Celebrating Saint Patrick's Day on a budget is the way to go for many Irish people. St. Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays that can easily sneak up on you and suddenly turn into a day that costs a couple of hundred dollars if you aren’t careful.
There's something about this Irish celebration that lures people to a pub, to drown the shamrock, all the while saying goodbye to too many dollars as they join in the Irish themed fun.
But, trust me! There's no need for too much malarkey and shenanigans. You can still have a great time on St. Patrick’s Day without having to break the bank. Here are a few ways for you to have a festive St. Patrick’s Day celebration while sticking to a budget.
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Drink at Home
If drinking was in your plans for the day rather than going out and drinking terrible beer that has been dyed green stay home and invite some friends over!
Ask everyone to bring their drink of choice. (It doesn’t have to be Guinness!) Then you can put on a traditional Irish music playlist to put on while you’re sitting around having a chat. You can find quite a few of these on Youtube or on Spotify.
Or if you prefer you can put on some movies either about Ireland or that were filmed in Ireland.
Raise your glass to Ireland, drink to your friends' health with the Irish toast "sláinte" (pronounced slaw-in-cha), and sit back, relax and enjoy a good chat.
Shop at Discount Stores Like Aldi
If you want to save money on your St. Patrick’s Day meal then consider doing as the Irish do, and shop at Lidl or Aldi.
If you can’t find corned beef there then consider one of these other dishes that are more like what you would actually find on an Irish dinner table on Paddy’s Day.
Some of my favorites are shepherd's pie, Dublin coddle or a delicious Guinness beef stew.
Not only will this give you a more authentic Irish experience, but you’ll also be saving money while you do it.
Use What You’ve Already Got
You don’t need a new outfit every year for St. Patrick’s Day and neither do your kids. In fact, chances are that you’ve got something green in your closet already that you can throw on and call it a day.
While a lot of college students will go all out buying their “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” shirts, getting their faces painted, and wearing silly headgear, the truth is that you don’t need any of those things to have a good time. Wear what you’ve already got in your closet.
If You’re Traveling to Ireland, Don’t Stay in Dublin
Going to Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day is an absolute blast. But, it is also insanely popular. This means that hotel prices shoot sky high for the week around Paddy’s Day.
The best way to avoid this is to avoid the major cities, but especially Dublin. If you still want to attend the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Dublin consider staying in one of the commuter towns like Greystones, Bray, or Swords. Airbnb in these locations is the best option.
But, I’ve also put together a list of some other fantastic places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland.
Many rural towns in Ireland put on Saint Patrick's Day parades. They're not extravagant, and you'll see plenty of farm tractors transporting Saint Patrick around the town, but there's plenty of fun for everyone. In Ireland this is a day for little ones, who wear their Saint Patrick's Day badges with honor.
Don’t Go to Chicago or New York
Once again on the topic of traveling for St. Patrick’s Day…if you want a Paddy’s Day celebration on the cheap find one in a nearby city.
Traveling to a big city like New York or Chicago is insanely expensive.
If you want to still feel like you’ve gone away for the big day then consider alternatives like San Francisco, Madison, or Buffalo. Did you know Savannah, Georgia hosts one of the biggest Saint Patrick's Day parades in the United States.
And remember, parades are often scheduled for the Saturday or Sunday before Saint Patrick's Day, if the date falls on a weekday. So check your local listings to be sure when your local celebrations are happening.
You’ll get the same experience you’d find in the bigger cities but at a fraction of the price.
Celebrate Saint Patrick From The Comfort Of Your Own Home
If you don't feel like venturing out, but still wish to celebrate your Irish heritage, then you don't have to stray far from home at all.
Simply wear something green and enjoy an Irish movie.
I created a whole list of ideas for celebrating Saint Patrick indoors, which I hope will give you some inspiration.
Whatever you choose to do this Saint Patrick's Day, I hope your celebrations won't break the bank.
Be proud of all things Irish and Irish American, enjoy your day, and toast Saint Patrick.
Here are some other stories about all things Irish and Irish American that you might enjoy.
Celebrating St. Patrick's Day Around The World
Lissadell House - A Family History
Bloom - A New Film Based On James Joyce's Ulysses
Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade
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