Author Topic: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.  (Read 11592 times)

TheStrenuousLife

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Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« on: December 15, 2016, 11:01:05 AM »
Hello all,

Long-time lurker and recent joiner here.  I discovered MMM in late 2014, and really started working through the canon and applying his principles in the spring of 2015.  I am currently just a few articles short of having read the entire blog. 

I'm throwing down a challenge for myself in 2017, but actually starting today, and for anyone else that wants to join.  Since January 1, 2016 I have been keeping track of every dollar I spent on alcohol and how much alcohol I have been drinking.  I'm embarrassed to say that I recently crossed the $2,500.00 CDN mark , as well as being on track to end the year at 1.2 drinks per day (I don't actually drink 1.2 drinks per day, but I am bad at downing several over the course of a Saturday night, for example). 

To put this in context, $2500 represents 3.5 months of rent for me and slightly more than my bi-weekly pay-cheque.  Basically, more than two weeks of my working year went towards paying for my alcohol consumption.

I've never thought of myself as having a drinking issue per se, but I am appalled at how much money is being flushed down the drain on alcohol.   In order to understand how this can happen, keep in mind that I live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and due to alcohol taxes, a pint of beer at a bar will, after the additional application of sales tax and the socially mandatory 15% tip, often cost around $8-$10.  Wine and cocktails will easily run in the $12-$16 range at many bars.  Even purchasing from your local government-run liquor stores, while a much better deal than drinking out, can result in costs that would shock the average American or European Mustachian. 

So, without further ado, my goal is to immediately slash my alcohol spend by 75% and get my total 2017 spend on booze, not including gifts and alcohol used solely for cooking, down to $625 CDN.  Even this is quite a high figure based on the amounts suggested by MMM and I am hoping to exceed this goal.  In order to accomplish this I see three main avenues:

  • Stop drinking as much.  Easier said than done given that I am a 26 year old lawyer and much of my social life seems to revolve around bars and drinking.
  • Slash the amount of drinking I do in bars if I am doing to drink.
  • Make my own alcohol.  I recently read Mr. Frugal Toque's guide to fine Canadian Wine-Making and ordered a batch from the same DIY wine-making facility he reviewed.   

bridget

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2016, 12:02:20 PM »
27-year-old lawyer here, and I can't really remember the last night when I did not have at least one drink.  I'm not super worried about the financial impact - I'm not sure I could carefully separate alcohol purchases from my restaurant and grocery spending to be sure how much it was costing me.  Most of the alcohol I drink is either 1) paid for by my employer/clients, or 2) cheap from Trader Joe's.  Nevertheless, I am joining you because this habit is bad for me, and I should have another way to relax/destress from work.  ~14 drinks per week is no bueno long term.

TheStrenuousLife

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2016, 12:10:15 PM »
Welcome to the challenge bridget!   You are correct, aside from the issue of costs, I am looking forward to some positive health benefits by dialing down the drinking. 

It is nuts how awash with booze the legal world is in Canada.  I assume it is a similar situation in the United States.

bridget

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2016, 12:44:55 PM »
It is indeed.  I'll have a hard time even starting this challenge, because I have a work happy hour tonight, my wedding anniversary dinner tomorrow night at a place with fancy craft cocktails that I love, and another drinking-based social event with co-workers on Saturday!  I hereby resolve to only have ONE drink tonight and tomorrow, which if I'm being honest ... is slashing my alcohol consumption by 75% at such events.  And none on Sunday.  Will report back.

With reducing at-home drinking costs, I have previously had success with making sure I always leave my ID at home when I go grocery shopping or to a restaurant, so I can't buy any alcohol while there (my grocery stores are pretty consistent at checking IDs for every transaction).  Then if I don't have alcohol at home because I didn't buy it at the store, I end up finding something else to do.  I'd like to think I have enough self-control I could just choose not to buy it or not to drink it, but past performance suggests I need these gimmicks and tricks to force myself into abstaining. 

