Drink and Save Money
by Frank Lenatta

Hi Bob- Hope you might consider putting this in your column since I
think it might be of interest to people like me, which is to say those
who would like to spend a bit less on beer without sacrificing quality
when they go out to a bar.  Please don't get me wrong, I don't mind
paying for good things when I go out but if there's a way to save a
few dollars why not use it?  

I go out at least two (usually three) nights a week.  On Tuesday I stop
for two or three beers at my local pub which will cost me at least $20
(including tip).  Some Thursdays find me at the nearest brewpub for a
light dinner and beer which means I'm spending around $30.  Friday
and Saturday are prime evenings which including food will total for
both days nearly $100.  That all adds up quickly.  Once I realized how
much I tried quite a few ways to save on those expenses.  After a lot
of trial and error here are my top four tips.

1. Only Bring Cash Out
By far the easiest way to stick to your booze budget is to hit the town
with your plastic left at home. It’s easy to rack up money on a credit
or debit card, but cash is finite and you can see it going down
throughout the evening. You can also preload a debit card and use
that. Either way, once the cash is gone, it’s time to go home.

2. Take Advantage of Happy Hours
Do you have to go out when everyone else is hitting the town? If you
have your friends with you, why not do something a little earlier than
usual? You’ll get great specials, including two-for-one drinks, free
appetizers, and even free shots. You can always head back to a
friend’s house later and finish the evening there.  The best deals locally
for me are two places that have half off on beer and bar food.  

3. Eat (and Drink) at Home Before Hitting the Bars
Food costs can really add up quickly in the bars, and the food may not
even be that good. If you go out with a full stomach, you will not only
save money on overpriced food and snacks, but avoid getting tipsy
too quickly. In my younger days my friends and I would usually have
a few cheap beers at home with our food, too. Then when we went
down to the bar  and were already quite happy before we’d ordered
one drink.  Now as an adult working a full time job this is only good for
me on weekends.

4. Order Water Between Drinks
This is great for several reasons. First, a glass of tap water with ice and
lemon is free at every bar. You can drink this and stretch your money
over time. Second, and perhaps more important, it stops you getting
drunk, and makes hangovers much less severe.

5. Pitch in for Pitchers
Bars and restaurants often offer pitchers of beer at a discount.
Combine that with happy hour, and you can get enough beer for
four or five people for less money.  Be careful however - some places
do not discount on pitchers and even charge more.

Please remember anytime you go out to enjoy good beer to drink
responsibly.  I know that's almost a cliché now but that doesn't mean
it's not true.  My group always, yes always uses a designated driver or
we walk, take public transportation, or get a cab.

That's it Bob.  Hope you found it interesting.  I'm a big fan of your
column and look forward to it each month!  

Thanks for sending your article in, Frank.  It was one of the few I've
ever received on the topic.  I really liked all your tips and I know our
readers appreciate your effort.  Hope you write again!

I'd like to  invite everyone to send me their own columns about anything
related to beer/drinking/booze just as Henry did.   I select the best and
publish them here.  So join in and get writing.

BeerNexus proudly presents

Bob Montemurro
"the ombudsman of beer"

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