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12 Best Cheap Alcoholic Drinks for Those on a Budget

Iced cranberry tea or cocktail with an orange slice in a mason jar

The journey to find budget-friendly alcoholic beverages can seem daunting. Fortunately, a variety of affordable wines, beers, spirits, and cocktails cater to every taste preference. This article explores the 12 best cheap alcoholic drinks that taste good without breaking the bank. 

1. Boxed Wine

Boxed wine has shed its reputation as an inferior option and has emerged as a cost-effective choice for wine lovers on a budget. With the equivalent of multiple bottles per box, it’s economical and stays fresh longer. Choose a variety that suits your taste, and you’ll discover that boxed wine can be wallet-friendly and surprisingly enjoyable.

2. Budget Bourbon

Bourbon lovers can find budget-friendly options that deliver both flavor and complexity. Explore less-expensive bourbon brands or look for sales and discounts on your favorite bottles. With a bit of exploration, you can enjoy the rich, caramel notes of bourbon without overspending.

3. Budget-Friendly Sparkling Wine

White Wine Spritzer with a Lemon Peel

Celebrations don’t have to be expensive. Look for budget-friendly sparkling wines that capture the essence of pricier options. From Prosecco to Cava, there are affordable alternatives that add a touch of glamour to any occasion without straining your budget.

4. Bulk Beer

When it comes to beer, buying in bulk is a smart move for those on a budget. Look for value packs or large cans of popular brews. These can be enjoyed during gatherings, parties, or simply when you want a refreshing beer without breaking the bank. It’s a classic choice that remains a go-to for many budget-conscious beer enthusiasts.

5. Canned Cocktails

Canned cocktails have surged in popularity, providing a convenient and affordable option for those on a budget. From classic Moscow Mules to Margaritas, these pre-mixed drinks offer simplicity without compromising taste. You can check out the variety available at your local liquor store and discover the ease of enjoying a well-crafted cocktail without buying expensive ingredients.

6. DIY Cocktails

On the other hand, instead of splurging on pre-mixed cocktails, consider trying your hand at mixology. Invest in a few key ingredients like vodka, gin, or rum, and experiment with simple cocktail recipes that don’t require pricey ingredients. By doing so, you save money and gain a deeper appreciation for the art of mixing drinks.

7. Economy Brandy

Brandy, often associated with sophistication, doesn’t have to be expensive. Explore economy brandy options that offer a smooth, warming experience without the hefty price tag. These hidden gems can be enjoyed neat or in cocktails without compromising quality.

8. Frozen Fruit and Cheap Wine Sangria


Create your own budget-friendly sangria by combining inexpensive wine with frozen fruits. Opt for a fruity red wine, mix in some affordable citrus fruits, berries, and a touch of sugar. Let it chill, and you have a refreshing homemade sangria that’s both delicious and easy on the pocketbook.

9. Generic Brand Spirits

Many liquor and grocery stores offer generic or store-brand spirits at a fraction of the cost of their branded counterparts. These unbranded options often match the quality of more expensive choices, allowing you to enjoy your favorite cocktails without the premium price tag. Experiment with generic vodka, rum, or whiskey, and you might be pleasantly surprised by the savings.

10. Generic Liqueurs

Like with spirits, generic or store-brand liqueurs can provide significant savings without compromising taste. From coffee liqueurs to fruit-flavored options, explore the variety of generic brands and find the perfect addition to your home bar to satisfy your wallet.

11. House Cocktails at Bars

When out on the town, explore bars offering lower prices for house cocktails. Many establishments have signature drinks that are not only unique but also more affordable than the standard cocktail menu. This allows you to enjoy a night out without wrecking your budget.

12. Two-Buck Chuck (Trader Joe’s Wine)

Since 2002, Trader Joe’s famous Two-Buck Chuck, officially known as Charles Shaw wine, has become a symbol of affordable elegance. Originally priced at just a couple of dollars per bottle, it offers a range of varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot. Don’t let the low price fool you; Two-Buck Chuck has earned its place among the best cheap wines available.

Final Thoughts

Exploring the world of affordable alcoholic beverages doesn’t mean settling for inferior taste. The 12 choices discussed in this article prove that budget-friendly drinks can be enjoyable and diverse. Whether you prefer wine, beer, spirits, or cocktails, there are plenty of ways to sip smartly without draining your wallet. So, raise your glass to affordable indulgence and savor the taste of savings without sacrificing quality.

For more, don’t miss 15 Best Alcoholic Drinks for Beginners or Lightweights.