Blueskies123

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 01:37:21 PM »
27-year-old lawyer here, and I can't really remember the last night when I did not have at least one drink.  I'm not super worried about the financial impact - I'm not sure I could carefully separate alcohol purchases from my restaurant and grocery spending to be sure how much it was costing me.  Most of the alcohol I drink is either 1) paid for by my employer/clients, or 2) cheap from Trader Joe's.  Nevertheless, I am joining you because this habit is bad for me, and I should have another way to relax/destress from work.  ~14 drinks per week is no bueno long term.

Good thing you are joining because you are drinking way too much.  Every night?  Your liver and kidneys are going to give out in 15 years and all the money you are saving will end up with someone else.  Try not drinking one night a week, then two nights, then three.  Go the gym instead or change jobs.  I am 62 and have lost a lot of friends that drank every night.

MEJG

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2016, 08:08:47 PM »
I'm in! I can look up tomorrow what are alcohol expenses were this past year. We were planning on a round of Whole30 in January, so no alcohol for 30 days at least.

FIRE_at_45

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2016, 08:54:15 PM »
I'm much older than the OP but I was right there with you at your age.  I was living in Halifax and going to the Lower Deck every weekend.  There were many blurry nights. 

I also had a stint where drinking alcohol was a workplace requirement so I've had my fair share of beer.

I'm actually considering 6 months without alcohol to see how it feels.  I've cut my consumption a lot recently by making a few lifestyle changes and just not having it in the house. 
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TheStrenuousLife

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2016, 07:43:16 AM »
LOL FIRE_at_45......I spent 3 years in Halifax during my undergrad.  There were definitely many blurry Sunday nights at the Lower Deck.   

Got invited out with friends for beers tonight.  I'm going to probably have to be a hermit as I know that if I go out with them my willpower will break and there will be a nasty hangover and bar receipt tomorrow morning.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2016, 08:05:43 AM »
Way to go guys!  Alcohol really makes you feel nasty in lots of ways....but when you drink all the time you don't notice it.  I'm doing a whole30 too, so no alcohol for the next 25 days at least...but maybe I'll end up doing a whole60+....

One bit of wisdom I've noticed in my own life:

Now that I have kids, I'm forced to go home early for the babysitter and not get drunk because being hungover with toddlers SUCKS.  You can't sleep in, you have to be full-throttle from the moment they wake up.  Also the breastfeeding.

So I've noticed leaving early is awesome.  Everyone saw you there, so you've checked the work-social-requirement box.  You've bonded with people.  You feel that social uplift.  But here's the thing, nights out don't really get better as they go on...if anything they risk getting embarrassing.  Sure you laugh a lot, but it's not a genuine emotion.

And while you're there drinking, at least for me in my younger days, I always felt like something awesome was just around the corner.  In another hour, this party is gonna get **good**.  But it really doesn't.  Maybe 1/30 nights something hilarious happens in the wee hours. 

So go home early, you're not missing anything.  And you'll feel so good getting a good night's sleep and getting all that alcohol out of your system.

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adamb

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2016, 09:21:16 AM »
Nice! I did my expenses when I was 23 and found I spent 4k a year on booze, drunk munchies, and drunk ubers altogether. I succeeded in cutting that in half in my age 24 year :). Best way to do it is just skip whole weekends and find something else to do. Its really amazing how much you can spend in one night 'going out'. For me it was about 50. 30 on drinks, 10 on food, 10 on ubers.

TheStrenuousLife

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2016, 10:45:44 AM »
Nice! I did my expenses when I was 23 and found I spent 4k a year on booze, drunk munchies, and drunk ubers altogether. I succeeded in cutting that in half in my age 24 year :). Best way to do it is just skip whole weekends and find something else to do. Its really amazing how much you can spend in one night 'going out'. For me it was about 50. 30 on drinks, 10 on food, 10 on ubers.

This is a good point.  Generally speaking, I did not include Uber fees in my spreadsheet, but sometimes I definitely only took an Uber because I was too drunk to contemplate the walk/bus ride home.  Hangovers the next day also led to unnecessary eating out or delivery expenses when I was feeling too lazy to go to the grocery store and cook for myself.

So the total costs of my drinking in 2016 are probably significantly higher than $2500.00 CDN.

bridget

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2016, 12:11:42 PM »
Ha, if I were to calculate the cost of drinking I should probably also include the fact that I am much more likely to do some impulsive online shopping after a glass of wine!  I rarely drink enough in one sitting to need an uber or be hung over the next day, thankfully.  Hangovers are the worst. 

