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Stogie Commentary: Saving a Few Bucks

9 Mar 2009

What with rising cigar prices, rising cigar taxes and rising economic anxiety, most of us are looking for ways to save money. With that in mind, here are a few tips and thoughts you may not have considered, and at least one I’m sure you have.

5 cent cigar1. If you are the sort of occasional smoker who chooses a good cigar when you have the time and place to enjoy it, it can be difficult to save money without sacrificing some pleasure. (Unless, of course, you’re routinely toasting $20-$30 cigars, in which case you probably don‘t need my advice.) I think your best bet is to try to identify what it is you like most about your current sticks and see if there is a lower-priced line that’s close. Some of the smaller brands, such as Oliva, Alec Bradley, Camacho, and Toraño, have good, cheaper offerings.

2. For those who smoke regularly, take a good look at when and how you’re smoking. Do you barely notice a stick or two a day smoked while working? Or on the golf course? Or during a poker game? If this is the case, you could look at lower-priced sticks for those occasions. My advice on where to find them is different from what you frequently hear. I recommend the cheaper lines made by giants Altadis or General rather than searching out no-name bundles. The reasons? Consistency, quality, and availability. If you can find one you like, you can be pretty sure that the next one will taste like the previous one. And the likelihood of plugs, split wrappers, or bad rolls is smaller. Finally, it’s easy to find a couple of singles to try before you commit.

3. Similarly, don’t overlook the house brands at your local B&Ms. Again, the advantage is that you can smoke a couple before committing to a box or bundle. Many house brands are moderate- to low-priced and often they’re good (or even great) smokes.

4. This one’s been said a thousand times, but it bears repeating—and remembering. Don’t go nuts on cigar auction sites. If you engage, set limits and stick to them.

In the end, don’t forget what cigar smoking is all about: individual pleasure and enjoyment. Only you can decide how much that’s worth.

-George E

photo credit: Flickr

Drew Estate