EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

The Beer Bed Saving Scheme

in Case Study, Money

It’s always interesting to see how people devise methods to save money, but 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 and two guys 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 I noticed in their residence room the space under their bed was getting full with beer cases (which suggests just how much they were drinking, however, they also did scrounge empty bottles and cases around campus too, I found out later).

The next time I noticed (a few weeks later) a single chair was created from the empty cases in the room, and 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), and the bed frame was sitting on the beer cases. This continued on and “levels” were added until at the end of the term 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 (so about 1920 bottles give or take an empty slot somewhere). That was a lot of beer, as I said, I don’t think they drank it all (because that would be averaging about 8 beers a day at school), but no matter how it happened they had a lot of stubbies.

A historical note, this was in the day of the “stubby” bottle, so 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.

In the day, the deposit on those bottles was 5 cents, so they had $96.00 at the end of the term, which paid for their bus tickets home (however they had to get the cases to the beer store, which did take a couple of trips), but they were able to go home using their “savings plan”.

I think this is an interesting 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”, so 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, but that has nothing to do with the financial aspect of this story.


  • 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. http://www.canadianliving.com/food/entertaining/canadian_beer_bottles_do_you_know_your_history.php

    • bigcajunman October 2, 2014, 4:06 PM

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

  • 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.

  • 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.


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