FIRE_at_45

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2016, 09:38:01 PM »
I'm just happy I never did a spreadsheet ever on this area of my life!

All the stuff about the party not getting better is so true....and why did I always forget to drink a glass of water between the beers.

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Kriegsspiel

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2016, 07:30:28 AM »
  Try not drinking one night a week

Is this a thing people do? Ahh fuck it: stretch goal.

TheStrenuousLife

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2016, 09:16:06 AM »
Well, fell off the wagon last night.  Wine and Uber rides.  Note that I did not drink all of this or I probably would not be capable of typing this early.  There is a significant amount of leftover wine that should hopefully last most of next week (it will lose its flavour, but I'm not picky.)

This week is on track to be my WORST for the whole of 2016.  A slew of holiday parties (no excuse, no one pried my mouth open and forcibly poured alcohol down it) has led to a very significant uptick in drinking costs.  In accordance with the comment by adamb above, I am also including my costs that were directly attributable to drinking:

  • One bottle and one tetra-pak of red wine from the LCBO (our local government liquor monopoly): $28.13
  • Uber rides out and back home (I ignored MMM's dictum about just manning up and walking in the winter as well as not giving into an artificial imposition by others to feel rushed): $16.97
  • Total: $45.10

Metric Mouse

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2016, 01:57:29 PM »
  Try not drinking one night a week

Is this a thing people do? Ahh fuck it: stretch goal.

I mean, couldn't be that hard, for one week, right?
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OurTown

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2016, 03:11:18 PM »
Lawyers drinking?  Say it isn't so!

Another lawyer here.  I've cut my drinking down to zero for non-money reasons, and my last drink was over four months ago.  Accordingly, my alcohol spend has been slashed by 100%, lol.  I'm going to estimate that alcohol spending was about $50 per week.  That's $2,600 per year, boys and girls. 

TheStrenuousLife

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2016, 06:45:55 PM »
Lawyers drinking?  Say it isn't so!

Another lawyer here.  I've cut my drinking down to zero for non-money reasons, and my last drink was over four months ago.  Accordingly, my alcohol spend has been slashed by 100%, lol.  I'm going to estimate that alcohol spending was about $50 per week.  That's $2,600 per year, boys and girls.

I'm about the same here.  My spreadsheet shows an average spend of $52.56 CDN per week on alcohol! Confession: drinking red wine as I type this and read some MMM.

OkieStache

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2016, 07:07:18 PM »
Another lawyer here.  Just a little over four years with no alcohol.  I thought it would be awkward in social settings; found that I mostly I get admiration and looks of curious wonder as I nurse my Diet Coke.

TightFistedScot

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2016, 07:14:33 PM »
LOL FIRE_at_45......I spent 3 years in Halifax during my undergrad.  There were definitely many blurry Sunday nights at the Lower Deck.   

Got invited out with friends for beers tonight.  I'm going to probably have to be a hermit as I know that if I go out with them my willpower will break and there will be a nasty hangover and bar receipt tomorrow morning.

I did my undergrad in halifax as well (and Im from a small town in NS)! I was more partial to the dollar drinks at the Dome/Attic on Wednesday nights. hah. Though perhaps dollar drinks were already prohibited in Halifax when you guys were there (after that big brawl at the Dome). I finished undergrad in '07.

I am also looking to cut down on my drinking spending. I'm in Toronto and am a beer drinker so a night out drinking is comparable to Ottawa in terms of cost.

I am planning to do zero alcohol purchases for January - "Joyless January". lol.... To be honest I have no idea what I spend on a year for alcohol, but I average about 4 drinks per week (some of those are purchased at the LCBO, and almost always done all in one go). Some of those drinks are free though because my side hustle gig is working at a club where I get paid in cash and 3 or 4 drinks tickets.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2016, 07:19:11 PM by Skinnin »

MMMdude

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2016, 09:43:22 PM »
We are in the same boat.  Typically go through 4-5 bottles of wine per week (two of us).  So say around 225 per year, at $10 per pop and it certainly adds up.  Never mind the calories and hazy feeling on some mornings....

