Get Your Drink On for Cheap in These Cities

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Check out the nation's cheapest (and most expensive) cities for beer and wine, plus some cost-saving tips for purchasing alcohol.

If you’re strapped for cash and pining for an ice cold beer, Baton Rouge is the place to be. You can purchase a six-pack of beer for $7.41 in the Louisiana capital.

That price earns the city top honors when it comes to cheap beer, according to a recent WalletHub survey, which ranked the affordability of food and drink in the nation’s biggest cities.

In stark contrast to the cheap suds in Baton Rouge, Chicago and Aurora, Illinois, tie for the most expensive beer in the nation, charging $13.32 a six-pack, MarketWatch said.

If you’d rather sip wine instead of beer, a bottle of white table wine averages $4.24 in Indianapolis. In Portland, Oregon, you’ll shell out $13.22 for a similar bottle of wine. Ouch.

So why does the price of alcohol vary depending on where you live? According to MarketWatch:

“There’s no single explanation,” says IBISWorld alcohol industry analyst Nick Petrillo. “Rather, the price of alcohol varies because of unique regional characteristics, laws and, to a greater extent, people’s ability to dictate with their wallets what they will and will not pay for a drink.”

Here’s a few ways to save some cash on your booze purchases:

  • Fall and holiday savings. Teri Gault, CEO of The Grocery Game, told MarketWatch that October is a great time to buy wine. “Most wineries are releasing their new vintages; they want to clear out the old to bring these in,” she said. You can also look for potential savings on alcohol at drugstores during the holidays.
  • Cheap retailers. Both Costco and Sam’s Club usually offer money-saving deals on beer and wine. Gault told MarketWatch that wines are often 30 percent less at club stores than at wine stores. She also recommended looking for instant savings on wine at grocery stores.
  • Bulk savings. You may receive a discount if you buy in bulk. Ask your grocer.

Click here for a list of cities with the cheapest (and most expensive) beer and wine.

My local grocery store has a happy hour on Friday evenings, offering a 10 percent discount on beer and wine purchases. It’s a great time to stock up and save some cash.

Where do you purchase your beer and wine? Do you have any money-saving tips? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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