cheap drinks http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8251/all en-US Unexpected, Delicious Drinks You Can Make at Home http://www.wisebread.com/unexpected-delicious-drinks-you-can-make-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/unexpected-delicious-drinks-you-can-make-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/7841452250_6185ff9049_z.jpg" alt="mango lassi" title="mango lassi" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We frugal types appear to be a drink-obsessed people. We're constantly rambling on and on about lattes, cocktails, and soda, and how much one can save by avoiding these wallet-draining beverages &mdash; &quot;Avoid the coffee shop!&nbsp;Don't get a drink with dinner!&quot; we cry.</p> <p>But we all have our indulgences &mdash; drinks we enjoy that we only have when we're out, or that we think are simply too difficult to prepare on our own. The truth is, many of these beverages are inexpensive and easy (or at least fun) to make at home. Here are 10 tasty beverages to try. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">8 Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a>)</p> <h2>1. Boba Tea</h2> <p>Also known as bubble tea, this drink, originally from Taiwan, features tapioca pearls mixed with some combination of milk, juice, and/or iced tea. The Kitchn has a recipe for <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-boba-and-bubble-tea-98067">how to make boba tea</a>, and you can <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002V1NWF6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002V1NWF6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">buy the tapioca pearls inexpensively</a> on Amazon or at Asian markets.</p> <h2>2. Mango Lassi</h2> <p>These sweet mango-yogurt smoothies are a staple at Indian restaurants. When I discovered in high school that I could make them at home, I went on an absolute tear of lassi drinking. Simply Recipes has a lovely <a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/mango_lassi/">mango lassi recipe</a>.</p> <h2>3. Frappuccino</h2> <p>Over at Squakfox, Kerry has a <a href="http://www.squawkfox.com/2011/06/16/frappuccino-recipe/">recipe for making a Starbucks-style Frappuccino</a> &mdash; for a mere $.32 a serving!</p> <h2>4. Infused Liquor</h2> <p>With their house-infused blood-orange bourbon and lavender simple syrup, the recipes from fancy cocktail bars can seem more than a little intimidating. But most of these precious ingredients are actually quite easy to make. Check out my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-delicious-cocktails-infuse-alcohol">guide to infusing alcohol</a>, About.com's <a href="http://cocktails.about.com/od/infusedsimplesyruprecipe/Infused_Simple_Syrup_Recipes.htm">infused simple syrup recipes</a>, or this Chow's <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/28431-maraschino-cherries">maraschino cherries recipe</a>.</p> <h2>5. Agua Fresca</h2> <p>My <a href="https://twitter.com/RickysFishTacos">favorite fish taco place</a> always has a big, delicious vat of agua fresca on the weekends &mdash; last time I went, it was cucumber-spinach. These sweet, refreshing Mexican drinks are super simple to make on your own. Try this basic <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/appetite-for-adventure/agua-fresca-recipe/index.html">watermelon or cantaloupe agua fresca</a>, a <a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/cucumber_lime_mint_agua_fresca/">cucumber-lime-mint agua fresca</a>, or this <a href="http://mexicanfood.about.com/od/bebidasdrinks/r/aguatamarindo.htm">agua de tamarindo</a>.</p> <h2>6. Chai</h2> <p>I'm not talking about buying a box of that coffeehouse-mimicing stuff (as delicious as it may be), I'm talking about making your own chai tea from scratch. The Kitchn has a nice <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-homemade-chai-47061">chai recipe</a>.</p> <h2>7. Soda</h2> <p>There are several ways to make soda or soda-like drinks, ranging from the fast and healthy (when I was a kid, my mom often served &quot;healthy soda&quot; &mdash; a 50/50 mix of orange juice and sparkling water), to concoctions that require fermenting yeast (and, yeah, a heaping helping of sugar). Check out my article on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda">making your own soda</a> for all the details.