alcohol http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/291/all en-US 5 Cheap Travel Destinations for Wine Lovers http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-travel-destinations-for-wine-lovers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-cheap-travel-destinations-for-wine-lovers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_in_the_vineyard.jpg" alt="Couple in the vineyard" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For those who like to swirl, sniff, and sip their way around the world, a tour of one of the world&rsquo;s great wine destinations can be a dream vacation. Staying at a winery is a fantastic experience and many vineyard restaurants around the world offer fresh, farm-to-table style dining, prepared by expert chefs in breathtaking locations. While some of these locations can be outrageously expensive, there are wonderful international wine destinations that you can experience on a budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-no-fuss-wine-destinations-anyone-can-visit-and-enjoy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 No-Fuss U.S. Wine Destinations</a>)</p> <h2>1. Salta, Argentina</h2> <p>While Argentina&rsquo;s Uco Valley and Luján de Cuyo, both near Mendoza, are world renowned, they can be pricey. Farther north, the wine region around Cafayate in Salta province offers great value for wine lovers.</p> <p>Among the 10,000 acres dedicated to vineyards, some wineries (<em>bodegas</em>) offer <a href="http://wander-argentina.com/winery-tours-in-cafayate/" target="_blank">free tours and tastings</a>. But you really don&rsquo;t need to spend a lot of money on a rental car or private driver to take you out to wineries, because there are plenty right in the town of Cafayate. This means that you can walk from tasting to tasting without having to get behind the wheel. Any trip should also include a visit to a fantastic wine bar in town called Bad Brothers Wine Experience, which has affordable tapas and wines.</p> <p>If you do choose to head out to some of the nearby vineyards, I recommend visiting Piattelli Vineyards, which is about a five-minute drive from Cafayate town. When I was there in 2017, tours started at 100 Argentine pesos, or about $6.50. Another favorite is Bodega El Esteco, where a tasting was 155 Argentine pesos, or $10 during my visit. This bodega also has a fabulous hotel called Patios de Cafayate, where you can stay in a historic building right on the vineyard &mdash; a truly memorable experience for those who love all things wine.</p> <h2>2. The Okanagan Valley, Canada</h2> <p>You may not have considered visiting your neighbor to the north for an excellent glass of wine, but British Columbia&rsquo;s Okanagan Valley is famous for producing tasty merlot, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, pinot gris, and chardonnay. Thanks to the strong U.S. dollar, travel within this region and other parts of Canada is cheaper than it has been in previous years.</p> <p>Vineyards in the region are set along the breathtaking, 84-mile long Okanagan Lake, and many of the restaurants at the wineries have beautiful views over the water.</p> <p>The best way to visit the wineries is to get a group of people together and share the cost of a private vehicle. You can rent a 10-passenger stretch limousine for $79 an hour and take it on a self-guided wine tour. You can usually visit three to four wineries in a five-hour half-day tour that would cost $395. If you split the cost among 10 people, your transport would cost less than $40 a person.</p> <p>But it&rsquo;s not always easy to get together 10 friends when you&rsquo;re traveling, so you can also book affordable wine tours starting at $90 per person. Another option is to rent a car in Kelowna, the main town in the region, for around $25 a day, and drive yourself out to the wineries. Just make sure you don&rsquo;t overdo it on the tastings!</p> <p>Whether you go in a limo or in a rental car, you can cut costs by visiting wineries that offer low-cost tours and tastings, usually running $2&ndash;$7. Often these fees are waived with the purchase of a bottle, and some tastings are free even if you don&rsquo;t buy wine.</p> <h2>3. Robertson, South Africa</h2> <p>South Africa is already an inexpensive destination thanks to the strong U.S. dollar, and this also translates to big savings on bottles of wine and wine tours in the country.</p> <p>When I visited a couple of years ago, two separate wine tour guides explained to me that the wine-famous university town of Stellenbosch had to start charging for wine tours because of overzealous students going to town at the vineyards. Meanwhile, a couple of hours away, Robertson still offers (mostly) free wine tours and tastings, but you do have to organize your own transport to and from each winery. A rental car is a great way to get around this area as the drives are quite scenic.</p> <p>On top of free wine experiences, bottles of excellent South African reds are extremely inexpensive when bought from the vineyard. I personally found that all of my favorite South African wines were as much as 40 percent cheaper than I would typically find them in wine shops in Canada or the U.S.</p> <p>While you can stay on some lovely wineries in Robertson, if you really want to save on your travel budget, I recommend checking out some of the &ldquo;backpackers,&rdquo; which are like local homestays in the region.</p> <p>You can find them on <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12715010" target="_blank">Booking.com</a>, or on the <a href="http://www.coasttocoast.co.za/" target="_blank">Coast-To-Coast</a> website, or the free print guide you can pick up while in South Africa. This handy little book lists all of the backpackers lodges throughout the country, as well as some tours and experiences that you can have while traveling in South Africa.</p> <h2>4. Plovdiv, Bulgaria</h2> <p>The small, Eastern European country of Bulgaria may not have made your wine radar yet, but believe me, the fertile soils of this ancient wine production territory have long made some of the world's best wines.</p> <p>In my experience, Bulgaria is an incredibly inexpensive place to travel, with my wife and I getting by on $50 a day. On top of that, the beautiful town of Plovdiv has some of the country's best wineries right at its doorstep.</p> <p>My wife and I booked through Bulgaria Wine Tours and enjoyed a half-day wine tour with visits to three different wineries, a private guide, and a delicious lunch for just over $100 per person. This may sound a bit expensive at first, but when you factor in the cost of the wines, the tour fee at each winery, the food we ate, and what we would&rsquo;ve had to pay for a private driver, it was a steal. Plus, the bottles of wine at each vineyard were rarely more than $10 to buy.</p> <p>During the tour, we were able to taste some of the country's finest wines, right out of the oak barrels &mdash; a highly recommended experience. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</a>)</p> <h2>5. Santorini, Greece</h2> <p>Tiny, whitewashed Santorini bobs in the Mediterranean Sea and sits firmly on the list of many travelers&rsquo; wish lists. But few people know that there are beautiful wineries on the island.</p> <p>The wine itself may not blow your socks off, but the experience of renting a motorbike (around $25/day) and cruising around the island looking for signs that say &ldquo;wine tasting&rdquo; is a lot of fun. You can also get around the island by public transport. Just make sure you don&rsquo;t go overboard on the tastings if you&rsquo;re driving.</p> <p>There are about a dozen wineries on the island that accept visitors for tastings and tours. A few notable ones include Domaine Sigalas in Oia, Boutari in Megalochori, and Santo Wines in Pyrgos.</p> <h2>Getting to wine country</h2> <p>The most expensive part of a wine holiday abroad will likely be the flights to get there. By doing some advance planning and getting an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">airline credit card</a> or a good <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit card</a>, you may be able to earn a big stash of points to help defray your air travel costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get a Free Vacation in 9 Months with Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> <p>To save money on airfare to South Africa, check out Ethiopian Airlines (a return journey from New York&rsquo;s JFK starts at $850). For Bulgaria, your best bet is to fly to London, then take a budget flight with Ryanair to get to Sofia. From there it&rsquo;s a one-hour and 45-minute bus ride to Plovdiv. For Canada, check out WestJet for flights into Kelowna (often, but not always via Vancouver), and for Santorini, you can usually fly return from New York for around $1,300.</p> <p>To get to Salta, Argentina you have many options, but your cheapest will likely be to fly to Buenos Aires (from $720 for round-trip out of JFK), spend a couple of days in the Argentine capital, and then hop on a round-trip flight to Salta for around $400.</p> <p>However you choose to get to your next wine vacation destination, once you&rsquo;re there, the cost of travel and your favorite grape varietal will be very reasonable in these five destinations. Experience all that the vineyards have to offer and sip your favorite blends until your lips are purple and your camera is full of pictures of wine experiences.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-cheap-travel-destinations-for-wine-lovers&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Cheap%2520Travel%2520Destinations%2520for%2520Wine%2520Lovers.jpg&amp;description=5%20Cheap%20Travel%20Destinations%20for%20Wine%20Lovers"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Cheap%20Travel%20Destinations%20for%20Wine%20Lovers.jpg" alt="5 Cheap Travel Destinations for Wine Lovers" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-travel-destinations-for-wine-lovers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles">Amazing Destinations You Can Go to With Rewards Points and Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-international-destinations-you-can-visit-for-50-a-day">5 International Destinations You Can Visit for $50 a Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Travel alcohol argentina bulgaria Canada greece international rewards south africa vacation vineyards wine wineries Wed, 24 May 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Nick Wharton 1952958 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Fun Tax Facts You Probably Never Knew http://www.wisebread.com/11-fun-tax-facts-you-probably-never-knew <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-fun-tax-facts-you-probably-never-knew" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-180714432.jpg" alt="soap was taxed in the middle ages" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Taxes: Love 'em or hate 'em, you still gotta pay 'em.</p> <p>In fact, taxes are a tale as old as time. Well, almost. The earliest tax, according to the book &quot;A World History of Tax Rebellions,&quot; was on the <em>corvee </em>(by definition, a day's unpaid labor owed by a vassal to his feudal lord) in 594 B.C. China. Peasants paid overlords for the land they farmed in labor if they couldn't pay the land tax in money.</p> <p>That's just one fun fact. Check out this list of tax trivia that's weird, wacky, and sometimes just plain wrong.</p> <h2>1. There was no re-using cooking oil in Ancient Egypt</h2> <p>Ancient Egypt's early taxation system isn't exactly known for being fair, and their cooking oil tax was a perfect example. Not only was cooking oil taxed, but citizens weren't allowed to reuse it. They had to continually buy new oil, thus constantly forking over the associated tax. This was no joke: Scribes (Ancient Egypt's version of tax collectors) would sweep homes in search of recycled cooking oil, forcing people to pony up and buy new.</p> <h2>2. People in the Middle Ages really stunk up the joint<strong> </strong></h2> <p>European governments taxed soap during the Middle Ages, which meant that you probably only bought a bar if you had some extra dough. As for the rest of the folks, well, they weren't making any new friends smelling like King John's sewage pot. The tax lasted for quite a while, too: Britain didn't repeal its soap tax until 1835.</p> <h2>3. Watching TV in the U.K. ain't cheap, you guys<strong> </strong></h2> <p>We all need a license to drive, but a license to watch television? That's the case in the United Kingdom, where each household is taxed on its TVs &mdash; &pound;145.50 a year &mdash; the funds from which primarily support the television, radio, and online services of the BBC. Total income from TV license fees in 2015&ndash;16 was &pound;3.74 billion.</p> <h2>4. The good deed that lingered too long<strong> </strong></h2> <p>To rebuild the town after a devastating flood in 1936, Johnstown, Pennsylvania slapped a tax on alcohol to raise money for the recovery efforts. The town met its fundraising goal in 1942, but the tax remained. Today it brings in around $200 million annually.</p> <h2>5. Eating a bagel in New York could cut you two ways</h2> <p>New York City has a special tax on food <em>and</em> prepared foods. If you have your bagel sliced in the store, you'll pay both taxes. Leave it uncut, you'll only pay the food tax since nobody is &quot;preparing&quot; it for you.</p> <h2>6. Pennsylvania has put a price on fun</h2> <p>Want to go to the movies? Or bowling? Or to a concert? Add 5 percent to your bill thanks to Pennsylvania's amusement tax, which applies to any kind of entertainment.</p> <h2>7. Certain pumpkins get a pass in Iowa, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Pumpkins are exempt from sales tax in these states if they'll be eaten and not carved. Carving pumpkins and cooking pumpkins are separated so customers aren't confused.</p> <h2>8. Leaving out this one ingredient drives candy prices way up in Chicago</h2> <p>It's simple. If the candy is made with flour &mdash; like licorice (who knew?) and KitKat bars &mdash; it receives a 1 percent tax. Leave the flour out for pure sugary goodness, and the tax climbs to 6.25 percent.</p> <h2>9. You have to lose both limbs to qualify for this tax credit in Oregon<strong> </strong></h2> <p>That's right: Double amputees receive a $50 tax credit in the Beaver State. You might think that single amputees would receive half that credit, but no such luck.</p> <h2>10. If you live to age 100, you're home free in New Mexico</h2> <p>They say the only two things that are certain in life are death and taxes. Except in New Mexico. If you can make it to age 100, you become tax-exempt (but only if you're no one's dependent).</p> <h2>11. You can count your pet as a moving expense<strong> </strong></h2> <p>You're allowed to write off moving expenses if you're relocating to begin a new job. You can also deduct the cost of taking your pet with you as the IRS treats your furbaby as personal property. How rude! But also, thank you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-fun-tax-facts-you-probably-never-knew">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beat-the-heat-with-cool-summer-meals">Beat the heat with cool summer meals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable">These 6 Things Will Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-have-a-cheaper-easter">10 Ways to Have a Cheaper Easter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-most-common-tax-mistakes-made-by-college-grads">5 Most Common Tax Mistakes Made by College Grads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/patriotism-and-personal-finance-a-brief-walk-through-american-history">Patriotism and Personal Finance - A Brief Walk Through American History</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes alcohol bizarre candy entertainment Food history moving expenses soap tax facts trivia Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1926610 at http://www.wisebread.com Solving the World's Problems Could Win You Millions http://www.wisebread.com/solving-the-worlds-problems-could-win-you-millions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/solving-the-worlds-problems-could-win-you-millions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-492846156.jpg" alt="Woman solving the world&#039;s problems and winning millions" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How are your problem-solving abilities? Do you regularly come up with ingenious ways to make life better? Are you and your close friends the kind of people who, when they put their minds together, can accomplish anything?