Monday, October 10, 2011

10 Ways We Are Saving Money in Las Vegas

We have been in Las Vegas for almost a week, and of course my miserly tendencies are taking over.  Here's ten ways we have been saving money in Las Vegas:
  1. We are staying with a relative here while we are waiting to buy our new home.  We often do this when we are traveling--stay with friends and family--because it saves a boatload of money over paying for a hotel!
  2. We go out in the late morning and don't come back until early evening.  In other words, we plan our day and then go around and do the things we want to do (eat, hubby plays poker, shop, meet with the realtor, etc) instead of making many trips back and forth to home.  When we schedule a circuit of all of our tasks for the day we are able to save gas (oddly enough we haven't had to fill up the gas tank since we got here even though we are out every day, unlike in Seattle where we fill up twice a week sometimes.  Hubby says it's because the terrain is flat here instead of very hilly and the city is actually pretty small, size-wise, so we don't drive as far to get to places as in Seattle.  So maybe the money tip here is to move to a flat place in order to save gas?!).
  3. We are eagerly seeking out the best--and cheapest!--places to eat out when we don't cook at home.  So far we only eat breakfast at home then lunch and dinner out.  We have found a wonderful Filipino restaurant which serves a huge lunch for $3.99 (both of us share this) and a taco place with amazingly good Mexican-style tacos for $1.09 each (two is plenty for each of us). 
  4. Hubby is a poker player (fortunately when he loses it isn't too much and also fortunately, he usually wins or comes out even) and one of the things with playing poker is that the casinos "comp" people who play any of the games there.  In the last five days hubby has received free: two dinner buffets, two seafood buffets, and $20 for use in the casino's (amazing) Chinese restaurant. So besides utilizing comps, we have been checking to see what casinos comp the best.
  5. I bought an aluminum water bottle and some green tea today and my goal is to make my own beverage at home before we leave and drink it throughout the day.  While I am pretty much a Starbucks addict, the casino's Starbucks charge over $5 per drink!  That's way too much so I am hoping to break my Starbucks habit ASAP.
  6. I have been researching free and cheap things to do for entertainment in Las Vegas (and there are PLENTY of things to do here).  Last night we went and watched the Freemont Experience (a video/music presentation on the cover between the buildings downtown) which was free.  Later this week we will do the Ethel M candy factory and cactus garden tour which is free (and includes free samples!!!).  There is supposed to be a beautiful botanical garden at the Bellagio which is free which we will visit sometime.  Also, while I watched one matinee movie while hubby was playing (it was still $8 which is expensive for a movie) we found a theater that shows all movies for $1.50 which we will definitely check out.
  7. Exercise is free here.  We have been doing so much walking that I can't see why anyone would need to go to a gym.  There is plenty to see, the weather is perfect for walking (plus you can walk miles in the casinos), and when you get bored walking one place, there is always somewhere else to go.
  8. There are about a million places to shop here.  Every store you have ever heard of, not one but two premium outlet malls, each large casino has a shopping plaza...yikes.  So I am staying away from shopping as much as possible and have only hit Walmart for necessities and the LeSportsac outlet because I couldn't resist getting a new (but 65% off!) discount bag.
  9. As soon as we get an address here we will get local ID (Las Vegas driver's licenses).  We found out that locals get lots of cheap deals on attractions and meals that tourists have to pay much more for.  Hubby's cousins have this down to a science and can tell you every discount for locals in the entire Las Vegas Valley.
  10. Since we haven't moved yet, we have been doing some window shopping (instead of real shopping which saves lots of money and besides, we don't have any more space to store any new purchases).  Today we made an offer on a two bed, two bath condo (we were looking at bigger houses but want to refrain from buying big again which requires bigger energy bills) and we both decided that sparse furnishings are the way to go.  Finally...we agree on something!  We will furnish the new place with what we have and fill in the holes as we go with sale/discount/thrift store items.  We don't want to end up like last time with a house full of stuff that, should we want to sell it, won't bring more than 10 cents on the dollar.
Of course I will make it my goal to find more and more cheap ways to live here (unless I want to go back to work which mostly I don't want to do unless I find something interesting to do).  Also, on the way here I dropped my $200+ Canon digital camera and something inside broke because every photo after that had a big glob right in the middle of the picture so instead of getting something similar I went for the cheapest camera I could find (a $99 Casio Exilim) which I am happy to report still takes good pictures (like the one at the top of this post).
p.s. I have started (yet another) blog to record all of my "living in Las Vegas" stuff so my travel blog doesn't become a Las Vegas blog.  You can find it here.

1 comment:

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