WHETHER you’re sipping fizz or stocking up with beer, the cost of Christmas booze can put extra pressure to squeezed finances.
But with a few easy tricks, you can make savings on drinks that won’t have you wincing over your wallet as you toast the festive season.
Shop to save
SHOPS run loads of promotions in the lead up to Christmas to try to tempt you into spending.
Rather than buying on a whim, plan the alcohol you are likely to need and shop accordingly.
If you know you will get through at least six bottles of plonk, consider stocking up at either Asda or Tesco.
Both supermarkets are slicing 25 per cent off the total cost when you buy six bottles of wine or more.
This promotion is running until December 11 at Asda and December 18 at Tesco.
There are also great offers on beers and cider ahead of the big day.
Asda and Sainsbury’s are both offering savings when you buy two packs of selected ale or lager.
It means a 20-pack of Budweiser is £15 at Sainsbury’s, or you can get twice as much for £20 — an extra fiver.
And don’t forget that loyalty cards unlock better pricing across a range of goods at supermarkets, including alcohol sales.
For example, Clubcard customers can buy an 18-pack of Peroni for £18 at Tesco, compared to £23 without one.
Drink prices can vary hugely by retailer, so find the cheapest offer by using a shopping comparison tool such as trolley.co.uk.
And check Amazon individually for costs as the retail giant has some very competitive deals on booze that don’t always come up on comparison sites.
Mixer it up
IF you’re hosting this Christmas, you’ll want to offer guests a range of drinks.
He says: “One bottle of gin and several different tonics will give you more taste options than several gins and one type of tonic.”
Shop-bought sugar syrups for cocktails can be pricey but they are easy to make.
Use a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water and try sugars such as muscovado and demerara, says Neil Ridley, author of 60 Second Cocktails. Then add vanilla and home spices to flavour.
Join the wine club
WINE clubs can be a great way to save money, as members are offered significant discounts — but check the small print before signing up.
You just need to work out if the savings are higher than the cost of membership.
Wine writer Sophia Longhi picked out The Wine Society as one of the best clubs.
She says: “It is not for profit and they really care about high-quality wines.”
The Wine Society offers bottles from £5.95 and there is no minimum spend needed, as well as free delivery on orders.
To become a member you must pay a one-off membership fee of £40, but you get £20 off your first order.
Buy a lesser-known bottle
YOU can save money and swig great wine by swerving big name labels.
Wine consultant and columnist Libby Brodie says: “Look for popular grapes you like from up-and- coming regions.
“For example, Romania produces excellent pinot noir, which is the same grape as expensive Burgundy but you’re not paying for the prestigious region.
“It is also an excellent food wine and pairs really well with white or red meat and vegetable dishes.”
Try Waitrose Blueprint Romanian pinot noir, £5.99.
Bag bargain bubbles
CHAMPAGNE is one of the most expensive festive tipples but a simple swap will cut costs.
Libby tips Spanish cava or South African Cap Classique as an alternative that tastes just as good.
“Bottles are under £15 and made exactly the same way as champagne,” she says.
You can get cava brut for £5.75 from Asda or £5.85 from Sainsbury’s.
Shoppers might also want to stock up on Prosecco.
Bag a bottle of Bella Cucina Prosecco Frizzante, £5.49 from Tesco, or Allini Prosecco spumante, £6.49 from Lidl.
- Prices correct at time of publication.