Author Topic: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!  (Read 15744 times)

brandino29

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I've known for a long while that I need to start spending less money on beer.  The problem is, I love beer too much to quit drinking it (good beer, that is, and therein lies the problem). 

Obviously the best way to save money would be to stop drinking, but I don't feel in any way that we have a "drinking problem," simply a spending problem.  I generally drink 1 beer a night, sometimes 2, rarely more than that, so I drink probably 10 a week.  My wife will often join me, let's say she drinks 5 per week.  That's 15 a week, or about 65 a month.  The beers we buy typically cost around $15 per 12 pack so we're spending in the neighborhood of $80 per month.  I'd like to halve that for 2015 and I'm looking for suggestions. 

Reducing my consumption to 7 per week will save ~$16 a month.  I occasionally brew my own using prepackaged kits, but those still end up running about 80 cents a beer so there's not a huge cost savings but I'm also considering buying individual ingredients in bulk which could knock a little extra off (I haven't done the math here). 

Recently I had it in my head I would switch to cheaper beer and I bought a 15 pack of Stroh's for $9 bucks (who packages in 15 anyway?) and I quickly determined that was a poor choice.  So the idea of switching to crappy beer is out.

Anyone else out there been faced with the same dilemma and found a good solution?

MoneyCat

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2014, 03:29:32 PM »
Can you buy beer from a warehouse store?  I've gotten good deals that way.  You should also experiment with different kinds of low-cost beer.  Advertising has convinced people that the macro brews their ancestors drank are too "common" and "beneath them" to drink these days.  When generations of people drank certain types of beer and were fine with it, that's a good indication that it's not really bad beer.  I found a macro brew that costs only $24 for a case of 30 and it has served me just fine.

Eric

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2014, 03:36:39 PM »
I also have a weakness for quality brew.  Belgian strong ales and American stouts here, which are definitely more expensive than most everything else.  I'm working on three strategies.  1) I stopped drinking during the week and now only drink on weekends.  (Well, that's the goal.  I make it most weeks.  Holidays and such throw me off.)  2) If I want more to drink after the first beer (22 oz generally, so 2nd beer if you're looking at 12 oz), I switch to whiskey to sip on instead of popping another one.  3) I make sure it's at a proper temperature before drinking, i.e. wait for it to warm up so you can taste all of the flavors and it makes you drink it slower

I was just mentioning to my wife last night that I'd like to cut down on our alcohol spending as well.  We were a little over $3k for 2014, so there's lots of room for improvement!  In fact, I probably shouldn't be the one giving you advice with a budget like that. :)
« Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 03:38:11 PM by Eric »

mxt0133

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2014, 03:40:59 PM »
I would try an experiment where you don't drink beer for two weeks.  You might not think your addicted because of the amount you drink but if you can't actually go without it for a few weeks, then it's an addiction.

I had the same thoughts about coffee, I only drank one full cup a day, but I had to have it everyday or I would be cranky and get headaches.  I decided to stop for a week.  The first 3-4 days were horrible, but after a week I was OK and haven't had it in over two years.  I like coffee but I did not like my dependence on it.

If you are OK with just one beer then I say that it's just a habit and the way to reduce or break that habit is to know your triggers.  Do you have it after dinner, when you sit down at night to watch a move or read a book, ect?  Knowing in what setting and scenario where you feel the urge to have a beer is key to helping you reduce your consumption of it.

jngreenlee

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2014, 04:00:42 PM »
I have (had) a La Fin Du Monde habit, averaging $9 per bomber at Walmart Neighborhood Market, or $5 at Trader Joes. I could easily drink one a night, and that would be up around $3k per year!

The thing that's helping me stop is a FIRE goal. Without that kind of BHAG, it's hard to be motivated not to want one after the kids get to sleep....now I have better things to work on!

Exflyboy

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2014, 05:39:53 PM »
Hmm well 1 beer (as in 1 pint) I believe is about 2 units of alcohol and max recommended intake is 1 to 2 units per day.

So unless these are small beers you are drinking 2 to 4 units per day.

I think your consumption might be considered excessive.

As to spending less.. you could brew your own perhaps?

Frank

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2014, 05:45:12 PM »
I would try an experiment where you don't drink beer for two weeks.  You might not think your addicted because of the amount you drink but if you can't actually go without it for a few weeks, then it's an addiction.