</p> <p>If you're nodding yes to all these questions, you could well bag a huge prize (some are $1 million or more) for solving one of these super hard problems.</p> <h2>1. The Water Abundance Challenge ($1.5 Million Grand Prize)</h2> <p>Can you create water from thin air? That's the problem put before you on this challenge, which has a massive jackpot prize of $1.5 million. The reasons behind the competition are scary. Half of the global population lives in areas where water tables are rapidly falling, and by 2025, it is estimated that 1.8 billion people will live in areas affected by water scarcity.</p> <p>However, there is a solution. Well, a possible one. There are over three quadrillion gallons of untapped water in the Earth's atmosphere. That's enough water to meet the needs of every person on the planet for a whole year, <em>if </em>someone can figure out a way to extract the water from the air in an energy efficient way. And that's the real challenge. The solution must extract a minimum of 2,000 liters of water from the atmosphere per day, using 100% renewable energy, at a cost of no more that two cents per liter.</p> <p>Clean water, from the atmosphere, using renewable energy, with minimal costs. That's quite the challenge, and the reason the prize pot is so big. Registration closes on March 15, 2017, so if you have the chops to take this problem on, <a href="http://water.xprize.org/about/overview" target="_blank">get your entry in</a> as soon as possible.</p> <h2>2. NASA 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge ($1.1 Million and $1.4 Million Prizes)</h2> <p>This problem centers around making a 3D printed habitat for a NASA astronaut. If you've seen the movie <em>The Martian</em>, you'll know how important a dependable, lightweight living environment is to a NASA crew member. The advent of 3D printing has led to a whole new direction for innovation in this area. And now you could be a part of it.</p> <p>The big hurdle you will have to get over is raw materials. Rather than bringing them on the mission (which adds weight and cost to the project), the idea here is to &quot;print&quot; a habitat using the local indigenous materials, or recycled materials. As you can imagine, if the habitat is to be based on the moon, or Mars, that does not leave you with a lot of options.</p> <p>Phase 1 of this contest is already over, but you can still register for Phases 2 and 3 of the challenge. Each brings a substantial prize to the winning design.</p> <p>Phase 2, known as the Structural Member Competition, focuses on material technologies needed to create and build the habitat. Phase 3 is the actual printing and building of the scaled habitat design. Both offer over $1 million to the winner, so if this kind of engineering problem is your thing, <a href="http://www.bradley.edu/sites/challenge/description/" target="_blank">you should get started ASAP</a>.</p> <h2>3. Wearable Alcohol Biosensor ($200,000 First Prize)</h2> <p>Alcoholism, and alcohol-related problems, are a major cause for concern in the United States. A report published in 2014 showed that the top 10% of alcohol drinkers consume an average of <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/09/25/think-you-drink-a-lot-this-chart-will-tell-you/?utm_term=.de52bf918239" target="_blank">74 drinks every week</a> (that's more than 10 drinks per day). That's over two bottles of wine every day, or three 24-can cases of beer per week.</p> <p>Knowing the severity of the problem, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism wants to help Americans get off their booze addiction. So, they have issued a challenge, with a top prize of $200,000.</p> <p>You are being tasked to create the prototype of a sleek, unobtrusive, noninvasive, wearable, real-time blood alcohol monitor. Imagine a smartwatch that gives you an instant read of your blood alcohol content, or perhaps some kind of digital patch or piece of jewelry. This would become a self-monitoring device that people can use to chart their alcohol use, and something the local doctor can use as a reliable indicator of alcohol use (and abuse).</p> <p>If you have something in mind, get over to this site <a href="https://niaaa.nih.gov/challenge-prize" target="_blank">before May 15, 2017</a> and submit your prototype. You could win a lot of money, and save a lot of lives.</p> <h2>4. Women's Safety Challenge ($1 Million Grand Prize)</h2> <p>The statistics behind this challenge are terrifying. Globally, one in three women have faced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Geographically, it can be much worse in some areas. In New Delhi, a 2012 study revealed that 92% of women experience some form of sexual violence in public spaces. And despite the growth of technology, including smartphones and wearables, the statistics are not changing. Although most of us carry a communication device, it's not helping the problem.</p> <p>The challenge here is to use modern technology that will help keep women and communities safe. How can devices like smartphones, coupled with a community of people ready to help, create a network that protects women from the dangers of society? The winning solution will autonomously and inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert, transmitting information to a network of responders, all within 90 seconds and at an annual cost of U.S. $40 or less.</p> <p>This is something that can have a real impact on your own community, and the world. You can <a href="http://safety.xprize.org/about/overview" target="_blank">read more about the challenge</a>, and the prize.</p> <h2>5. The Medical Treatment Free Time Challenge ($20,000 Top Prize)</h2> <p>Hopefully, you never have to be the beneficiary of the solution to this challenge. It is based around the amount of time that some people have to spend basically sitting idle while they receive medical treatments. A typical example of this would be kidney dialysis, which requires patients to sit still for around four hours, three times per week. But as the challenge states, this is for anyone receiving medical treatment that has free time to spare while undergoing the procedure.</p> <p>Instead of reading a book, listening to music, or watching TV, what could the patient do that is more beneficial to his or her recovery? Could this time be better spent doing something that actively helps in the treatment itself, or something that works to better the attitude and outlook of the patient?</p> <p>If these questions are already getting your mind to work overtime, <a href="https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933817" target="_blank">take a look at the details</a>. You will have to register for free, but it could be well worth it for you, and the people your solution helps.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/solving-the-worlds-problems-could-win-you-millions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-a-3d-printer-can-save-you-money">5 Surprising Ways a 3D Printer Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures">The Ultimate List of Hangover Cures</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-your-body-to-science">6 Ways to Sell Your Body to Science</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bots-chips-and-selfies-how-safe-are-the-new-ways-to-pay">Pay with a Selfie: How Safe Are the New Ways to Pay?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology 3d printing alcohol engineering grand prizes medicine problem solving safety science water Thu, 02 Feb 2017 10:30:35 +0000 Paul Michael 1878110 at http://www.wisebread.com What Booze Teaches Us About Money http://www.wisebread.com/what-booze-teaches-us-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-booze-teaches-us-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_40966788_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="what booze teaches us about money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Alcohol gets a bad rap for numbing the brain. But as it turns out, there are some <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/what-alcohol-does-to-your-body-and-mind-2012-11">positive benefits</a> to responsible indulgence in wine, beer, or whiskey, too. A couple of drinks can increase your creativity, promote better and deeper sleep, and make you feel at ease. And <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/8-health-benefits-of-drinking-wine">moderate wine consumption</a> can reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and diabetes. Now here's a benefit of alcohol consumption that you maybe haven't heard: A healthy relationship to alcohol can pave the way for improved fiscal health. Yes, we're serious. And we've got the logic to back it up. Here are a few ways in which a little booze can boost your financial literacy.</p> <h2>Wine Teaches Us to Develop a Knack for Value Forecasting</h2> <p>If you've ever been to a wine tasting, you know that the ability to sniff out the complexity of flavors before the stuff ever touches the tongue is a celebrated form of art. Likewise, the ability to forecast a stock's future value based on historical trends, an industry's present-day performance, and the current economic climate is more skill than gamble.</p> <p>&quot;Once you learn how to give wine a good sniff, you'll begin to develop the ability to isolate flavors &mdash; to notice the way they unfold and interact &mdash; and, to some degree, assign language to describe them,&quot; reads Wine Enthusiast magazine's guide to wine tasting for beginners. &quot;This is exactly what wine professionals &mdash; those who make, sell, buy, and write about wine &mdash; are able to do.&quot;</p> <p>Sounds a bit like the skills needed to succeed in playing the stock market, doesn't it? Indeed, the methods used in wine selection aren't much different from those used by skilled stock traders and investors. So the next time you go wine tasting or select a bottle of red, think about all of the subtle ways in which you're assessing a wine's taste and value, and remember to apply that same circumspection when maneuvering your personal stock trades and purchases.</p> <h2>Beer Teaches Us the Value of Seeing the Big Picture</h2> <p>It's Friday night. You get home and pour yourself a pint of beer. But no so fast! No matter how eager you are to unwind from the work week, a hasty pour is ill-advised. Pour slowly. This way, you'll avoid the foam.</p> <p>Why?</p> <p>Imagine for a moment that the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking">beer in your glass</a> is a publically traded company. For example's sake, let's call it Microsoft. Congratulations, you are officially a Microsoft shareholder. If the beer is Microsoft, then the foam on top represents all of the daily trades that cause Microsoft's stock value to fluctuate. The value of your stock is in constant flux. Up and down and up and down it goes.</p> <p>As a Microsoft shareholder, you want to know how all of these trades are affecting the value of your shares, right? Not so, according to <a href="http://amzn.to/2dsu1V6">The Simple Path To Wealth</a> author Jim Collins. When a stock price jolts up high or sinks down low, it's hard to know what to make of it. Even the top day traders struggle to make sense of it all. Is a big daily point loss indicative of real loss in company value? Or is it just a little hiccup &mdash; background noise &mdash; soon to be forgotten by month's end? Bottom line: It's hard to say.</p> <p>Now, you want to make smart trades, right? So you're going to want to be able to develop some skill in assessing your stock's real value. That's where the ability to differentiate between all those little hiccups and the real ebb and flow in your stock's value are going to come in handy. If you distract yourself with the background noise &mdash; if you crowd your pint glass with foam &mdash; you're going to have a hard time zeroing in on what's really going on. And what is really going on? Well, look at your annual shareholder statements. Take a peek at the monthly ones, too. These monthly and yearly value fluctuations show real trends. Not insignificant hiccups, but trends.</p> <h2>Whiskey Teaches Us That the Best Things Take Time</h2> <p>A good whiskey takes years to mature. And, if we're talking high-end whiskey, then it's safe to bet it was left to age in a barrel for 10-20 years. Indeed, <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/7422701/Worlds-oldest-whisky-goes-on-sale-for-10000-a-bottle.html">the world's oldest whiskey</a> developed its complex, woody flavor over a period of 70 years. If the cask had been popped open and poured out sooner, it simply wouldn't have been as valuable, nor as good.</p> <p>In whiskey, like in saving for retirement, patience is a virtue. So is an enduring commitment to making small, incremental steps toward a future goal &mdash; be it a good spirit or a comfortable golden years era. That's why, in many ways, it can be helpful to think of your long-haul effort to save for retirement as a journey to make a really great whiskey. Set and stick to a realistic savings goal, make smart investments, and live within your means. This stuff isn't easy, and it's certainly not always fun, but there's big payoff to be had for all your efforts. Like when you reach your 60s with a sizable nest egg to show for all your hard work. And when you reach that wonderful day, why not consider celebrating with whiskey? After all, you've earned it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-booze-teaches-us-about-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-save-money-when-getting-your-drink-on">15 Ways to Save Money When Getting Your Drink On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking">The 9 Hidden Costs of Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-drunk-on-the-cheap-wine-tastings">Wine Tastings: Finding Cheap Wine That You Like</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink alcohol beer booze cash cocktails drinking drinks money money lessons saving money wine Wed, 05 Oct 2016 09:30:29 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1805693 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_on_vacation_000069738815.jpg" alt="Friends finding spring break budget busters to avoid" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning to whoop it up on spring break? Let your fun flag fly without obliterating your bank account by avoiding these getaway budget busters.</p> <h2>1. Lodging</h2> <p>Even now that I'm in my mid-30s (that's the first time I've written that &mdash; gimme a minute), I still prefer inexpensive lodging to high-end hotels when I travel, at least when it's on my own dime. As an alternative, I opt for short-term apartment rentals (like Airbnb or VRBO) or even crash with friends to help save a ton of money that, when you think about it, I'm just sleeping away.</p> <p>Anita Covic, destination specialist TripTogether, a travel site that helps travelers meet other travelers, also thinks this route is the way to go.</p> <p>&quot;Cutting costs doesn't have to be stressful, and one of the biggest costs that can be cut is lodging,&quot; she says. &quot;Personally, I think hostels are a great alternative to expensive hotels. Airbnb is a great option for a large group of people. Eating out can add up as well. Try booking a hostel or Airbnb [rental] with a kitchen and stock up on groceries that can be easily converted to quick breakfasts and lunches.