How to Save Money When Making Wine at Home
One of the advantages of making wine at home is that it allows you to drink great tasting wine at a low cost per bottle price when compared to buying wine at the store. As a hobby winemaker, we love being able to keep our costs low. In fact, even when factoring in the initial purchase price of the winemaking equipment, each bottle of wine that we make costs us less than $4.
How do we keep the cost per bottle of wine so low? Here are my three tips on how you can save money when making wine at home.
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In my house, we are big recyclers. Before we started making wine at home, each empty bottle went into the recycling bin. Once we started making wine and bought our first batch of new bottles, we thought, why not just reuse each bottle instead of recycling?
While there have been times when we have had to buy more bottles because we didn’t have enough empty ones in reserve, we can say that we have purchased very few bottles when compared to how much wine we make.
When it comes to having enough bottles, we don’t just reuse the empty bottles we purchased. Also, when we do buy our favorite wines or receive wine as gifts, we reuse those bottles too. We even have friends and family who will give us their empty bottles for the occasional full bottle in return.
While it might take a while for you to build up your supply, reusing wine bottles can be a huge cost saver when making wine at home.
A case of 12 empty green wine bottles costs around $24. That means for each bottle you reuse, you save $2.
Avoid Adding Foil
The foil tops on wine bottles serve one primary purpose – decoration. When making wine at home that will be drunk at home, this decoration is just an added cost instead of a necessity.
We almost never add the foil toppers to our wine bottles unless we are giving a bottle as a gift. And honestly, we sometimes don’t even add them then.
The price of each foil capsule can vary depending on the design and how many you buy at once. On average you save about $0.14 per bottle when you do not add the decorative foil.
Skip the Labels
If you are making wine to consume at home, wine labels are an unneeded item.
In our household, we only make and add wine labels to bottles for one reason – when we are giving a bottle of wine as a gift. Otherwise, our bottles sit naked. Or, if I’m honest, they sometimes are still dressed with previous wine labels we were too lazy to remove.
You might be wondering how to identify each batch if you do not stick labels to each bottle.
In our house, we write on the wine cork. We include the month and year the wine was bottled and the initials of the wine type.
By following these three tips, you can save, on average, $2.50 per bottle. It might not sound like much, but it adds up.
Each batch of wine makes about 25-27 bottles. That means we save $62.50 to $67.50 each time we bottle a new batch of wine. Seeing we bottle six to eight batches per year, we can save up to $540 each year from following these tips when we are making wine at home.
Another way to look at it is thinking about the percentage we save with each bottle of wine. At the beginning of this post, I said that cost us between $3 and $4 per bottle we make. If I always used new bottles and added foils and labels, it would cost us about $5.50 to $6.50 per bottle. That means that by following these three tips, we save between 38% and 45% depending on what we pay for that batch’s kit.
If you are going to be a long-time at-home winemaker, a 38% to 45% discount per bottle is too good to pass up.
Are there any other ways you save money when making wine at home? Share in the comments.