A penny saved is a penny earned... but if you’re a wedding guest, you usually have to be prepared to stump up wads of cash.
Not only do you have to shell out for a present for the happy couple, there’s the cost of a new outfit and a hotel room for the night.
And let’s not forget the sky-high costs of alcohol at many venues which see the prospect of a captive audience as the perfect moneyspinner.
But there’s an abundance of booze busters out there who’ve come up with ingenious ways of sneaking their own alcohol into places to evade pricey drinks.
“Are you drinking Coke?” a former boss asked a colleague incredulously at a wedding evening reception a few years ago. “You’re not driving?”
“Keep your voice down!” hissed back the girl before taking a big swig of her soft drink and topping it up with a miniature bottle of vodka produced from her oversized clutch bag.
She’s not the only one as there’s countless crafty folk with cunning plans to evade hefty drink prices.
And this prudent behaviour isn’t restricted to weddings – people have concocted all sorts of ways to secrete food and drink into festivals, concerts and cinemas to bypass extortionate mark-ups.
The topic has people divided with some labelling it as “stingy” and “tacky” or arguing it deprives businesses of their livelihood while others applaud the act for its audacious austerity.
Then there are those who are have secret admiration for people with such chutzpah – but would never quite dare do it themselves.
For me, the most fascinating thing about the whole concept is the creative methods employed to sidestep costly food and drinks.
One particularly thrifty friend, a bit of an expert in money-saving, confessed a “car bar” is handy at weddings.
She said: “I keep alcohol supplies in my car boot and then buy lemonade or Coke and go to my car for the spirits.”
She also told how a hip flask was useful, but her most mind-boggling revelation was that there are actually contraptions devised and created for the purpose of alcohol sneaking.
Apparently, there’s bracelets with handy screw-tops that you can pour spirits into and transfer to your glass when no one’s looking.
There are even handbags that look perfectly innocuous but have hidden taps at the side or bottom and can carry as much as the contents of two bottles of wine.
She also shared her frugal food tips with me – such as filling the kids’ pockets with sweets and popcorn before going to the cinema which I’m sure many do.
But more inventively, she says she’s taken wine, cheese and biscuits hidden in nappy changing bags.
One work colleague sheepishly admitted to taking sandwiches wrapped in foil to watch the cricket – but squashed between the filling were little bottles of booze.
However, some of my real favourites are having your own catheter bag, carrying around fake suncream bottles that contain alcohol and taking ice packs that are actually packed with booze.
They do say: “If you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves.”