Some people think that you should cut out alcohol altogether if you’re trying to save money. However, we think that’s a bit extreme to cut off liquor to save cash. Instead, you just need to think smart and use the following strategies to save money on wine, beer and spirits.
Drink at home
If you want to reduce your costs of alcohol, drink more at home. It’s definitely cheaper than drinking at a pub or club.
Choose Happy Hour
If you can’t miss out on going out with friends, time it to take advantage of Happy Hour. During this time, you’ll save on beer, wine and other drinks.
Bring your own (BYO)
If you’re looking to spend less on alcohol when going out for a meal, choose a spot where you can bring your own. It’s usually just limited to wine but in certain states like WA, you can sometimes BYO beer. Check beforehand at the restaurant to confirm that it’s BYO and if there’s any corkage fee. Corkage covers the cost of using their glasses, keeping the bottle cool and the service of the waiting staff.
Buy in bulk
For the best deals in alcohol, buy in bulk. You’ll get more savings the more you buy. For example, buying beer might cost you $12.99 for a pack of 6. However, if you purchase a case of 24, it will be $36.99, a savings of $14.97. For wine, look for savings if you buy 6 or 12.
Join a loyalty program
Join a customer loyalty program at your local bottle shop to receive member discounts. Dan Murphys’s program My Dan’s provides some great savings for those who swipe the card in-store or order online.
Check your supermarket docket
Check your grocery receipts for any alcohol specials. Woolworths routinely publishes special offers for BWS at the bottom of the receipt. You just need to be a member of their Woolworths Rewards program.
Get the best savings on alcohol by price matching. Dan Murphy states that they will match prices. Their Lowest Liquor Price Guarantee applies to the competitor’s final price (inclusive of fees, charges and taxes) of identically stocked and available products that are advertised within a 10 kilometre radius of your store or by Australian online retailers. First Choice Liquor offers the same.
Compare with Boozle
Just like you can compare fuel prices, you can also compare alcohol prices. Boozle searches thousands of liquor stores in Australia to find you your favourite booze at the cheapest price, and at your closest outlets. However, there have been some issues with pricing, especially in regional and rural areas, so contact the store to confirm the price if necessary.
To save money on wine, buy cleanskins. These is wine whose label does not indicate the winery or the winemaker’s name. This might be due to a winery trying to clear their wine inventory due to excess stock, cancelled exports, or wine experiments. However, the region is indicated on the bottle. As it’s basically a lucky dip when buying cleanskins, choose a wine from a region that you know offers a quality product. These include semillon sauvignon blanc from Margaret River, Shiraz from the Barossa, pinot noir from Tasmania, cabernet from Coonawarra or riesling from the Clare Valley.
Buy wine at the cellar door
Not only do you have the opportunity to meet the winemakers, taste the wine and see how it’s produced, but you’ll also usually get a cheaper price than buying it at the bottleshop. Across Australia, you’ll find numerous wine regions with lots of cellar doors to choose from. Just check the website beforehand to find out hours of operation.
Brew your own
To save money, some people swear by making their own beer. Compared to buying premium brands, it’s estimated that you can save significant amount even with buying all of the ingredients. Just start small with a basic beer making kit. Who knows, even if you don’t save huge amounts, you found a new hobby!
Buy from Aldi
Aldi has its own range of generic alcohol that it sources from local and international breweries, winemakers and spirit makers. However, these products are highly rated. One friend only buys her beer and wine there. Aldi also stocks a range of Australia’s best-selling beer brands like Coopers, Corona and Carlton Dry. Check their Special Buys on alcohol to view their weekly specials.
Buy duty free
Although buying duty free isn’t as good as it used to be, you can still find some great deals. If you’re not travelling, ask a friend or family member who is returning from a trip to buy alcohol for you. Each adult can bring 2.25 litres into Australia.