</p> <h2>8. Espresso</h2> <p>OK, I'm not suggesting that you get a home espresso machine (although if you drink a lot of it, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-1500-on-coffee">that can be a frugal choice</a>). But a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000CF3Q6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0000CF3Q6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">stovetop espresso maker</a> might be just what you need. The coffee isn't <em>exactly</em> the same as coffee shop espresso, but this is an easy and inexpensive way to make a strong brew.</p> <h2>9. Thai Iced Tea and Coffee</h2> <p>Caffeinated, sweet, and oh-so-delicious, I love getting one of these drinks when I go out for Thai food. You can, however, totally make 'em at home. Try this recipe for <a href="http://thaifood.about.com/od/thaidesserts/r/thaiicedcoffee.htm">easy Thai iced coffee</a> or <a href="http://www.thaitable.com/thai/recipe/thai-tea">Thai tea</a>.</p> <h2>10. Horchata</h2> <p>Thinking about this tasty, rice-based Mexican beverage always gets that darn <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkUQ-OBazbc">Vampire Weekend song</a> stuck in my head. I don't even know the whole song, just the phrase &quot;in December, drinking horchata&quot; because my friend used to sing it over and over. Anyway, deity of all things sweet David Lebovitz has a lovely <a href="http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2011/06/horchata-recipe-mexican-rice-drink/">horchata recipe</a>.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite drinks to make at home?</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/unexpected-delicious-drinks-you-can-make-at-home">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/how-much-caffeine-is-in-that">How Much Caffeine is in That?</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-6-most-surprisingly-unhealthy-beverages">The 6 Most Surprisingly Unhealthy Beverages</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/stop-being-a-slave-to-starbucks-how-to-quit-caffeine">Stop Being a Slave to Starbucks - How to Quit Caffeine</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-surprising-benefits-of-caffeine">10 Surprising Benefits of: Caffeine</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/7-soda-alternatives-that-wont-bust-your-wallet-or-your-waistline">7 Soda Alternatives That Won&#039;t Bust Your Wallet — Or Your Waistline</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap drinks coffee drink recipes soda tea Thu, 13 Sep 2012 10:36:42 +0000 Meg Favreau 954442 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-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/what-booze-teaches-us-about-money">What Booze Teaches Us About 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/for-delicious-cocktails-infuse-alcohol">For Delicious Cocktails, Infuse Alcohol</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/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/20-tasty-two-ingredient-cocktails">20 Tasty Two-Ingredient Cocktails</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 Cold, Frugal Drinks to Keep You Cool in the Heat http://www.wisebread.com/cold-frugal-drinks-to-keep-you-cool-in-the-heat <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cold-frugal-drinks-to-keep-you-cool-in-the-heat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/drinking-5061173-small.jpg" alt="drink" title="drink" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The mercury is rising, and you are thirsty, but the idea of a boring old glass of water has you reaching for your wallet (and a $5 mixed coffee at Starbucks). Stop! Put your money down and step away from the counter. You can make your own delicious beverages that will quench your thirst and protect you wallet from summertime pillaging. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-places-to-go-to-beat-the-summer-heat">9 Places to Go to Beat the Summer Heat</a>)</p> <h2>Flavored Water</h2> <p>Staying hydrated during a hot summer couldn't be simpler than drinking water. Water is cheap, plentiful, easily accessed...and kind of boring. Fortunately, it's easy to change from flavorless to delicious in a couple easy steps.</p> <p>You've probably had lemon or cucumber-flavored water at a restaurant. All you have to do is slice up your favorite fruit and let it sit in a pitcher of water for a couple of hours. Try adding sliced pineapple, guava, grapes, or grapefruit for an exotic feel. Want more savory alternative? Lightly mash a combination of herbs like mint, basil, sage, and thyme, and add to your water. Then simply pour the water through a strainer into your glass. You can keep refilling the pitcher, using the same herbs, for a couple of days. Combine herbs with fruit slices for a truly unique flavor.