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Airfare</h2> <p>Save on airfare by knowing when to shop for plane tickets, and use a multifaceted approach by consulting discount sites and the airlines proper to see who offers the best price. You also can avoid spending full price for airfare by setting alerts for deals. If you happen to earn frequent flyer miles, check out the new award travel search engine <a href="http://pexportal.com">PEX+</a> to find the best price on an award ticket.</p> <h2>3. Eating Out</h2> <p>When you're on vacay, it's easy to get lax on your waistline and your wallet. Keep both of these areas in check by curbing your cravings for junk food (which might go hand in hand with those hangovers, by the way) while trying to make more of your meals wherever you're staying (made easier with a kitchen). Find ways to munch for free instead of popping into a restaurant, café, or fast-food joint for every meal.</p> <p>&quot;Dining out at new restaurants is one of the best parts of traveling, but there's no need to eat out three meals a day,&quot; reminds saving expert Andrea Woroch. &quot;Many hotels and hostels offer some sort of free breakfast, typically consisting of fruit, cereal, and pastries, which is plenty to start your day. Sandwiches are an easy meal to prepare in-room, which you can then pack as lunch for a day exploring the city. When looking for a spot to eat, use apps to track down coupons for nearby restaurants and search for daily dining deals via Groupon Now.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Alcohol</h2> <p>Oh, alcohol. It's the stuff that many great spring break memories are made of &mdash; but it can quickly take your budget from hero to zero if you're not careful. To reduce how much you're spending on booze, remember one word: pregame.</p> <p>&quot;Drinks at bars and restaurants are very expensive, so if you're planning to do some drinking, try to plan a get-together somewhere where you can bring your own alcohol &mdash; like someone's hotel room &mdash; before you go out,&quot; advises The Stave Diaries travel blogger Stefanie Parks. &quot;This way you can get your alcohol from a grocery or convenience store and won't have to splurge for more expensive drinks while you're out.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Entertainment and Activities</h2> <p>When you're traveling, you want to see and do as much as possible within your destination. However, an action-packed schedule comes with a cost. Before you embark, take time to review entertainment and activity options and identify those that are most important and affordable to you.</p> <p>&quot;There are plenty of free things you can do on your trip, like a day at the beach, viewing art galleries, or simply exploring city streets,&quot; Woroch says. &quot;You can even skip the pricey guided tours and take a self-guided walking tour for free. Print city guides from resources like <a href="http://citywalkingguide.com/">City Walking Guide</a> or download a walking tour guide on your mobile device using apps like <a href="https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/audio/audio-europe">Rick Steves Europe Travel</a> and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/city-maps-walks-470+-cities/id417207307?mt=8">City Maps and Walks</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Hidden Fees</h2> <p>The money trap is right there in the name &mdash; hidden fees &mdash; and these can add up to a substantial amount when all is said and done, slowly chipping away at your budget along the way.</p> <p>Saveful.com's Louis DeNicola details some of the more common offenders.</p> <p>&quot;Rental car companies can charge around $10/day for a collision damage waiver, but many credit cards include that coverage free of charge,&quot; he points out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=seealso">What Does Car Rental Insurance Really Cover On Your Credit Card?</a>)</p> <p>Travelers should also look for hidden hotel-related fees. Some hotels in popular tourist destinations charge a resort fee on top of the standard room rate. Hotels may offer extra perks, such as free Wi-Fi, to members of their loyalty program &mdash; even brand new members.</p> <p>&quot;Some hotels' minibars have weight sensors and you might get charged even if you didn't drink or eat anything,&quot; DeNicola adds. &quot;Review your bill before leaving the hotel.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Convenience-Store Goodies</h2> <p>When you have a packed spring break schedule of exciting activities, it's not only easy to eat out more than you normally would, but popping into convenience stores for quick snacking items also is more prevalent. Two dollars here and there for bottles of water, coffee, candy, and chips may seem like insignificant expenses, but if you're doing it every day, you'll find that you're wasting a decent chunk of change.</p> <p>&quot;Limit the excess you spend on drinks and snacks by packing fruit or granola bars and a refillable water bottle to stay fueled and hydrated during a long day of exploring,&quot; Woroch suggests.</p> <h2>8. Mobile Data</h2> <p>I recently traveled to Montreal for the New Year's holiday and I was conscious to turn off my mobile roaming and data as soon as we crossed the border from the United States into Canada. But would you believe that when I received my bill for that period there was $20 of international charges on it? Apparently I wasn't fast enough, or the networks got crossed as I approached the border, and I incurred the fees I was trying to avoid. And that was within seconds to minutes. Can you imagine what I would have been charged had I left it one for a few hours or days?</p> <p>Woroch warns against a similar situation.</p> <p>&quot;To avoid pricey data-overage fees, turn off pop-up notifications and use a <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/free-wifi-finder/id411134124?mt=8">Free Wi-Fi Finder</a> app to track down local hotspots. Otherwise, turn on your phone's Wi-Fi locator to find a free Internet connection wherever you are and take this time to post pictures and reply to emails.&quot;</p> <p>She also recommends downloading any maps you may need ahead of time.</p> <p>As an extra tip, if you have an experience like I did during my Montreal trip, be sure to give your wireless carrier a call to explain the situation. If you're a loyal customer, they may waive those minor, erroneous fees like they did for me, but you won't know unless you pick up the phone to fight it.</p> <h2>9. Photo Memories From Secondary Sources</h2> <p>Photo ops are everywhere these days, and there are plenty of companies that are cashing in on them, like pictures you get at the beach and those funny snapshots at the end of a thrill ride. Don't fall for it. You and every single person you know is armed with a phone at their fingertips. Set up backgrounds and strike your own poses to enjoy free shots that you can post to social media immediately or print when you get home.</p> <h2>10. Souvenirs</h2> <p>I have a rule at my house than nothing comes home from vacation that isn't either some form of art or a useful object &mdash; which means to say that no junk souvenirs, like spoons, shot glasses, and other bric-a-brac, are welcome. My photos are good enough memories of my time on vacation, and they help me save money, space in my luggage, and a backache from having to carry otherwise heavy objects.</p> <p>Blogger Barb Webb provides other easy ways to cut back on souvenir spending.</p> <p>&quot;Theme parks, hotels, and restaurants often have buttons, stickers, postcards, and other trinkets they gift for free to patrons,&quot; she says. &quot;Stop by the local tourism office and you'll find everything from free coloring books to posters and key chains to add to your souvenir collection. Also look for local extension agencies that will have free treasures like recipe cards, calendars, and other small items.&quot;</p> <p>To turn photos into more organized memories like I do, Woroch suggests using the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/keepsayk-photo-books-instant/id884920246?mt=8">Keepsayk app</a> to organize pictures and create a photo book, or use deal sites like Coupon Sherpa to find coupon codes from photo book makers like Snapfish, which usually offers steep discounts.</p> <h2>11. Gas</h2> <p>Gas is affordable now, but we don't know where it will be in a few weeks or months when we're more on the go. Even while it's inexpensive, you still want to score the best deals possible.</p> <p>&quot;There are a few ways to reduce your fuel costs, including using the <a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/App">GasBuddy</a> app to find the cheapest gas nearby; paying with cash to avoid the extra 10 cents for credit card charges; and using your warehouse club membership to save up to 30 cents per gallon at their fuel pumps,&quot; Woroch says.</p> <p>On a personal note, I've been visiting BP stations almost exclusively to fill up at the pump for a few months, and I use its loyalty card to rack up points. Just the other day, I received a generous kickback of $.63 per gallon &mdash; yes, you read that correctly &mdash; which resulted in a total savings of about $10 for a complete fill-up. My total cost was $18 and change for a full tank of premium gas, all because I swiped my loyalty card consistently. Totally worth the two seconds it takes.</p> <p><em>Are you headed away for spring break? How do you plan to save? Where will you splurge? I'd love to hear about your vacation plans in the comments below.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F11%20Spring%20Break%20Budget%20Busters%20to%20Avoid.jpg&amp;description=11%20Spring%20Break%20Budget%20Busters%20to%20Avoid" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/11%20Spring%20Break%20Budget%20Busters%20to%20Avoid.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway">How to Make Sure You&#039;re Getting a Deal With Groupon Getaway</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-known-ways-to-save-when-booking-spring-travel">6 Little-Known Ways to Save When Booking Spring Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-evaluate-a-travel-program-for-the-best-rewards-redemption">How to Evaluate a Travel Program for the Best Rewards Redemption</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel Airfare alcohol budget busters food costs hotels overspending spring break trips vacation Thu, 24 Mar 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1678011 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Tasty Ways to Cook With Wine http://www.wisebread.com/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wine_popsicles_000065100551.jpg" alt="Popsicles that are made with wine in the kitchen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know about you, but I often crack open a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-drunk-on-the-cheap-wine-tastings">bottle of wine</a> and find myself with a cup left over by the end of the night. I've splashed some in stir-fries and other dishes, but I've never made anything to write home about.</p> <p>Well that's about to change. Here are 12 fresh and flavorful ways to use wine in cooking and baking.</p> <h2>1. Wine Popsicles</h2> <p>Serve these very adult <a href="http://www.pastryaffair.com/blog/roasted-strawberry-red-wine-popsicles.html">roasted strawberry red wine popsicles</a> at your next gathering. To make, just roast quartered strawberries coated in balsamic vinegar and sugar. Pulse half the strawberries in a food processor before mixing with the wine. Spoon remaining strawberries into popsicle molds and fill with the liquid before freezing.</p> <h2>2. Wine Chowder</h2> <p>Use a half cup of leftover wine in this <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/scallop-corn-chowder">scallop and corn chowder</a> recipe. A dry white wine works best with the light flavors in this dish. If you follow a pescetarian diet, you can easily substitute vegetable broth for the chicken and omit the bacon entirely.</p> <h2>3. Wine Poached Pears</h2> <p>Here's a refined dessert that will wow your guests: <a href="http://www.angsarap.net/2012/02/20/poached-pears/">red wine poached pears</a>. You'll need three hefty cups of your favorite sweet red wine. Otherwise, the process is quite simple. Pour lemon juice on your pears. Bring wine, sugar, vanilla bean, and cinnamon stick to a boil before adding pears. Cook 12&ndash;15 minutes on all sides.</p> <h2>4. Wine Tartlets</h2> <p>These <a href="http://drizzleanddip.com/2013/04/12/red-wine-caramelised-onions-goats-cheese-tartlets">red wine caramelized onions and goat cheese tartlets</a> would make an incredible appetizer. To infuse the onions with the wine flavor, you'll first brown them on the stove. Then deglaze the pan with half a cup of the wine. Add the onions back in and cook with the remaining wine before assembling the tartlets.</p> <h2>5. Wine Mushrooms</h2> <p>Or try these <a href="http://www.jocooks.com/healthy-eating/red-wine-and-garlic-mushrooms/">red wine and garlic mushrooms</a> that require only five ingredients to make. Start the dish by melting the butter with olive oil and garlic. Pour in the wine and then toss in the mushrooms. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms are golden on all sides.</p> <h2>6. Wine Cupcakes</h2> <p>Grab a glass of your favorite prosecco and make these <a href="http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2010/12/sparkling-champagne-cupcakes.html">champagne cupcakes</a>. You'll mix the sparkling wine with sour cream and then fold it into the rest of the vanilla cupcake batter. Then hollow out the centers of the cupcakes to fill with the pastry creme filling.</p> <h2>7. Wine Beef Tips</h2> <p>Simmer tender sirloin to perfection in this <a href="http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/main-course/beef/beef-tips-in-red-wine-sauce.html">beef tips in red wine</a> recipe. After cooking the beef cubes, add onions and mushrooms until they are browned. Then add your wine, flour, and spices and heat around 20 minutes more on low. Add egg noodles to the dish before serving.</p> <h2>8. Wine Pasta</h2> <p>Start by cooking noodles in water and finish them in wine for this <a href="http://theitaliandishblog.com/imported-20090913150324/2013/4/9/drunken-pasta.html">drunken pasta</a>. As with most other recipes on this list, the alcohol cooks off before you eat. In this dish, though, your noodles will soak in a beautiful rose color to make your plate pop. Top with parsley and grated Pecorino Romano cheese.</p> <h2>9. Wine Bread</h2> <p>This <a href="http://thebreadmakers.blogspot.com/2013/07/olive-bacon-and-cheese-bread-recipe.html">olive, bacon, and cheese bread</a> is one of the most interesting loaves I've encountered in a while. It contains five ounces of white wine along with all sorts of robust ingredients. Each slice is so nutritionally complete, you can grab one to bring to work for a simple lunch.</p> <h2>10. Wine Brunch</h2> <p>Rabanadas are Portugal's answer to French toast. These <a href="http://casarosada-algarve.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/rabanadas-tipsy-slices.html">tipsy slices</a> are typically consumed during the Christmas holiday, but they would be a great brunch item no matter the time of year. In this recipe, the wine is in the syrup, so feel free to use the topping on pancakes, waffles, or whatever else you'd like to booze up.</p> <h2>11. Wine Fondue</h2> <p>I usually put beer in my cheese fondues, but this <a href="http://www.fatgirltrappedinaskinnybody.com/2010/06/2010-fifa-world-cup-italy-and-switzerland-pesto-fondue/">pesto fondue</a> has me itching to try something new. Along with the basil, pine nuts, cheese, and spices, you'll pour in one and a half cups of your favorite dry white wine. Eat immediately for the best experience.