Mind you I'm old now and at your age i would get smashed alot of weekends and don't really regret any of it.  Around late 20's I started feeling super old going out like that.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2016, 09:47:22 PM by MMMdude »

FIRE_at_45

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2016, 10:09:07 PM »
I was never much for the Liquor Dome.  I was 26 at the time and past the pounding music...oh wait the music was loud at The Lower Deck too. 
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iowajes

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2016, 06:55:51 AM »
I don't drink at all (isince college t's just hasn't been where I wanted to spend my money), and while not a lawyer- I work in a field that requires a good amount of travel and we always end up in a nice bar having drinks. Often these drinks are paid for by expense, but not always. However, for me, since drinking is no longer about the money, but just something I don't do, I still don't partake.  For the most part, no one questions me, but if they do- it's easy to lie and say I'm on some diet plan that doesn't allow alcohol right now.  I recommend that for anyone who is having trouble thinking of excuses.  Or you could even say you only get 1 drink since it isn't a "cheat day" if you want a glass of wine but want to limit yourself.  Fancy diet plans are very "in".

I've had people ask me if I was in recovery, and others if I was Mormon (I'm neither); but mostly people don't care. And if we are expensing a fancy bottle of wine between 3 people, the other 2 are excited they don't have to share with me :)

TheStrenuousLife

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2016, 07:37:59 AM »
A steady stream of holiday dinners is completely blowing this goal up in my face.   I think that in order to get this spend under control, as well as minimize the lost productivity caused by hangovers (which I find are getting worse and worse as I get on in my 20s) I am going to have to go cold turkey for awhile.  The problem is around this time of year, one drink seems to often lead to two drinks, and then a steady cascade of more drinks. 

And yes, I am hungover as I write this.




pbkmaine

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2016, 07:45:33 AM »
I do drink, but not much or often. I have a bunch of drinking friends. These are strategies I employ:
1) I say the drinks interfere with my allergy meds. Note that I do not take allergy meds.
2) I say that more than one drink interferes with my sleep, which it does.
3) I get club soda with lime in a tall glass.
4) I order a "virgin" drink.

OurTown

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2016, 09:03:50 AM »
I also do the club soda with lime or a tonic water with lime.  Tonic water does contain sugar, so you can substitute diet tonic water if you wish.  It will also cure your malaria.  No really, I haven't had malaria once since I started drinking tonic water.

bridget

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2016, 01:30:25 PM »
I also do the club soda with lime or a tonic water with lime.  Tonic water does contain sugar, so you can substitute diet tonic water if you wish.  It will also cure your malaria.  No really, I haven't had malaria once since I started drinking tonic water.

Damn, I was hoping I could chalk my lack of malaria up to the gin.


boarder42

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2016, 11:41:57 AM »
wife just got pregnant so we're slashing ours by 100% for the next 9 months.  not fair to her for me to drink and not her. 
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FIRE_at_45

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2016, 11:57:57 AM »
That's awesome boarder42!  Congratulations.  9 months would be an impressive feat. 

I've managed to cut back this Christmas.  Opened a bottle of wine last night and the cork was so dry it disintegrated and I could only get a small hole through it.  I think it must be sign ;)
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fordman302

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2016, 11:59:26 AM »
wife just got pregnant so we're slashing ours by 100% for the next 9 months.  not fair to her for me to drink and not her.

godspeed, a designated driver is a terrible thing to waste.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2016, 12:10:45 PM »
wife just got pregnant so we're slashing ours by 100% for the next 9 months.  not fair to her for me to drink and not her.

godspeed, a designated driver is a terrible thing to waste.

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bridget

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2016, 12:32:02 PM »
Two days this week without a glass of wine after work, but that is because "after work" never really happened - I left the office well after midnight, and when I finally got home I wasn't going to waste my precious sleeping time drinking anything.  So sometimes, being a lawyer means you drink a bit less than you otherwise might. :)

I'm spending Christmas weekend with my religiously no-alcohol family, so unless I want to sneak out to find a bar open on Christmas day (confession, I did this last year), it'll be a dry few days coming up there as well.