</p> <p>If you enjoy the smell and taste of flowers, try using a wooden spoon to masticate some rose petals from your own garden and adding them to water or other beverages. Jasmine flowers and violets also add a wonderful fragrance and taste.</p> <p>Try Xin's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">naturally flavored water</a> recommendations for even more tasty varieties of healthy, cheap, and delicious water.</p> <p>If your tap water has a chemical taste, try filtering it first. My fair city of Seattle has a clean water supply that is treated heavily with chlorine, so I filter the heck out of that stuff.</p> <h2>Spritzers</h2> <p>If flavored-but-flat water doesn't excite your tastebuds, consider adding sparkling water to your favorite juice beverage. Watering down your juice with some fizzy goodness reduces the number of calories you are taking in and saves money, too (seltzer water is cheaper than juice, after all). This is going to sound totally weird, but one of my favorite beverages in college was half a glass of chocolate milk cut with half of glass of seltzer.</p> <h2>Coconut Water</h2> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_water">Coconut water</a> is very lightly flavored, but stuffed with electrolytes that help replenish your system when you're sweating buckets. Coconut water isn't always cheap &mdash; look for larger containers, rather than individual juice boxes, and cut in half with water to get extra hydration. Or check your local Thai and Vietnamese grocer for a supply of fresh baby coconuts or packaged coconut water.</p> <h2>Cold Brewed Tea</h2> <p>Sun tea was a tradition where I grew up, but because <a href="http://www.snopes.com/food/prepare/suntea.asp">sun tea can harbor dangerous bacteria</a>, consider making refrigerator tea instead. User four teabags per quart of cold water, and refrigerate for six hours or more.</p> <p><a href="http://coffeetea.about.com/od/recipes/tp/topsummer.htm">Cold-brewed tea</a> shouldn't be limited to just black or red tea. Try making icy herbal teas like chamomile or mint, or use green or white teas for that boost of antioxidant power. You can also add lemon, herbs, fruit juice, or a pinch of your favorite sweetener for added tea-rrificness. If you're watching your calories, go easy on the sugar &mdash; if you like sweet tea, use half sugar and half <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000E6LBXK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000E6LBXK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Splenda</a> or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001Z7CC9O/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001Z7CC9O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Truvia</a> to get sweetness without the added calories.</p> <h2>Iced Coffee</h2> <p>There are some hot summer mornings that don't permit you to even THINK of drinking hot coffee. Iced coffee to the rescue! The secret to making iced coffee that doesn't suck is cooling it correctly without watering it down. You can either brew coffee extra strong and add ice, or make coffee ice cubes that you then add to regular coffee that has been cooled to room temp or refrigerated overnight. Add cream and sugar as usual, but remember sugar will take longer to dissolve.</p> <h2>Homemade Frappuccinos</h2> <p>A blended coffee drink is so hard to resist on a hot day, but if you are consuming more than one per week, you can probably save yourself some cash by creating <a href="http://savorysweetlife.com/2009/07/afternoon-coffee-break-recipe-for-frappuccinos-at-home/">frappuccinos at home</a> rather than shelling out the big bucks at a café. If you don't have an espresso machine, you can still <a href="http://moneysavingmom.com/2011/05/homemade-frappuccino-recipe.html">create delicious blended coffee drinks</a> using super-strong brewed coffee or <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZhllAxvil8">instant coffee</a>. You can always opt for decaf, and making your own frapp means that you can choose low-carb or sugar-free options (not possible at Starbucks).</p> <h2>Super-Light Cocktails or Mocktails</h2> <p>When the evening rolls around, my liquor cabinet doors swing open. Now, I love me a stiff drink as much as the next lush, but during the hotter months, sometimes staying hydrated means going easy on the booze. Watering down your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/class-without-tons-of-cash-frugal-cocktail-party-ideas">cocktails</a> a bit means that you can enjoy two or three hydrating drinks without ending up face-down in the foyer. Also, if you really cut back, you'll be saving beaucoup bucks.