I had the same thoughts about coffee, I only drank one full cup a day, but I had to have it everyday or I would be cranky and get headaches.  I decided to stop for a week.  The first 3-4 days were horrible, but after a week I was OK and haven't had it in over two years.  I like coffee but I did not like my dependence on it.

If you are OK with just one beer then I say that it's just a habit and the way to reduce or break that habit is to know your triggers.  Do you have it after dinner, when you sit down at night to watch a move or read a book, ect?  Knowing in what setting and scenario where you feel the urge to have a beer is key to helping you reduce your consumption of it.

To the OP, what you have is most likely a "ritualistic" habit.  When I cut back, I never wanted a brew until I fired up the grill on a Saturday night.  Black decaf coffee was a good substitute.  The bitterness and roast flavor was enough to satisfy even better than cheap beer.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 05:52:40 PM by So Close »

viper155

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2014, 06:32:40 PM »
If yer drinking 80 bux a month worth of beer, just work 80 bux more a month. Problem solved. 3, 4, 5 or 6 more hours? Maybe even 1 or 2

Eric

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2014, 06:41:15 PM »
If yer drinking 80 bux a month worth of beer, just work 80 bux more a month. Problem solved. 3, 4, 5 or 6 more hours? Maybe even 1 or 2

Dude, are you drunk right now?  :)

Fuzz

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2014, 07:01:24 PM »
Rainier tallboys! Keep trying cheap beers.

MoneyCat

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2014, 08:38:21 PM »
All you guys telling the OP to stop drinking beer should knock it off.  That's like asking a man to stop breathing air.

TreeTired

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2014, 08:55:35 PM »
I drink Yuengling.  (not available nationwide)   I like it a lot and we can get it for $16.99  for 24 bottles, and sometimes on sale for as little as $13.99 for 24.   I really prefer it to more expensive brands.

nobody123

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2014, 08:57:45 PM »
I am a beer snob.  Luckily for me, a lot of stores in my area sell single bottles without gouging you (a bottle is 1/6 the cost of the six-pack).  I generally buy a sixer of mixed bottles a week (averages around $2.50 a bottle) and enjoy one a night.  If I want to have another, I dip into the budget-friendly macro brews.  If you have one good beer, especially anything super hoppy or super dark, you can't really appreciate the flavor of another "good" beer immediately afterward, so the swill works just fine (especially if the first one is high-octane).  Believe it or not, the Kirkland Light Beer they sell at Costco ($21.99 for a 48 pack of cans in OH) is not terrible.

I also bought a Hermetus bottle opener / resealer which helps spread the $8+ bombers out over two days.  https://store.kaufmann-mercantile.com/collections/kitchen-home/products/hermetus-bottle-opener-resealer  It's awesome even if you use it during a single session to keep the second half of the bottle happy while you drink the first half.

chasesfish

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2014, 08:59:28 PM »
I'm going to have to second folks saying that's probably an okay price.  I would just recommend not drinking every other day,  I enjoy a nice beer 2-3 times a week.  $1.50/bottle is about my cost

lielec11

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2014, 09:07:27 PM »
Ugh, IPA's and Porters over here... Same issue on my end, except my 2nd stop is usually scotch or bourbon which is more expensive!

lielec11

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2014, 09:10:10 PM »
I drink Yuengling.  (not available nationwide)   I like it a lot and we can get it for $16.99  for 24 bottles, and sometimes on sale for as little as $13.99 for 24.   I really prefer it to more expensive brands.

Yeungling was my go to in college when I felt like splurging. Still drink it to this day, they make a great lager. Oldest brewery in America too I believe.

Jared

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2014, 09:32:45 PM »
Homebrewing with bulk ingredients is much cheaper than pre packaged kits. Depending on the type of beer you can get it down around .30c/12oz or cheaper. All grain, bulk ordering hops, and re-using yeast help drive cost down.

Equipment costs are not cheap but once you're over the startup hurtle it's a "hobby". You could also consider volunteering at a brewery. Most pay in beer and it's a social event.

TheDude

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2014, 09:46:24 PM »
I drink as much or more than OP. Its one of my vices but its worth it to me. I think for me the only way to get my beer costs down would to start brewing my own.

Lifes better with good beer if you ask me.

lielec11

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2014, 09:50:15 PM »
I drink as much or more than OP. Its one of my vices but its worth it to me. I think for me the only way to get my beer costs down would to start brewing my own.

