This is the first post in which I’ll refer to my fiancé by his new name – G. He was formerly known as Lloyd but now that I’m a “public” blogger, I feel pretty silly calling him a weird name like Lloyd. So, now he’s G.
I attended a 30th birthday bash at a trendy bar on Saturday night for one of G’s good friends. When the night came to a close (around 11:30, which is way past my bedtime) a shocking $50 tab appeared before us. When did going out for drinks get so expensive?
Here’s how the tab shook out for G and me:
- 2 Cherry Limeades for me (the spiked version). Nine bucks a pop! They were delicious though.
- 3 beers for G. I’m not 100% sure on the price.
- 1 beer for the birthday boy .
Going Out Budget Fail #1: Girly Limeade Drinks
If I’d known they were so expensive, I would’ve gotten just one and drank water the rest of the night. I should’ve known, too: Cute specialty drinks are always way over-priced. And even though they were so delicious, I swear the components were just sprite, flavored vodka, cherry flavoring, and maybe some club soda? Their profit margin had to have been like 90%.
Going Out Budget Fail #2: Too Many Drinks
This is hard to avoid when you’re out for an extended time like we were (about 4.5 hours), but if you want to avoid a $50 tab, you gotta switch to water, soda, drinks on special, or really crappy beer (which is usually conveniently absent from the menu).
Going Out Budget Fail #3: Micro Brews/ High Quality Beer
The beers that G ordered were those fancy beers like Hoegaarden or Stella Artois. While these beers are tasty and superior to light beers, they’re also $2 or $3 more expensive. Since these brews come with such a ridiculous mark-up, we usually try to buy them in 6-pack form at the liquor store.
Going Out Budget Fail #4: Tipping
I don’t know what the going tip rate for a cocktail waitress is (considering all they do is walk to and from the bar that is 5 feet away from our table), but we usually aim for that 20% range (which is low for G – he has ridiculous tipping habits). Of course, tipping is a direct result of how much you wasted on liquid entertainment, so if we’d just lightened our load on the drinks, we could have tipped much less.
Going Out Budget Fail #5: Trendy Bars
Ugh. How is one supposed to remain cool and hip when trendy bars and restaurants are so expensive? I really love this particular bar, too. Luckily, it’s a good 30 minute drive from my apartment, so I don’t make it there often. I’ve even been to their happy hour and it’s expensive! Note to trendy bar: Five dollars for a drink does not a good happy hour make! I prefer those $1.50-$2.00 happy hour prices. Long story short: being trendy isn’t frugal – whether you’re talking fashion or bar-hopping.
I’m guess I shouldn’t get too worked up over it. G and I have converted to a much more calm and conservative lifestyle over the past several years. We’re in bed way too early most weekends and consider dinner and a movie the perfect Friday night out. Still, $50 for liquid entertainment over the course of 4.5 hours is expensive. After that tab, I couldn’t be more happy that we hardly ever go out anymore, but next time we do, we’re gonna think twice before we place our order.
Do you go out a lot? Do you find it expensive? What are your tips and tricks for staying on budget when you’re out on the town?
source: Real Simple