</p> <h2>12. Wine Soup</h2> <p>Just in time for CSA season, check out this <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/silky-leek-and-red-wine-soup">silky leek and red wine soup</a>. It'd go wonderfully with crusty bread and a good Bordeaux. As always, you can easily make this recipe vegetarian by using vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite way to use wine in cooking?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beer-donuts-and-11-other-recipes-you-can-make-with-beer">Beer Donuts and 11 Other Recipes You Can Make With Beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad">10 Smart Uses for Food That&#039;s About to Go Bad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-perfectly-respectable-uses-for-instant-mashed-potatoes">5 Perfectly Respectable Uses for Instant Mashed Potatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink alcohol Cooking desserts recipes snacks wine Mon, 08 Jun 2015 13:00:14 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1445022 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Rich You'd Be If You Stopped Drinking http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/guys_beer_cheers_000035827748.jpg" alt="Guys learning how much they spend on alcohol each year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're like most working adults in America, you like to let off steam at the bar. And, the economy is certainly showing that trend. In 2012, the U.S. bar, tavern, and nightclub industry took in over <a href="http://www.statista.com/statistics/281711/us-bars-taverns-und-nightclubs-industry-revenue/">$23.4 billion in revenue</a>. It's projected to reach $24.35 billion this year, and that doesn't include the alcohol we buy from liquor stores.</p> <p>And while that's good for those businesses, it means that we the consumers are literally drinking away our savings. Depending on what kind of drinker you are, you could be spending way more than you think on your little stress reliever. But, knowledge is power, so here we examine the costs involved, and just how easy it is to cut back.</p> <h2>How Much Do You Drink?</h2> <p>If you enjoy just one beer or glass of wine every night with dinner, then guess what &mdash; you are in the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/09/25/think-you-drink-a-lot-this-chart-will-tell-you/">top 30% of alcohol drinkers</a> in the U.S. If that shocks you, you're probably not alone. Two drinks? Then you're in the top 20%.</p> <p>However, to get into the top 10%, you'd have to up your drinking considerably. How much? Over 10 alcohol drinks each and every day. That's right, according to the U.S. Department of Health &amp; Human Services, the top 10% of drinkers in the U.S. consume an average of 74 alcoholic beverages per week. That equates to 18 bottles of wine, or over six 12-packs of beer.</p> <p>But even if you're just having a few drinks a week in the local bar or pub, the costs can really add up.</p> <h2>What is it Costing You?</h2> <p>If you're a heavy drinker, you probably aren't getting your alcohol from a bar; that would be crippling to your monthly budget. With most people spending $10 on a bottle of wine, it would come to over $200 per week including taxes, or over $800 per month. That's two or three car payments right there. Annually, that's almost $10,000.</p> <p>Let's look at the budget of someone who goes out twice per week. Once during the work week, and once on a Friday or Saturday night.</p> <p>When you go out to a bar during the week, you will usually order food with your drink. And with most people ordering two drinks, plus tip, you are looking at around $40-$50 for the evening. This, of course, doesn't include the costs for cab fare, babysitting, and other expenses.</p> <p>On the weekend, a typical night out at a bar is a little different. You will most likely take advantage of the fact that there's no work the next day, and order several drinks over the course of the evening, along with food and snacks. You may also order cocktails, shots, or other specialty items to make it a good night. You will be looking at around $100 for the evening, depending on where you live. And keep in mind, that's per person. As a couple, you will spend at least half that again.</p> <p>Do the math. $160 per week, or roughly $650 per month, can easily be spent by someone who enjoys six or seven drinks a week when they go out to bars or restaurants. It is, in fact, very similar to the amount of money that would be spent on alcohol by a hardcore drinker. By going out just a couple of nights a week, and drinking moderately, you're spending over $7000 a year.</p> <h2>The Big Question: How Can You Cut Back?</h2> <p>It's actually quite easy to make a few small adjustments to your weekly bar tab. In fact, you may not even notice the difference, depending on how strictly you follow the guidelines.</p> <h3>1. Only Bring Cash Out</h3> <p>By far the easiest way to stick to your booze budget is to hit the town with your plastic left at home. It's easy to rack up money on a credit or debit card, but cash is finite and you can see it going down throughout the evening. You can also preload a debit card and use that. Either way, once the cash is gone, it's time to go home.</p> <h3>2. Take Advantage of Happy Hours</h3> <p>Do you have to go out when everyone else is hitting the town? If you have your friends with you, why not do something a little earlier than usual? You'll get great specials, including two-for-one drinks, free appetizers, and even free shots. You can always head back to a friend's house later and finish the evening there.</p> <h3>3. Eat (and Drink) at Home Before Hitting the Bars</h3> <p>Food costs can really add up quickly in the bars, and the food may not even be that good. If you go out with a full stomach, you will not only save money on overpriced food and snacks, but avoid getting tipsy too quickly. As a student, my friends and I would usually have a few cheap beers at home with our food, too. Then we took the bus down to the bar, and were already quite happy before we'd ordered one drink.</p> <h3>4. Order Water Between Drinks</h3> <p>This is great for several reasons. First, a glass of tap water with ice and lemon is free at every bar. You can drink this and stretch your money over time. Second, and perhaps more important, it stops you getting drunk, and makes hangovers much less severe.</p> <h3>5. Pitch in for Pitchers</h3> <p>Bars and restaurants often offer pitchers of beer at a discount. Combine that with happy hour, and you can get enough beer for four or five people for just $5-$7. Also, consider domestic beers instead of imports and craft beers. They may not be as tasty, but they are usually much less expensive.</p> <h3>6. Look for Freebies</h3> <p>Bars know the importance of deals and coupons. They will often have specials on their websites, and in local papers and flyers. Save them, and bring them out the next time you visit. They can take a nice little sum off the final total.</p> <h3>7. Ladies&hellip; You Can Get a Lot of Free Drinks</h3> <p>Sad, but true. Many bars and clubs make special offers to women in the hopes of attracting a larger crowd. Some will let women drink free, or for $1 per cocktail, all night. And of course, many men will offer to buy you a drink. Just be careful who you accept these from, and if in doubt, say no.</p> <p><em>How much do you spend on drinks per week? </em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fheres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHere%2527s%2520How%2520Rich%2520You%2527d%2520Be%2520If%2520You%2520Stopped%2520Drinking.jpg&amp;description=Heres%20How%20Rich%20Youd%20Be%20If%20You%20Stopped%20Drinking"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Here%27s%20How%20Rich%20You%27d%20Be%20If%20You%20Stopped%20Drinking.jpg" alt="Here's How Rich You'd Be If You Stopped Drinking" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-booze-teaches-us-about-money">What Booze Teaches Us About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 great uses for beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">Top 5 Ways to Hustle Free Drinks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer">10 Great Reasons to Drink Beer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink alcohol bars beer nightclubs taverns wine Tue, 05 May 2015 13:00:26 +0000 Paul Michael 1407935 at http://www.wisebread.com The 9 Hidden Costs of Drinking http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/restaurant-wine-488031279-small.jpg" alt="restaurant drinking" title="restaurant drinking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Drinking isn't cheap. We all know that whether it's a quiet glass of wine at home in the evening or a full-fledged night out on the town, alcohol can cost you. But do you know the <em>true</em> costs? Those that go beyond just the actual price you're paying for that can of Coors or bottle of chianti? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine?ref=seealso">How to Make Moonshine</a>)</p> <p>Check out some of the common pitfalls associated with your drinking expenditures, as well as frugal ways to still have your wine and drink it too.</p> <h2>1. Transportation Costs</h2> <p>Taxis, limos, and other chauffeured vehicles are necessary for a responsible night of drinking. However, they don't usually come cheap. Even new ride services like <a href="https://www.uber.com/">Uber</a> can run up the tab. So, what to do when you've had a few, but want to save on your transit costs?</p> <p>If you're lucky enough to live in a city with reliable and safe late night public transportation, by all means take advantage of this cheap alternative to a cab. Another option is to pick nearby restaurants and bars where you can easily walk home. Or, take turns being a designated driver within your entourage each weekend, so that everyone can save and be safe.</p> <h2>2. Restaurant Dining</h2> <p>Having a nice drink with your meal at a restaurant makes for a great night. But, that markup on your drink is hefty. Take wine for example. Some restaurants can <a href="http://www.restaurants.com/blog/how-much-do-restaurants-mark-up-wine/#.U8BEsNm9LCQ">mark up bottles</a> as high as 400%! And, if you and your other guests start ordering wine by the glass, your bill can skyrocket.</p> <p>First off, if you even think there's a chance that you and another guest will have more than one glass of wine each, then buy the bottle. It's almost always cheaper. Or, find restaurants where you can bring your own drinks (BYOB), and avoid the restaurant markup. Lastly, you can always stick to ordering the restaurant's cheaper drink options, such as domestic beers or house liquors and wines, instead of perusing the more expensive drink menus.</p> <h2>3. The Gracious Host</h2> <p>If you have thrown anything from a dinner party to a wedding, you know that a big chunk of the budget can go to alcohol. Events can get expensive quickly when drinks cost more than your food. Still, the best hosts usually find ways to provide the booze.</p> <p>Short of cutting out the alcohol or forcing a cash bar on guests, try cheaper options, like bulk wine (yes, you could even do wine-in-a-box for the less discerning crowd) or kegs of beer, which all give you a quantity discount. Another option is to make up large batches of your own punch, sangria, or other affordable mixed drinks. This can help save as people can't take the liberty to pour more of the expensive stuff in their concoctions. You can also try for cheaper substitutes. One of my favorites is using Cava instead of Champagne. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discount-luxury-save-50-or-more-on-5-fabulous-substitutions?ref=seealso">Discount Luxury: Save 50% or More on 5 Fabulous Substitutions</a>)</p> <h2>4. Late Night Food Run</h2> <p>A late night food run may seem like a fun way to top off your night. However, don't forget that even fast food can cost you, especially if you indulge and aren't thinking as clearly as you might otherwise after having a few drinks.</p> <p>To alleviate the extra spend on calories you probably don't need, try to wait until you get home and eat there where it's cheaper. Fast food restaurants, diners, and food trucks may seem cheap at the time, but they add up. Or, if you are lucky enough to know where to find $1 pizza slices, make sure to only hit up these types of super cheap places if you just can't resist.</p> <h2>5. Running a Tab</h2> <p>Tabs can get out of hand when you slap down a credit card and don't realize how much you are truly spending. And, they can be especially dangerous when you buy drinks for others and are feeling festive (a round of shots anyone?).</p> <p>Next time, try paying cash for your drinks, so you'll be more aware of your spend. If you need to use your credit card, set a limit and ask the bartender to automatically close out your tab once reached. Or, if you are looking to treat others, hit the bar when you can save, such as during happy hour or when regular specials and promotions take place.</p> <h2>6. Shopping and Impulse Buys</h2> <p>Any time you've had a drink during the day, whether it be a lunch date or happy hour splurge, beware of your lowered inhibitions and the expenditures that can follow. It's certainly fun to have lunch and go shopping, but you may overpay or buy stuff on impulse.</p> <p>In order to suppress your urge to splurge, try making sure you have a budget or list in mind before you hit the stores. You can also ask friends to keep you in check or use cash to make sure you don't overspend. And lastly, don't fall into the trap of buying just because whomever you're with starts doing so.</p> <h2>7. Your Crowd</h2> <p>If you run with some high rollers, you may find yourself draining your wallet at fancy clubs and restaurants. The ordinary draft beer at such places can cost you four times more than the pub down the street. And, other beverages are sure to run you a small fortune in such places.</p> <p>To avoid the spend of the rich and famous, perhaps it's time to pick your crowd wisely. You can always go out with more like-minded friends to lower-key establishments. Or, make sure you are the one to pick the venues, so you can choose places with reasonable prices or no cover charges. If you still find yourself confronted with absorbent pricing, limit your intake and stay clear of champagnes and signature mixed drinks, which always run higher than most other items.</p> <h2>8. Health Care Costs</h2> <p>We all know that there's a flip side to most guilty pleasures. Consuming alcohol can affect both your health and your wallet. Continual use or over-consumption can cause a number of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/alcoholism/possible-complications.html">alcohol related health problems</a>, from liver disorders to heart problems to violence and depression. A <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0813-excessive-alcohol-use.html">CDC study</a> has estimated that excessive drinking has cost the country at least $224 billion per year in the past, the majority of which is health care costs. As an individual, this means money lost on doctor's visits, costly procedures, missed pay, decreased quality of life, and higher health insurance premiums.</p> <p>It's obvious that the way to combat such problems is to aim to drink less or not at all. Preventive programs and seeking help for excessive alcohol consumption are measures that can be taken. Be sure to limit binge drinking and search for other ways, besides alcohol, to relax and unwind.