The Beer Bed Saving Scheme

in Case Study, Money

It’s always interesting to see how people devise methods to save money. One of the most interesting I ever ran into was in 1st year University. I am not sure whether the beer bed plan was deliberate or it was just a happy coincidence, but it ended up working out quite well.

Every floor in a university residence has the party guys, or the drinking guys. Our floor had some heavier drinkers. Two of the heavier drinkers came up with a novel way to “save” for the end of year trip home.

The Noble and Under-appreciated Stubby
The Noble and Under-appreciated Stubby

After the 3rd week of class the space under their bed was filling with empty beer cases. This suggests just how much they were drinking. They also did scrounge empty bottles and cases around campus too, I found out later.

A few weeks later a single chair was created from the empty cases in the room. I thought that was a good idea.

Around the beginning of the winter term I noticed the cases had moved back under their beds and the legs had been removed (from the beds). The bed frame were sitting on the beer cases. This continued on and levels were added until at the end of the term. By then they had beds that were about 4 beer cases wide, 4 beer cases long and ended up 5 cases high, so about 80 beer cases total. This was about 1920 bottles give or take an empty slot or two. That was a lot of beer. I don’t think they drank it all (because that would be averaging about 8 beers a day at school). No matter how it happened they had a lot of stubbies.

A historical note, this was in the day of the “stubby” bottle. The beds were not that tall even though it was 5 cases high! Some days I miss the stubby, but I think it is mostly nostalgic reasons.

The deposit on those bottles was 5 cents, so they had $96.00 at the end of the term. This amount paid for their bus tickets home (however they had to get the cases to the beer store, which did take a couple of trips). This meant they were able to go home using their bed savings plan. If you heard a beer savings plan, you might think they put their money in their mattress.

I liked this idea because most folks would simply have put their deposit money back into their next beer purchase and the money would never have really been “saved”. Using this method assured the money was saved. It’s also interesting to remember just how much was drunk in my first year of university. Luckily this has nothing to do with the financial aspect of this story. It is, however, a topic to think about if you are planning on going to University. How much are you going to drink, and how much is it going to cost?

{ 4 comments }

  • Robert Champion October 2, 2014, 2:59 PM

    Yes, I recall a good friend furnishing his student accommodation with with beer case furniture. Do you remember the urban legend re the development of the stubby? I recall the story being that it was to prevent bottles being used as a weapon as could be done with a long neck bottle. The truth is more mundane.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman October 2, 2014, 4:06 PM

      Excellent link! Thanks for the “beer furniture chic” article.

      Reply
  • Matt January 16, 2013, 12:05 AM

    This made me laugh – while in one way the guys were smart to save all those empties to get the money to get home their room must have had an interesting smell to it. I would have probably gone with reinvesting into beer, but hitchhiking home takes a lot more effort than taking the bus.

    Reply
  • Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle January 15, 2013, 6:51 PM

    I seperate all my American change from my change jar and I roll it seperately and I don’t spend it. I have about $40.00 American for some giant emergency or if I ever drive over the border. I started seperating years ago when our dollar was much weaker than theirs.

    I have many rolls of coins, mainly pennies, tucked away in a cupboard but it is there if I ever need it.

    Reply

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