Buy your booze for bank holidays and stock up for summer without spending a fortune. It might even be an excuse to pop over to Calais!
There are countless online alcohol delivery sites to choose from.
Some offer quick delivery, in as short a time as 30 minutes, mainly in London.
Whilst there are deals to be found on these sites, bear in mind that they don't always beat the supermarkets and in some cases are far more expensive.
When we looked on cheap wholesaler Online Cash & Carry, a 24 pack of 500ml cans of Fosters lager cost £22.99. However, ASDA had a promotion running where you could get three crates of 10 - 30 in total - for £21.
If you bought your case of Fosters at late night delivery service Booze Up it would cost you a steep £37.50.
You could start by typing the brand you want to purchase into Google so you can see prices across several different websites, which will include results at the supermarkets. Or you could use one of the alcohol comparison websites listed below.
Delivery costs vary widely, from free delivery on many Amazon products to £50 delivery charges at Online Cash & Carry if your order is under £500.
Buy at the brewery/winery
Buying straight from the supplier takes out the middleman and saves you a bit of dosh. Sign up to a newsletter if they have one so that you can be the first to know about special deals.
Check out EeBria for drinks from a host of UK breweries and wineries which allow you to buy straight from the seller.
If you go to a winery or brewery for a visit or a tour, be careful not to get too carried away; beer and wine tend to taste better at breweries and wineries, particularly if you’ve had a few!
Buy second label wines
Second label wine is plonk that’s not chosen for the vineyard’s own label.
Rather than waste it or sell it in bulk, the second label lets makers bottle this wine under their name and sell it through their distributors.
The grapes tend to be younger than the first label equivalents, meaning that they're less refined so you can buy the wine more cheaply.
Pick up cheaper versions of your favourites
Once spirits are mixed with soft drinks, it masks the taste of the booze anyway so you could get away with a cheaper version. Try some of these sneaky substitutes: I’ve put in the average price of the more expensive brand and as well as the cheaper alternatives.
Ditch: Disaronno Amaretto (£18)
Drink: Lidl Armilar Amaretto (£9.99)
Photo credit: Lidl
Ditch: Baileys (£12)
Drink: Ballycastle (£3.75)
Photo credit: Aldi
Ditch: Jack Daniels (£15)
Drink: Lidl Western Gold (£11.99)
Photo credit: Lidl
Ditch: Jagermeister (£13)
Drink: Josef Meiers Liquer (£12)
Photo credit: Asda
Ditch: Pimms (£15)
Drink: ASDA Summer Cup (£7)
Photo credit: Aldi
Ditch: Southern Comfort (£15)
Drink: Asda Deep South (£12.25)
Photo credit: Asda
Prices correct at the time of writing
Some brands inflate prices to make their products seem like more of a luxury, so watch out for those. If in doubt, check out online reviews and taste tests to see what other shoppers think.
Look for special offers
Drink Finder, Bring a Bottle and mysupermarket compare booze prices from retailers nationwide. With Bring a Bottle you can set up alerts that will tell you when your favourite tipple is going cheapest and with Drink Finder you can buy direct.
Of course, you can scout out all of the cheapest liquor deals going yourself and it doesn't have to be limited to alcohol sellers. Groupon currently has 12 bottles of white wine going for £49.99, down from £114.
Timing is crucial too; prices can vary by over 50% over the course of one year, according to research from Bring a Bottle. A lot of this comes down to how supermarkets manipulate special offers for various celebrations.
In short, you should buy champagne in mid-late December, Pimms the third week of June and vodka in the first week of May.
Go on a booze cruise
Recent research has found that we could actually save money by buying our plonk from France. As it's closer to the source and filled with wine warehouses, French booze does tend to be cheaper. Hypermarkets often have a larger selection too.
You can work out how much it would cost to do a booze cruise based on where you live, current petrol prices and how many bottles you’d need to cover the cost with the Calais Wine Superstore's nifty calculator.
If you prefer to fly, you can get your booze cheaper at the duty-free store. Just make sure you've left enough luggage space to take it and you won't breach the weight limits, which can result in a costly charge at the check-in desk.
Be careful with subscriptions
The idea behind monthly postal subscription clubs is that members pay for a themed product every month which comes straight to their door.
It's great if you like a wide variety of booze and don't mind paying more than you perhaps would in-store or online.
However there is a big risk that you end up paying out over and over again at an inflated rate for wine that you might not even like. Shipping costs may also negate the benefits of any discounts you receive. Someone over 21 has to be there to sign for the wine too.
Sign up to TopCashback or Quidco for free and get a percentage of your spending back at Marks & Spencer Wine, Majestic, Laithwaite’s, The Whisky Barrel and more. Just sign up for free, have a browse for your favourite booze, make your purchase and your cashback will be in your account within 14 days.
Cashback credit cards are also a great way of getting something back for your spending. The American Express Everyday Cashback Credit Card will give you 5% cashback on spending up to £2,000 during your first three months, capped at £100. You'll bag up to 1% thereafter, depending on how much you spend.
Read the best cashback credit cards for more.
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