Cutting down on alcohol at home

Many of us will find ourselves staying at home for extended periods of time during the coronavirus outbreak. Try these five simple ideas to help you cut down your drinking.

Keep track of your alcohol units

The UK Chief Medical Officers' (CMO) low risk drinking guidelines recommend it’s safest for both men and women to not regularly drink more than 14 units each week. That’s equivalent to six pints of average strength lager (4% ABV), or six medium glasses of wine (175ml, 12% ABV). Spread your units out over the week and take several drink-free days.

Use our Unit and Calorie Calculator to make calculating alcohol units a lot easier or download our free Drinkaware: Track and Calculate Units app to track your drinking over time.

Home measures


Take the guesswork out of pouring by getting yourself an alcohol measuring cup – even ordinary food weighing scales will do the trick. You can then be more accurate when you pour wine, beer or other alcoholic drinks, and you’ll be able to keep track of how much you’re drinking. Why not order a unit measuring cup from our online shop?

Go small


Trends in wine glasses can make it hard to judge what’s small, medium or large. But did you know that a 250ml wine measure is actually almost a third of a bottle of wine? An easy way of cutting down is to buy small (125ml) wine glasses for the house, rather than large 250ml ones, and half pint glasses for drinking beer or lager. It’s also a myth that wine doesn’t keep overnight, you just need a good bottle stop.

Drink free days


When you allocate certain days of the week to go drink-free, you’re more likely to stick to it. Challenge yourself to come up with other activities at home instead of drinking alcohol in the evenings or at weekends, for example, having a games night, taking a long bath or trying a new cake recipe.

Get inventive with alternatives


The trend for ‘NoLo’ (no alcohol or low alcohol drinks) is growing in popularity in pubs and other venues. There are also lots of alcohol-free and lower strength alcohol alternative drinks on supermarket shelves these days. You can find alternative wines, alcohol-free spirit mixers to make cocktails and both alcohol-free and low ABV beers.

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Last Reviewed: 23rd April 2020

Next Review due: 23rd April 2023

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