</p> <p><strong>Gin and Tonic</strong></p> <p>The gin and tonic is a traditionally popular warm-weather drink. To enjoy a lighter version, opt for diet tonic water, add extra lime juice, and only use half the amount of gin that you would normally add. I like to make my summertime G&amp;Ts in a highboy glass, with freshly made ice, smashed homegrown herbs, or even a bit of sliced up over-ripe fruit (strawberries and blackberries are a particular favorite).</p> <p><strong>Sangria</strong></p> <p>Use up a bottle of not-so-hot wine by mixing up a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/sangria-recipe4/index.html">pitcher of sangria</a>. Combine wine, citrus-flavored soda, a pinch of brown sugar, and a couple shots of brandy. Pour over ice, and you have a refreshing beverage without too much of a buzz.</p> <p>Even cheap white wine tastes pretty good paired with chilled seltzer water and a splash of <a href="http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1030139&amp;cid=TPV-Googlebase">elderflower liquor</a> (St. Germaine is not cheap, but a little bit goes a very long way &mdash; and there are other, <a href="http://www.thatchersorganic.com/">less-expensive elderflower liqueur</a> options).</p> <p>Other flowery options that you can find at upscale grocery stores include drinkable rose water and orange-flower water. A small bottle might cost $10, but you'll only need a teaspoon to take that bland rosé to rivetingly rosy.</p> <p><strong>Bloody Mary Veggie Madness</strong></p> <p>Are you a big fan of bloody Marys? During the peak of summer's bounty, when your table is overflowing with homegrown tomatoes, make your own fresh tomato juice and enjoy a bloody Mary (virgin or not) that is lower in calories and a little less sweet. I actually loathe the taste of canned tomato juice &mdash; too much like watery ketchup &mdash; but my homemade tomato juice brings all the boys to the yard, with or without vodka.</p> <p><strong>Mocktails</strong></p> <p>A <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/14/AR2009041400721.html">good mocktail</a> is nothing to sneeze at. Finding a way to balance sweet and sour, bitter and savory can take some doing, but cutting back on booze is better for us all, decreasing our heft while increasing the heft in our wallets.</p> <p><em>What are you favorite summer beverages? Do you like cold drinks at all, or do you find that hot beverages are more your style? </em><em>Share your thoughts 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/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cold-frugal-drinks-to-keep-you-cool-in-the-heat">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/10-healthy-ways-to-have-ice-cream-for-breakfast">10 Healthy Ways to Have Ice Cream for Breakfast</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/class-without-tons-of-cash-frugal-cocktail-party-ideas">Class Without Tons of Cash: Frugal Cocktail Party Ideas</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/8-frugal-and-refreshing-popsicles-to-make-this-summer">8 Frugal and Refreshing Popsicles to Make This Summer</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/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors">Cocktail Time: Great Budget Liquors</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-ways-to-make-your-own-ice-cream-and-other-frozen-treats">10 Ways to Make Your Own Ice Cream (and Other Frozen Treats)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap drinks cooling iced coffee summer Thu, 04 Aug 2011 10:36:25 +0000 Andrea Karim 649083 at http://www.wisebread.com Class Without Tons of Cash: Frugal Cocktail Party Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/class-without-tons-of-cash-frugal-cocktail-party-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/class-without-tons-of-cash-frugal-cocktail-party-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cocktail_party.jpg" alt="Women drinking outside" title="Women drinking outside" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's nothing I love more in the summer than hosting a backyard soiree and playing bartender for friends. But if you're like me and want to impress with fancy cocktails and appetizers, it can be quite costly by the time you add up the price of the booze and other ingredients.