Lifes better with good beer if you ask me.

Not shocking with a name like TheDude..but that's just, like, my opinion man.

brandino29

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2014, 10:21:51 PM »
Like I said initially, it's not a drinking problem in the sense that I feel we're drinking too much, just trying to be as mustachian as possible.  I frequently do take breaks of several days at a time simply so I'm not drinking every day, even if it's just one beer a day.  I'm not saying I'm not addicted -- it is very much a habit and I certainly do crave a beer -- but I also have control over it, it doesn't interfere any aspect of my life from working, to sleep, to relationships (in fact it often enhances as I frequently get together for a beer with neighbors). 

With that out of the way, I appreciate some of the feedback.  30 cents a beer would be grand, sounds like I really need to look into the bulk ingredients, I already have all of the brewing equipment necessary (though I'd love a 5 gallon Cornelius keg and CO2 to skip the whole bottling process). 

Yuengling was my go to beer for a few years, but I drank myself out it.  I can still I enjoy one from time to time but have never been able to get back into it regular, though the Porter is pretty good but hard to find around my area. 

All you guys telling the OP to stop drinking beer should knock it off.  That's like asking a man to stop breathing air.


Lifes better with good beer if you ask me.

No kidding, non-beer drinkers just don't get it.

Rainier tallboys! Keep trying cheap beers.

Gonna have to look for this, sounds like a West Coast brew though?  Never heard of it. 



brandino29

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2014, 10:25:12 PM »
Ah, one extra thought I decided I'm going to give a shot for January---I'm gonna bust the budget up front, spend all $40 at the beginning of the month, stock up on a couple of twelve packs of good beers and a couple cheaper beers.  When it's gone, it's gone and I'm SOL until the end of the month. 

Will let you know how the plan works out.

kodokan

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2014, 10:46:02 PM »
We probably drink about the same as you, that 1-2 beers/ glasses of wine most nights. It's definitely just a habit thing - it gets dark, the evening ticks around, I start to cook... and then I just want a 'grown up' drink, rather than tea or water.

To keep the cost down, I buy whichever 12-pack of craftish beer is on promotion at the supermarket - Sam Adams, Blue Moon, Magic Hat. There's usually one of them under $12; my go-to price point is less than a dollar a bottle. The shopping rebate app Ibotta has alcohol deals on; I've been getting $3 a pack off Shocktop recently.

Is wine acceptable? The stuff Walmart sells for $2.49 a bottle - forget the name, has a tree on it - is ok for weeknight swigging, especially the Shiraz and Merlot.

We're just heading into Dry January, our month off alcohol to give our bodies a break (and prove we can do it...) and will be drinking more Monin cordials: http://www.monin.com/us-en/products. Flavors like Cinnamon or Habanero Lime are adult enough to give that evening feel we're looking for.

humbleMouse

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2014, 11:03:55 PM »
$80 a month is very reasonable for a drinking habit.  Keep drinking man!

DeltaBond

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2014, 06:29:34 AM »
Just a funky idea here, but what if you drank every other night instead?  When I was cutting back on a few things but didn't want to feel deprived, I used the every other day method, and it worked really well.

I'm a red panda

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2014, 07:41:28 AM »
I think every other night is probably the way to go.

Or, if you usually drink 2 beers a night, drink 1 beer on weeknights and 2 beers on weekends. Then, slowly move o every other night. Then move to not on weekdays.


Still, it's not like you are drinking a 6 pack every night and a case on the weekends. Drink on sale beers more often, and save fancy beers for special nights.  And don't drink when you are out. That's where it really adds up.

EDSMedS

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2014, 07:49:03 AM »
I'm in this corner as well.  I love me some Smutty Nose, Stone, Firestone Walker, Goose Island, etc.  I'll be looking forward to learning from this thread.

I would recommend TRADER JOE'S!  They have some $7 6 packs that you can mix/match that are high quality!  I especially love the STOCKYARD for it's smooth, oatmeal, choc/coffee/bitter, oily goodness.

Fishingmn

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2014, 07:49:26 AM »
Here's your solution.

Go to CostCo and buy the new 48 pack of Kirkland beer for $21.99. Don't allow yourself to buy any more beer until you finish that pack. You won't like the taste so you'll drink much less and save money while doing it.

