Pre-gaming at its best: Save the money and grab a 40

Was it our exploration of dive bars that made us sick last week? Or did we just catch what everyone else and their mom had? We are going to have to assume the latter since,

Was it our exploration of dive bars that made us sick last week? Or did we just catch what everyone else and their mom had? We are going to have to assume the latter since, you know, alcohol kills germs.

Either way we decided to take it easy and drop some sage advice on you in the form of a tried and true money-saving method: Pre-gaming.

There are two important things to keep in mind if you are pre-gaming: The first is that you shouldn’t get trashed before you show up at the bar. It’s called “PRE-gaming” not “GAMING.” There’s nothing more tasteless than showing up at a bar at the beginning of the night as an ugly mess (Corey’s note: If you walk in dancing like the guy in the “Tunak Tunak Tan” video, you’ve gone too far).

The second thing to remember is that you don’t have extra pre-gaming money. Your $20 goes to all of your night’s expenses. You can’t go out and buy really expensive booze and then go out and think you beat the system. We’re not only on to your little scheme, but, quite frankly, you disgust us.

Now, there are many different ways you can go about pre-gaming without breaking the bank, the first of which is as convenient as it is cost effective. That our friends, is the “40.”

Forty, short for “40 ounce,” is most likely already a staple of your college diet. You may already have a preference (Ryan’s note: I think all brands taste like stale corn chips), but on a tight budget, a $2 Hurricane is your best bet.

Billy Dee Williams may make you want a Colt 45, but a Hurricane mixed with orange juice leaves you with a delicious pre-game treat. Drink down to the top of the label, then fill the bottle to the top with some OJ.

Another avenue you may want to explore, if you’re the more judicious sort, is actual beer instead of malt liquor. You’ll need a friend or two to keep expenses down, but a six pack of Yuengling will run you about $7.

Splitting a six pack with a friend is like getting three beers for the price of one at the bar. Plus, you’ll have a better grasp of how much you drank when your designated driver demands to know how many beers you’ve had when determining whether or not you’ll puke in his or her car.

If you have a couple frugal friends, splitting a case of beer can be very economical. If you and eight friends split a case of poor tasting beer like “Natural Ice,” it’ll cost you next to nothing for four beers!

If you have trouble drinking cheap beer because your tastes are more refined, try getting something with a silly title like “Schlitz” or with funny can art like “Schmidt’s” – look at all those game animals, don’t you feel manlier?

Of course, it all still tastes terrible, but at least you can keep telling yourself that you aren’t compromising your economic principles.

If you have a lot of friends and are low on time, your best bet is to split a handle of liquor. We recommend avoiding something that is likely to interfere with your evening later. Tequila Zapata?

Bad idea.

The last thing you need is to pre-game with something that will guarantee you vomiting later. If you are looking to save money, but not lose out on flavor, try Burnett’s Vodka. It’s on the top shelf, but it’s as cheap as bottom shelf and tastes like middle shelf quality.

Is pre-gaming worth your money? If you have to go to a bar with a $7 cover like Grape Street in Manayunk for your friend’s-friend’s birthday, it is an essential practice. Just remember to secure a DD way in advance.

Our beef? Cheap booze tastes terrible and pre-gaming can be a chore.

Also, shopping for 40s can be dangerous. They don’t call them “stab and grabs” for nothing.

Ryan Barlow can be reached at and Corey Fenwick can be reached at

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