Alcohol: What Is Your Night Out Costing You?

We’ve all seen the math before: Smoking cigarettes can cost you $1,500 per year, not to mention your lung capacity and wrinkle-free skin. We’re also getting tired of the latte metaphor (“If only you stopped buying a giant Starbucks latte every day, you’d save…”). But, we’ve never seen anyone do the same thing for alcohol costs, which feels even more relevant because today is St. Patrick’s Day.

We’ll never judge you. It’s your choice whether to drink, smoke, or spend all your time outlet shopping. Our only hope is to help you go out tonight with your eyes open and wallet comfortably full. If that means that you convince someone else to buy your green beer for you tonight, that’s your prerogative.

Here’s how it shakes out:

Alcohol Infographic

Some Things To Keep In Mind (If You’re Not Too Far Gone):

  • Imported beer often costs as much as $2 or $3 more per drink.
  • Studies have shown that the price of a wine bottle influences perception—so don’t think a more expensive wine necessarily will taste better.
  • On average, a bottle of cabernet sauvignon can be up to 20% more expensive than pinot noir.
  • If you’re in a bind, Walgreens just put out its own private label brew—only $2.99 per six-pack. It goes down--well, inexpensively!

How About This

Fuzzy Numbers.

In our calculations, we’re making estimations to give you a general sense of what your alcohol budget might look like. The cost of a drink will vary by where you’re buying that drink, and each state has a different alcohol tax. Washington leads the nation in spirits tax, while Iowa has the highest tax on table wine and Alabama has the highest tax on beer. If you want a cheap cold one, head to Pennsylvania or Colorado instead.

Mixing Things Up.

For creative ways to serve beer at home, try this.

For high-quality wines with low price tags, we’ve got you covered.

  • AH

    Aww crap, we’re screwed. Not only do we go out all the time, but it’s NYC prices and we’re craft/import beer and top shelf liquor drinkers. Damn. But good news is, it’s our only vice and we have openly discussed that it keeps our relationship of 6yrs spicy.

  • AH

    Aww crap, we’re screwed. Not only do we go out all the time, but it’s NYC prices and we’re craft/import beer and top shelf liquor drinkers. Damn. But good news is, it’s our only vice and we have openly discussed that it keeps our relationship of 6yrs spicy.

  • AH

    Aww crap, we’re screwed. Not only do we go out all the time, but it’s NYC prices and we’re craft/import beer and top shelf liquor drinkers. Damn. But good news is, it’s our only vice and we have openly discussed that it keeps our relationship of 6yrs spicy.

  • AH

    Aww crap, we’re screwed. Not only do we go out all the time, but it’s NYC prices and we’re craft/import beer and top shelf liquor drinkers. Damn. But good news is, it’s our only vice and we have openly discussed that it keeps our relationship of 6yrs spicy.

  • Triggsey

    Seriously…as a SAHM with limited opportunities for adult human interaction I DON’T CARE HOW MUCH THE MARGARITA COSTS, GET ME OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!!

  • Triggsey

    Seriously…as a SAHM with limited opportunities for adult human interaction I DON’T CARE HOW MUCH THE MARGARITA COSTS, GET ME OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!!

  • Triggsey

    Seriously…as a SAHM with limited opportunities for adult human interaction I DON’T CARE HOW MUCH THE MARGARITA COSTS, GET ME OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!!

  • Triggsey

    Seriously…as a SAHM with limited opportunities for adult human interaction I DON’T CARE HOW MUCH THE MARGARITA COSTS, GET ME OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!!

  • Triggsey

    Seriously…as a SAHM with limited opportunities for adult human interaction I DON’T CARE HOW MUCH THE MARGARITA COSTS, GET ME OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!!

  • Triggsey

    Seriously…as a SAHM with limited opportunities for adult human interaction I DON’T CARE HOW MUCH THE MARGARITA COSTS, GET ME OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!!

  • Triggsey

    Seriously…as a SAHM with limited opportunities for adult human interaction I DON’T CARE HOW MUCH THE MARGARITA COSTS, GET ME OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!!

  • JackieAU5

    This is why you drink BEFORE you go out. Nothing like a college pre-game to help out the wallet. This way you only buy 1-2(ish) drinks while you’re at the bar. I still do this and get made fun of when I visit my friends in NYC but I’m not the one at the end of the night wondering where my money went.

  • JackieAU5

    This is why you drink BEFORE you go out. Nothing like a college pre-game to help out the wallet. This way you only buy 1-2(ish) drinks while you’re at the bar. I still do this and get made fun of when I visit my friends in NYC but I’m not the one at the end of the night wondering where my money went.

  • JackieAU5

    This is why you drink BEFORE you go out. Nothing like a college pre-game to help out the wallet. This way you only buy 1-2(ish) drinks while you’re at the bar. I still do this and get made fun of when I visit my friends in NYC but I’m not the one at the end of the night wondering where my money went.