TheStrenuousLife

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #32 on: December 22, 2016, 12:39:33 PM »
Two days this week without a glass of wine after work, but that is because "after work" never really happened - I left the office well after midnight, and when I finally got home I wasn't going to waste my precious sleeping time drinking anything.  So sometimes, being a lawyer means you drink a bit less than you otherwise might. :)

I'm spending Christmas weekend with my religiously no-alcohol family, so unless I want to sneak out to find a bar open on Christmas day (confession, I did this last year), it'll be a dry few days coming up there as well.

Yikes.  I've only been in the office after midnight a handful of times since graduating law school.  Perhaps 10-12 times since 2014.   We are a small shop though and I've definitely heard some horror stories from my big-law friends working on Bay Street in Toronto.

My order of 24 bottles of wine from the wine-making shop (see the article on MMM's site entitled Fine Canadian Wine-making) should be ready in another two weeks.  I am hoping that will last me from January 2017 to June 2017 but we will see.  At $4.75 per bottle that is hard to beat.

boarder42

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #33 on: December 22, 2016, 12:49:58 PM »
Two days this week without a glass of wine after work, but that is because "after work" never really happened - I left the office well after midnight, and when I finally got home I wasn't going to waste my precious sleeping time drinking anything.  So sometimes, being a lawyer means you drink a bit less than you otherwise might. :)

I'm spending Christmas weekend with my religiously no-alcohol family, so unless I want to sneak out to find a bar open on Christmas day (confession, I did this last year), it'll be a dry few days coming up there as well.

Yikes.  I've only been in the office after midnight a handful of times since graduating law school.  Perhaps 10-12 times since 2014.   We are a small shop though and I've definitely heard some horror stories from my big-law friends working on Bay Street in Toronto.

My order of 24 bottles of wine from the wine-making shop (see the article on MMM's site entitled Fine Canadian Wine-making) should be ready in another two weeks.  I am hoping that will last me from January 2017 to June 2017 but we will see.  At $4.75 per bottle that is hard to beat.

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FIRE_at_45

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #34 on: December 22, 2016, 12:56:40 PM »
True, but that Trader Joe's stuff is terrible and you have to double everything up here in Canada.  I fear our OP would be a raging alcoholic down south :)
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boarder42

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #35 on: December 22, 2016, 01:00:42 PM »
True, but that Trader Joe's stuff is terrible and you have to double everything up here in Canada.  I fear our OP would be a raging alcoholic down south :)

yeah canada prices blow. 

and i highly doubt you have a refined enough palet to tell the difference.  many studies have been done even with professional wine personnel and appearance of good wine out weighs the flavor for most people.

there is a brain games where they took crap tastic bottom shelf wine and put it in a 100 dollar bottle and everyone picked that over the 100 dollar wine in a clown bottle. 

perception.

beer OTOH - much more difference between a bud light and a lagunitas.
but try to tell the difference between random lagers and you're screwed (brand loyalty is dumb)

wines fall into the random lager categories its the same grape yes you can oak age it and its grown different places but there really arent that big of differences.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2016, 01:06:18 PM by boarder42 »
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FIRE_at_45

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #36 on: December 22, 2016, 01:17:26 PM »
I agree with you on not being able to tell the difference but I did have a bottle of TJ that was terrible.  I wanted it to be good.  I usually try and buy my wine based on getting it for less than $10.  I don't drink enough of it to go for the volume buy. 

I'm actually a beer snob as it was part of my career path.  I've done a lot of tasting over the years.  Here's the thing about beer.  You can load up a really bad beer with hops and then you can't taste the rest of the defects. 

Generally speaking with the big brewers (Bud, Miller, Labatt, Molson) you will get the most consistent tasting product meaning every time you buy you know what to expect.  All that marketing crap about brewing in small batches is total BS.  The smaller the batches the less refined the equipment.  The big brewers all use computer automation and then blend massive tanks together for consistency.  The same applies to wine. 

BTW, the best beer in the US is Deschutes IMHO.  Absolutely freaking amazing!!

https://www.deschutesbrewery.com/
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iowajes

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #37 on: December 22, 2016, 01:25:51 PM »
wife just got pregnant so we're slashing ours by 100% for the next 9 months.  not fair to her for me to drink and not her.

