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The Greencheapskate

The Snobbish Wine Guest Switcheroo and Other Cheapskate Wine Tips

And now we shall sing the praises of boxed wine.


As you might have heard, it's a controversial element the NCPP ("National Cheapskate Profiling Program"). Many, but not all, cheapskates like me love box wine.

In fact, I'm fond of "recanting"—as opposed to "decanting"—the wine I serve our dinner guests. "Recanting: Secretly funneling inexpensive box wines into empty, premium brand bottles kept on hand for the express purpose of impressing guests who care about such superficial stuff."

I've done this for years, and no one has ever questioned the authenticity of the wine I serve. Not even wine snobs have enough confidence in their taste buds to question what the label on the fancy bottle is telling them. If you don't believe me, this study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the California Institute of Technology essentially proved the same thing.

> Related: 8 Boxed Wines and Meals to Pair With Them

Not only is box wine a terrific value when it comes to saving money, but there's more and more research showing that—compared to most bottled wines—it's saving Mother Nature, too. According to the American Association of Wine Economists and other industry sources, boxed wine (a.k.a. "bag-in-box" packaging) decreases landfill waste by roughly 85 percent and is more than 50 percent more carbon efficient when compared to wine packaged in traditional glass bottles.

In short, the production, transportation, and disposal (whether recycled or otherwise) of bag-in-box wine leaves a shot-glassed sized carbon footprint compared to most wines packaged in glass bottles. And, as the box wine industry is quick to point out, less wine tends to go to waste with box wine, since bag-in-box packaging inhibits oxidation for six weeks or even longer after opening, something that can quickly ruin bottled wine if it isn't consumed shortly after it is first uncorked. (Unless you're looking to make vinegar.)

Then again, who can imagine any wine ever going to waste? FYI, if nothing else, leftover wine can be frozen in an ice cube tray to use later in cooking, or even poured into your compost pile.

> Related: How to Compost Almost Anything

As an added bonus, most box wine comes with a surprise inside, kind of like Cracker Jack. In this case, the surprise is the plastic "wine bladder" inside the box. Sure, they can usually be recycled, but I like to save and repurpose plastic wine bladders in a number of ways; like filling them with water and using as a slow-drip irrigation bag placed next to newly planted trees and shrubs, or inflating them with air to use as a unique, aroma-rich packing cushion in gift packages I send to special friends.

jeff yeager sleeps on a pillow made from the bladder of box wine

Or, my favorite: Next time you get on a crowded airplane, whip out a box wine bladder and start to inflate it to use as a comfy travel pillow. I guarantee you that when you do, the guy next to you will immediately change seats and leave you all the room you need to really stretch out. I'll drink to that.

Jeff Yeager is the author of:
* The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches: A Practical (and Fun) Guide to Enjoying Life More by Spending Less, and
* The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means
* Find more of Jeff at www.UltimateCheapskate.com, Twitter and Facebook

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Being a Green Cheapskate isn't just about saving money; it's about living lighter on the Earth and sharing more with those in need. From frugal tricks to thrifty planning, cheap is cool and ultra-green. read more.
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