The Last Weekend

The dreaded week is coming up...finals. 

As this awful, exhausting and brutal week approaches, we need to take our last weekend and make it our BEST weekend. Grab a group of friends, hit the bar, dance, karaoke, party like you never have before! (safely, of course)  

Before you hit that bar though and spend all of your rent money (check out our previous article on this for tips, here), make sure to PRE-GAME!! 

Below, I'm going to list some of my favorite mixed drinks and tell you how to make them cheap! This way, you'll still get the same great tasting drinks that you would get at the bar, but for half the price.

The Force (my personal favorite- for bigger gatherings)

  • 24 pack of PBR 
  • 1 handle of Aristocrat 
  • 1 1/2 jars of the powder pink lemonade (Walmart brand, of course)

Cranberry and Vodka

  • This is probably the easiest mixed drink on the planet
  • $2 bottle of cranberry juice
  • Any type of vodka- cheap as you want! 
  • Feel free to add other juices (grapefruit, pineapple, orange) to make a whole new drink!

Daiquiris and Margaritas 

  • Go pick up one of the pre-made mixes
  • Add your preferred liquor (tequila, duh) and taste the magic!
  • If you don't really like the taste of these mixes, you can always go get the fruits needed for a margarita- it really isn't that expensive
  • Lemon/lime juice
  • Triple sec 
  • Tequila 

Whiskey and Coke

  • C'mon...do I really have to explain 
  • Jack works too! 

Lemon Drops

  • My other personal favorite!
  • All you have to do is combine lemon juice, vodka, and sugar for a delicious (no really, it's good) shot

Mojito

  • Believe it or not, this drink is actually not that expensive!
  • Club Soda
  • Mint leaves
  • Lime juice 
  • Rum (white)

Check back later this week for more mixed drinks and different tips!


    Madipalooza is finally here!

    Madipalooza- the day that (almost) all JMU students look forward to. Whether it be for the bands, the free food, free t-shirts, awesome activities, or after parties- Madipalooza has something for everyone! 

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    While it is a known tradition to do a little day-drinking before this amazing festival, make sure to be careful! Unfortunately, it is against the Madipalooza rules to bring any alcohol or illegal substances, and if you are visibly intoxicated, you will be kicked out of the festival! No one wants to miss all the games and free stuff just because they couldn't stand up straight, right? And besides, don't you want to remember the amazing time you have at Madipalooza?

    Also make sure to be careful if you do decide to day drink before the festival (only if of legal age, of course)! The sun will be strong that day, so those few mixed drinks could catch up to you a lot quicker than you were expecting.

    Even though you aren't allowed to drink at this spring fest, DON'T WORRY! The after parties of Madipalooza are known to be just as awesome as the festival itself.  

    So...how do you budget for these after parties? Well, you didn't hear it from me, but I heard that Madipalooza hands out some awesome drinks...drinks that could be used as mixers...catch my drift?

    Make sure to have fun, be safe, eat lots of food, and check back in to the Ramen Budget for more budgeting tips during Madipalooza! 


    Saving Money AND Calories

    Freshman Fifteen...yikes

    Not only are you gaining all that weight (more than likely) when you first get to college, but you're also losing all your money.  The culprit? More than likely: alcohol.

    But don't worry, YOU'RE IN LUCK! Turns out- the alcohols that are lowest in calories are also the lowest prices!

    So, the "best" choices for you to save money and calories are:

    1. Clear, unflavored liquors- cut out the unneeded sugar and flavors. 
    2. Shots! They get the job done and don't need any mixers
    3. Wine- Tasty and most are lower in calories

    Stay away from:

    1. Cream-based alcohol (Bailey's)- These are expensive, and let's face it- coffee creamer is safer.
    2. Fruity mixed drinks/syrups- switch to some cheap, fresh juices (orange juice is my favorite)
    3. Amaretto Sours- holy expensive!
    4. Darker, heavier, "craft" beers- Stick with the Natural Light and Busch Light

    10 Cheapest Ways to Get Drunk!

    Being able to afford rent, groceries, books, and alcohol is difficult- sometimes seeming impossible. Therefore, sometimes, as college students, we just need to suck it up and chug the gross stuff.  If it’s cheap and gets the job done, we should be able to deal with it for just 4 years…right?

    Although you’ll be considered the “cool” kid that goes out and buys bottles of Cîroc and Belvedere every weekend, your wallet will not be praising you as much.

    To help all you college students and budgeters with your dilemmas, I have compiled a list of the ten cheapest ways to get drunk!

