A holiday most popular for drinking beer and donning green clothing, St. Patrick’s Day is becoming well-known for something else: high costs.
However, it IS possible to go green without spending all your green.
Americans Shell Out $35-$40 Each
Whether you’re Irish or not, chances are if you’re over 21 and like beer, you are going to be participating in a St. Patrick’s Day celebration this year. According to the National Retail Federation, more than 133 million Americans celebrate the green-filled holiday, and will spend $4.7 billion.
It seems as though those who aren’t even Irish are willing to shell out some cash to celebrate on March 17. Americans are expected to spend $35-40 each. While this may not seem to be that much, throw in an extra $25 for a festive outfit, $10 for a traditional Irish meal and you’re spending half my grocery budget in one single day.
In fact, the government raises an estimated $1.36 billion from taxes on St. Patrick’s Day. Perhaps this can be attributed to the increased hotel rates, large parades in major cities and beer sales.
Don’t Break the Bank
But it’s not necessary to break the bank to celebrate. No, there are ways around spending an arm and a leg to have a good time.
Let’s start with the clothing.
It’s normal to want to participate in the day of green by sporting some festive clothing, but retailers definitely take advantage of the holiday. You don’t have to buy into it! Visit the local thrift store for a green T-shirt. You’re only going to wear it once, so why spend more than $5 for a shirt? You don’t have to. If you’re not a thrift store fan, just borrow some green from a friend or family member. You have to know someone who has some green in their wardrobe.
Check out sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial before you determine your destination for the night, as you may be able to find deals there. From everything to cover-free bars to food and drink deals, online deal sites can help cut costs everywhere you look on St. Patrick’s Day.
In terms of the celebration itself, hit up happy hour instead of going out at night; you can save on drinks and take advantage of food and drink specials. Why pay $5 a beer when you can most likely get 2 for 1 at happy hour? And since St. Patrick’s Day is on a Sunday this year, there’s nothing stopping you from getting there bright and early. (Just remember that you are supposed to go to work the next day.)
In fact, there’s nothing stopping you from saving on the holiday this year. Just stick to these tips, and this year the luck won’t be limited to just the leprechauns.
Bill “No Pay” Fay has lived a meager financial existence his entire life. He started writing/bragging about it in 2012, helping birth Debt.org into existence as the site’s original “Frugal Man.” Prior to that, he spent more than 30 years covering the high finance world of college and professional sports for major publications, including the Associated Press, New York Times and Sports Illustrated. His interest in sports has waned some, but he is as passionate as ever about not reaching for his wallet. Bill can be reached at [email protected].