Congratulations! 

I think it would be hard to ever make the pregnancy situation "fair". Do you plan to give up all the foods that make her sick? Sleep with nails under your hips to make it more fair that she can't sleep without horrible pain?  (Actually- I think that's nice of you to do.)

Just know, if she plans to breastfeed your sobriety might need to go on a bit longer. Some women really hate the pump and dump that has to come after having alcohol.

boarder42

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #38 on: December 22, 2016, 01:43:59 PM »
I agree with you on not being able to tell the difference but I did have a bottle of TJ that was terrible.  I wanted it to be good.  I usually try and buy my wine based on getting it for less than $10.  I don't drink enough of it to go for the volume buy. 

I'm actually a beer snob as it was part of my career path.  I've done a lot of tasting over the years.  Here's the thing about beer.  You can load up a really bad beer with hops and then you can't taste the rest of the defects. 

Generally speaking with the big brewers (Bud, Miller, Labatt, Molson) you will get the most consistent tasting product meaning every time you buy you know what to expect.  All that marketing crap about brewing in small batches is total BS.  The smaller the batches the less refined the equipment.  The big brewers all use computer automation and then blend massive tanks together for consistency.  The same applies to wine. 

BTW, the best beer in the US is Deschutes IMHO.  Absolutely freaking amazing!!

https://www.deschutesbrewery.com/

oh i understand the process but i dont want a beer that has been refined to the point of being water flavored. i like decheutes too.
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boarder42

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #39 on: December 22, 2016, 01:45:16 PM »
wife just got pregnant so we're slashing ours by 100% for the next 9 months.  not fair to her for me to drink and not her.

Congratulations! 

I think it would be hard to ever make the pregnancy situation "fair". Do you plan to give up all the foods that make her sick? Sleep with nails under your hips to make it more fair that she can't sleep without horrible pain?  (Actually- I think that's nice of you to do.)

Just know, if she plans to breastfeed your sobriety might need to go on a bit longer. Some women really hate the pump and dump that has to come after having alcohol.

cant be 100% fair but we love craft beer and red wine ... also cost savings here cutting it out. 
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Stash Engineer

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #40 on: December 22, 2016, 01:49:03 PM »
<snip>

BTW, the best beer in the US is Deschutes IMHO.  Absolutely freaking amazing!!

https://www.deschutesbrewery.com/

Thanks for the recommendation!  I'll pick some of this up on the way home tonight.  The 'beer finder' map is cool. 

On topic:  This is one area of my life I know I should improve on, but don't want/not ready to.  I like the idea of it being a 'stretch goal', haha!  I estimate that I spent about $1000 on alcohol this year - mostly at home. 
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iowajes

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #41 on: December 22, 2016, 01:59:48 PM »

cant be 100% fair but we love craft beer and red wine ... also cost savings here cutting it out.

Set the savings aside in a college fund.  Your future child will appreciate it, and you can appreciate the irony when you realize your non-drinking money is being frittered away by a college kid buying shots.

boarder42

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #42 on: December 22, 2016, 02:01:14 PM »

cant be 100% fair but we love craft beer and red wine ... also cost savings here cutting it out.

Set the savings aside in a college fund.  Your future child will appreciate it, and you can appreciate the irony when you realize your non-drinking money is being frittered away by a college kid buying shots.

college fund HA ... like college and education will still exist how we know it in 19 years. 
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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #43 on: December 22, 2016, 02:26:28 PM »
<snip>

BTW, the best beer in the US is Deschutes IMHO.  Absolutely freaking amazing!!

https://www.deschutesbrewery.com/

Thanks for the recommendation!  I'll pick some of this up on the way home tonight.  The 'beer finder' map is cool. 

On topic:  This is one area of my life I know I should improve on, but don't want/not ready to.  I like the idea of it being a 'stretch goal', haha!  I estimate that I spent about $1000 on alcohol this year - mostly at home.

I appreciate the irony of making alcohol recommendations in a thread like this, but I have to plug my two favorite beers from my home state - Epic Brewing (sadly now moved most of its production to Denver because of SLC's draconian liquor laws) and 2Row Brewing (pretty new, I think they started out last year).

