Save on Buying Alcohol: Beer, Wine and Spirits

Guide to Save on Groceries       Save on Buying Alcohol: Beer, Wine and Spirits

Whether your planning a party or stocking your bar at home, the prices of your favorite beers, wines, spirits, and mixers add up quickly! A shopping strategy is always a good idea (even for your libations!) before hitting the store.

How, when, and where you can legally purchase alcohol varies state by state, so be sure to check your local laws before heading to the store.

Do stores offer sales on beer, wine and spirits?

Yes! Depending on where you live, you may be able to buy alcohol at your local warehouse club, grocery store, convenience store, gas station – In some states, state-run liquor stores will have sales, as well. Alcohol sales are typically based on season, overstocks, and promotional partnerships with producers or distributors. See if your liquor stores have promotional offers via email, text, or app notifications.

Can you earn Ibotta cash back rewards on alcohol purchases?

Yes you can – if you live in a state that permits these types of promotions. Ibotta has a handy state by state list, but check the app while reviewing offers, as your offers will be tied to your home address for up-to-the-minute compliance.

Beyond cash back, the best way to make the most of your alcohol budget is to match your purchases with your intended usage.

Spirits and Liquor: When to invest in a premium label

Fine liquors are intended to be savored. They are poured in small doses usually so their finely crafted flavors – some of which took years of aging to reach your glass – can fully express on the palate. If this is your preferred way to enjoy bourbon, whiskey, etc., then invest in top shelf brands to enjoy responsibly – and always check for available cash back before you buy.

If you enjoy your spirits more in cocktails (liquors that will be combined with fresh juices, tonics, other liquors and garnish), you don’t always need a premium brand. Look for mid to lower-shelf price-points. If you’re having a party, look for larger bottles of tequila and vodka that may lower the price based on volume.

Saving Money on Wine

While some people are wine connoisseurs or sophisticated collectors, most of us simply enjoy a good glass of our favorite red, white, blush, or bubbly. There are delicious options at every price point of wine, so feel comfortable looking at all the options from the top shelf to the bottom.

  • Look for closeouts and big lot sales – Sometimes a distributor will make a special deal with a store to take on a large inventory of product. The store will often pass the savings onto customers, so look for sale signage and special displays.
  • Ask for Help! Ask for a wine department manager (often the buyer for the store) for their picks based on what you’re looking for – smooth, spicy, fruity, etc. at the price point that fits your budget.
  • Don’t fear the wine box – Many winemakers are reducing production and transportation costs by packaging their wines in easy to dispense containers instead of glass. Best of all, these boxes have little chance of breaking and are perfect for parties. The nozzles also protect unused wine from spoiling between serves. When you’re done, toss the nozzle and plastic bag in the garbage and recycle the box.
  • Screw top wines don’t indicate lower quality. The screw tops protect wine quality after first serve by properly re-sealing the bottle. Manufacturers may pass along their production savings to consumers, as corking and sealing actually adds to production costs.

How to Save Money on Beer

Check often with retailers for sales on your favorite domestic and imported beers – A good discount or cash back offer is a proven way for brands to encourage sampling and attract new customers.

Is it cheaper to buy beer in cans, bottles, or kegs?

This varies by brand and by production volume (micro brews versus macro brews). In some cases, micro breweries can self label and do a smaller run, versus printing cans which may require a larger count commitment. Light and oxygen affect beer quality, so beer tends to hold its flavor and fizz for longer in a can (if stored properly). Plus, cans are often sold in money saving 24-packs or greater.

Is it cheaper to buy beer by the keg?

Not always. If you’re having a party, determine how many servings come from a keg to compare prices – including the added “time cost” to buy, chill, and return the keg.