  • JackieAU5

    This is why you drink BEFORE you go out. Nothing like a college pre-game to help out the wallet. This way you only buy 1-2(ish) drinks while you’re at the bar. I still do this and get made fun of when I visit my friends in NYC but I’m not the one at the end of the night wondering where my money went.

  • mb

    i prefer to stick with budwesier. it’s easy on the wallet.

  • mb

    i prefer to stick with budwesier. it’s easy on the wallet.

  • mb

    i prefer to stick with budwesier. it’s easy on the wallet.

  • mb

    i prefer to stick with budwesier. it’s easy on the wallet.

  • http://neatfreakwannabe.blogspot.com Jenna

    Although we don’t go out a whole lot, I try to minimize the wallet impact by hitting up happy hours and ordering what’s on special, or we’ll forego drinks with dinner and have some wine at home instead. Sometimes we’ll bring our own bottle of wine to dinner; although you often have to pay a corking fee, if you found a good deal on the wine (or better yet, it was a gift) you’re probably still coming out ahead versus buying a bottle from the restaurant’s wine list.

  • http://neatfreakwannabe.blogspot.com Jenna

    Although we don’t go out a whole lot, I try to minimize the wallet impact by hitting up happy hours and ordering what’s on special, or we’ll forego drinks with dinner and have some wine at home instead. Sometimes we’ll bring our own bottle of wine to dinner; although you often have to pay a corking fee, if you found a good deal on the wine (or better yet, it was a gift) you’re probably still coming out ahead versus buying a bottle from the restaurant’s wine list.

  • http://neatfreakwannabe.blogspot.com Jenna

    Although we don’t go out a whole lot, I try to minimize the wallet impact by hitting up happy hours and ordering what’s on special, or we’ll forego drinks with dinner and have some wine at home instead. Sometimes we’ll bring our own bottle of wine to dinner; although you often have to pay a corking fee, if you found a good deal on the wine (or better yet, it was a gift) you’re probably still coming out ahead versus buying a bottle from the restaurant’s wine list.

  • http://neatfreakwannabe.blogspot.com Jenna

    Although we don’t go out a whole lot, I try to minimize the wallet impact by hitting up happy hours and ordering what’s on special, or we’ll forego drinks with dinner and have some wine at home instead. Sometimes we’ll bring our own bottle of wine to dinner; although you often have to pay a corking fee, if you found a good deal on the wine (or better yet, it was a gift) you’re probably still coming out ahead versus buying a bottle from the restaurant’s wine list.

  • http://ferienhausertossademar.clubvillamar.de/findAllVillas.php?filter=Tossa+de+Mar&lang=de ferienwohnung tossa de mar

    In past time i am a regular smoker and drinker ,but i leave habit of drinking but I tried many things to leave habit of smoking but all fails.Now i have to leave this habit of smoking by any means so suggest me ways to quitting smoking.

  • http://ferienhausertossademar.clubvillamar.de/findAllVillas.php?filter=Tossa+de+Mar&lang=de ferienwohnung tossa de mar

    In past time i am a regular smoker and drinker ,but i leave habit of drinking but I tried many things to leave habit of smoking but all fails.Now i have to leave this habit of smoking by any means so suggest me ways to quitting smoking.

  • http://ferienhausertossademar.clubvillamar.de/findAllVillas.php?filter=Tossa+de+Mar&lang=de ferienwohnung tossa de mar

    In past time i am a regular smoker and drinker ,but i leave habit of drinking but I tried many things to leave habit of smoking but all fails.Now i have to leave this habit of smoking by any means so suggest me ways to quitting smoking.

  • http://ferienhausertossademar.clubvillamar.de/findAllVillas.php?filter=Tossa+de+Mar&lang=de ferienwohnung tossa de mar

    In past time i am a regular smoker and drinker ,but i leave habit of drinking but I tried many things to leave habit of smoking but all fails.Now i have to leave this habit of smoking by any means so suggest me ways to quitting smoking.

  • http://www.stylebaggage.com/ Nellene

    Ikes…it really adds up fast. Just think of the savings if we just cut back half. Check out my lunch calculator http://www.stylebaggage.com/?p=569 to see how you specifically can save. There’s no reason it can’t work for drinks too! ;) My drink tip: Sangria. It fulfills a wine and cocktail craving without breaking the bank. The only problem is to make it good you need to make it 24 hours in advance. Think ahead, save money!

  • http://www.stylebaggage.com/ Nellene

    Ikes…it really adds up fast. Just think of the savings if we just cut back half. Check out my lunch calculator http://www.stylebaggage.com/?p=569 to see how you specifically can save. There’s no reason it can’t work for drinks too! ;) My drink tip: Sangria. It fulfills a wine and cocktail craving without breaking the bank. The only problem is to make it good you need to make it 24 hours in advance. Think ahead, save money!