Probably a little too early in our relationship to admit such a thing, but when no one is watching I drink boxed wine. It feels really good to finally have that out in the open and off my chest. It is stressful to live with such a huge secret and the constant fear of being caught!
Frankly, I like a glass of wine. Nearly every day around 4pm, I turn up some music, don a frilly apron, pour myself a glass of wine, and start dinner. It isn’t always elaborate (sometimes frozen pizza) but the ritual helps me transition. I am not sure if I am embracing my inner 50’s repressed woman or if they just had it right all along; but somehow, it makes me enjoy cooking. By the time my DH gets home, I have mostly forgotten the nonsense of the day and am ready to relish the evening.
Originally I poured a cocktail (seemed much more 50’s-ish in my fancy apron with a martini in hand) but years ago when I showed early signs of heart disease, I quickly switched to wine at the good doctor’s recommendation. I would buy a reasonably priced red from Costco and go through a couple of bottles a week. After rebudgeting with reduced fun money I added up how much this little habit cost the family:
12 bottles a month x $7 = $84 (pre-tax)!!!!!
Unwilling to give up my glass of wine without a fight, I put “private browsing” into effect and started researching. Admittedly, I'm not a total stranger to boxed wine. I drink massive amounts of Franzia at my folk’s house. I won’t lie, it isn’t good, but it is better than water and I am with my parents (love you guys). As I investigated, I found that some wine loving countries don’t carry the same boxed wine stigma as the US; some even sell juice box sized! Not only that, but most professionals couldn’t taste the difference in a blind taste test (and I promise you, I am NOT a connoisseur).
So I Took the Big Step: I went about 15 miles away to a large liquor store where I was sure I wouldn’t run into anyone. I kept my sunglasses on, took a deep breath, and asked the clerk what boxed wines were tolerable. Without hesitation or even a hint of a sneer, he recommended Black Box and Big House (the same as I saw regularly highly reviewed online). I bought them both. I slipped them into a dark reusable tote and brought them home. To my utter disbelief, they were genuinely enjoyable. As a pleasant side benefit, they last a long time! I tend to drink less often because the bottle isn’t about to go bad and I drink smaller quantities because I can easily “tap it” (hidden in the recesses of my cereal cabinet) anytime.
In Review: Of all of the frugal measures, this was the easiest. I miss my growing cork collection but the wine tastes really very good. It is better for the environment (less waste, easier to ship, and no cork) and apart from the silly stigma, I really don’t mind.
Cost: I am literally saving about $50 a month with this little switch.
*(title is a veiled reference to “Box of Rain” by the Grateful Dead)