    10. 6-pack tall boys- Depending on the brand, these will only run you about $6- $7! As long as you keep them to yourself, you’ll have a good buzz going on before the end.
    9.  Split a cheap 30 pack- Natural Light, Keystone, Busch Light- I’m sure you all know of these water tasting beers.  HOWEVER, they will get the job done, even though they aren’t exactly a craft beer.
    8. Oak’s Leaf- This semi-tasty wine is just $2!
    7. Natural Ice- Bet you didn’t think Natural Light could get any worse, right? Well guess again! Natural Ice has even more alcohol content, and tastes even more disgusting than Natty.  5.9% abv, $13 for a 30-pack, $1.83 per 3 oz. of alcohol
    6. Mad-Dogs- These will sneak up on you for cheap!
    5. Jungle Juice- Grab a bunch of your favorite $1 juices, some sodas, and cheap vodka and you have your own personal jungle juice! If you’re feeling fancy, you can add in some fruit too.
    4. Forty- Malt liquor…yikes. This is a type of beer with higher alcohol content that is sold in forty ounces for cheap.  I’m sure you have heard of Colt 45 or Steel Reserves, so go try them out for yourself and see!
    3. Franzia- A box of wine… what more could you ask for? This amazing invention contains 5 liters of your favorite type of wines- all for only about $15!
    2. Four Loko- We have all heard the horror stories that go along with these little devils. However, they will definitely get you drunk for cheap! These run about $2- $3.
    1. Burnette’s- Of course, number 1 on this list has to be the infamous Burnette’s vodka. Burnette’s has every flavor you could ever want and more. For just  $16 you can get a bottle of Burnette’s (1.75 L) or just $8 for 1/5 of vodka (750 mL)!

    There’s your list! So be safe, and make sure to budget while you drink!

    Until next time, 

    Alexis 

    Thank Goodness for St. Patrick

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In honor of this happy, booze-filled holiday, make sure to meet up with a bunch of friends, throw on some green, and head out to your favorite bar! Without a doubt, almost every bar today is going to have specials all day and all night.  You may even get lucky and find some bars that are having specials all week long!

    BUT if you want to budget The Ramen Budget way, make sure to head out to a restaurant or bar during Happy Hour! Although there are specials going on all day today, Happy Hour specials will be even more fantastic.

    Even when it is not St. Patrick’s Day, Happy Hours still run (normally Monday-Friday), and should be considered the best parts of your days!

    Personally, on St. Patrick’s Day, my favorite drinks is the (cheap) Green Dublin Apple Cocktail.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 oz. of Irish whiskey (or just whiskey for the budgeters)
    • 1 oz. of sour apple schnapps (or grab a cheap bottle of “Sour Apple Pucker”)
    • 2 oz. of white cranberry juice (Walmart brand, of course)

    So, make sure to head out to your favorite bar, celebrate with friends…, and have an Irish Car Bomb for me!

    Stay thrifty!

    Alexis 

      Don't Spend Your Rent Money at the Bar

      Nightlife in college is part of many students’ experiences…unfortunately; being broke is just as prominent in college as going out. Beinglow on cash should not be a reason for you to miss out on the nights that you will never remember with the college friends you will never forget, though!

      To make sure you’re able to go out with your friends to bars without (accidentally, of course) spending all of your rent money for the month, follow these tips!

      1. PREGAME! Play some drinking games with your friends before the bar! This way, you’ll have some fun competition and get a little buzz before heading out!

      2. NEVER open a tab! Some may have already experienced the regret that comes with this mistake. First, you get to the bar and open a tab. Next thing you know, you’re about to head out the door when the bartender tells you about your $200 bill that needs to be paid. Seeing how much you pay for each drink will let you know how much money you have left in your wallet.

      3. Airplane shots= best invention ever. At most bars, a shot of vodka will run you about $3-$4, which is COMPLETELY overpriced. Instead, head to the liquor store and grab a bunch of airplane shots for $1- $2! When you’re ready for another shot, sneak off to the bathroom and get to chugging!

      4. PAY ATTENTION to drink specials! These will save your life and your wallet. The drinks are almost always tasty and great deals!

      5. Figure out how you are getting home before you head out! Having an awesome friend come pick you up and DD is way cheaper than unexpectedly having to pay for a cab to come pick you up. Hopefully, you’ll be close enough to home to be able to walk or take a bus- just make sure you aren’t alone! These are just a few tips, so don’t worry, more will be coming soon! Make sure to follow these tips so you’re able to enjoy nights out with your friends! We won’t be able to forever, so take advantage.

      Have fun and stay thrifty!

      —-Alexis 

      Everyone Should Know Their ABCs

      A brand new ABC store has opened on Port Republic Road,right next to Food Lion at James Madison University. This opening raises the number of liquorstores available for JMU students to three! Before this new ABC store, students needed to either travel to the liquor store downtown on North Main St., or head over to the store next to Martin’s.

       

      People are now able to quickly head over to the new ABC distributor on Port Republic in order to grab the liquor for their tasty, cheap drinks.

      While the idea of an ABC store is extremely popular and more important than the actual ABCs to some, not all college students are lucky enough to experience such a dream come true. Did you know only eight states permit ABC stores? The other 42 states permit liquor sales at either private businesses or even wholesalers. The problem with this? These private stores and wholesalers are able to (and more likely to) raise the prices of their liquor over ABC store prices, because they are not government owned. Any college student knows that every penny counts, so a raise of $2 on liquor prices could force them to sacrifice a midnight meal from McDonalds! Don’t freak out, though! The Ramen Budget is here to help you budget correctly so you will be able to deal with these privately owned business prices on liquor AND afford your late night meal that night!

      Stay thrifty, guys!

      States with ABC Stores:

      • Virginia
      • North Carolina
      • Alabama
      • Idaho
      • New Hampshire (sold tax-free)
      • Pennsylvania
      • Utah
      • Washington