</p> <h2>9. Long Term Consequences</h2> <p>Excessive or irresponsible drinking can certainly lead to some grave consequences, especially if you drink and drive. Besides the physical dangers, the <a href="http://money.msn.com/auto-insurance/dui-the-10000-dollar-ride-home.aspx">financial fallout from a DUI</a> is a lot more than you may realize. It has been estimated that by the time you pay bail, legal fees, and insurance, a DUI can cost you $10,000 or more. From the insurance perspective, a DUI will <a href="http://www.esurance.com/violations/dui-and-car-insurance">increase your premium</a> by several hundred dollars, which can last for up to five years. You may also be required to carry more than the state-mandated amount of coverage, further driving up your costs.</p> <p>The obvious way to avoid such expenses is to not drink and drive. A DUI can do all kinds of harm, much of which can last well beyond the initial offense.</p> <p><em>What are some other extra costs you have come across when it comes to spending on drinks? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-medeiros">Kelly Medeiros</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-booze-teaches-us-about-money">What Booze Teaches Us About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-drunk-driving">Alternatives to drunk driving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/argentine-wine-hack-make-bad-wine-better">Argentine Wine Hack: Make Bad Wine Better</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Lifestyle alcohol alcohol costs booze drinking wine Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Kelly Medeiros 1171611 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Great Reasons to Drink Beer http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/drink-444175-small.jpg" alt="drinking beer" title="drinking beer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I can already see some of you scratching your head and giving me that quizzical &quot;I actually need a reason to drink beer?&quot; look. And as a lover of beer since 18 (the legal drinking age in my home country of England) I am nodding in agreement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 Great Ways to Use Beer</a>)</p> <p>I need no more reason than the fact that so much of it tastes wonderful. The list of brews I love could fill a book. I also happen to live in Colorado, <a href="http://www.brewersassociation.org/pages/business-tools/craft-brewing-statistics/breweries-per-capita">one of the top five states of breweries per capita</a>.</p> <p>But what if you&#39;re not that into beer right now? What if you&#39;re actually more of a wine drinker, or a big fan of whisky and other spirits? What if you&#39;ve never even tried it and can&#39;t think of a reason to start now?</p> <p>Well, I&#39;d hate to see one of the true loves of my life pass anyone by without a fair shake. So here is a list of 10 great reasons to drink beer. Of course, as with anything, please drink in moderation. And it goes without saying &mdash; no driving, please.</p> <h2>1. Beer Hydrates You Better Than&hellip;Water</h2> <p>You read that right. It&#39;s not some junk fact thrown out there by the breweries of the world. <a href="http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/3467">Researchers at Spain&#39;s Granada University</a> spent months carefully testing 25 students. They asked them to run on a treadmill in high temperatures, until they were almost exhausted. Half the subjects were given water, the other half were given Spanish lager. And the results&hellip; the beer drinkers had &quot;slightly better&quot; rehydration effects.</p> <p>In fact, the test results indicated that male athletes should drink 500ml of beer per day, and 250ml for women. So next time you&#39;re doing some back-breaking work in the blazing sun, don&#39;t feel bad reaching for a cold one. You have science on your side. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cold-frugal-drinks-to-keep-you-cool-in-the-heat">Frugal Drinks to Keep You Cool</a>)</p> <h2>2. Beer Has Vitamins</h2> <p>Specifically, your average foaming pint of ale boosts B6, B12, folate, and mineral levels. And when compared to other alcoholic drinks, including wine and spirits, beer is the only one to <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/263290-list-of-vitamins-in-beer/">contain a significant amount of vitamins</a>. Other added treats include niacin (B3), pantothenic acid, flavonoids (also known as antioxidants) and choline. All in all, quite the cocktail of goodness&hellip; in moderation.</p> <h2>3. Beer Is a Terrific Natural Sleep Aid</h2> <p>Anyone who&#39;s stuck around at a party long enough can attest to this one. There are people passed out everywhere. But you don&#39;t need to drink a lot to get the sleepy effects of beer. Beer contains two sleep-promoting &nbsp;<a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/110732-vitamins-sleep/">B vitamins</a>, and <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22849837">hops itself is a natural sedative</a>. In other words, forget the warm milk, and knock back a cold beer if you&#39;re having trouble dozing off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-that-can-help-you-sleep">Foods That Can Help You Sleep</a>)</p> <h2>4. Beer Keeps Those Creative Juices Flowing</h2> <p>As someone in the creative advertising industry, I can personally vouch for the efficacy of this one. Many times over the years I was given a creative brief and hit a brick wall. This is not uncommon; most creative people do. After the usual long walks, games of darts, and anything else designed to take your mind off the problem for a while, the one failsafe way to get over the hump was&hellip; beer. Not a lot, just a couple of pints with a friend down the local pub. It&#39;s amazing the doors it can open up for you, just by loosening up your thinking. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-boost-creativity">Ways to Boost Creativity</a>)</p> <p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3010393/leadership-now/does-drinking-beer-make-you-more-creative">There is also hard evidence to support this, too</a>. Those &quot;eureka&quot; moments that artists, designers, and other thinkers have come when the brain is relaxed. In fact, about five seconds before that moment scientists found a large increase in alpha waves &mdash; the waves associated with relaxation. When this happens, it allows the front brain thinking to move to the back of the brain, where those unique, subconscious, lateral connections can be made. And voila&hellip; big idea. It&#39;s also why we get ideas in the shower or as we&#39;re falling asleep.</p> <p>Think of beer as a kick-starter to your body&#39;s relaxation mode. One bottle may be all that stands between you and a genius idea.</p> <h2>5. Beer Reduces Your Risk of Heart Attacks</h2> <p>Greek researchers recently found that arteries become more flexible, and blood flow actually improved, within just a few hours of drinking beer. The same could not be said of alcohol-free beer.</p> <p><a href="http://www.counselheal.com/articles/5952/20130703/beer-lower-heart-disease-risk-improve-function.htm">The study of 17 non-smoking men</a> in their twenties and thirties showed cardiovascular improvements within two hours of drinking 400ml of beer. And although vodka produced similar results, alcoholic beer was the winner.</p> <p>Just one more reason to raise a glass and say &quot;to your good health.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Beer Is a Great Hair Conditioner</h2> <p>OK, so you&#39;re not actually drinking it&hellip; but your hair is soaking it up! I can&#39;t vouch for this one personally; I&#39;ve been shaving my head for 15 years. But several tests have been done using the amber nectar, and it&#39;s <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Hair-Soft-Using-Budweiser-Beer">just as good for your hair</a> as it is for your creative thinking. Why? Well, the malt in the beer nourishes the hair and makes it extra soft and smooth. Follow your usual hair care routine, but use room-temperature beer before your usual conditioner. The hair won&#39;t smell of beer, but it will be as soft as a baby&#39;s bottom. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hair-conditioners-you-can-make-at-home">5 Homemade Hair Conditioners</a>)</p> <h2>7. Beer Can Strengthen Your Bones</h2> <p>Along with all the other health benefits of beer, this one should be <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100208091922.htm">of interest to anyone suffering from osteoporosis</a>. It seems that beers that contain high levels of malted barley and hops are rich in silicon. This ingredient can help strengthen bones and fight osteoporosis, which is a skeletal disease that creates low bone mass and bone tissue deterioration. Ask at your local liquor store for beers that are high in malted barley and hops.</p> <h2>8. Beer Prevents Kidney Stones</h2> <p>In this case, the darker the beers, the better. You&#39;re looking for stouts, porters, and any beer with lots of hops. These <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5172235_beer-prevent-kidney-stones_.html">hop-rich beers help prevent calcium deposits from being formed in your kidneys</a>. And when calcium deposits mix with salt and other minerals, you get those dreaded kidney stones.</p> <h2>9. Beer Is Full of Fiber</h2> <p>Did you know that the average liter of beer contains 20% of the recommended daily intake of fiber? And that&#39;s just an average beer. Get a really good, rich craft beer, and you&#39;re looking at <a href="http://www.realbeer.com/edu/health/good-bad.php">up to 60%</a> of your daily fiber intake from one liter of beer. This, in turn, aids bowel function, keeping you regular. And it also slows down the digestion and absorption of food, which can reduce cholesterol levels. So, next time you&#39;re ordering a beer, think of all that lovely fiber you&#39;re getting into the bargain.</p> <h2>10. Beer Is a Great Social Lubricant</h2> <p>If you&#39;re not exactly the life of the party, a <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/articles/495">beer can help you lose some of those inhibitions without going overboard</a>. Beer helps to relax several parts of the brain (remember the ones responsible for creative thinking) and loosens you up. You only need one or two to become a lot more free and easy without becoming a complete party animal (which can happen when you start chugging vodka and other spirits). Also, beer has less alcohol per milliliter than wine and spirits, so you can nurse your drink a little longer and won&#39;t feel the effects as intensely. Good for the wallet, and the morning after.</p> <p><em>Do you have a great reason for drinking beer that we missed? Let us know.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 great uses for beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">Top 5 Ways to Hustle Free Drinks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-cheap-beers-to-keep-your-holiday-season-hoppin">13 Cheap Beers to Keep Your Holiday Season Hoppin’</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink alcohol beer Health Wed, 30 Oct 2013 10:36:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1049126 at http://www.wisebread.com Frugal Drink Pairings for BYOB Restaurants http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-drink-pairings-for-byob-restuarants <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/frugal-drink-pairings-for-byob-restuarants" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wining_and_dining.jpg" alt="Couple dining at a restaurant" title="Couple dining at a restaurant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>BYOB&nbsp;restaurants are gaining more and more popularity. Restaurant owners love the concept because they don't have to purchase a liquor license or hire a bartender, and you love it because you don't have to pay $10 for a glass of wine. And bringing your own booze doesn't just cut down on the bill. It can also provide an opportunity to get creative with your food and drink pairings or prompt you to finally open that bottle of wine you've been saving for a special occasion. If you are dining with a group, you might even offer to bring a six pack of your favorite brew to make splitting the bill a little easier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paying-for-a-piece-of-the-pizza-techniques-for-splitting-the-bill">Techniques for Splitting the Bill</a>)</p> <p>Even if choosing which BYOB&nbsp;cuisine you are in the mood for is a no-brainer, deciding what to pair it with can be a challenge, especially if your goal is to save money. There are plenty of frugal drink choices, from barley wine to sake, that can easily be paired with some of your favorite dishes. The types of BYOB restaurants do vary, but here are a few of the more common types of BYOB cuisine, listed with some inexpensive but delicious drinks to pair with your meal.</p> <h2>Thai and Vietnamese</h2> <p>One of the more common types of BYOB cuisine, Thai and Vietnamese dishes tend to be spicy, which means they pair well with certain white wines and lighter beers. If you aren't a huge fan of sweet or overly fruity wine or beer, you can always go for something dry or hoppy. Either way, here are a few recommendations in those categories.</p> <p><strong>Wines: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, or Pinot Gris</strong></p> <p>While a sweet Riesling will definitely help tame the spice, any kind of Riesling pairs well with many types of Thai flavors. I prefer a dry Riesling, and my favorite is <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/bloom-riesling-2010/">Bloom Riesling</a> from Germany, partly because of its dryness and flavor, but also because I can usually find it under $10. Gewurztraminers are typically served at Thanksgiving, since this wine &mdash; similar to a dry Riesling &mdash; goes well with turkey, but it is also a fine choice for spicy foods. You can usually find <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/mill-creek-gewurztraminer-1999/">Mill Creek Gewurztraminer</a> from California for under $15. Another favorite wine to pair with spicy or Asian dishes is a Pinot Gris, because of its rich fruit flavors and crispness. If you can find it, the <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/lange-pinot-gris-reserve-2009/">Lange Estate Winery Pinot Gris</a> from Oregon is a very good domestic wine for the price, usually starting at around $10. No matter which one you choose, it is best to chill these wines (or any white) before you head out to the restaurant.</p> <p><strong>Beers: Saison/Farmhouse Ale</strong></p> <p>A standard Belgian Saison (French for <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/style/129">&quot;Season&quot;</a>), or Farmhouse Ale, has rich citrus flavors with hints of autumnal spices. The <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/637/1717">Saison Dupont</a> from Belgium comes in a 750ml bottle (typically around $10, and the same size as a wine bottle), so there's enough to go around. This Saison epitomizes the dry, yeasty flavors typical of many Farmhouse ales, and I find it an all-around beer that compliments spicy or mild cuisine. I highly recommend it with super spicy stir-fried dishes, because the malt and citrus enhance the peppery flavors in the food. <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/141/28305">Smuttynose</a> also makes a decent and affordable Farmhouse. Before you pour, ask your server for something akin to a <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/101/glassware">tulip glass</a> or snifter, if they have one. According to the <em>Beer Advocate</em>, a Saison needs a glass that &quot;Captures and enhances volatiles, while it induces and supports large foamy heads.&quot; While there are many theories about the <a href="http://www.ratebeer.com/Story.asp?StoryID=479">temperature at which you should serve</a> finely crafted beers, it is probably best to avoid serving such a well-rounded beer at ice cold temps.