UnleashHell

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2014, 07:53:45 AM »
80?  I have 100 a month in my budget for alcohol!!


shotgunwilly

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2014, 08:10:32 AM »
Natty Light... 30 pack for like $16.

mm1970

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2014, 08:35:40 AM »
I would cut back on drinking.  It seems excessive (depending on your age, you might think it's not.  When I was in  my 20's, I easily had a beer almost every night.)

I've switched to wine, but I found I was drinking a glass every night, occasionally two.  And it was a "ritual" like someone above mentioned.  So I stopped in various ways:
1.  Weekends only
2.  No more than 1 on any day
3.  Can open a bottle on Fri or Sat, but not any other night
4.  Only drink when "out" (which is rare, I've got two small kids)
5.  Cold turkey for a month

Mostly these were just challenges.  My mother was an alcoholic and it killed her, so I am sensitive to the "ritual" aspect of it - and wanted to get away from that.  And let's face it, I'm a 40-something year old mother and alcohol is not good for weight control.

I switched to bubbly water or herbal tea during my challenges.  It was pretty easy.

You could do 4 nights a week, and no more than 1, except on Saturday?  So Mon, Wed, Fri (1), Sat (2), there you cut your intake in half.

Imustacheyouaquestion

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2014, 08:55:16 AM »
Just cut back. Weekends only is a good goal (probably my goal for 2015!).

MMM had a post saying he'd give himself enough beers to get solidly drunk once a week (6), and he could have them all at once or spread throughout the week. Cut it down to weekends only and you can have 2 beers each on Friday/Saturday, but more than halving your cost.

If you love trying different beers, do a flight at a local beer place once a month. Or do tasting parties with similar beer-minded friends where everyone brings a six-pack to taste. Once a month and you should get your fix. Good luck!


skunkfunk

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2014, 09:16:26 AM »
You say you brew with pre-packaged kits but don't save much. Quit using kits.

Get a coleman cooler from sears (like $22) and buy bulk grain and hops from LHBS. Have them crush it, save $100 on a crusher right there. Make yeast starters, save a little yeast from the starter for next time.

I can make 5-6 gallons for as little as $15. Hefeweizens and other stuff without much hops or ABV are really, really cheap. On the other end, for a bit under $40 I just made a 12.5% ABV dark saison. I don't knock it out of the park with every brew, but this thing is fantastic. That shit would cost $5+ a bottle in the store, and I made 45 bottles of it.

ky.griff

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2014, 10:05:54 AM »
You can save some by always buying a full case.Most liquor stores will give you the case price even you have get it in four six-packs or two twelve-packs as long as they are the same.You might have to ask for it.Sam's Club usually has good prices also.

epipenguin

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2014, 10:14:33 AM »
Don't drink Mondays through Wednesdays.

I've done dry January's a few times too, in fact, I'll probably do it again this January. It's so much easier to go cold turkey, and to have basically an excuse to cut back, when others are doing it too.

yoga mama

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2014, 10:16:28 AM »
Another suggestion - are you close to any breweries or bars that fill growlers?  They often have specials.  My brother in law mentioned the other day that the brewery near him fills growlers for half price on Mondays - so $6 for a full growler which is about 5-6 pints.  The problem is, with the growler already open, its too easy to have more :)  But you could limit yourself to 2 growlers a week, one for weekdays and one for weekends.  They will stay carbonated if you make sure the lid is nice and tight, but once you open it you should drink it within 3-4 days at most.  Good luck, my hubby and I drink about the same amount and are beer snobs as well.  Keep thinking we should cut back for both financial and health reasons and I appreciate the ideas here.

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2014, 10:26:17 AM »
Everyone is writing about beer and money, but that's not the issue. He already knows a solution, which he wrote: "I'd like to halve that for 2015 and I'm looking for suggestions."

If you want to halve that, then halve that. I'm not MMM, but I suspect he'd say something like you deserve a facepunch if you know what to do and aren't doing it.

I think you're asking about motivation. You even identified the problem as emotional/motivational: "The problem is, I love beer too much to quit drinking it (good beer, that is, and therein lies the problem)."

I've found it difficult to act when my feeling is "I'm giving up something I like." Or in your case, love. Focusing on beer makes giving it up harder because you're thinking about it while trying to plan.

