expensive! To combat this, I got to know the schedule of sale days at my local breweries. Each brewery will often have one day per week (usually during the work week) where the beer is less expensive. Those are the days I refill my growlers. It might only be a few dollars, but it adds up!
I’m not talking about going to the United States to buy alcohol (although that can be a good strategy if you live near the border), I’m talking about crossing provincial borders. I live in Nova Scotia, but beer, wine, and spirits are significantly less expensive in the neighbouring province of New Brunswick. To take advantage of this, I make sure to purchase spirits whenever I visit family and friends in New Brunswick.
If you live in Ontario, you can take advantage of cheaper alcohol options in nearby Quebec.
While it might be tempting to cut beer, wine, and spirits out of your diet when you’re on a tight budget, you should also keep in mind that relaxing and enjoying your life is important to the long term sustainability of your financial plan. By using these cost saving measures, you’ll be able to have your beer without breaking th