Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Vino on the Cheap

(Note: This post is from the Spin The Deals 2008 archives.)

There’s one thing that sets my normally economical mind into a tailspin, and that’s wine. I love wine. Red wines…white wines…Australian wines…domestic wines. I love them all. In fact, in our less thrifty days, Daddy Diva and I enjoyed several trips to California where we swirled, sniffed, and sipped our way from one end of the Sonoma Valley to the other. We bought several cases of wine along the way, some to drink, some to save, some to gift…and so began our wine collection. The only problem? We needed a special occasion to justify uncorking a bottle.

So how does one enjoy wine on a regular basis without spending a lot of money?

WiseBread contributor, Julie Rains, writes about the 10 things she won’t give up to save money. Included on her list are chocolate and wine.

Here are some ways to have your wine (and drink it too!) while on a budget:

1) Three Buck Chuck – If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, race right over and pick up a case of Charles Shaw wine (a.k.a. “Three Buck Chuck”). This wine is surprisingly good (I prefer the Cabernet), goes great with a typical weeknight meal, and at $2.99 a bottle, you can enjoy a glass every night if you wish.

2) Volume Discounts – Most stores offer a volume discount if you buy wine by the case. You may not see this posted in the store, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask. In Minnesota, Cub Foods offers a 10% discount.

3) Join a Wine Club – We are members of Bacchus, a Minnesota wine club that entitles us to 10% off regular-priced bottles of wine and 5% off sale-priced bottles of wine. In addition, we receive invitations to free or discount wine tasting events in our area.

4) Winery Membership – If you are fortunate enough to live near wine country, consider a winery membership to one or more of your favorite wineries. Winery members are entitled to discount wines, special reserve tastings, and limited edition wines.

5) Annual Sales – Some wine shops hold annual sales, such as “Buy 1 Get 1 for a Nickel” or “Half-Priced Bottles.” Find out when the sale is held each year and wait until then to stock up on everyday wines at a great discount.

6) Wine Tags/Rebates – Finally, to really “Spin the Deal” and get the most bang for your buck, look for wine tags or rebate forms when shopping for wine. Wine tags are the little hanging tags on a bottle of wine that can save you additional money off your purchase. Some are in the form of instant coupons and some are mail-in rebates.

To combine several deals, I look for rebate offers on the wines I buy during the annual “Half-Priced” sale. A $12 bottle of wine would be on sale for $6 and if you purchase a case there may be a rebate for $2 off per bottle, making the end cost $4 for a $12 regular-priced bottle.

Your Turn: What's your guilty pleasure that you wouldn't give up to save money?


Sarah Halter said...

Definitely good fair trade organic coffee, though I currently buy it at Trader Joe's where it's not so expensive.

Ginger said...

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