Originally Posted by chemist308
So, I don't like the idea of brewing a batch for $50. That said, two 3# bags of extract can run you close to $30 or $40 depending on where you buy them. Where do you get your best online deals for extract? I'm seeing grape.net running about $12.5 for a 3# bag of Muntons. So with two of those plus a few specialty grains, a small amount of hops and the yeast and I'm hiting over $50 with the shipping to brew one batch. Does it come any cheaper or am I being a real cheapskate here?
Well to answer your question rather than tell you to convert to all grain. My last batch was an ESB and cost me $25, I used 6lbs LME, 1.5lb grains, 2oz hops and I reused yeast. Now I had a 10% coupon for my LBHS so before discount it was $27.5.
What type of beers are you making? If you are doing really hoppy beers they are going to be expensive. My local brew shop sells LME for about $3/lb I can't remember what dry costs maybe $4.5 or so.
I have great results reusing yeast, if you are not doing this I would highly suggest it and I will save you $8 right off the top. I am also starting to grow yeast out of bottle conditioned commercial beers.
For yeast washing check this out http://homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=41768
for harvesting yeast from bottles read this http://byo.com/departments/1361.html
The other thing you can do to save money is buy things like bottle caps and priming sugar in bulk.
Or if you want to go with kits Austin Home Brew Supply has kits starting at $25-30 including everything. Shipping is $7 so the cost of shipping each kit gets cheaper with the more you order. I know you want to support your local guy but if you have to order online I really like AHBS, Forest the owner often posts on here and helps people plus the ship really fast and package well.
EDIT AHBS is giving 10% this saturday load up