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Lowering the Bar: 5 Places to Drink For Cheap (or Free) This Week

Each week we bring you our picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF. 

1. Red Red Red: We love Spencer & Daniel's, the discount wine retailer on Polk St., but it's always hard to know what to choose when confronted with their sometimes-esoteric, frequently changing selection. Luckily, they have tasting events every few months that are a cheap and delightful way to find some low-priced wines to love. Their next shindig, at neighboring Space Gallery, will focus on the comforting winter warmth of red wine, with numerous options available to try. They'll also have bottle giveaways and a DJ, all at the reasonable price of $10. Be sure to buy tickets in advance-- the price doubles at the door. (Thursday, January 14, 6-8 pm, at Space Gallery, 1141 Polk St., Polk Gulch.)

2. Moonlight Martinis: We're always meaning to visit the Cliff House, the historic space with gorgeous ocean views, but their pricey restaurant has made our pocketbooks shrink from the prospect. Now we're raring to go, thanks to a great deal: $3 martinis Sunday-Thursday, with Skyy and Tanqueray. Have the coin to dine there? All wine bottles are half-price on Tuesdays, at both lunch and dinner. (Martinis, Sunday-Thursday, 6-9 pm; wine Tuesdays, 12-9 pm, at Cliff House, 1090 Point Lobos, Ocean Beach.)

3. 50-Cent Margaritas at Underdogs: The fried, fatty goodness of Nick's Crispy Tacos now has a partner in crime: margaritas, at the absurdly low price of fifty cents. The catch is that they're only available for half an hour on Fridays, but if you can sneak out of work early, you can indulge in the happy hour beforehand, with $2 Dos Equis and $1 street tacos, then stick around for the power half-hour. (Happy hour Monday-Friday, 4:30-6 pm; margaritas Friday, 6-6:30 pm, at The Taco Shop at Underdogs, 1824 Irving St., Inner Sunset.)

4. Bottomless Brunch at Butterfly: Those folks at Butterfly can't stop offering deals: they started with a great late-night happy hour, and now they're moving into the bottomless-brunch game. $18 gets you all the bloody marys or mimosas you can drink, with or without a food purchase. This should lure more than a few hungover brunchers out of their cocoon. (Saturdays, 11 am-3 pm, at Butterfly, Pier 33, Embarcadero.)

5. Karaoke Night at Jillian's: Intended for the restaurant-industry crowd, but open to everyone, the Metreon adult-playroom is offering two hours of karaoke on Sundays, with $3 select drafts and $1 shots of Fernet. If the crooning is too much, you can escape to one of the many pool tables in the back. (Sundays, 9-11 pm, at Jillian's, 101 4th St., SOMA.)