</p> <p>However, there are a few tricks to saving money and throwing a summer bash with style. Here are ten ways to maintain your hostess cred without hurting your budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fabulous-party-ideas-for-the-frugal-minded">Fabulous Party Ideas for the Frugal Minded</a>)</p> <h3>Buy the Cheap Stuff</h3> <p>If you are making mixed drinks, especially the fruity ones, then you don't need top shelf liquor. You won't be able to taste the difference once you add all the other ingredients. For drinks that call for juice, frozen juices are more cost effective than bottled juice, particularly if you are making a large batch. You don't need name-brand sodas either (except maybe as a treat for the designated drivers). There are several liquors on the market that are cheap but don't taste like rubbing alcohol. Some of my favorites are Sobieski Vodka, Beefeater Gin (you can find cheaper ones, but with gin you don't want to go too cheap), and Ron Castillo White Rum.</p> <h3>Consider Using Mixers</h3> <p>Sometimes it is just easier and cheaper to use a mix. I like to make margaritas with my own secret recipe, but if I'm making a lot of them for guests, I'll break down and just buy the mix. Or, if you aren't the type of person who regularly stocks hot sauce or Worcestershire, buying a bloody Mary mix would be a better option for you. Before you buy, try to find recipes for drinks that call for ingredients you already have.</p> <h3>Ask Guests to Contribute</h3> <p>There's nothing wrong with asking guests to bring a bottle of their favorite liquor or other drinks or snacks, particularly if you are hosting a large party. Plus it gives them more options in case you don't have the fixings for their favorite cocktail. You can also ask people to bring something inexpensive, such as ice or soda, which doesn't put them out but still helps you save on the overall cost. Bug spray is another inexpensive item that may seem like an odd request, but think about it &mdash; who puts on bug spray before a party? All your guests will appreciate this minor detail once the mosquitoes start biting.</p> <h3>Make Sangria</h3> <p>The best part about this is that you do not need a recipe to make really good <a href="http://www.spain-recipes.com/sangriarecipe.html">sangria</a>. And you can also use dirt cheap wine. If you are making other drinks that call for fresh fruit, making sangria is a great way to use the leftover fruit and offer something to guests who don't like mixed drinks. Spiked fruit punch is another cheap and easy way to make a large batch of drinks that go down easy. Here's a <a href="http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,171,150191-254207,00.html">simple fruit punch recipe</a> to get you started, but like sangria, there are dozens of ways to customize punch using your favorite ingredients.</p> <h3>Minimize the Number of Ingredients</h3> <p>I often do this when I'm planning a dinner party. For instance, if I'm making a homemade pasta sauce, I will choose an appetizer that uses the same ingredients, such as a bruschetta with garlic and basil. Think about some of the drinks you know you'll want to make before purchasing your ingredients, or what items a bar would typically stock, such as tonic water, seltzer, triple sec, fruit juices, sugar or simple syrup, olives, and other garnishes. Things like bitters, mint, and tomato juice are specific to certain types of cocktails, so make sure you have enough guests who prefer these drinks before buying, and don't forget to consider a mix. You can even stretch your drink ingredients to help with the snacks (see Make Your Own Snacks below for more suggestions).</p> <h3>Make Your Own Decorations</h3> <p>Part of what I love about having parties at home is creating the ambiance, and in the summer, you have a lot more options with outside decorations. I&nbsp;try to use what I have around the house for outdoor lighting, which also makes it a little more funky than having uniform lighting. Try draping all the holiday lights you can find around porches or fencing. I open my shed door and drape the lights from the roof of the shed to the back porch, and I use all shapes, sizes, and colors I have (even pumpkin lights). I also place a random assortment of candles in metal buckets, empty ceramic planters, and whatever else I can find that's safe, and place them all around the yard and porch area. This is a good opportunity to use scented candles that have been given to me as gifts, since they are too strong for my taste to use indoors. You can always go to a thrift store and find an assortment of junk to create unique decor. Citronella candles or tiki torches are a great way to light up the yard and keep bugs away, and you can find cheap ones at drugstores or on sale near the end of the summer.</p> <h3>Put Out a Tip Jar</h3> <p>While you may feel uncomfortable asking guests for money, you don't have to make a suggested donation or require that your guests chip in. This can be easier than asking guests to bring drinks or snacks, because you don't have to worry if there will be enough for everyone, and your guests don't have to worry about making a trip to the store beforehand or deciding what to bring. Most people would rather throw five or ten bucks into the hat than buy an expensive bottle of liquor, and if you are frugal with your purchases, you might come out ahead.