I enjoy beer but I've stopped drinking it, to maybe one a week, often less, and then usually because someone is giving me a free one. I've had several bottles in my fridge I haven't touched for months. Actually, I realized I was cutting it down a lot when I was watching a game at a bar and the owner, after a big score, offered a round on the house. I had already finished my beer for the day, so I declined without much thought. And this was a place with dozens of craft beers on tap.

How did I decline free delicious beer so easily?

I wasn't trying to "avoid beer," I was doing something I liked more that overrode my interest in beer. In my case I had increased my workouts and improved my diet to where I was improving my fitness. In particular, and somewhat ironically, I started approaching six-pack abs and I came to see beer as counterproductive. I'm 43 and never had six-pack abs before and i find I enjoy the long-term emotional reward from my fitness more than the fleeting sensory pleasure of the beer.

My particular alternative is just me. You don't have to make fitness your thing, but if your mental model for enjoying beer is less beer, the alternative sounds worse than the status quo. Changing won't make sense logically or motivationally. If you have something you like more, you'll choose that option without effort.

I recommend looking for something you like more and stop thinking about beer. In the meantime, I say enjoy the beer. Maybe you can find a use for the money, maybe you create another hobby that keeps you from the beer, maybe you find something else you like to drink more (vegetable smoothies come to mind, but that's just me), etc. Probably close to seven billion people drink less than you, so you have many examples to choose from.

I recommend fitness. I was fit before I started the process that crowded most beer out, but I'm more fit now and I love it. Plus it's free and improves many other parts of life.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 10:32:50 AM by JoshuaSpodek »

skunkfunk

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2014, 10:34:18 AM »
i find I enjoy the long-term emotional reward from my fitness more than the fleeting sensory pleasure of the beer.

It's only fleeting if you're out of beer.

frugalecon

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2014, 10:35:20 AM »
I have (had) a La Fin Du Monde habit, averaging $9 per bomber at Walmart Neighborhood Market, or $5 at Trader Joes. I could easily drink one a night, and that would be up around $3k per year!

The thing that's helping me stop is a FIRE goal. Without that kind of BHAG, it's hard to be motivated not to want one after the kids get to sleep....now I have better things to work on!

I love this beer! It is awesome! I enjoy beer, wine, and select spirits, and I can't fathom reducing them to hasten FIRE, when after FIRE, I would enjoy drinking them so much. I can easily go without alcohol, but I enjoy the taste of quality products and their convivial quality.

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2014, 10:50:16 AM »
I've known for a long while that I need to start spending less money on beer.  The problem is, I love beer too much to quit drinking it (good beer, that is, and therein lies the problem). 

Obviously the best way to save money would be to stop drinking, but I don't feel in any way that we have a "drinking problem," simply a spending problem.  I generally drink 1 beer a night, sometimes 2, rarely more than that, so I drink probably 10 a week.  My wife will often join me, let's say she drinks 5 per week.  That's 15 a week, or about 65 a month.  The beers we buy typically cost around $15 per 12 pack so we're spending in the neighborhood of $80 per month.  I'd like to halve that for 2015 and I'm looking for suggestions. 

Reducing my consumption to 7 per week will save ~$16 a month.  I occasionally brew my own using prepackaged kits, but those still end up running about 80 cents a beer so there's not a huge cost savings but I'm also considering buying individual ingredients in bulk which could knock a little extra off (I haven't done the math here). 

Recently I had it in my head I would switch to cheaper beer and I bought a 15 pack of Stroh's for $9 bucks (who packages in 15 anyway?) and I quickly determined that was a poor choice.  So the idea of switching to crappy beer is out.

Anyone else out there been faced with the same dilemma and found a good solution?

Switch to liquor.

I still drink beer occasionally, but I have found that I get a bigger bang for my buck. I rarely ever drink during the week, but I make up for it on the weekends. I will usually have 3-6 bourbon's on a Friday & Saturday night. But a 1.75L of Jim Beam will last me about a month(at around $22). When I drink beer, I'll either get a 30 of Pabst or a 12 of some Microbrew(Magic Hat is my favorite). Most months, I'll spend less than $40 on booze between beer & liquor. It helps immensely not to drink during the week. And don't ever let anyone tell you that 10 drinks a week is too much. They're either full of shit or a judgmental teetotaler.

When I turned 21, I think I probably spent close to $3000 that year on alcohol. Now, it's more along the lines of $500-$700 a year.

