College is filled with many life-altering moments, including living on your own and possibly having your first “real” relationship. It just so happens that one life-changing moment coincides with your time in school, which is turning the big 21. I turned 21 over this last spring break. I spent it in San Francisco with my family, and had an amazing time seeing the sights, eating awesome food, and partying like no tomorrow. Although one thing that I’ve realized after finally being able to purchase an alcoholic beverage is that it can get expensive. I know boys, you are probably thinking to yourself that you’re the ones that really have it hard, buying the drinks for us girls and what not, but it doesn’t happen all the time. For a struggling college kid, spending a night on the town can rack up a nice fat bill that will leave you feeling sick the next day. So if you’re someone who likes to enjoy a beverage now and then, but doesn’t want to pay the big bucks, listen to these helpful tips that help me save.
If you’re planning on going out and want a couple of drinks, start at home. Whether you have a beer, glass of wine, or a shot, it is going to be tons cheaper than getting it at a bar. Also, head out later, around midnight. The less time you spend out, and the more crowded it is means you’re going to buy less drinks.
When dining out, stay away from hard liquor
Alcohol at restaurants is almost worse than a bar. For one, restaurants always flaunt delicious, tropical, colorful drinks that seem irresistible. Stay away! These drinks are usually $10+. Plus, there usually in small glasses or martini glasses that don’t hold a lot of liquid. Another factor to think about is that is adds to the total ticket, therefore increasing the amount you have to tip at the end of your meal. So it actually cost a lot more than you think. If you really want to get a drink, stick with a beer. Beers are usually under $5 and they last a lot longer than a cocktail.
Buy in Bulk
I am not suggesting for you to buy so much that your friends start thinking that you’re an alcoholic, but liquor/grocery stores often have sales for alcohol. The other day, HEB had a sale where you could get 10% off a purchase of six bottles of wine, and I completely took advantage of this. Now my wine rack looks pretty and full, and I will be good for one for the next couple of months. Another place that I always see sales is World Market. They will usually give a discount for your fifth bottle of wine purchased, or something like that.
Find the Specials
Every bar, everywhere, has specials. Specials can include beer, a certain shot, or my favorite, long island ice teas. If you are wondering where you might be able to find these specials, look no further. The CW 8 Aggieland website has its own section for drink specials in College Station/Bryan, along with other fun and useful going out ideas!
I think people underestimate the greatness of happy hour. Inexpensive drinks without having to stay up to the wee hours of the morning. What I like to do is plan a day each week where my friends and me go to a bar or restaurant and have a drink together. It is a great time for everyone to relax, have a good time, and enjoy a nice cocktail or margarita (Ninfa’s ninfaritas!).
The most important thing to remember when buying alcohol is you have to know what your doing. Plan ahead, drink wisely, and don’t get so tipsy that you keep buying rounds for you and your friends. Also, don’t get caught up into the being 21. It is better to be fun and responsible than out of control and “that” person. Enjoy the freedom to buy a drink, but use these tips to make sure you don’t spend a fortune.