Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Want to Save Money? Lower Your Standards

Last night, a buddy and I went to go see the very meta horror film A Cabin in the Woods. If you have ever enjoyed a horror movie (or, if you think that all tropes in horror films are overdone), I encourage you to see it. I can't say too much more than that without the risk of spoiling it, so I'll leave it at that.

After the movie, we decided to go get a drink and catch up. We were at a mall that had an allegedly Irish-themed bar (inasmuch as waitresses in short plaid skirts equals Irish), so we went in. I ordered a draft beer, and my buddy ordered a whiskey; our tab came to $17 for our two drinks.

I'm not going to say that I was shocked at the price, but even as I ordered, I knew the price that was being charged was going to be ridiculously high when compared with the actual cost of the goods. I don't blame the bar (a for-profit organization) for setting its price point high either; after all, those plaid skirts aren't going hike themselves up. In fact, I'm not going to blame anyone for anything.

All I'm going to say is that my buddy and I probably would have had as good of, if not a better time, at a more reasonably priced bar. Because of their cheapness, I have an unreasonable fondness for dive bars. Their price points tend to be what I hope to pay for my adult beverages.

What can I say? Paying $8 for a beer just isn't in my wheel house. Based on how the franchise I went to is expanded its locations and growing as a business, apparently a lot of people are willing to frequently overpay for their drinks, and I say good for them. They must be a lot more financially secure than I am.

Of course, in the above story, the choice of bar was more of a choice of convenience than anything else. That said, for my friends out there who enjoy the occasional drink responsibly, if the bar that you're at has any sort of theme (unless that theme is darkness and pitcher specials of Miller High Life), you're probably going to be paying too much for drinks*.

What do you think? Does the perceived niceness of a bar make you want to pay more for the same alcohol you could get elsewhere? Let me know in the comments.

*A notable exception to this rule is when you drink for "free" in Las Vegas while you're gambling. While you'll be indirectly paying too much for the drinks when you lose Junior's inheritance at the blackjack table, getting "free" drinks in and of itself is a hard price point to beat.


Daisy @ Add Vodka said...

Definitely not - when I'm at a restaurant or bar that is really nice and therefore expensive, I usually don't drink.

Jana @ Daily Money Shot said...

Hehehehe. That reminds me of the line in the 40 Year Old Virgin "It's $9 beer night".

Anyway, I cringe at spending that much money on one drink. I always think how I can spend the same money on a bottle and get 6 drinks out of it. As far as the niceness of a bar, I don't (and didn't) go to bars that were "nice". I never thought I fit in so I usually slum it. Cheaper that way, too!

ERIKA said...

It sucks that to get an alcoholic drink it's so expensive. I always have to think twice about ordering a cocktail at restaurants. They are always around $10! So not cool. I just prefer to get soda, and I'll still be happy. So I avoid bars. Thank god I don't like beer and alcohol much.

James said...

I can't justify paying more than $3 for a beer. I will not go out to any places that don't have drink specials.

Frugal Portland said...

dang, it sucks because sharing a six pack would have been both more enjoyable and cheaper. it depends on why you're out. if you're out to meet girls, then you pay the price. if you're out to meet up with a buddy, then go divey.

Christa said...

Same thing with nice restaurants -- I've never been more disappointed in a restaurant than when the atmosphere was "nice" but the food was average yet the price was outlandishly high!