</p> <h3>Make Jell-O Shots</h3> <p>These gooey, potent treats aren't just for college kids anymore. You can get really creative with these. Try mixing flavors and creating your own, or use a casserole dish to gel them and cut them into customized shapes (novelty cookie cutters are perfect for this). The best part is that Jell-O is super cheap and easy.</p> <h3>Make Your Own Snacks</h3> <p>Remember when you made your own popcorn at that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-oscar-party-ideas">Oscar party</a>, like Meg suggested? Well, here's your opportunity to wow your guests again with your ability to make delicious and healthy popcorn without sticking a bag in the microwave. There's no need to buy chips and other processed food for any party. You can even get a little fancy with classics, such as homemade french fries. Cut them like steak fries and add an aioli (basically mayonnaise mixed with your favorite herb or hot sauce), and you have a tapas-worthy appetizer. Or create an olive hummus with that can of chick peas in the pantry you never thought you'd use, and the olives you bought for martinis (you can also put them out on their own as a finger food).</p> <p>If you have a vegetable garden, use whatever is ready to harvest. Bake some <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/baked-kale-chips/detail.aspx">kale chips</a> (I suggest substituting salt with a small amount of tamari if you have it), or put out fresh mozzarella with tomatoes and basil from the garden. You can always make something basic and a little unexpected, like ants on a log with that celery you are using for bloody Marys. There are lots of possibilities, and you might create something wonderful that you never thought of simply by combining what you have in your pantry and fridge.</p> <h3>Ask Guests to Dress Formally</h3> <p>This one may not directly save you money, but it does give you and your guests an opportunity to pull out swanky dresses that don't get a lot of wear. Plus, if you will excuse the pop psychology, I've found that when people dress as if they have more money, they tend to think they have more money. So they might even pitch in a little more to the tip jar. In any case, it's always fun to see people you see every day all swanked out.</p> <p>No matter how you choose to customize your cocktail party, you don't have to spend a lot of money to have plenty of options and provide a nice evening with friends. Just remember to party responsibly, fiscally and otherwise.</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/class-without-tons-of-cash-frugal-cocktail-party-ideas">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/20-office-potluck-dishes-everyone-loves">20 Office Potluck Dishes Everyone Loves</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-easy-dinner-party-dishes-you-can-make-in-advance">15 Easy Dinner Party Dishes You Can Make in Advance</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/flashback-friday-122-scrumptious-super-bowl-party-snack-ideas">Flashback Friday: 122 Scrumptious Super Bowl Party Snack Ideas</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-host-an-awesome-frugal-movie-night">How to Host an Awesome Frugal Movie Night</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/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors">Cocktail Time: Great Budget Liquors</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap drinks cheap party ideas party food Fri, 22 Jul 2011 10:24:05 +0000 Ashley Watson 629784 at http://www.wisebread.com All We Are Saying...Is Give Pabst A Chance. http://www.wisebread.com/all-we-are-sayingis-give-pabst-a-chance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/all-we-are-sayingis-give-pabst-a-chance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3568458595_43514e43b2_z.jpg" alt="pabst blue ribbon" title="pabst blue ribbon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many apologies, fans of John Lennon, for the shameless hijacking of a wonderful song title. I couldn't resist. Now, this post is aimed at beer drinkers far and wide, and it's a plea to do a paradigm shift and open your eyes to the &quot;low-end&quot; beers that are considered cheap and nasty. They may be cheap, but I can assure you, nasty is not a fitting phrase. