Friday, November 21, 2014

Beer Money

Show me the money!
Craft beer is my very expensive hobby. How expensive, you ask? I'm not really sure. I've never put pencil to paper to try to figure it out. I do keep track of the beers I've "collected" with the Untappd app. In the past year, I've logged in about 1300 beers. A bomber of craft beer averages about $5...WOW! That's more that $6,500! That doesn't even take into consideration beer I've purchased for others and the considerable number of beers I never bothered to check in. Holy guacamole, Batman! I spend a lot of money on beer!

It's clearly understandable why a lot folks with tight budgets drink cheap (terrible tasting) macro-brews. You can buy an entire 12 pack of PBR for less than the price of a premium craft beer sixer. But, hey, I'm not rich--not by any stretch of the imagination--yet I'm able to work craft beer into my meager discretionary spending. I do it by scrimping on other things that don't result in offending my palate, and you may be surprised how much money you can save with just a few lifestyle tweaks. My simple rule: Go cheap on everything except food, drink and toilet paper. Want some unsolicited budget saving tips? I know, nobody does, but here they are anyway:

1) Don't buy paper towels. I know I previously said not to go cheap on toilet paper. That's because raking splinter-filled bargain TP across your bum is an ABOMINATION. Paper towels, on the other hand, only get raked across your kitchen counter. Instead of wasting your money and killing trees, invest in these things called...rags! They are almost infinitely washable and reusable. Think of the money you'll save! If you're currently using a roll of paper towels a week, and a roll costs a buck, you'll save $52 a year! That's about 10 bombers of beer!

2) Don't buy disposable razors. What a freaking rip-off these things are! A 10 pack of Gillette Sensor blades runs about $20! I use a Merkur safety razor that set me back about $25--five years ago. The platinum blades cost--get this--less than a nickel each! The box of 100 that I have in my medicine cabinet will likely last through the rest of my LIFE! You can save anywhere from $50 to $100 a year with my shave set-up.

3) Get rid of your car. This one isn't for everybody, but if you live and work in an urban environment, like Portland, you can get along perfectly fine without a car. I haven't owned a car for 3 years. Instead, I take the MAX or TriMet bus almost everywhere I go. Yes, my wife has a car and I use it occasionally, but truthfully, I prefer public transportation most of the time. My monthly pass costs me $100. A car payment is going to cost you at least $200 a month. Then there's gas and insurance costs. I estimate that I save about $4,000 a year! That's a considerable chunk of my beer budget!

4) Happy hour! This one is a no brainer. If I'm going out drinking, I go early and treat myself and the missus to the practically endless pub grub bargains available at Stumptown's innumerable happy hours! Ever have the $5 HH burger at Slow Bar? No? It's cheap on the price but high on the quality. That's just one example of the great HH eats in this burg.

5) Homebrew! Another no brainer. Even a mediocre homebrew will taste better than a crappy macro. Born On Date? Ha! How about a You Just Brewed It and Bottled It Yourself Date? After an initial set up cost for necessary brewing equipment (about $200), you can brew 5 gallons of your own beer for about $30. That's about $1.25 for a bomber. You can't beat the price OR the satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself!

6) Repair, Re-purpose, Re-use. This one is easier than it sounds. The next time some gadget, gizmo or thing-a-ma-jig breaks down, don't throw it away and get another one. Try to fix it first! But I don't know how to fix stuff, says you? Guess what! I bet somebody does and it's quite likely they posted a video on YouTube showing YOU exactly how it's done! I've been successful doing electrical work, plumbing, patching, finishing furniture, bike repairs, you name it!

Okay, that's enough cheapy preachy from me for the night. I hope that you are able to fit tasty, tasty craft beer into your budget. I'd love to hear any suggestions you may have for doing brew on the cheap!

1 comment:

  1. I don't even want to know what my "habit" has caused me over the years