Is the Las Vegas Strip scrawled at the top of your bucket list? Has it sat there, waiting for the right amount of cash in your savings account?
Don’t think that Vegas is all $1,000/ night hotel rooms, swanky lounges, and $500 dinner bills. You can experience Vegas for yourself – even if you only have a little cash.
Here are my top 5 ways to hit the Vegas Strip on a budget.
You Need Food
Anyone about to hit a night on the town knows you need food. While the Las Vegas Strip is literally covered in amazing restaurants, most are out of our price range (save for special occasions). So, you’ll need dinners and snacks and a good base for a solid night or two of drinking. If you’re staying for multiple days, that bill can rack up FAST.
Your answer? Smith’s grocery stores. Smith’s is a Kroger brand store that has the cheapest groceries in Vegas (if you avoid Wal-Mart, which I suggest).
While there are no Smith’s on the Strip itself, a short drive or Uber Ride can take you there for some groceries.
BONUS TIP: Sign up for the Smith’s card. One Friday, I was grabbing a last minute bottle of wine at our local Smith’s (on S. Las Vegas BLVD). Two tourists were ahead of me, and the cashier asked them if they had their Smith’s card. He hadn’t been here in seven years, the man explained. To which the cashier cheerfully replied, “Oh, they don’t expire!” and proceeded to knock a good $30-$50 dollars off their bill. My current Smith’s saver card record is $84.64.
You Need to Park
If you’re staying on the Strip, you will obviously want to park in the casino you chose. However, if you are just stopping in, do a quick Google search- which casinos have free parking?!
Years ago, free parking was everywhere on the Strip. Unfortunately this last year, many casinos switched to paid parking- much to the uproar of the local populace. Parking can be anywhere form $7 an hour to $18, and each casino has a different discount as the hours pass. Recently, many have announced they will be switching BACK to free parking, as many locals began avoiding the Strip all together when the new fees came into effect.
If you are visiting the Las Vegas Strip on a budget, choose a casino with free parking near the sights you want to see. Your wallet will thank you- until you hit the slots!
You Need Drinks!
I don’t know about you, but my budget would barely allow me ONE drink purchased at a bar on the Las Vegas Strip, let alone enough liquor to feel a buzz.
Enter: CVS stores. While there’s no Smith’s on the Strip, there are other drugstores- all stocking more than your usual drugstore amount of alcohol choices. There are some canned cocktails carried at the CVSes on the Strip that I’ve never seen anywhere else.
You won’t be able to take your CVS wine into a Vegas bar, but you will be able to leave the store, head down the sidewalk, and into your favorite casinos, all with your favorite Vegas Strip on a budget cocktail in hand.
You Need to Do Vegas
You have your food, you have your drinks, but even a show is out of your budget. Maybe you should just head home, right? You drove the Strip and saw the lights. That’s enough.
Not so! Las Vegas is one of the best places to simply stroll. If all you have in your budget is people-watching and picture-taking, hit up these destinations. You won’t be disappointed.
• Bellagio fountains
• New York New York and around it
• Caesar’s Palace
All of these destinations show more than just a musty casino floor. You’ll be swept away by the grandeur of it all. Truly, Vegas is pretty neat.
You Need to Dance
If the club scene is your style, you will soon find out that clubbing in Vegas is NOT cheap, and there are lots of rules. So, make sure you check the dress code for whatever club you’re visiting.
Most importantly though, go to Groupon and find a club promoter. I once paid $21 dollars for access to one, and it was so worth it. He got me into three different clubs on three consecutive nights, with no cover, VIP access, and free drink tickets. This was a huge deal, as many Vegas clubs’ cover charges are more than $20 a person.
Bonus Vegas on a Budget Tip
The ultimate budget tip is to do it completely free, right? If only Vegas offered a way to get money as easily as pushing a button…
Now I’m not saying gamble away your life savings. I am saying, however, to keep $10 – $20 dollars in cash in your purse, and at the end of the night, find a penny slot. (Buffalo tends to have awesome mini games to boost your winnings).
Play that leftover cash, and no more. If you start winning, cash out and call it a night- don’t fall into the temptation of thinking you’ll keep winning!
We have done this a few times, and we usually end up winning back all or a portion of the cost of our date night.
Doing Las Vegas on a budget can be near impossible! However, with these tips, you should be able to get a taste.
Did we miss anything? Comment your tips below!
Like you read? This is just a small sample of travel writing offered at E-West Writing LLC. If you like our style, or want to see what we can do with your style, reach out to us today through our contact form.