</p> <h2>Italian and Pizza</h2> <p>Italian restaurants and pizza joints are a little trickier, since they are not typically BYOB, and Italian menus have a variety of dishes that you can pair with just about any kind of wine. Still, you can find a few BYOB Italian and pizza places out there. While beer and pizza is a classic combo, it can also pair well with a nice red or white wine, depending on the sauce and toppings. This list contains some of my favorites, but don't limit yourself when pairing drinks with Italian fare.</p> <p><strong>Wines: Chianti, Barolo, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, or White Zinfandel</strong></p> <p>Before you get overwhelmed by that list, I will start by saying that Barolo and Chianti are classic Italian wines. They go with any dish that has a tomato base, including pizza. Barolos are a little more pricey and harder to find than a cheap Chianti. If you want to go super cheap, try <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/marchesi-de-frescobaldi-chianti-rufina-riserva-nipozzano-2007/">Marchesi de Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti</a>, which starts at $2 for some vintages! Merlot and Cab Sav both pair well with heavy meat dishes, but some wine enthusiasts think that the cheap bottles of drier reds are not worth the money saved. As someone who lives on a shoestring budget, I take that as a challenge. <a href="http://www.redtruckwine.com/home.html">Red Truck</a> Merlot is usually priced around $8 a bottle, and for a Merlot under $10, I find it to be a very decent wine. White Zinfandel and Chardonnay go well with lighter Italian fare or white pizza. Most California White Zins can be found under $15, and for a tasty Chardonnay under $15, try the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mercerwine.com/wines/white-wines/chardonnay">Mercer Estates Chardonnay</a> from Washington state.</p> <p><strong>Beers: Pilsner or Hefeweizen</strong></p> <p>Pilsners are not only a perfect match for pizza; they can also go well with most Italian dishes, particularly heavier ones since a traditional pilsner is a lighter beer. Even though many cheap pilsners have a bad reputation, I share Paul Michael's secret love for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-we-are-sayingis-give-pabst-a-chance">PBR</a>. But if you want to get a little adventurous, try a Hefeweizen, which is a little fuller than a pilsner and has a citrus flavor that I think pairs well with pasta and pizza. <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/140/48434">Sierra Nevada Kellerweis</a> is a fairly inexpensive Hefeweizen (usually around $8 for a six pack) that you can find in most stores. If you can't find Kellerweis, look for <a href="http://www.harpoonbrewery.com/">Harpoon's UFO Hefeweizen</a>, which sells for around the same price.</p> <h2>Indian and African</h2> <p>Most of the Ethiopian, Moroccan, Egyptian, and Indian restaurants I've been to are BYOB, which is partly why I've grouped them together. But they also have similar flavors and spices. Indian and Ethiopian foods tend to be very spicy, so you can try some of the pairings mentioned under Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. Here are a few more suggestions.</p> <p><strong>Wines: Honey wine, Riesling, Malbec, or Cabernet Sauvignon</strong></p> <p>I lived in D.C. for a few years, and the District is known for some of the best Ethiopian restaurants outside of Ethiopia. Many of the places that served alcohol would offer the traditional beverage of Ethiopia, a honey wine called tej, but it's not often cheap or easy to find. Instead, you might try bringing a sweeter Riesling or a white blend. The French wine <a href="http://www.lavieilleferme.com/blanc.php?langue=en">La Vieille Ferme Blanc</a> is a white blend that goes with light or spicy fare. Priced at $7 and under, it's a great value. Cabernet Sauvignon may seem like an odd choice for spicy food, but I think the heaviness rounds out the flavors, and it goes well with many of the meats served in African or Indian restaurants, such as lamb and beef. Red Truck also makes a Cab Sav made with organic grapes, which is labeled as <a href="http://www.redtruckwine.com/green-truck-2009-Mendocino-Cabernet-Sauvignon.html">Green Truck</a> and sells for under $15. I like to drink that one with Moroccan dishes.</p> <p><strong>Beers: India Pale Ale, Traditional Lager, Hefeweizen, or Barley wine</strong></p> <p>While I think any of these beers go well with African or Indian food, I prefer a traditional lager with spicy food. It's light, malty, and a little sweet to cut the spice. My favorite inexpensive lager is <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/182/1351">Yuengling</a>. I know many beer snobs who agree that for the price, this is a decent lager. I also love many of the cheaper IPAs out there. Recently, I tried the Long Hammer IPA from Red Hook, and although it didn't get rave reviews at the <em>Beer Advocate</em>, I thought it was flavorful. The flavors were also enhanced with a spicy meal, and for the price, it's a good choice for a BYOB East African or Indian dishes.</p> <h2>Burgers and Pub Fare</h2> <p>To me, there is simply nothing better than a burger, fries, and a cold brew. Even if you aren't eating beef on a bun, most red meats are good with any kind of beer. Don't rule out wine, however. You can serve red or white with burgers. Most pub and bistro food, in fact, doesn't necessarily call for one or the other. I think with burgers and pub fare, it's really up to your preferences. Here are a few of my favorites.</p> <p><strong>Wines: Pinot Noir, Syrah blend, Merlot, or Pinot Gris</strong></p> <p>One of my newest discoveries is <a href="http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=bistro+pinot+noir&amp;hl=en&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;hs=8EE&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;prmd=imvns&amp;bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&amp;biw=1280&amp;bih=586&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;tbm=shop&amp;cid=4071718109203839435&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=6ldBT8vkHIbx0gGa5ZG8Bw&amp;ved=0CFwQ8wIwAA">Bistro Pinot Noir</a> from France, which you can find as cheap as $6 a bottle in some places! This is one of the best cheap wines I've had in a while. The tannins are not too overwhelming like many cheap reds, and it didn't leave that acidic aftertaste that I find with most $6-$8 bottles. Another decent red that can be found at around the same price is the <a href="http://www.wine.com/v6/aboutwine/winery.aspx?winery=2181&amp;state=CA">La Vieille Ferme</a> Red, also from France. I've only seen one red and one white from this vineyard, and the red is a blend of Syrah and other grapes that produces a very nice red blend for the price. I prefer reds overall, but if I were to choose a white, I'd go with a Pinot Gris or Gewurztraminer, especially for the more gamey meats, such as lamb and venison burgers.</p> <p><strong>Beers: Wheat Ale, Pale Ale, Traditional Lager, or Farmhouse Ale</strong></p> <p>My favorite beer and pub food pairing is a nice Saison or Farmhouse Ale, and any of the ones I mentioned under Thai and Vietnamese food are excellent choices. If you prefer more traditional ales and lagers, then I would recommend the <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/10097/48933">UFO White Ale</a> from Harpoon Brewery in Boston. If you want a good pale ale, and you don't mind going up slightly in price, I highly recommend <a href="http://www.stonebrew.com/pale/">Stone Pale Ale</a>. Anything from this brewery is an excellent choice. Again, it's really up to you, but there are so many wonderful and moderately priced beers out there, it's hard to choose a favorite. With pub fare, I'd say your best option is to experiment and try something you might not normally drink.</p> <h2>Greek and Mediterranean</h2> <p>Whether you prefer the vegetables and hummus or the lamb, Greek and Mediterranean food can be paired with a variety of wine or beer. Depending on your palette, you may find that an unexpected pairing can enhance your dining experience the most. As with pub food, be adventurous when you go to a BYOB Mediterranean or Greek restaurant. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.</p> <p><strong>Wines: Malbec, Pinot Gris, or Chardonnay</strong></p> <p>Malbecs are becoming better known as a well-priced versatile wine. I&nbsp;prefer the Agua de Piedra Reserva Malbec (see <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-wines-under-10-dollars">10 Great Wines Under 10 Dollars</a>, #2 on the list). Any dish with cheese is a great match for this red, but especially a strong Feta. Another new frugal favorite is the <a href="http://www.alamoswines.com/en/ourwines/">Alamos Chardonnay</a>, which is also from Argentina. I was surprised that at $6.99 a bottle (at my local co-op), this full-flavored wine went well with anything, but especially fish. You can't go wrong with the flavor and the price on this Chardonnay.</p> <p><strong>Beers: Summer Ale or White Ale</strong></p> <p>The <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/45/32631">Brooklyn Summer Ale</a> is my top choice for Greek and Mediterranean food, but there are many summer and wheat ales out there that you can find for a good price. <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/306/1212">Blue Moon Belgian White</a> is another popular one. I would recommend either one of these to share at the neighborhood BYOB Greek joint.</p> <h2>Sushi and Seafood</h2> <p>Raw or cooked, fish and seafood are prime candidates for white wines and lighter beers; however, if you are more of a dark beer or red wine drinker, there are plenty of those to choose from as well. Stout and oysters are an unlikely pair, for instance, but this is one combination I would recommend if you like to hit a BYOB oyster bar. Don't forget to pick up a bottle of sake when you head out to your favorite sushi restaurant, because you don't have to drink it warm to enjoy it with your rolls and sashimi.</p> <p><strong>Wine/Sake: Sake Momokawa, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay</strong></p> <p>I have to say that while I'm not a sake aficionado, I do trust the <a href="http://www.sakeone.com/Lifestyle/food-pairing.html">experts at Sake One</a>. I've thoroughly enjoyed any sake I've tasted from this Oregon-based company, particularly the <a href="http://www.sakeone.com/momokawa/">Momokawa</a>. You don't have to bring sake just because you're eating at a BYOB&nbsp;sushi place, though. One of the cheapest yet drinkable wines that is readily available is the <a href="http://www.fisheyewines.com/wines/pinot-grigio/">FishEye Winery Pinot Grigio</a>. If you're like my friends who raise eyebrows when they see a bottle of it in my fridge, here's my response &mdash; I&nbsp;can get it at the gas station on the way home, and it's ideal for spicy seafood and a thin wallet.</p> <p><strong>Beers: Stout or White Ale</strong></p> <p>My favorite white ale is the <a href="http://www.allagash.com/beer/">Allagash White</a>, and while it isn't as cheap as some of the other ales I've recommended, it's an excellent beer for the price. You won't find many beers of that quality under ten bucks for a six pack. It's light and crisp, and it goes extremely well with seafood. If it's a stout you're looking for, you can never go wrong with <a href="http://www.guinness.com/">Guinness</a>, but there are plenty of comparable and well-rounded stouts made here in the states that give this famous Irish stout a run for the money. Although I'm slightly biased, the Vermont-based <a href="http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/rock-art-stump-jumper-gnarly-stout/31074/">Rock Art Stump Jumper Gnarly Stout</a> is everything you'd want in a well-balanced stout to wash down those raw oysters (if you can find it).</p> <p>Don't forget to ask about a corking fee. Some restaurants will charge a small fee to uncork your wine bottle, usually between two and five dollars. For more wine pairing tips, check out these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wine-pairings-for-virtually-any-menu">wine-pairing suggestions</a>.</p> <p><em>Do you have a favorite food and drink pairing for a BYOB restaurant?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-drink-pairings-for-byob-restuarants">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 great uses for beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">Top 5 Ways to Hustle Free Drinks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer">10 Great Reasons to Drink Beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink affordable wine alcohol beer BYOB restaurants Tue, 21 Feb 2012 11:24:28 +0000 Ashley Watson 794969 at http://www.wisebread.com Absolut Repurposing: 17 Uses for Vodka http://www.wisebread.com/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/absolut.jpg" alt="Girl with vodka bottle" title="Girl with vodka bottle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="137" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In college, I studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia. In a place where you can buy a liter of some of the finest vodka for only $3 and street stands sell bottles of the drink for 50 cents, it's no surprise that I came across some odd uses for the vodka while abroad. Here are ways (besides drinking) to make the most of it. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors">Cocktail Time: Great Budget Liquors</a>)</p> <h2>Household Cleaning</h2> <p>Did your in-laws just call giving you a 10-minute warning that they're on their way over &mdash; and you're all out of cleaning supplies? For the following remedies, mix one part vodka to three parts water in a spray bottle for any of the following cleaning methods. Then let sit and wipe clean with a damp cloth.</p> <p><strong>1. Shine and Polish Most Surfaces and Jewelry</strong></p> <p>Porcelain, glass, chrome, stainless steel, and most metals can be polished with the help of vodka. (Always be sure to test an out-of-sight spot on any surface you're unsure of.) And don't try to clean any sensitive jewelry, like pearls, opals, and porous jewels with vodka.</p> <p><strong>2. Remove Soap Scum</strong></p> <p>Whether it's on your bathtub, shower, sink, or faucet, soap scum can be easily removed with vodka.</p> <p><strong>3. Clean and Kill Mildew</strong></p> <p>You know the pink mildew that builds up on your bathroom caulk? The vodka's alcohol will kill it.</p> <p><strong>4. Clean Mirrors and Windows</strong></p> <p>Vodka works wonders in removing everything from toothpaste to hairspray from your mirrors and things like kids' fingerprints and dog-nose prints from your windows.</p> <p><strong>5. Remove Glue (and Other Sticky Stuff)</strong></p> <p>When the price tag glue on your newest purchase stubbornly refuses to budge, dab a bit of vodka on it and let sit for a few minutes before rubbing off with a wet washcloth. It even works on bumper sticker adhesive.</p> <h2>Plants and Pets</h2> <p>Vodka is useful for cleaning and killing problems caused by plants and pets.</p> <p><strong>6. Kill Weeds</strong></p> <p>Dandelions can be killed with the help of vodka. Mix a half a cup of vodka and four cups of water in a bottle and thoroughly spray the weeds in your yard. Make sure the sun is bright; the alcohol and sun will work to dehydrate the weed and kill them for good.</p> <p><strong>7. Kill Pests</strong></p> <p>Next time you trap a bee in your windowsill, spray some vodka/water on it to kill it. And aphids can be killed on plants by spraying the plants with a well-diluted vodka solution (one teaspoon of vodka for each cup of water is best).</p> <p><strong>8. Remove Pet Odors</strong></p> <p>If your cat or dog stunk up your carpet, spray the spot with one part vodka to four parts water, and let dry.</p> <h2>Laundry</h2> <p>Vodka dries without an odor and is extremely useful in doing your laundry. Here are two ways it helps.</p> <p><strong>9. Remove Stains</strong></p> <p>Treat ink, lipstick, and grass/plant <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-homemade-stain-removers-that-kick-butt">stains</a> with a bit of vodka. