Saturday, January 11, 2020

Frugal Vegas: 50 Money-Saving Tips for Locals

There are so many ways for locals to save money in Las Vegas!
  1. See if you qualify for any of the Clark County tax exemption programs (this can save you a lot of money each year on your car registration).
  2. Consider filing a Homestead Declaration (this can save your home if your finances go south).
  3. Sign up for a player's card at every casino/casino group you go to.  Pretty soon your mail box will be filled with 2-for-1 buffet coupons and other deals from local casinos.
  4. Consider getting an annual Nevada State Parks pass (this can save a lot of money if you regularly visit our local state parks).
  5. Also consider getting a National Parks Pass if you regularly visit these parks; Las Vegas is within a day's drive of more than a half dozen national parks.
  6. If you don't visit often enough to buy an annual National Parks Pass, the NPS offers several free entrance days each year which allows you to visit Lake Mead, Red Rock Canyon, and all other NPS properties free of charge.
  7. If you like going to shows, consider getting an annual subscription to Fill a Seat and/or House Seats, both of which give you free show tickets every day of the year.
  8. Check out reddit Vegas for their weekly "what's happening" post which lists many free and low-cost community events each week.
  9. Las Vegas Groupon also has lots of deals and discounts for local restaurants and businesses.
  10. If you are a cord-cutter, buying a $20 OTA antenna can give you more than 50 channels of free TV!
  11. Take advantage of the freebies and discounts offered by our local utility companies including NV Energy, SW Gas, and the Las Vegas Valley Water District.
  12. Take advantage of all of the free and super cheap entertainment options the city offers.
  13. For discount shopping, Las Vegas has some great Goodwill stores and other thrift stores.
  14. For savings on food shopping, get the Albertsons and Smiths apps for your phone; each week these stores offer huge discounts only through their apps.
  15. Additional places to shop for discounts on groceries include 99 Cent stores, as well as ethnic stores like Seafood City, Cardenas, La Bonita, and Marianas.
  16. Las Vegas offers numerous programs for those in need, from food and housing assistance to free/cheap medical and legal assistance.
  17. Get a library card so you can take advantage of the numerous offerings from our amazing local library system (free books, free e-books, free movies, free classes, free events, etc).
  18. If you want to go on vacation, use Kayak Explore to find the cheapest airfare from Vegas to destinations all over the US and the world.
  19. For great deals on top-tier Las Vegas shows, visit a nearby Tix4Tonight kiosks (most same-day show tickets are half off through this service).
  20. If you do gamble (which isn't frugal at all) use your player's card to receive "comps/points" which can earn you free meals and other free things at casino properties.
  21. Need a pet?  The Animal Foundation has several days throughout the year when they offer free or reduced-price adoption fees for dogs, cats, and other creatures.
  22. Take a free CERT class; not only do you learn some really useful preparedness skills but at the end of the class they give you a free backpack full of emergency supplies that you can use during a disaster.
  23. For inexpensive travel, consider all of the discount bus services that run out of Las Vegas including MegaBus, Flix Bus, and Tufesa Bus.
  24. UNLV (our local university) offers lots of great free resources including free legal classes, free classes for seniors, a free museum, and free lectures and other events.
  25. If you have a high school student, they should definitely consider enrolling in UNLV's dual enrollment program which allows them to earn college credits (for free!) while also attending high school.
  26. Speaking of students, the Nevada Promise Scholarship helps students who reside in Nevada meet the financial challenge of attending college.
  27. If you want a quick way to earn money, there are all kinds of gig work opportunities from Uber/Lyft driving to temporary annual gigs like WSOP, to busking.
  28. If you don't need the money but still want to help out and be entertained, there are a myriad of volunteer opportunities (everything from volunteering at the Smith Center to helping out at annual shows like CES, Life is Beautiful, and the Electric Daisy Carnival).
