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Cocktails Hour Gone Rogue: Three Ways to Beat a High-priced Cocktail Bill

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I'm not going to "lime" to you. Drinks out on the town are downright expensive. Margaritas, tequila shots, Cosmopolitans, Moscow Mules are among the worst budget busters. They look so good on the menu, and they taste even better. Even a bad margarita is still a good margarita. What gives with the high price of cocktails these days? Blame it on the lime!

That tiny little fruit is causing quite a stir in the cocktail hour price all over America. Think about it. Lime or lime juice is in virtually every mixed drink. Did you know that Mexico's drug cartels are primarily to blame for driving the price up on your favorite citrus infused drinks this year? Cartels, knowing the importance of limes in the U.S., have been causing all sorts of havoc on the exporting of limes. The price of limes stands at approximately $100 per 40-pound box, up from $25 a box. Talk about some serious inflation... and it's just a little lime.

Obviously, we can't do much about the drug cartels, but we can go rogue with our cocktail hour strategy. Here are three strategies so you can have your lime and drink it too.

1. Shiny Happy People -- Happy, happy, happy hour! If you haven't discovered this gem, I suggest you venture out and research the best happy hours in your area. Most bars and restaurants are offering extended happy hour times and delivering some seriously delicious food and drinks at a fraction of the price. This is a great way to enjoy a fancy night out on the town, or impress a date, and still have some Benjamins left in your bank account.
2. Keep It Simple -- The more options you add onto a new car, the higher the sticker price. The more ingredients in your prospective drink, the higher the price. Remember the old saying, keep it simple stupid? Here is one place that applies to. Have a glass of house wine, or a simple dirty martini, or bourbon on the rocks. Any drink with one ingredient that is, shall we say, bottom of the "top shelf" will keep your wallet humming along.

3. This Buds For You -- I'm not a beer drinker. I can barely stand the taste. However, there are plenty of you beer drinkers out there who can use this strategy. Go for what's on tap, or whatever the special is. On tap beer is most always going to be less expensive that a bottle beer. The bottle must be recycled which has a cost associated to it, and that is usually passed on to the consumer. So stay on tap and you will stay on top of your budget.

My philosophy is that you never have to give up the things in life that you like to do, like going out for cocktails with your friends. Who doesn't like a cocktail night on the town? Rather, I simply suggest that you think about it from a different angle and find ways to go rogue and save some money. Cocktails have the highest profit margins at most restaurants, and now with the prices of limes you are spending even more on the same drink. Why not try to beat them at their game, or at least make a dent in it. Better your pocket than theirs.