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before throwing in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry.</p> <p><strong>10. Clean Mildewy and Moldy Towels</strong></p> <p>If your bath towels, washcloths, and kitchen towels are smelling a little rank, put a half to full cup of vodka in with your regular wash to remove the smell.</p> <h2>Personal Hygiene</h2> <p>You probably don't feel the most hygienic after drinking too much vodka, but the alcohol can actually be used in several hygienic ways.</p> <p><strong>11. Use as a Toner</strong></p> <p>Most toners contain a large percentage of alcohol. So, if you're in a pinch, apply vodka to your face with a cotton ball before showering.</p> <p><strong>12. Cure Dandruff</strong></p> <p>Cleanse your hair with a mixture of rosemary and a few tablespoons of vodka to prevent and cure dandruff.</p> <p><strong>13. Make Mouthwash</strong></p> <p>This <a href="http://ecosnobberysucks.com/2011/04/simple-tasty-home-made-mouth-wash-recipe/" title="mouthwash recipe">mouthwash recipe</a> calls for vodka, baking soda, water, Stevia, and herbs. I've also seen similar recipes that omit the baking soda and Stevia, and instead use cinnamon, vodka, and water. Try experimenting to find the best proportions for you. Just be sure to avoid swallowing.</p> <h2>Medicine</h2> <p>These are at-home alternative medicine treatments. Always consult your physician before trying to treat an ailment with a non-prescribed treatment.</p> <p><strong>14. Treat Earaches and Toothaches</strong></p> <p>In Russia, mothers used to put vodka in their children's ears and mouths for earaches and toothaches. I would never try this on my kid, but if the dentist can't see you until tomorrow, vodka treatment might be worth a try.</p> <p><strong>15. Treat Cold Sores</strong></p> <p>Supposedly, by treating your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-and-treat-cold-sores">cold sore</a> with a bit of vodka, the alcohol will dry up the sore.</p> <p><strong>16. Relieve Jellyfish Stings</strong></p> <p>If you're at the beach and would rather avoid a <a title="Friends: &quot;The One With The Jellyfish&quot;" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICUwFfadp00"><em>Friends</em> moment</a>, grab the vodka and pour it over the sting instead.</p> <p><strong>17. Relieve Poison Ivy</strong></p> <p>If you've brought vodka on your camping-trip-gone-awry, use it to remove the plant's oils that cause the reaction.</p> <p><em>Have you ever used vodka for something other than drinking? What for? And did it work?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-uses-for-everything-in-your-bathroom">Alternative Uses for Everything in Your Bathroom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-shampoo-the-baking-soda-experiment">DIY Shampoo: The Baking Soda Experiment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Home alcohol alternative uses cleaners laundry vodka Tue, 24 Jan 2012 11:24:24 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 875789 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Cheap Beers to Keep Your Holiday Season Hoppin’ http://www.wisebread.com/13-cheap-beers-to-keep-your-holiday-season-hoppin <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-cheap-beers-to-keep-your-holiday-season-hoppin" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boddingtons.jpg" alt="Girl with a Boddington&#039;s" title="Girl with a Boddington&#039;s" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hands up &mdash; who likes beer?</p> <p>Both my hands would be up, but that would make typing this a tad tricky. I have to say, though, this is one of the tastiest assignments I&rsquo;ve ever done in my blogging career. And I may have to follow it up with a sequel at some point. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 Great Uses for Beer</a>)</p> <p>Over the last few weeks, I&rsquo;ve been sampling beers for you, the Wise Bread readers. Yes, it&rsquo;s a tough job, but someone had to do it. At least, that&rsquo;s what I told my wife. What follows is a list of the best 13 beers that are cheap and cheerful. There are so many good beers on the market, but I wanted to find drinkable beer that costs you $1 per 12 oz. bottle or less. Some come in at just 67 cents per bottle or can, others slightly tip the $1 scale. But they&rsquo;re all worth your money, in my honest opinion.</p> <p>Remember, these are not the kind of beers that make you sit back in your armchair and praise the brewmasters who concocted them. Those beers usually run you a few bucks per bottle wholesale, and even more in a bar. But hopefully, these beers will not want to make you convert to a glass of iced water with your holiday meal.</p> <h3>1. Boddingtons Pub Ale</h3> <p><em>Average price: $6.49 for 4 cans (16 oz.)<br /> </em></p> <p>Some may say I&rsquo;m breaking the price barrier with this one; it&rsquo;s often considered a pricier selection due to having just four cans in the box. But these are 16 oz. cans, so it&rsquo;s almost the same amount of beer as you&rsquo;d get in a six pack (6 x 12 = 72 oz., 4 x 16 = 64 oz.). And trust me, although you get a little less, the flavor is phenomenal. Being a Brit, I spent many a night sipping Boddingtons, and I still love it now. Known as the Cream of Manchester, it&rsquo;s a smooth pint of ale that goes down easy and leaves you wanting more. Yes, you&rsquo;re not going to get a bunch of this in, but for those who like ale, it&rsquo;s a real crowd pleaser.</p> <h3>2. Yuengling Premium Beer</h3> <p><em>Average price: $5.99 for 6 bottles</em></p> <p>I tried several beers for the first time when writing this article. Yuengling was one of them. I was a little hesitant &mdash; the reviews weren&rsquo;t stellar. But I found it to be quite a pleasant brew. It&rsquo;s a basic pilsner, pours clear and golden, and has the usual flavors of corn and grains, plus a slight buttery aftertaste. Not unlike PBR, it&rsquo;s very easy to drink, although it doesn&rsquo;t leave you thirsting for more. Again, something to help you stock up for parties without busting open the piggy bank.</p> <h3>3. Newcastle Brown Winter IPA</h3> <p><em>Average price: $6.99 for 6 bottles</em></p> <p>I&rsquo;m a HUGE fan of Newcastle Brown Ale (aka &quot;Dog&quot; in Newcastle and surrounding areas, where I grew up). So I was really surprised to see a Winter IPA from the Newcastle brand. I&rsquo;ve sampled several other varieties in the past, including Summer Ale and Werewolf, and they were so-so, so I was hoping for at least a little better. What I found was a very drinkable pale ale. My palette&rsquo;s not as developed as professional beer tasters, but I did detect notes of tea, caramel, and some spice in the mix. And it&rsquo;s got a creamy finish. For the price, it&rsquo;s well worth the money. You may even find it under $6 in your area.</p> <h3>4. Pabst Blue Ribbon</h3> <p><em>Average price: $8.99 for 12 cans</em></p> <p>Despite what a lot of the beer snobs will say, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-we-are-sayingis-give-pabst-a-chance">I like Pabst</a>, and I think it&rsquo;s got a crisp, clean taste. Plus, the price is rocking, coming in at well under 80 cents a can. It pours well, has a good head, smells malty with a touch of corn, and has a sweet aftertaste. Admittedly, it&rsquo;s no killer beer for the winter season; it&rsquo;s a much better summer drink. But if you like lighter beers and are on a very tight budget, this is a top choice.</p> <h3>5. Simpler Times Lager</h3> <p><em>Average price: $3.99 for 6 cans</em></p> <p>If you shop at Trader Joes, you&rsquo;ll know Simpler Times Lager all too well. It comes in a gold can with red and green type, and it&rsquo;s cheap. Like 67 cents a can cheap. But don&rsquo;t let the price fool you, although it&rsquo;s no award winner, it&rsquo;s very similar to Pabst, but a little lighter. With a crisp, sweet flavor, lots of carbonation, and only a very slight metallic taste, it&rsquo;s a good &ldquo;chugging&rdquo; beer for holiday parties when money is tight. Give it a try. If you don&rsquo;t like it, it&rsquo;s a great beer to cook with.</p> <h3>6. Samuel Adams Winter Lager</h3> <p><em>Average Price: $13.99 for 12 bottles</em></p> <p>You should always expect to pay a little more for the seasonal beers, but this winter variety of Sam Adams is priced the same as, and is a delicious variation on, the original. Pop the cap, and you&rsquo;ll be greeted with hoppy, malty, nutty aromas and a definite hint of Christmassy spices. You may even spot a little ginger, caramel, and cinnamon in there. It&rsquo;s very palatable, especially on a cold day when you want a beer but don&rsquo;t want the crisp sensation of a regular lager. Definitely one to have in the garage or basement for any occasion this holiday season.</p> <h3>7. Butternuts Beer &amp; Ale Moo Thunder Stout</h3> <p><em>Average price: $5.99 for 6 bottles </em></p> <p>I had to include at least one stout &mdash; after all, I much prefer dark beers. This one&rsquo;s a charmer. Brewed by Chuck Williamson in a converted dairy farm in upstate New York, it drinks like a much more expensive beer. As he says on the <a href="http://www.butternutsbeerandale.com/">Butternuts Beer &amp; Ale</a> website, &ldquo;no pretense, no snotty attitudes or haughty prices.&rdquo; Right on! Not as heavy as other stouts I love to imbibe, it&rsquo;s got plenty of malt and a dry finish. Do yourself a favor. Look for the label, a dancing cow being struck by lightning, and pick up a very flavorful six pack.</p> <h3>8. Budweiser American Ale</h3> <p><em>Average price: $5.99 for 6 bottles<br /> </em></p> <p>I have a confession to make. I don&rsquo;t really like Budweiser. Maybe it&rsquo;s because I tasted the far superior <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budweiser_Budvar_Brewery">Budweiser Budvar</a> (now known as Czechvar) first. However, a friend told me about American Ale, and I gave it a try. Not bad. Not bad at all. This is not in the same camp as Bud Light. With a nice copper color, a good head, and a sweet, malty flavor, it&rsquo;s got way more body than a typical bottle of Bud. With less carbonation than Bud, it&rsquo;s also easier to drink. And the price is definitely right.</p> <h3>9. Schaefer Beer</h3> <p><em>Average Price: $4.49 for 6 cans/bottles</em></p> <p>For a cheap beer, Schaefer&rsquo;s has <a href="http://schaefer-beer.com/history/default.aspx">quite the heritage</a>. Basically, two German brothers started making this beer way back in 1842, and in 1981 it was bought out by Stroh&rsquo;s. As you&rsquo;d expect from such a cheap beer, it&rsquo;s weak on the nose and sweet-tasting. You&rsquo;ll detect corn, grassiness, and sometimes a metallic, minerally aftertaste. But let&rsquo;s not forget, you&rsquo;re getting a really cheap brew (it&rsquo;s been found as low as $2.99/six pack in some states) and for a party or cookout, it does the job when you&rsquo;re on a budget. I&rsquo;d still rather drink this than a light beer from one of the big manufacturers.</p> <h3>10. Lionshead Pilsner</h3> <p><em>Average price: $7.99 for 12 cans</em></p> <p>Brewed in Pennsylvania by Lion Brewery, Lionshead beer is not ideal if you like a good head on your brew. It has minimal carbonation and is very light in color. Having said that, it goes down real easy. You&rsquo;ll detect barley, corn, sweetness, and a little malt. Lionshead has a slightly bitter aftertaste, but nothing you&rsquo;ll really care about. It goes down smooth, the price is terrific (around 67 cents a can), and because it&rsquo;s not so well known, you may well be treated with &ldquo;Lionshead? What&rsquo;s that?&rdquo; See if the newbies can figure out if it&rsquo;s a pricey beer or a cheap guzzler.</p> <h3>11. Genesee Cream Ale</h3> <p><em>Average price: $4.49 for 6 bottles</em></p> <p>A few bucks cheaper than Boddingtons, I wasn&rsquo;t expecting it to come close to one of my favorite ales. I was rather pleasantly surprised. It has a really good head, good carbonation, and it even smells creamy. Genesee has a hoppy aroma, a crisp, clean taste and finishes well. I didn&rsquo;t get any bitter aftertaste. The price is killer too, and many liquor stores will have it available in a 30-can pack for $17.99 or less. Well worth the money in my opinion.</p> <h3>12. Sierra Nevada Celebration</h3> <p><em>Average price: $11.99 for 12 bottles&nbsp;</em></p> <p>The price of this one varies quite a bit it seems. In my area, one store is selling a 12-pack for $9.99, another for $13.99. I asked a few people, they all seem to be picking it up for around $12-13 per 12 pack, but you may find it for $10. And if you do, grab it. This is one of the best-tasting beers on the list, and as a seasonal beer, it&rsquo;s the perfect time to drink it. Robust and rich, it&rsquo;s dry-hopped for a more intense flavor and aroma. What&rsquo;s more, it&rsquo;s got a kick, with a 6.8% alcohol content. Highly recommended.</p> <h3>13. Mississippi Mud Black &amp; Tan</h3> <p><em>Average price: $2.99 for a 32 oz. bottle</em></p> <p>This is the only single-serving (although it&rsquo;s quite the serving) beer on the list. I first discovered this a few years ago when I was buying beers to mix my own black and tan (stout and pale ale). Now, this is nowhere near as good as a hearty mix of Guinness and Bass Ale, I&rsquo;ll put that out there right now. But if you want something similar and don&rsquo;t fancy buying a bunch of beer to mix at home, this does the trick. It has a bit of a skunky smell, but it&rsquo;s easy to drink. It has some chocolate overtones, and the bottle is cool, too. You may well find it cheaper than $2.99; it&rsquo;s not a big seller.&nbsp;</p> <p>Well, those are my top 13 recommendations for cheap, drinkable beer this <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unusual-gift-ideas-for-a-memorable-holiday-season">holiday season</a>. If you have any that are well worth a try, and come in at around $1 a bottle, then please share. And as always, I&rsquo;d like to remind everyone not to drink and drive; be a responsible beer-lover, please.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-cheap-beers-to-keep-your-holiday-season-hoppin">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 great uses for beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">Top 5 Ways to Hustle Free Drinks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer">10 Great Reasons to Drink Beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink affordable entertaining alcohol beer cheap holidays Tue, 22 Nov 2011 11:00:53 +0000 Paul Michael 792182 at http://www.wisebread.com Throwing Awesome Parties on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/backyard_party.jpg" alt="Backyard Party" title="Backyard Party" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you start living on a budget, you might think parties will be the first thing to go. But consider an important philosophical question &mdash; what good is life without parties and revelry? You work hard, and it's not so you can live in a tiny apartment and eat rocks. It's worth splurging on the little things every now and again. Even when you do decide to indulge a bit, you can do so on a budget. Put simply &mdash; you don't need a ton of money to throw a killer party everyone will remember. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/class-without-tons-of-cash-frugal-cocktail-party-ideas">Class Without Tons of Cash: Frugal Cocktail Party&nbsp;Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>What Makes for a Great Party?</h2> <p>A great party is made up of four key elements, whether we're talking about your 6-year-old son's birthday party or a cultured soiree for the grownups. These elements are:</p> <ul> <li>Good People</li> <li>Good Food</li> <li>Good Drinks</li> <li>Fun Stuff to Do</li> </ul> <p>The first and fourth can be free. If you're partying on a budget, you're probably going to be able to do a better job on the middle two than you might think.