As a Boston native, I have long known that St. Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest holidays we celebrate. It’s a city-wide party for young and old, Irish or not. For me, the days of bar-hopping are pretty much done. I no longer have the desire to fight through crowds of rowdy college kids, pay for entry into bars, and risk getting into a fist-fight or being vomited on. Just part of getting old, I guess. Those are all worst-case scenarios, but I was once part of that crowd and I’ve seen it all. Nowadays, I more look forward to a relaxing day with a few friends, a few pints, and corned beef dinner. It’s more tame, but just as fun and more affordable.
In my college days, no cover charge was too much, no bar too crowded, and no beer too green. Me and my friends just had to hit the town and mingle with our fellow clover-clad consumers. We’d wake up the next day with a few stains on our Celtics jerseys, less money in our pockets, and some fun yet foggy memories. I will say that it was a lot of fun and I wouldn’t change a thing, but things are different now.
- $20 on drinks and food to have at the apartment before we hit the town.
- $25 for cab fare for the day going to and from the parade and/or bars. Being responsible costs money too.
- $10 cover charge for each popular bar or club that we visit. Also, we’re probably going to have to wait in line for the privilege. It’s not like a typical day at the bar. Most bars open before noon and get immediately packed.
- Drinks at the bars and a small bite (probably a food cart somewhere) for about $50.
These are modest estimates, and we’re looking at over $100.
- $10 for 6 pack of my favorite beer (and I won’t drink all of them today).
- At most, $30 for a few drinks at a local bar if we’re feeling adventurous.
- $20 contribution towards food if we attend a dinner with friends/family.
Total of $60.
Funny how I would spend more as a college student… when I had no money.
The point of this story is A) St. Patrick’s Day is a little different when you get older, and B) You can still have a good time without dropping $100 dollars on green beer and a street hot dog.
*Bonus: Here are some general tips to help you save some coin on St. Patrick’s Day…
- Skip the bar, buy some food and drinks, and have a small gathering of your own (or convince a friend to do so). Make it a pot-luck and BYOB affair.
- Don’t buy a “costume”. Search your own wardrobe for something green, borrow from a friend, or visit a thrift shop or discount store if you feel the need to dress up.
- If you do go out, read reviews on your potential destinations to get information on pricing.
How do you celebrate and save on St. Paddy’s Day?