Re-gift yourself a cheapo bottle of wine by turning it into a seasonal ambrosia. Simmer a handful of spices like star anise, cinnamon, citrus peel and cloves with raw sugar and a splash of wine for five minutes to infuse flavours, then add the rest of the bottle, stir and remove from heat.
BYOB cocktail party
Want to host a cocktail party without maxing out your third credit card? Make a list of necessary booze and have each of your pals bring a bottle with the promise that you'll play bartender for the evening. Best part: as host, you get to keep the leftovers.
Cheap and cheerful wines
Crisp and fruity, Argento Pinot Grigio (750 ml/$9.95, LCBO 620492) is a safe everyday white for under 10 bones, while Luccarelli Primitivo (750 ml/ $10.45, LCBO 253856) is a big red for minimal dough.
Whisky for less
If you're seeking a smooth dram for great value, pick up Alberta Springs 10 Year Old Canadian Whisky (750 ml/ $24.45, LCBO 6361) or Gibson's Finest 12 Year Old Whisky (750 ml/$27.95, LCBO 3558).
Four Roses Bourbon (750 ml/$24.95, LCBO 256222) is two bucks off regular price ($26.95) till February 2. Drop less than $10 on some sugar, an orange and a bottle of Angostura bitters and you've got yourself 13 old-fashioneds for under $40 - an impossible-to-beat $3 per 2-ounce cocktail.
Find yourself blasting through craft beer at home? Grabbing growlers straight from local breweries or brew pubs like the Granite (245 Eglinton East, 416-322-0723, granitebrewery.ca), Indie Ale House (2876 Dundas West, 416-760-9691, indiealehouse.com), Bellwoods (124 Ossington, 416-535-4586, bellwoodsbrewery.com) and Mill Street Brew Pub (21 Tank House Lane, 416-681-0338, millstreetbrewpub.ca) might be the way to go. Sixty-four ounces can run you $10 to $15, depending on the brew (plus jug deposits, starting at $4).
If you're really cash-strapped and flavour is a non-issue, you can crush a six of PBR (6x355 ml/$9, LCBO 921478) for cheaper than usual until February 2.