A few weeks ago I wrote about why I don’t drink. Among all the reasons I mentioned, I didn’t even touch on how much money you can save if you don’t drink alcohol.

I spent the last four days in Las Vegas for a bachelor party and I saved a lot of money by not drinking.

mandalay bay

photo credit: flickr.com/ronmacphotos

I already had to pay for a plane ticket, my share of the ridiculous suite on the 15th floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel (which was definitely worth it), a couple cab rides, a lot of meals at restaurants, and little bit of gambling money. I had a freaking awesome time, and I think every dollar was well spent.

But the total cost of my weekend pales in comparison to it cost for people who had the exact same weekend as I did with the minor addition of alcohol.

Drinking at Home is Expensive

Out of the 8 people present for the bachelor party, I was the only one who doesn’t drink. One of those seven people was the groom who you all affectionately know as The Hoff.

Some people might just buy all their drinks at bars and restaurants, but The Hoff is just as frugal as I am and made sure to find a liquor store to purchase some drinks for reasonable prices.

That one trip to the store probably cost about $200 total.

That comes to about $30 a person, which isn’t so bad for 4 days in Vegas. Sure it’s more than the $0 I spent on tap water, but $30 is pretty reasonable. Unfortunately that was just for the in-room beverages.

Drinking Out is Freaking Ridiculous

I don’t even like spending $2.50 on a refillable soda at a restaurant because I know I can get two liters of that exact same drink for $0.99 at the grocery store.

It wasn’t even my money but I died a little inside every time I saw someone spend $12 or so on a single drink that would cost a fraction of that much at the store.

Whenever we weren’t in the hotel room, we were at the pool, a bar, or a restaurant where drink prices were ridiculously inflated. And when you’re in Vegas for a bachelor party, most people just pay whatever it takes to have a good time.

I’m wildly guessing here, but when you account for the purchase price and tips, I bet the average member of our bachelor party spent a minimum of $50 each day on drinks outside of the hotel room. That’s at least $150 for each person just for beverages.

Spend Your Money on Things You Want

By my calculations, each person in our bachelor party spent at least $180 on drinks this weekend. Some people probably spent well over $300.

And I’m pretty sure each one of them is happy with their purchase.

I look at $180 and see money I could use to pay off student loans, buy furniture or decorations for my apartment, or invest. Other people see it as a reasonable amount to enhance their vacation with drinks.

Good for them.

They know what they want, they have the money, and they are willing to pay for it. That’s the point of working hard to earn money: so you can spend it on things you want.

Readers: How do you save money on eating/drinking out on a vacation weekend with friends?