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How to Save Money on Drinks

July 19, 2018

Going out on the town is lots of fun, but can get expensive in a hurry. You start with one or two drinks, buy a round for your friends, and before you know it, the bill arrives, and yikes, it adds up quickly! Don’t go into shock when you see your next bar bill. Here are some tips on how to save money on drinks next time you’re out.

Happy Hours

This is an obvious choice for a very good reason; happy hours are a great way to save money on drinks. Prices are lower, plus you get access to free or discounted foods, and it’s a great way to socialize.

Some bars can charge upwards of $15 per drink. During happy hour, you might be able to find $3 beers, as well as discounts on house wine and well liquors. These savings can add up, leaving money in your pocket to extend your fun – or pay your bills after the weekend.

Restaurants and bars know that happy hour is a perfect way to bring in customers during the hours when they typically aren’t as busy. Besides drink specials, many restaurants offer specials on food, such as half-price appetizers and deals on burgers, wings, and other tasty treats.

Happy hours are a fantastic way to save on drinks while socializing and having fun. Try hitting your favorite haunt on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, when they’re not as busy, for better service and possibly better deals.

Simplify Drink Choices

On a busy night, a bartender is scrambling to complete as many orders as quickly as possible. If you’re ordering cocktails with multiple ingredients or a complex mixing process, you will pay more per drink. To save money, stick to simple drinks like a Gin & Tonic (2 ingredients), Old Fashioned (3 ingredients), or shots of your favorite alcohol (1 ingredient).

If you’re craving something different, order one specialty drink and then switch to something less expensive when you reorder.

Quick Tip: Evaluate Cover Charges

If you’re heading out to a bar that is charging a cover for the night, consider carefully whether or not you can really save money on drinks there. Some bars and clubs charge a cover and provide a wristband for “free” drinks; others charge a cover and the drinks themselves are still expensive.

If the bar you’re considering offers a wristband, check it out by with friends or online reviews. Make sure you won’t be waiting in a long line at one end of the bar for your free drinks.

Fill Up

Enjoying appetizers or dinner before drinking can actually save you money. With a full tummy, you’ll feel more satiated and less inclined to overindulge. Plus, drinking alcohol on an empty stomach isn’t good for your health. Organize your night out around socializing and enjoying good food along with your beverages.

Use Cash

When you open a tab with your credit card at the bar, it’s easy to lose track of your spending. Things can get quickly out of control when the transaction is not visible. Remove the stress from your night by going cardless and using cash.

Using cash puts a limit on both your drinking and spending. Before heading to your night out, set a budget. Determining a dollar amount for your night will allow you to walk out of the bar feeling comfortable with your night’s choices. Once your available cash has been spent, you’re done.

Quick Tip: Order More

Order more to save money? Absolutely! Before ordering two beers, find a friend and go in on the purchase of a pitcher. Or share BOGO deals on beer, wine or liquor. Make a deal to drink a glass of water or soda in between rounds to save even more money – and a hangover.

Slowing down your drinking will allow you to stretch your budget. You can mingle and be social while nursing the same drink.

Going out for the evening doesn’t have to break the bank. These tips on how to save money on drinks will not only save you money but will allow you to have more fun for longer – and even plan another night out!

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