FIRE_at_45

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #44 on: December 22, 2016, 05:45:38 PM »
That's true Bridget....OP your thread is spinning out of control.  :)
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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #45 on: December 27, 2016, 03:25:42 PM »
I'm interested in joining this. There are two adults in my household, my husband and me, and combined we spent $3200. Yikes. I'd like to minimize or, if possible, eliminate my own spending on alcohol, and hope that my efforts lead my husband to follow suit. We'll see how that goes.

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #46 on: December 27, 2016, 04:05:55 PM »
I wish everyone luck here.  I cut out alcohol last year and just made it a little over a year now.  From a behavioral/psychological perspective I think relying on monetary reasons to cut down on alcohol won't be very effective as there are just too many loop holes, finding cheaper or even free alternatives.  Plus the social pressure is just too great, if you don't have conviction people will end up buying you drinks, at least that's what my friends and co-workers would end up doing.

I quit because of health reasons.  I started developing a rubber tire, I would have to wake up at night to empty out my bladder and had a hard time waking up after having two or more beers/glasses of wine.  At first I abstained for a month and immediately started noticing improvements on my sleep and energy levels.  Then I decided to extend it indefinitely.  About 3 months in I was given a beer without even asking and I decided to have a sip to see how I would react.  I wanted to see if the taste would compel me to finish the bottle and have more.  But it was no big deal at all, I tasted it and put it down.  The only thing I felt was guilt for wasting the bottle of beer.

At first I felt self conscious and did the old tonic/club soda and lime trick to avoid having to tell friends that I stopped drinking.  But then I felt silly trying to hide the fact and would just say I stopped for health reasons.  None of my friends disowned me and I still get invited to social gatherings.  Most of my anxiety was in my head as it turns out.

I was just out with a few friends and one of my friends acquaintances would tell stories of how drunk she would get, how she has to stop, but then go to a bar after because she was still sober.  Another friend told me that he can't drink anymore because of liver problems, he's only in his early 40s.  Unfortunately things caught up with him because he would go out 4-5 time a week and spend hundreds on drinks.

FIRE_at_45

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #47 on: December 27, 2016, 05:14:12 PM »
Thanks for sharing your experiences on quitting.  I have been off coffee for over 6 months and it has not been complete cold turkey.  I have one every now and again.

I think with alcohol so much of it is social and habits.  I used to routinely drink a few beers on Friday nights after the work week.  It was my reward for getting through another one.  After hockey there was a beer or two etc.

I am still grappling with the idea of stopping for 6 months.  I would do it for health reasons too but mainly to get into great shape.  I think alcohol seriously works against those goals.
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MonkeyJenga

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #48 on: December 27, 2016, 05:19:18 PM »
I stopped drinking over two years ago. I never bothered lying when people asked me why. At first it was to save money, and I figured I could still participate in open-bar type events. But that turned out to be inadvisable, so I cut it off completely. I lost a little weight and started sleeping better. Cutting out coffee around the same time helped with the sleep too.

I've gotten into a couple conversations about early retirement from this, and I never want to deny myself the chance to talk about that!
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TheStrenuousLife

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Re: Slashing My Alcohol Spend by 75% starting now.
« Reply #49 on: December 27, 2016, 06:44:00 PM »
Glad to see so much enthusiasm for this topic.  My alcohol consumption probably peaked last week with the holiday season, but has been nil the last few days.  Also, most of last week's drinking did not involve any actual expenditure and was covered by family at various dinners and gatherings.

I've built up a nice reserve of alcohol from various Christmas gifts and I am hoping that this will last me until the end of February 2017.  My 'home-made' wine should be ready by the second week of January and I am hoping that batch will push my reserves to at least April 2017.  I'm going to try and drink everything I have in my apartment before I venture out to purchase new alcohol.  I'm also going to be pretty ruthless about turning down opportunities to drink out at bars with my friends and colleagues. 

And I fully agree with the above posts that aside from the financial angle, there are serious health benefits to reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption.  I'm not at the point yet where I am ready to quit entirely, although it is something that I have often thought about, but I am going to resolve not to 1) Be hungover at work any day in 2017; and 2) Limit my drinking on work nights to one drink.