Tyler

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2014, 10:57:32 AM »
I used to drink moderately every night. I never really considered it a problem, and also enjoyed imbibing in the good stuff. However, I eventually came to realize I didn't love the whiskey and beer as much as I needed it to unwind every night. After addressing the core issue of my work situation and finding a suitable replacement for the evening ritual aspect (now my first instinct is to make a cup of coffee) I rarely drink at all. The cravings are completely gone. And I've lost weight and saved money in the process. :)

I still drink occasionally, but mostly in social situations and always on my own terms.

James

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2014, 10:59:26 AM »
Everyone is writing about beer and money, but that's not the issue. He already knows a solution, which he wrote: "I'd like to halve that for 2015 and I'm looking for suggestions."

If you want to halve that, then halve that. I'm not MMM, but I suspect he'd say something like you deserve a facepunch if you know what to do and aren't doing it.

I think you're asking about motivation. You even identified the problem as emotional/motivational: "The problem is, I love beer too much to quit drinking it (good beer, that is, and therein lies the problem)."

I've found it difficult to act when my feeling is "I'm giving up something I like." Or in your case, love. Focusing on beer makes giving it up harder because you're thinking about it while trying to plan.

I enjoy beer but I've stopped drinking it, to maybe one a week, often less, and then usually because someone is giving me a free one. I've had several bottles in my fridge I haven't touched for months. Actually, I realized I was cutting it down a lot when I was watching a game at a bar and the owner, after a big score, offered a round on the house. I had already finished my beer for the day, so I declined without much thought. And this was a place with dozens of craft beers on tap.

How did I decline free delicious beer so easily?

I wasn't trying to "avoid beer," I was doing something I liked more that overrode my interest in beer. In my case I had increased my workouts and improved my diet to where I was improving my fitness. In particular, and somewhat ironically, I started approaching six-pack abs and I came to see beer as counterproductive. I'm 43 and never had six-pack abs before and i find I enjoy the long-term emotional reward from my fitness more than the fleeting sensory pleasure of the beer.

My particular alternative is just me. You don't have to make fitness your thing, but if your mental model for enjoying beer is less beer, the alternative sounds worse than the status quo. Changing won't make sense logically or motivationally. If you have something you like more, you'll choose that option without effort.

I recommend looking for something you like more and stop thinking about beer. In the meantime, I say enjoy the beer. Maybe you can find a use for the money, maybe you create another hobby that keeps you from the beer, maybe you find something else you like to drink more (vegetable smoothies come to mind, but that's just me), etc. Probably close to seven billion people drink less than you, so you have many examples to choose from.

I recommend fitness. I was fit before I started the process that crowded most beer out, but I'm more fit now and I love it. Plus it's free and improves many other parts of life.

Excellent answer.

I drink too much good beer at times, but then I realize it and cut back. Life is like that, the key is recognizing the situation and adapting. I definitely agree focusing on a goal is better than focusing on avoiding something. So make your plan for how many to have per week, per month, whatever. And then enjoy life within that amount. If that is hard, then life is too easy for you, time to bring some stoic attitude adjustment to your life. Suck it up and cut out beer for a while until the amount you choose to drink is enjoyable again. Feeling like you are suffering by only drinking a certain amount is a stupid attitude to have and way to live, so make sure you are enjoying what you choose, no matter what that choice is.

skunkfunk

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2014, 11:01:54 AM »

Switch to liquor.


Sacrilege. Somebody ban this man!

PencilThinMust

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #42 on: December 31, 2014, 11:04:31 AM »
I have the same drinking issue, however it doesn't matter if it's beer, wine or liquor.  One strategy I have is to try to take a week or two off from time to time.  Ex: After New Years Day, I will attempt to take two weeks off.  + for budget, + for health.   That first beer in two weeks is always something to look forward too!

I don't bother doing this in the summer, that would just be crazy!   

shotgunwilly

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2014, 11:12:57 AM »
My solution is to only drink on friday and saturdays.  I rest my liver and my wallet during the week.

ioseftavi

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2014, 11:17:48 AM »
First, buy any beer you're gonna buy in quantities larger than a 6 pack.  I say this as a mustachian who loves craft brews: don't go to the store and buy 6 packs.  That's the most expensive way to buy beer.  Your options are to either buy larger packs of beer - better known microbreweries will put out "sampler" packs that contain like 4 of each type, and that'll already be cheaper than buying 6 at a time.