</p> <h2>Good People</h2> <p>Good people is something that I can't really help you with. You either know them or you don't. Fortunately, getting them to your party is easier (and more affordable) than ever. Putting the word out on social networks, then gently reminding people to show up is a sure-fire method of packing your party with interesting people. One of the biggest gambles people take when attending a party is knowing if anyone good will be there. A Facebook page for your party will let people know precisely who to expect. Make sure to get people to RSVP!</p> <h2>Good Food</h2> <p>If you want a party with truly good food, you need to start cooking. While you can purchase bulk foods at discount prices, you've moved past the point in your life where a bag of Cheetos in a bowl counts for party snacks. Instead, focus on doing either one large thing very well or several little things that all stand out. It's easier than you think to prepare snacks, and while I'm not going to advise anyone to serve nothing but Ritz Crackers, you ate a ton of Ritz Crackers with cheese on top when you were a kid for a reason &mdash; they're delicious.</p> <p>Don't write off the idea of having a potluck, either. These aren't just an excuse for you to save money on cooking supplies. Particularly in foodie circles, you'll find that a potluck is a bit like a rap battle. Everyone is going to be bringing their &quot;A&quot; game. This allows you to have top-quality food at your party with little cost to you, while also making an affordable party even more of an event.</p> <h2>Good Drinks</h2> <p>Let's assume that by &quot;good drinks&quot; we mean &quot;good drinks for adults,&quot; by which we mean &quot;booze.&quot; Building a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors">home bar on a budget</a> is a whole article on its own. However, there are some guiding principles to filling your bar with good drink that are especially applicable when hosting a party:</p> <ul> <li>Nearly every cocktail can be made if you have a bottle each of scotch, bourbon, gin, rum, and vodka. Barring either expensive taste or prolific drinking ability, a good bar set up is going to put you back about $50.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take care of wine and beer by encouraging guests to BYOB on that front. Stress that you will take care of the hard stuff, and no one will have a problem.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>As if this needed saying &mdash; better doesn't always mean more expensive, and a lot of this has to do with taste. The present author can't stomach Bushmill's, but loves drinking Grant's neat. Conversely, he understands the appeal of Grey Goose, but not Bombay Sapphire. Your mileage may vary, but the ultimate determiner is always taste.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If your friends are the &quot;Kool-Aid + Booze = FUN!&quot; types, a large bottle of just about anything will do. A bottom-shelf handle of Bourbon and another of vodka will probably keep this crowd happy. We know that college is over, but whatever. Some people aren't super choosy, and that's OK.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>Put simply &mdash; set a budget, stick to it, and buy the most diverse liquor cabinet you can afford.</p> <h2>Fun Stuff to Do</h2> <p>This literally does not require a dime of expenditure on your party. &quot;Fun stuff to do&quot; might mean nothing more than enjoying a meal and good company. It might mean something as elaborate as projecting a film onto the wall of your apartment. Many times the good people part takes care of this. Still, even the most well-intentioned parties have a habit of dying grizzly deaths. When this happens, rely on the following:</p> <ul> <li>Mental <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-family-friendly-games-for-your-holiday-party">games</a> seem to be coming back in style. Having a copy of a question book like <i>If...</i> or a game might elicit groans from cynics at first. See how many cynics are left in 15 minutes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Forget what your mother told you &mdash; people love talking about politics, sex, and religion.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>While it won't work with CDs, going through a pile of old, musty records is quite an experience, especially at the end of the night when a party is dying down.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Even just natural social graces can count as fun stuff to do. If you are a particularly adept matchmaker, you will also be good at introducing people in such a way that no one will notice or care that witty banter is &quot;all&quot; your party had to offer.</li> </ul> <h2>Getting the Most Out of Your Low-Budget Party</h2> <p>A lot of throwing the perfect low-budget party is appreciating the simpler things in life and paying attention to the small details that matter. Think back on the best parties you've ever been to. What is it that made them great? Chances are, it had little-to-nothing to do with how much money was spent. The secret to revelry on a budget is recognizing that it is far more subtle things that make for a good time.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthrowing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThrowing%2520Awesome%2520Parties%2520on%2520a%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=Throwing%20Awesome%20Parties%20on%20a%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <h2 style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Throwing%20Awesome%20Parties%20on%20a%20Budget.jpg" alt="Throwing Awesome Parties on a Budget" width="250" height="374" /></h2> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-save-money-at-the-bars">4 Ways to Save Money at the Bars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-your-bartender-is-ripping-you-off">7 Ways Your Bartender Is Ripping You Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-core-removers">The 5 Best Core Removers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Food and Drink Home alcohol cheap parties cheap snacks hosting Thu, 17 Nov 2011 11:36:30 +0000 Nicholas Pell 787805 at http://www.wisebread.com Cocktail Time: Great Budget Liquors http://www.wisebread.com/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/outdoor_cocktails2.jpg" alt="Girls drinking cocktails" title="Girls drinking cocktails" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One question that comes up again and again when talking about frugality is whether it's better to go with a cheap option or splurge on something well made. It's not an easy question to answer &mdash; it really depends on your values and preferences.</p> <p>For me, when it comes to spirits, it depends on the situation. If I'm drinking a margarita at a restaurant I haven't been to before, I'll get the well tequila, because there's always the chance they'd drown a nice tequila in over-sweet margarita mix. But when it comes to the whiskey in my Manhattan, I'm definitely getting a mid-range bourbon I like &mdash; if I'm having a drink, I want to be able to enjoy it.</p> <p>With that in mind, here are some suggestions for budget liquors that'll add oomph to your bar without emptying your wallet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/class-without-tons-of-cash-frugal-cocktail-party-ideas">Frugal Cocktail Party Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>Vodka</h2> <p>Svedka, despite their kind-of-disturbing ads with the sexy robot lady, puts out a good vodka that's about $12 a bottle. And honestly, if you're planning to mix vodka in a cocktail, you really don't need to go too pricey anyway; part of the reason that vodka is so popular is that its taste is easily hidden. Oh, and if you're thinking of buying one of those flavored vodkas, consider getting a much fresher taste by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-delicious-cocktails-infuse-alcohol">infusing your own vodka</a> instead.</p> <h2>Rum</h2> <p>A relatively affordable spirit, rum is often included in drinks with a tropical flair, but can be pretty awesome on its own. <a href="http://www.esquire.com/features/drinking/best-cheap-liquor-0209">Esquire</a> recommends Brugal's Anejo rum for sipping, and I'd second that &mdash; it currently has a place in my small bar collection. Kraken Rum, meanwhile, comes in an oh-so-hip bottle, and for $15-$20, it provides a nice, dark, spiced rum.</p> <h2>Tequila</h2> <p>The weird thing about tequila is that companies are allowed to make &quot;mixtos&quot; &mdash; tequila mixes that are at least 51% agave spirits blended with other stuff &mdash; and sell them simply as &quot;tequila.&quot; That's part of the reason why Cuervo gives you such a headache and why, even if you had &quot;a bad night with tequila in college,&quot; you should consider drinking the 100% agave stuff. 1800 is one of the most inexpensive 100% agave brands, hovering around $20-$25 a bottle.</p> <h2>Gin</h2> <p>Colleen Graham, the <a href="http://cocktails.about.com/od/spiritreviews/tp/best_cheap_gin.htm">About.com Guide to&nbsp;Cocktails</a>, lists Gordon's London Dry Gin as her favorite under $10, citing &quot;its strong juniper base and the essence of a variety of other herbs that mix well with almost anything.&quot;</p> <h2>Whiskey</h2> <p>For <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/less-or-cheaper">bourbon</a>, Bulliet is one of my favorites, and you can often find it for $20 when it's on sale. There are cheaper, still acceptable bourbons, though &mdash; I've heard from people who love Jim Beam's White Label and Black Label bourbons.</p> <p>Scotch, meanwhile, can be tricky business &mdash; this smokey, complex liquor can fetch hundreds of dollars a bottle. But the 12 Year Chivas Regal runs between $25 and $35, and provides a decent scotch for the price.</p> <h2>Brandy</h2> <p>I'll be honest &mdash; I usually buy cheap-cheap brandy, because the primary thing I use it for is making sangria. Like scotch, good brandy tends to be pricey, but Korbel's American brandy is affordable and decent, if you're looking for a reasonable point between the bottom and very top shelves.</p> <h2>Orange Liqueurs</h2> <p>I'm also including a note on orange liqueurs because they're used so often in cocktails. Triple sec is probably the most ubiquitous one. It's usually dirt cheap, and it tastes like it. I didn't really realize how cheap it tastes, though, until I had the opportunity to smell a bottle of Cointreau, a nicer orange liqueur, and a bottle of triple sec at the same time &mdash; the triple sec smelled like melted candy. Cointreau isn't cheap, but it is generally less expensive than the other popular orange liqueur, Grand Marnier. If you're mixing a cocktail where the orange flavor doesn't come across strongly, you're fine using triple sec, but otherwise you might want to consider Cointreau.</p> <p><em>Did I miss your favorite budget liquor? Share it in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-delicious-cocktails-infuse-alcohol">For Delicious Cocktails, Infuse Alcohol</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-booze-teaches-us-about-money">What Booze Teaches Us About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-tasty-two-ingredient-cocktails">20 Tasty Two-Ingredient Cocktails</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink alcohol cheap drinks cocktails Mon, 19 Sep 2011 10:36:21 +0000 Meg Favreau 709326 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Save Money at the Bars http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-save-money-at-the-bars <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-save-money-at-the-bars" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/two_dollar_pints.jpg" alt="People at a bar" title="People at a bar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all love to go out with friends, but I for one am hesitant to pay $8 for a glass of wine at a bar when I know I can buy the whole bottle at my friendly neighborhood wine store for only a few dollars more. Here are a few tricks I've developed to pinch my pennies without hurting my social life:</p> <h3>Shop Around for Happy Hour Specials</h3> <p>It might seem obvious, but my un-budget-conscious friends tend to go where we always go rather than considering deals. So, suggest a new locale. To find deals, you could try a site like <a href="http://www.happy-hour.com/">www.happy-hour.com</a>, but in my smaller town I've had more luck simply Googling &quot;happy hour specials&quot; and going with a local site (ours is compiled by a local magazine). Or you can also check out the websites of different establishments to get an idea of current specials.</p> <h3>Check Out Restaurant.com for 40-60% Off Coupons</h3> <p>These can be used on food as well. One caveat to these coupons, however: Read the fine print carefully. The restaurant whose coupon you&rsquo;re purchasing generally sets stipulations regarding the coupon&rsquo;s use, including days of the week that they can be used, minimum dollar amounts of purchases, etc. Also, smaller towns have a more limited selection of participating locations. If you&rsquo;re hung up on the fact that a minimum purchase is required, try convincing your group to go in on one. A bonus for signing up for a free <a href="https://www.restaurant.com/register-login.asp?pgn=x">Restaurant.com user account</a> is that you can choose to receive e-mails that will regularly offer you 70% &ndash; 90% off the coupon price. I recently bought three $25 coupons for a total of $6.</p> <h3>Eat Before You Meet</h3> <p>Planning a later happy hour or time to meet friends gives you the opportunity to eat at home beforehand. I know, sometimes the point of meeting friends is to have a fun night out that includes trying new restaurants. If it&rsquo;s more about the socializing, though, pushing back your meeting time gives you the chance to eat at home, which is almost always a more frugal option. Another plus: You have time to take the dog out and change out of your work clothes, an opportunity I always welcome. If you are actually excited to try the food somewhere when meeting friends, you can always eat at home first and then order an appetizer or dessert with drinks, which will also cut down on overall spending.</p> <h3>Drink Less, or Not at All</h3> <p>To some, this sounds like a terrible idea. But I promise you, drinking less (or teetotaling) is not the worst idea I've ever had. In the past several years, medical research has pointed out the benefits of consuming alcohol in moderation, including reducing your risk of developing heart disease, dying of a heart attack, or developing diabetes. If you feel awkward not having something in your hand at all times, try ordering a &quot;<a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/drinks/mocktails/Main.aspx">mocktail</a>.&quot; Alternatively, you could try alternating alcohol with a glass of water &mdash; not only will it rehydrate you and prevent you from drinking too much in one evening, but it will also prevent you from lightening your wallet by spending too much on alcohol!</p> <p><em>What tricks do you use to save money at bars? Share your ideas in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-save-money-at-the-bars">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-your-bartender-is-ripping-you-off">7 Ways Your Bartender Is Ripping You Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-save-money-when-getting-your-drink-on">15 Ways to Save Money When Getting Your Drink On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget">Throwing Awesome Parties on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Food and Drink alcohol bar beverages happy hour social life Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:00:08 +0000 Janey Osterlind 410463 at http://www.wisebread.com