A Vegas Experience Doesn’t Need To Break the Bank
If you are ready and willing, Vegas has many ways that you can spend your money. Some of them result in once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Some may have you questioning if it was worth it. Being a local has its benefits, not only with having an inside scoop to the best deals around, but also getting a special local’s discount at many area venues.
Dining with a Discount: Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Do not do anything until you’ve downloaded the Groupon app and set up an account. Small businesses take advantage of the promotion of Groupon to bring in new clients and dazzle them with exceptional food and service. There is generally a limit to a one-time use for many businesses, but if you’d like to try some great independently owned eateries off the beaten path, Groupon is a great place to start. You can purchase a credit towards the restaurant, or you can find many coupons in the app free of charge.
Are you looking for a high-end buffet without the high price? Locals absolutely love Red Rock’s Feast Buffet. From sushi, to carving stations to beautiful deserts, this buffet has fresh delicacies that everyone will love. Separated by region, you can easily tour the world in just one trip to fill your plate.
Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant on Tropicana serves up flavorful authenticity, and you can pick up a vegetarian platter for only $12 (as of the time that this was written, although it’s been that price for years). It will easily feed two for a spicy, exotic and fun dinner.
Makino on Decatur has an amazing sushi buffet, and what’s even more amazing is that you can get it to go. If you have a hard time eating $30 worth of sushi at a buffet, then don’t! Get it to go, take what you can eat, and you’ll pay about half the price most times. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Learning for Less: Why not get out into nature and learn about the foliage at Mt. Charleston, wildlife at Red Rock and throw in some aquatic fitness at Lake Mead as well? Free admittance to parks usually takes place on the first day of National Park Week, the National Park Service's birthday, National Public Lands Day and Veterans Day. Bank of America gives a free museum day at the DISCOVERY Children's Museum, Las Vegas Natural History Museum or the Springs Preserve.
Along Sunset you’ll see many pulled over to watch the planes land and take off. This could be an excellent opportunity to teach or learn about the basics of physics and aerodynamics. You may also request a tour of the control tower too!
Beauty on a Budget: Do you love massages, but don’t want to shell out $100 at a time? Try reflexology instead. Many local businesses advertise 60 minutes at $25-$30 and most places do not limit the massage to feet only. Please be aware that tips are not only encouraged but expected. Plan to spend at least $10 on the tip when you go and bring cash to avoid a credit card usage fee. The benefit of reflexology is that you will leaving feeling much better than when you went in. This is especially great if you have a headache or a sports-related pinched nerve.
Mircodermabrasion is a great way to slough off the dead, dry skin and retain your youthful glow. The Body Waxing Studio on Windmill and Eastern boasts the best deal in the Valley with 5 treatments for $100 at the time of this article. You can also get in a monthly drawing for free skincare products while you’re there!
The Experience without the Expense: Isn’t it crazy how much it can cost to take your family to the movies? The District at Green Valley Ranch plays G, PG and PG-13 films on Saturdays during the fall for free. Make sure to bring a blanket to perch on, because they play outdoors under the stars. An absolute can’t-miss free experience is First Friday in the downtown Las Vegas arts district. You’ll see food trucks, bands, dancers, skaters and artists showing their paintings, jewelry, sculptures and so much more set up along the closed-off streets. If you’re wanting to go to the Strip, check out the conservatory and fountains at the Bellagio (also free) or the Mardi Gras show at the Rio. If you enjoy people watching, and don’t mind a serious crowd, Freemont Street is the place to be, especially with the free concerts onstage nightly.
You can see that giant ferris wheel called the High Roller from almost anywhere in the Valley, and if you have a local ID that gives you half off. It’s unforgettable, especially at night. And since you’re on the strip, why not take the monorail? For Nevada residents it’s only $1 per ride. Cirque Du Soleil shows, Blue Man Group, House of Blues and the Mob Museum all offer locals a special discount as well.
When it comes to Vegas, the possibilities are endless, and with some planning and intention you can hold on to more of your hard-earned cash. After all, you want to save for more important things, like buying your perfect Las Vegas home!