House party drink list

How to get sloshed on a student budget

Going into my sixth year of university I’ve been to — and thrown — a house party or two.

You’re going back to school and want to have one last bash before exams and deadlines catch up to you and your social life. But instead of blowing all your hard-earned summer savings on patio hopping how about opting to stay in for a night of drinking?

Even if you’re only drinking specials in Calgary you’ll likely pay at least $4 for beer and maybe $3 for a highball — if you’re lucky. Considering the average student’s alcohol tolerance that’s at least $30 to get a good buzz on. Then you can either stumble home on transit (if you’re heading home before midnight which is unlikely) and hope you don’t miss your stop or pay cab fare costing you anywhere from $10 to $50 all after waiting on hold with #TAXI for an hour as your bloodstream soaks up the evening’s booze.

It’s good for special nights out but it’s not realistic for every boozy adventure.

To my surprise just as gyms and retail stores offer student discounts so do select local liquor stores. For example 16 Avenue Daily Liquor Wine & Spirits (1336 16th Ave. N.W.) boasts friendly staff and offers a five per cent discount with a valid student I.D. It’s also open until 2 a.m. every day and even does home deliveries.

Even if it’s not advertised in store it’s definitely worth asking the attendant on your next beer run. Booze at Costco like the food offers the most bang for your buck if you and your roommates want to buy this month’s supply and split the cost. You also don’t need a Costco membership to shop at the liquor store. However their hours are shorter (8:30 p.m. is the latest).

The Real Canadian Liquor Store offers some of the lowest prices as well. They don’t have a cooler room but if you can wait to cool down your beer at home it’s worth it. They also offer bulk discounts on select items. There’s at least one in each corner of the city making shopping convenient and it’s open until 11 p.m. at the latest.

If you feel like getting out of the house or it’s a special occasion you want to be smart about picking the location. It’s usually cheaper to go out during the week instead of the weekends. So if you don’t have class until noon this is for you. Morgan’s Pub (1324 17th Ave. S.W.) offers some good daily specials including 99-cent draft (6 ounces) every Monday. For $20 you’ve basically had 10 beers which is a rate that is seriously hard to come by for most inner-city bars.

Of course there’s also the infamous “Thursden” at the Den and Black Lounge the on-campus bar at the University of Calgary. If you haven’t heard of this every Thursday is student appreciation night. This includes seriously special drink specials like triple-mix jugs and pitchers for about $10. Just show your student I.D. at the door (students from other institutions are welcome) and prepare for a night of debauchery.

It’s also smart to plan how much the cab home will cost you if you can’t get a DD or stay at a friend’s house close by. If it’s going to be a $40 cab ride you may want to pay a little more per drink to stay closer to home.

When it comes to drinking games stick with the classics especially if you’ve chosen to buy beer. Beer Pong Flip Cup and Sociables are always a good decision and with some good tunes in the background these will get anyone into party mode. Playing doesn’t cost much more than $1 for playing cards at the dollar store or about $15 for 30 red Solo cups.

Lastly if you’re throwing a party be sure to have plenty of floor and/or couch space for friends to crash. Or at the very least be a good host and hand them a blanket wherever they decide to pass out even if it’s in your bathtub.