  29. Always ask for a locals discount everywhere you go in Las Vegas.  
  30. Las Vegas tap water tastes awful.  It's well worth the money to look into bottled water (expensive), water filters (varies), and/or filling up your five-gallon water bottles at the filtered water machines in front of grocery stores (cheap).
  31. Las Vegas has nearly every chain restaurant you can think of.  With that in mind, sign up for all of these birthday freebies and you will get a barrage of emails for free stuff during your birthday week!
  32. The ever-popular Entertainment Book is usually pretty cheap (and often discounted) and contains hundreds of buy-one-get-one-free coupons for all kinds restaurants and services in Las Vegas.
  33. Our local health district offers a huge list of childhood vaccines free of charge to children who are uninsured/underinsured.  For adults, there are several places to get reduced-cost vaccines.
  34. If camping is your thing, there are several places to camp for free in and near Las Vegas (examples here, here, and here).
  35. A general money-saving tip for Las Vegas aka "Sin City", get a handle on your vices--gambling, marijuana, drugs, prostitutes, alcohol, etc.  If you can't resist your vices, you can easily bankrupt yourself here.
  36. If you go to the Strip (many locals avoid the Strip like the plague) know where you can park for free.
  37. Want to enjoy free activities and meet new people at the same time?  There are many meet-up groups around Las Vegas for every kind of activity you can think of.
  38. There are several Park & Ride locations around Las Vegas that allow you to park your car for a week or more, for free, then take a bus to the airport.
  39. Call around and compare the cost of car insurance every year or so.  Car insurance is ridiculously expensive here so comparing prices for various insurance companies can save a lot of money.
  40. Speaking of transportation, if owning a car is too expensive, monthly bus passes are down right cheap.
  41. Never leave home without the "10 essentials" or you will end up buying duplicates (and wasting money).  These include: sunglasses, suntan lotion, a bottle of water, comfy walking shoes, snacks/lunch, a bag/daypack, a lightweight jacket (casinos are cold year-round), a hat (if you will be out in the sun for very long), cash (for random tipping), and your cell phone.
  42. Burglaries are quite common in Las Vegas so check out these simple tips from Metro to make your home more secure on the cheap.
  43. Instead of a vacation, consider a stay-cation.  Las Vegas, is, of course, excellent for this as are other nearby towns including Boulder City, Mesquite, Pahrump, and Laughlin.
  44. For an enjoyable, free way to entertain the kids, visit any of the long list of community parks in Las Vegas.  From water pads to dog parks to swimming facilities to parks where you can fish, the city has all kinds of interesting and fun parks to enjoy.
  45. Note that your best deals on food and beverages will be off-Strip.  Starbucks is cheaper off-Strip, fast food is cheaper off-Strip, buffets are cheaper off-Strip, up-scale restaurants are cheaper off-Strip, ditto bars, nightclubs, etc.
  46. Interesting shopping to check out: Goodwill Clearance Center, Fantastic Swap Meet, Broadacres Marketplace, and the North and South Premium Outlet Malls.  
  47. For those in need: free Narcan, free/cheap sexual health clinic, free condoms and birth control, and free/low-cost mental health services
  48. There are several TV shows taped in Las Vegas throughout the year, be in the audience by getting tickets here.
  49. And a few safety tips (to save money on hospital bills!): don't jaywalk (lots of pedestrians are killed each year on Las Vegas roads doing this), even when crossing at a light watch for traffic that may not be paying attention, be extra careful if you ride a motorcycle (drivers here are a huge threat to motorcyclists), wait a second or two before proceeding through a green light (Vegas drivers are notorious red-light runners), avoid road rage (another common problem in Las Vegas), and get a dashcam (in many car accidents it's one driver's word against another).
  50. On a random note, some of my favorite places in Las Vegas with good prices and great service: CCUE Massage, AA Auto Care on Warm Springs, Archi's Thai on Rainbow, Imperial Spa, Ping Pang Pong, and Lovely Nails.   

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