Your other option is to buy growlers and find places selling quality beer by the ounce.  Google near you and find out if this is an option.

Finally...

Homebrewing with bulk ingredients is much cheaper than pre packaged kits. Depending on the type of beer you can get it down around .30c/12oz or cheaper. All grain, bulk ordering hops, and re-using yeast help drive cost down.

Equipment costs are not cheap but once you're over the startup hurtle it's a "hobby". You could also consider volunteering at a brewery. Most pay in beer and it's a social event.

Yes.  This is actually not an incredibly expensive hobby - a decent setup with used equipment could be had for $150.  Buy used equipment and brew all-grain beer and you can make microbrew quality beer for around one-third to one-half the cost of going out and buying 6 packs.  You will also get more free beer than you know what to do with as you find other homebrewers - nobody wants 60 beers of the same type, so many brewers will swap beers or give away beers to their fellow homebrewers.

LionInTheHub

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #45 on: December 31, 2014, 11:45:26 AM »
Buying in bulk, like any consumer good, is a good move to save on costs, and this works in the craft beer segment as well.  Obviously, the 12pk is usually the largest package a craft brewer will release but, there are some quality beers in even bigger packages.  Founders makes All Day IPA in 15pks for about $17.  That isn't the best bang for your buck but, if you are a bit of a snob, it's a great value because they use some of the more expensive hop varieties in it (citra, etc).  Also, check out Sierra Nevada Torpedo.  My local sells the 12pk for $14.  It's an excellent, fresh, and under the radar IPA.

Also, on the bulk tip, have you thought about draft beer in your house?  You can get even more savings by purchasing a sixtel (craft brewers usually keg in 1/6 and 1/2 barrel sizes) of a favorite beer.  Look for stores that do a lot of keg business because, they'll usually have the best prices (believe me, keg prices vary tremendously.  Even if the store is reasonably priced on most items, if they haven't consciously chosen to go after the keg business, you may find that kegged beer is more expensive than packaged beer).  Sixtels equal about 60-12oz servings so, a sixtel is equivalent to buying two 30 racks.  If you can find a decent sixtel that costs around $50, you are right around your target cost of $.80/beer.  Cheers!

Bobberth

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #46 on: December 31, 2014, 11:48:56 AM »
Trader Joe's store brand comes in different varieties and is quite good for the $6-$7 a 6-pack cost.  I really like the Vienna and the Stout is good too.  They also have some nice store brand bombers for $3.  They have a double IPA and the 'Heavy Lift Vessel' (I forget the style but it's malty) that are both good in the bomber size.

I have purchased some Dundee for different beer styles for a $6/6-pack price.  They make different styles of beer with some seasonals so you can get what you like or try different styles with a sampler pack.  Not the best of each style but still quite good, especially for the price.  I think they are made by a major brewer. 

Michalob does have some good seasonals at times for a cheaper price.

andy85

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #47 on: December 31, 2014, 11:54:49 AM »
I have this same issue with bourbon. Going through a fifth a week at $20/bottle was getting old. I switched to some $9 bourbon (actually not terrible) thinking that would be a good fix....turns out i just drink as much now...hahaha...DOH!

So, one of my 2015 goals is to keep drinking $$ to $40/month. I really need to stop drinking so much.

But I feel you OP...i struggle with this topic when it comes to bourbon and golf. I love both, but really need to set some hard and fast spending limits with them....it can get out of hand.

good luck!

Public Hermit

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #48 on: December 31, 2014, 12:07:42 PM »

Switch to liquor.


Sacrilege. Somebody ban this man!

Hate all you want, but my bladder(and wallet) have been thanking me for making the switch.

I still like beer, and love crushing 5-10 ice cold beers on a summer day. But bourbon/whiskey does the job better in most cases.(At least for me anyway)

skunkfunk

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Re: I need to spend less on beer -- but I don't want to give it up!
« Reply #49 on: December 31, 2014, 12:14:16 PM »

Switch to liquor.


Sacrilege. Somebody ban this man!

Hate all you want, but my bladder(and wallet) have been thanking me for making the switch.

I still like beer, and love crushing 5-10 ice cold beers on a summer day. But bourbon/whiskey does the job better in most cases.(At least for me anyway)

Then hate I shall! I actually very much dislike being drunk. Can't handle liquor or mixed drinks for this reason.