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Where to Buy Beer and Other Booze for Cheap

We went on a mission to find the lowest prices on champagne, vodka, liqueur, and beer. Here's what we learned.

by Jana Kasperkevic
Dec 18 2018, 10:26pm

Photos by Getty Images

Planning to ring in the New Year with a glass of bubbly, a vodka martini or maybe just a Bud Light? Whether you’re looking for some booze to bring to the party or are hosting one yourself, it’s always smart to shop for the lowest price.

To help you find the best deals, we looked everywhere from big chains like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to neighborhood liquor shops in New York City to find out how big of a difference it makes where you buy your booze. We also looked online for deals and learned that the shipping costs can erase most savings unless you buy in bulk—plus many online stores don’t ship everywhere in the US or even everything they sell in their physical stores.

So who had the best prices? For one-stop shopping our pick is Costco and its adjacent liquor store, Brooklyn Liquors, in Brooklyn (since you can’t buy hard alcohol in grocery stores in the state). But we also found great deals on beer at Target and bubbly at Trader Joe's.

When in doubt, always opt for the larger bottle or higher number of cans or bottles packaged together for the lowest price per volume. If you’re buying in bulk, always ask for a discount. Wine shops typically offer 10 percent off when you buy a case, for example.

Here are the prices we found for seven different kinds of booze:

Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne (750 milliliters)

Champagne at Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's Wine Shop has a great deal on Veuve Clicquot right now.

Bottle Shoppe (Brooklyn): $66
Beekman Liquor (Manhattan): $63
Quality Liquor Store (online and in San Diego, California): $60
Mitchell’s Wine & Liquors (Manhattan): $53
Whole Foods wine store (Manhattan): $50
BQE Wine & Liquors (Brooklyn): $46
Costco/Brooklyn Liquors: $43 (with ice jacket)
Best deal: Trader Joe’s Wine Shop: $42

Ketel One Vodka (one liter)

Bottles of Ketel One at Costco
The liquor store adjacent to Costco in Brooklyn had the best prices on one liter bottles of Ketel One vodka.

Beekman Liquor (Manhattan): $44
Bottle Shoppe (Brooklyn): $42
Mitchell’s Wine & Liquors (Manhattan): $35
BQE Wine & Liquors (Brooklyn): $32
Best deal: Costco/Brooklyn Liquors: $30

Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur (one liter)

Big-bottle-of-Baileys
Go ahead and spring for the big bottle of Baileys for the best deal by volume.

Mitchell’s Wine & Liquors (Manhattan): $37
BQE Wine & Liquors (Brooklyn): $32
Best deal: Costco/Brooklyn Liquors: $29

Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur (750 milliliters)

Baileys bottle options
There are a variety of flavors and sizes of Baileys to choose from when you shop.

Beekman Liquor (Manhattan): $43
Bottle Shoppe (Brooklyn): $41
Mitchell’s Wine & Liquors (Manhattan): $31
BQE Wine & Liquors (Brooklyn): $28
Best deal: Quality Liquor Store (online and in San Diego, California): $23

Harpoon ‘Tis the Seasonal Beer (12-pack bottles)

Piles of Harpoon beer at Costco
Piles of Harpoon 'Tis the Seasonal mix packs at Costco in Brooklyn, New York

Target (Manhattan): $18
Pioneer (Manhattan): $17
Best deal: Costco: $28 for a 24-pack, which works out to $14 for 12 bottles

Harpoon IPA Beer (six-pack bottles)

Trader Joes Harpoon IPA
Trader Joe's had the best price on six-pack bottles of Harpoon IPA

Whole Foods (Brooklyn): $11
Target (Manhattan): $10
Best deal: Trader Joe’s (Manhattan): $9

Bud Light (12-pack cans)

Whole Foods Bud Light bottles.
Whole Foods has a great beer selection, but the Bud Light is no bargain there.

Brooklyn Deli: $15
Whole Foods (Brooklyn): $14
Best deal: Target (Manhattan): $11