Bad economy stressing you out? Drink...at home

Americans are cutting back on purchases of liquor in bars and restaurants, according to top executives at Pernod Ricard SA. They are also purchasing cheaper brands when buying alcohol at stores, although sales at grocery stores and retail outlets continue to grow.

Makes sense to me. Why drop the extra bucks at a bar or restaurant when you can get a bottle of wine, rent a movie, and stay home for a whole lot less money. I have always thought that expensive restaurants were a waste of money and you pay a premium for a drink. Often, a glass of wine will cost you as much as buying the whole bottle at a retail center. And watch out for designer drinks such as Cosmos and fancy martinis -- they can cost you $20 or more.

When we do go out, we like to find local restaurants that serve good food at a cheap price. We never go to chains, they tend to be overpriced and too homogenized for my taste. No, give me the $5.99 fish fry, served in a plastic basket with coleslaw and fries and I'm a happy South Sider.

Remember, there are two ways to be rich. Have lots of money or have simple tastes. We like to keep our expense chassis low so we have money when we want it.

Barbara Bartlein is the People Pro. For her free e-mail newsletter, visit: The People Pro.


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