I'm not even a little bit Irish, but my best friend of two decades is full-blooded, and St. Patrick's day is a BIG deal in her family, which means we always have fun celebrating together.
Plus, what's not to love about a holiday that turns everything green—it’s like the whole world is raining cash!
Read on to discover great ways to celebrate and save on this one-of-a-kind annual holiday!
What we spend on St. Patrick’s Day
Oddly, the holiday that prompts eateries and bars in every city in American to set up outdoor tents and stay open for three days straight is actually the cheapest holiday in our annual calendar!
On average, we will spend around $35 each to celebrate ($32 for women and $45 for men)—for a total of approximately $4.7 billion.
Our $35 will mainly fund green clothing, green beverages and green home decorations.
How will you spend your $35 this March 17th?
Make your own luck with St. Patrick’s Day sales
Just like any other special date in our annual calendar, for retailers St. Patrick's Day is a great occasion to host a sale online or in-store!
4 Easy ways to shop the sales on St. Patrick’s Day:
- Online coupon code "handles" to look for: GETLUCKY, SHAMROCK, POTOFGOLD and IRISH
- Retailers hosting sales in 2014 (look for them again this year!): H&M, Target, Urban Outfitters, Ann Taylor, Victoria's Secret, Free People, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch, The Limited, J.Crew, Gap, Calvin Klein, Express, Banana Repubic, ASOS, White House Black Market and Priceline.
- Tune in to the KCL "Deals" page: Lots of "lucky" steals and deals here for St. Patrick's Day!
- Bookmark the KCL "Coupons" pages: Nab printables, e-coupons and more!
STICK TO A BUDGET WHEN YOU CELEBRATE
Along with shopping the sales for green items you can use all year (Christmas, anyone?), it really is possible to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and stick to your budget too!
Your keys to celebrating "Everyone is Irish" day on a budget:
- Bring cash and leave the credit at home.
- Scope out where to go for the cheapest festivities.
- Set a budget in advance and program reminder alerts into your phone for the big night.
- Eat a big meal at home so you won't be tempted by pricey snacks later on.
- Stick to "big batch" green beer and stay away from specialty cocktails and say no to the up-sale "commemorative mugs."
Festive freebies to look for
There is no reason to pay to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! Most cities host free community festivities, and so long as you steer clear of pricey live music, most eateries and bars will let you in for the cost of a mug of green beer.
Festive freebies to watch for in your city:
- St. Patrick's Day parades.
- St. Patty's pub crawls (find them on Meetup.com or at your favorite brew spot).
- Free outdoor kid-friendly craft fairs and festivals.
- Community block parties.
- Local brewery tours (with complimentary tastings).
- Irish cook-off competitions.
- Lectures and films about Irish history.
- Bagpipe and fiddle demonstrations.
- 5K fun runs and charity events.
- Irish blessing events at local churches.
Keep it cheap by celebrating at home
I'm not really big on crowds, which St. Patrick's Day festivities are famous for. For the last few years, I've enjoyed sneaking over to a friend's house for a quiet celebration instead.
We like to make our own Irish-themed classic beverages and go pot-luck style on Irish favorites for dinner.
DIY beverage recipes:
- Irish Coffee: 6 oz hot coffee, 1-2 shots whiskey, a dash of heavy cream and sugar to taste.
- Green beer: 1-2 drops green food coloring into whatever was on sale this week!
- Irish Flag Shooter: Layer one shot crème de menthe (green), Irish cream (white), Grand Marnier (orange)—one tasty Irish flag coming right up!
Free apps and Pinterest posts are your friends here—check these out!
- St. Patrick's Recipes (iOS, free, 4+/5 stars)
- St. Patrick's Recipes (Android, free, 4/5 stars)
- St. Patrick's Day on Pinterest
Plus entertain the kiddos with free apps:
Bonus tip: Visit Ireland live with Earth Cam!
I've never been to Ireland, but it is on the "to visit" list. Until I can get there in person, I’m satisfying my curiosity with Earth Cam's live feed to Ireland on St. Patrick's Day.
- Earth Cam to Dublin, Ireland: See all the action as it happens on the streets of Dublin!