Tip 4: How to make savings in the drinks budget.
Buying drinks for an event need not be onerous on the budget. Remember, if you can save some money on drinks you can spend more on entertainment, transport etc. To establish your budget for drinks, firstly work out how many bottles overall you will need. Then think about the wines that you will provide. White and Rose wines often cost less than red and sparkling.
Tips to cut costs without cutting the quality of the wine you are providing:
- Sale or Return
This simply means, if you buy it on a Sale or Return arrangement you return what has not been opened. Check the fine print carefully. Look out for things like – do you have to return case lots, do you need to pay a small fee to return etc etc. Most of the large liquor chains and perhaps some local wine stores offer this service. At the time of writing the following Australian chains offered sale or return provided you confirm this with the store manager before you purchase any alcohol.
- Vintage Cellars
- Woolworths Liquor
- 1st Choice Liquor
- Corporate Accounts
Opening a corporate account with a wine store generally gives you a) a discount on product and b) allows the wine to be bought on credit. There may be any number of other benefits that you can take advantage of with a corporate account. Ring around to find out what deals can be done.
- Case Discounts
Worth a reminder! You will usually get a discount, sometimes significant, if you buy wines in quantities of 12. This can work in your favour if you can buy on a case discount and get other benefits as well from your corporate account. Always check around though if budgets are very tight and see what other deals you can get. This is a great way to purchase wine for large events or regular small events such as a social club get together.
- Cleanskins or Own Brand
If you are on a very tight budget, you could consider buying some cleanskin wines (those without a label) or those made for the retailer as these can offer great value. However, watch out for dubious quality wines being sold cheaply. Just because they are sold as a cleanskin they are not always the bargain that you expect.
- Buying via internet
There are plenty of opportunities to buy wines via the internet. This might be using a site such as www.dealsdirect.com.au , www.winemarket.com.au, to name just two or if you have the time before buying the wine, you might try an online wine auction. You will need to be very confident in your wine choices however when you are buying ‘bargain’ wines as they may well be very old stock that is past it’s prime. Yes, wine does have a use by date and it takes some skill to work out which bargains are great drinking and which are just cheap wines suitable for cooking with.
- Buying direct from producer or have a tasting night
There may be occasions where you will want all the wines to be from a single producer. It is possible to get a good deal directly from the producer particularly if you are a member of their wine club or you are organising a corporate wine tasting. Some wine producers do not sell their wine themselves and these will direct you to their distributors. Obviously, you will not get some of the other benefits that you may get buying from a retailer. Alternatively, there are wineries and companies who will be happy to put on a tasting night for your corporation. For instance- a wine club such as The Wine Society may be happy to do this.