Frugal Friday- Two Buck Chuck

  Here in the Diaper Diary household, we likey some wine. Some days more than others. Some days earlier than others. It just depends on the day. And my children. Or my hubby forcing me to watch hockey when Survivor, Ugly Betty and Grey’s Anatomy are on. Tonight I cracked a bottle open to commemorate the beginning of hockey widow season.

Here is a brief history of my love of wine:

  • 1993: Introduced to Boone’s Farm, every college girl’s favorite wine. Seriously, how is this called wine? Since I was not yet 21, my mother reads this blog, and it is in fact a Christian blog….let’s just move right along.
  • 1998:In graduate school my palate becomes more refined as I move up to white zinfandel in a box. Classy.
  • 1999: Future hubby takes me on our first date to a wine tasting at a WAY classy place. There are varietals, there are food pairings. There is me, quite confused but trying to impress, so I pretend to like a lot of things that frankly taste like I am licking bark.
  • 2001: Hubby and I marry and begin to experiment with different kinds of wine. We go to some wineries. We even sign up for a wine club through a local winery. My love affair with wine only grows stronger as I discover reds.
  • 2003: Although thrilled to be pregnant, count down the days until this baby is born so I can have wine.
  • 2006: See above.
  • Today:We’ve come a long way baby. Now I love the whole spectrum of wine from a sweet summer Riesling to a rich, dark Red Zinfandel. (BTW, Boone’s Farm and white zin in a box do NOT fall on the spectrum)

Now here is the deal with being a frugal wine lover. In my humble opinion, it is the best kind of wine lover to be. Cause you buy wine cheap and if it stinks, you throw it out and aren’t out that much. It allows you to try all sorts of crazy wines without feeling guilty about spending your children’s college fund. Seriously people these bottles cost less than a latte a Starbucks.

Our personal cheap wine havens? Trader Joes and Cost Plus World Market. Hey Trader Joes people? Hear me? I am plugging your glorious store. The least you could do is put one in my town so I don’t have to buy cases full of food whenever I am in Chicago.

Trader Joes is famous for its “Two Buck Chuck.” Charles Shaw wines priced at $2.99. So I guess it should be three buck chuck, but nobody calls it that. Now this isn’t the best wine ever created but it is pretty darn good considering what you paid. They also have tons of other wines for under $10. I am a fan of the funky label. The funkier, the more likely I am to give it a try.

Which leads me to Cost Plus, home of the funky labels. They have tons of affordable wines from all over the world. Many are quite good and allow you to sample different varietals without freaking out about the price. If you are a wine newbie, this will help you discover what you like. Then you can try other wines from the same grape and most likely you will find some favorites. Mine: Sauvignon Blanc in the summer and a nice Shiraz or Cabernet in the winter.

I am by no means an expert, but I do thing you can really enjoy some nice bottles of wine for under $10. Considering at most restaurants a glass is at a minimum, $5, I think that is a pretty fantastic deal.

For more fantastic deals, head on over to Biblical Womanhood.

*this post may or may not have been written under the influence of a delicious bottle of $2.99 wine.


  1. I’m generally not a wine drinker, however we did get to go to a vineyard in Maui on our honeymoon….check this out–Framboise de Maui – Raspberry Wine.. Excellent–even for me, the non-wine drinker.

    Sweet and rich: http://www.mauiwine.com/special.html

  2. If you live near a Beverages & More, they often have a .5 cent sale. Where you buy one bottle ‘o wine at regular price and the 2nd one for ….that’s right….5 cents!! Hubby LOVES that sale…..but you do gotta love Trader Joes!!!

    Katis last blog post..Good-bye Grays…

  3. Ohhhh, yummy wine…is it weird that my only pregnancy craving is for alcohol? I’ve been a good girl, but I’m counting down the days….and that would be 87.

  4. Man, we miss Trader Joe’s. SO wish this town had one.

    Sarah @ Short Stops last blog post..Move On Over, George Clooney.

  5. Chandra says:

    Here’s our funny wine story: Hubby and I went to Sydney, Australia in 2006 on a business trip with the CEO of his company. He and his wife took us to a nice dinner one night.

    They asked (just out of the blue) to pick our favorite year in nineties. We pick 1992. They think it must be the year we got married. Sadly we are younger than they are and admit that it is when we graduated high school!

    They proceed to order a bottle of 1992 wine that cost $500. It was good, but somewhat wasted on us, because we are the $5 a glass wine drinkers!

  6. Wine is lovely…I have become quite the fan of reds myself! Though we have found some great wines at Trader Joe’s (there is one near us…sorry), we have found other great wines that aren’t too expensive. If you can find Bonnano shiraz, give it a try. Last time I bough it I paid around $8.99. Being from the land of marsupial oddities, I am partial to a good Aussie wine. There are about, I don’t know, ten thousand to try – I recommend Water Wheel shiraz. Wonderful!

    Melanies last blog post..Everything I know I learned from Toy Story

  7. another great way to learn about wine without breaking the bank (and even getting paid for it!) is to work at Olive Garden for awhile. that was my entry into the world of wine.

    katherine from senor elefantes last blog post..photo fun

  8. You are cracking me UP with your wine timeline. timewine? I hope you aren’t scandalizing any readers of Biblical Womanhood!

    Jenny from Mommin’ It Up!s last blog post..A SAHM’s Day in Numbers

  9. I did notice while walking through a Trader Joe’s that for such a wee store, they did have quite the adult beverage selection…

    jeans last blog post..connecting the dots

  10. I too love Sauv Blancs for white and Zinfandels (red, not white) for reds. I got pregnant with Oliver after drinking 2 buck chuck.

    Olivias last blog post..Things I Love Thursday

  11. I found you through Sarah’s blog — I am a cheap wine lover myself. I also can relate to your wine timeline…I’m a bit ahead of you years-wise, but followed the same path. Love your blog!

    Taras last blog post..A hubby quiz…

  12. Tried a sip of wine once. Would have felt guilty except my mom tasted too. Didn’t care for it and have never tried it since. I guess I am missing something here?

    If ever the urge to retry wine hits, I’ll remember your post.

    jubilees last blog post..Can I Get That Intravenously, Please?

  13. I love “House Wine” from World Market. It’s a rich red blend of I don’t know what, and only has a stark white lable with House Wine in black. It runs around $10, and is the best red for about anything!

    Chars last blog post..Weekend Delight & When Things go Terribly Wrong

  14. do you know I was JUST thinking that it’s about time I joined your TILT carnival, and what reminded me of that was how much I love the two buck chuck. And then you posted on it! too funny.

    seriously, dollar-for-dollar, this is the best value wine in the market. and I would know.

    Erin Gs last blog post..Mickey D’s Mocha: Not for Me

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