T his Saturday is St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday that’s near and dear to my heart — I am, after all, three quarters Irish. I am also a college student, my favorite sweatshirt reads “Shamrock and Roll” and I like beer. Basically, St. Pat and me have a major bromance going on.

Last year, in honor of the year, I wrote about the Irish food of choice: the potato, an incredibly cheap food, if you calculate cents per calorie (which nerds like me do). This year, I’ve already been putting an inordinate amount of time into thinking about festivities for the night.

I’m going to tell you how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like a true Irish person, which is to say, cheaply, since we all automatically imagine the Irish living in hovels as subsistence peasant farmers, surviving on cabbage and potatoes and just giving stuff to the English all the time.

1. Don’t, whatever you do, go to the bars. Just make that decision for yourself right now. They often have exorbitant covers just because of the holiday, and it’s just not worth it. It’ll be crowded and loud, and there will be no room to break out the jig I know you’ve been practicing just for the occasion.

2. Similarly, don’t buy any extra green things. The world seems to be filled with obnoxious green accessories right now — trucker hats and beads and the like — but these are mere distractions. Either you’ll wear them once and end up throwing them out months later, or you’ll try to keep wearing them and just look like a tool. Just put all of your already-owned green things on at once and allow them to clash to their full, magnificent capacity.

3. Have a potluck/party at your house. Delegate guests to bring items. We did this last year — and it’s super cheap. Food can include corned beef, bacon, potatoes (of all kinds), carrots, bread, cabbage, and of course, more than a few people brought Guinness.

Apparently, worldwide consumption of Guinness skyrockets from 5.5 million pints on an average day of the year to 13 million pints on St. Patrick’s Day.

4. Go hunting for the elusive green McDonald’s shake. It was originally introduced in 1970 but then discontinued in 1990. Apparently it’s better than you would expect from McDonalds — inspiring “rave reviews from milkshake connoisseurs.” It garnered such a cult following that it was re-introduced to certain stores in 2008.

The shake is rumored to have websites documenting all the green shake locations. Venture to different McDonald’s stores and sooner or later you’re bound to find one. This probably costs no more than $3 for a whole afternoon of fun.

5. Reward yourself. If you actually succeed in staying away from Pearl Street the whole night, reward yourself the next day with $2 Irish Bloody Marys and Irish Mimosas at Conor O’Neills, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

But if you can’t stay away, I don’t blame you. I feel your pain. Just try not to knock anybody out with your epic dance moves this year, OK?

Vivian Underhill is an environmental sciences major at CU and writes about being cheap once a week for the Colorado Daily.

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