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer" title="21 Great Uses for Beer">21 Great Uses for Beer</a>)</p> <p>I have been a fan of beer since I turned 18, the legal drinking age in Britain. My personal favorites have always been the darker beers, the bitter, the stouts, and the wheat beers. I like flavor. I love microbrewery beers. But sometimes, on a hot day or when you're chugging a few pints at a party, the heavier beers are a little too much.</p> <p>That's when most people turn to the crowd-pleasers. First, the light and regular domestic beers from Miller, Coors, and Budweiser. Or the premium beers, like Sam Adams, Stella Artois, Heineken, Red Stripe, Kingfisher, Kronenbourg, and so on. Lastly, if you happen to like spending some cash, are the microbrews and exotic beers. I've paid $12 for one bottle of beer, and that was the liquor store price. If I'd ordered it in a restaurant, it would easily have cost the same as a bottle of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-wines-under-10-dollars" title="10 Great Wines Under 10 Dollars">wine</a>.</p> <p>However, stuck in the back of the liquor store, in a darkened, shameful corner of the fridge, are the red-headed stepchildren of the beer world. You know their names. They include Keystone, Colt 45, Miller High Life, Bud Ice, and the most infamous of them all, Pabst Blue Ribbon.</p> <p>These beers are branded as cheap, and rightly so. They are cheap. The average price for a 30-pack of 12oz cans comes in at between $18-$20. That's around 60 cents per can. Compare that to $1 for a bottle of Bud ($6 for a six-pack) or $1.50 for a premium beer ($9 for a six-pack) and you rack up some big savings by drinking the cheap beers.</p> <p>&quot;Ah, but you're sacrificing flavor,&quot; the beer aficionados will say.</p> <p>Really?</p> <p>I guarantee that the majority of the loyal drinkers of the three biggest light-beer brands (Bud Light, Miller Light, Coors Light) could not tell the difference between those beers in a blind taste test.</p> <p>If you scoff at that, take the test yourself. Better yet, put money on it. That will really make things interesting. As I have several friends in the beer industry here in Colorado (the home of Miller/Coors) I know that the test has been done several times.</p> <p>The results are always the same; most people do no better than chance. Even people who have been drinking the same brand for 20 years usually don't know the difference once the label is out of the picture.</p> <p>And if that's the case, how would something like Pabst Blue Ribbon stand up? After all, PBR is a gold medal winner. The following extract came from <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pabst_Blue_Ribbon">Wikipedia</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>Charlie Papazian, president of the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewers_Association">Brewers Association</a>, published the following tasting notes for Pabst Blue Ribbon in 2008: &quot;A contrasting counterpoint of sharp texture and flowing sweetness is evident at the first sip of this historic brew. A slowly increasing hoppiness adds to the interplay of ingredients, while the texture smoothes out by mid-bottle. The clear, pale-gold body is light and fizzy. Medium-bodied Blue Ribbon finishes with a dusting of malts and hops. A satisfying American classic and a Gold Medal winner at the 2006 Great American Beer Festival.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Now, that's not too shabby. Miller High Life won the silver that year, too. These are good beers folks. They're not amazing beers, but they don't deserve the stigma attached to them, either. Next time you have a barbecue or birthday party, grab a case of PBR or another &quot;cheap&quot; beer and display it with pride. You're serving good beer and you're saving money, too. Which means you can afford more beer! Now, that's one more reason to celebrate.</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/all-we-are-sayingis-give-pabst-a-chance">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/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/best-kids-eat-free-restaurants">Best Kids Eat Free Restaurants</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/class-without-tons-of-cash-frugal-cocktail-party-ideas">Class Without Tons of Cash: Frugal Cocktail Party Ideas</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-throw-a-fabulous-and-frugal-dinner-party">How to Throw a Fabulous (and Frugal!) Dinner Party</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Food and Drink bargain beer cheap drinks lager Pabst Blue Ribbon PBR Wed, 15 Sep 2010 12:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 237211 at http://www.wisebread.com