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Best buys for booze

Forget cheap drinks that taste terrible. Here are ways to save on alcohol so you can drink up the savings and savor them.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Rethink the way you drink. Drink up the savings by buying alcohol at wholesale stores like Sam’s or Costco.

“Warehouse stores really have the best deals on nice wine,” said Andrea Woroch, a smart shopping expert. “Costco’s Kirkland vodka rivals the Kettle One brand and it’s about 20 to 30% cheaper. You can stock your house with some of these brands and save.”

“I think it’s one of the best ways to save on booze,” said Trae Bodge, a smart saving expert. “Sometimes they have their own proprietary brand and those tend to measure up pretty well in terms of taste and quality, but the price is quite a bit lower. You can also find name brand booze at your wholesale establishment and the markup tends to be a bit lower than it will be at the liquor store.”

You do not need a Costco membership in Texas to buy alcohol there.

Or, buy in bulk at your local liquor or grocery store.

“Ask for volume discounts and so say to them, 'Do you offer 10% off if I buy a case?'” Bodge said. “That’s a great way to save if you do have a favorite wine, for instance, and you plan to buy a lot.”

Look in unexpected places for deals, like Trader Joe’s.

“They’re famous for their two Buck Chuck,” Bodge said. “That, again, is if you are not a connoisseur and looking for super, super high-quality wine, but the two buck Chuck is a great deal.”

Drug stores like CVS or Walgreens can also offer savings.

“If you’re a member of their loyalty program, you can then also gain loyalty points and purchase your liquor at the same time,” Bodge said. “This often isn’t fine wine necessarily, but again, good to do in a pinch.”

Take advantage of happy hours or late-night drink specials.

“Crowds are busy between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. or 9 p.m.,” Woroch said. “There might be some late night specials after 9 p.m.”

Plus ask for the house wine at restaurants.

“You might be able to get a cheaper glass of wine if you choose the house cabernet or the house chardonnay,” said Woroch.

Put in orders online to get a deal.

“There are a number of online subscription services,” Bodge said. “I like one called First Leaf that I actually use for wine. The wine gets delivered to me every other month and I get free shipping and I also get volume discounts because I order a case at a time.”

Mix it up yourself at home by leaving premixed drinks on the store shelf.

“Crush up some mint, some cucumber, some fruit and you can make your own similar cocktail,” Woroch said.

Forget the cheap drinks and drink for cheaper with these tips. 

Always drink responsibly and have a designated driver if you are drinking away from home.