St. Patrick’s day is a holiday that, in America, has come to mean drinking with friends, getting wasted with strangers or just passing out alone. And oh yeah – wearing green to show off some Irish pride. On the streets of New York City, St. Louis, Boston, Baltimore or Columbus, it is perhaps the best day of the year to watch drunken revelers walk the streets while the sun is still out. For those looking to stretch their entertainment budget, the free show known as people watching is at its best on St. Patty’s Day. But if you want to participate in the festivities, and keep contributing to your Online Savings Account, not spending much money on St. Patrick’s Day can be a challenge. Here are 5 tips that can help you save money on March 17th and may even teach you how to have a great time this St. Patrick’s day.
1) Become a walking monument to St. Patty’s Day in hopes of free drinks.
Everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s day and if you plan on spending the next few (or more) St. Patrick’s Days hitting up bars or attending parties and celebrations, purchasing some great St. Patrick’s day gear is a worthy investment that can pay off for years to come. Here are some ideas for how to look as “Irish” as possible on St. Patrick’s Day:
- 1) A green hat (The bigger, the better)
- 2) A green jacket
- 3) A pair of green pants
- 4) Notre Dame clothing
- 5) A red beard (Fake is ok, real is better. Know any gingers?)
- 6) An Ireland soccer shirt
- 7) A green tie
- 8) Shamrocks, lots of them. Get yourself some glasses, necklaces, or other headgear all with some shamrocks on them.
Any or all of those are great ways to look the part. But looking or being green is only half the battle. The more you do and the more enthusiasm you have for the day, the better your chances are for free drinks. Here are some famous Irish sayings to get you to talk the talk. With my favorite, “What butter or whiskey does not cure cannot be cured.” And even if you don’t get the free drinks you will certainly be asked to be in pictures, have an excuse to party extra hard and/or have a lot of fun. Plus, you can keep the costume for years to come!
2) Find areas with lots of bars
Saving on transportation costs while out drinking is always a smart idea. But if you plan to be drinking all day and night this St. Patrick’s day, you could run up a big taxi or gas bill (don’t drink and drive!), making saving money here of extra importance.
Research or pick an area you will enjoy for the longest amount of time and stay there as opposed to taking taxi’s or public transportation to many different areas. Further, if you stay at one bar, you may order fewer drinks. How often do you feel compelled to buy a drink at each bar you go to? Staying in one place reduces that need. If going to Google maps and typing in bar or pub doesn’t work well enough for you, try Bar Finder.
3) Don’t get drunk
Before you scream, “Heretic!” not getting drunk can save you quite a bit of money. By toning down the drinking to a minimum, you spend less on beer/alcohol and lower the chance you drunkenly make a huge mistake, spend money on bad tattoos or a brand new pair of beer goggles. Also, if you don’t plan on getting drunk, perhaps you can be the designated driver for the day. The average cost of a DUI is over $10,000 (that’s a lot of 6-packs!). In exchange you might be able to get your friends to pay for the couple of beers you do consume throughout the day.
4) Only drink at night
St. Patrick’s day usually involves drinking all day and into the night, and may begin as soon as you wake up (Note: this is only recommended for the truly hardcore only). But this is an expensive, exhausting and even dangerous proposition (except for expert drinkers). While you may love the excuse to drink during the day, we all know the party really starts at night. By saving your money for later you will probably end up drinking with more friends or already buzzed company and will end up having fun anyway, despite not drinking earlier in the day. Also, the intoxicated usually love company – there may be opportunities to take advantage of a generous revelers call for takers on a round of shots.
5) Invite people over or throw a party at someone else’s house
Bars are crowded on St. Patrick’s day and buying a few six packs at the local grocery store is always cheaper than having a bottle opened for you or beer pouring out of a tap at a bar or pub. By throwing a good house party with some cheap Irish decorations and instituting a BYOB policy (or have guests chip in to cover alcohol costs) you can drink on the cheap but still have lots of fun among friends. Plus, there is nothing like the ability to simply crash on a friend’s couch. Or the ability to retire to your own room for the night if you go too far, something that can end very poorly for you if you’re out and about.
No matter how you plan to spend St. Patrick’s day, or any holiday, there are always ways to do it cheap but still have fun. Here’s to enjoying St. Patrick’s day responsibly (in the fiscal sense, anyway).