The sights, sounds and spectacles of Sin City are like nowhere else. Anything you want to do, see, play, buy, sip and taste can be done here. But for a price!
Unless you’ve made it big counting cards or get penthouse suites comped from the millions you spend gambling, chances are you’d like to know how to save a few bucks on your own Vegas vacation!
You’re in good hands, read on for my best tips for enjoying Vegas on a budget.
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Besides accommodations, dining out and food prices will likely be one of your highest costs on this trip.
But if you do a little planning ahead, you can snag some deals, find coupons and two for one deals.
And there are lots of places that will send you a coupon to use if you sign up for their email list. It pays off to do a little planning ahead of time.
My best recommendation to save on food when you’re doing Vegas on a budget is to use Vegas.com.
Here you can search Las Vegas restaurants and all kinds of options will come up for buying gift cards at a discounted rate.
Restaurants can change weekly or even daily, so I suggest checking the site regularly if you have a favorite spot you’re looking forward to treating your taste buds with.
And since there are so many amazing restaurants to try in Las Vegas, it can be hard to make a decision on where to eat.
I find it helpful to browse and peruse the site before my trip to start looking up places I want to chow down!
Going to Vegas for the First Time? Check out 19 Las Vegas Tips for First Timers | How to Visit Vegas Like a Pro
Let’s start with the best meal of the day, breakfast!
First thing’s first, Hash House a Go Go is an absolute must on any trip to Vegas. The easiest location on the Strip is the one near the LINQ.
A few weeks before your trip, sign up for their email list and they usually send you a ‘buy one get one’ coupon to use on your next visit.
And if you manage to push your breakfast late enough, you can absolutely get by until dinner hour. The portions here are so massive that you won’t be hungry for hours, saving you costs on not needing lunch that day.
For a basic but staple breakfast, head to the Venetian and order from Casanova. It’s known for it’s great prices despite its premium Strip location.
If you can manage to get off the Strip, make your way to Omelet House.
There are a few locations, but the service in Henderson is outstanding. You’ll be happy with the selection of menu items, portion sizes and value.
To really save money on breakfast, try to get a hotel room with a fridge. This way you can grab fruit, yogurt and muffins for breakfast.
And most places have a kettle in the room, so you can have your coffee and drink it too!
Invest in a portable coffee maker to brings with you to hotels. Then, all you need is boiling water to make the perfect cup anytime and anywhere.
I skipped lunch on purpose, see above section why!
For a romantic dinner atmosphere, Mon Ami Gabi is a great spot with views of the Bellagio Fountains. Get there early and try to snag a table outside for sunset.
Here’s another email list hack to keep your vacation to Vegas on a budget. About 2-3 weeks before your trip sign up for their email list.
Not too long ago they were emailing new subscribers a $20 coupon to use at their restaurant within 30 days. Might as well!
The deal of the trip, however, might just be at the Ellis Island Hotel, which is right behind Bally’s.
There’s a steak dinner deal for $9.99 if you sign up for their rewards card (which is free). Complete with green beans, potato and a salad, you might as well dig in.
It’s probably not going to be the most gourmet steak you’ve ever had, but for ten bucks and a $2.50 pint of beer, you can’t really go wrong, especially if you’re in Vegas on a budget!
Just off the strip and behind the Flamingo, Battista’s Hole in the Wall will treat you well!
For those on a budget, it’s not initially the cheapest option on the strip. But your meal does come with bread, soup, salad, wine and an after dinner espresso.
It’s also a nice, quiet place with good ambiance for a little more relaxing atmosphere.
Downtown, inside the Four Queens, Magnolia’s Veranda offers a cheap prime rib dinner.
You can also receive a 2-for-1 dinner voucher here during your birthday month (as long as you sign up for the players reward card).
After the excitement starts to wear off, you need to refuel; Vegas has a few hidden gems to feed those late night cravings.
Look for the “secret pizza” inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel. On the third floor you will walk down a very long hallway with record covers on the wall. There’s no sign, you’ll know when you find it.
Just walk (stumble) until you start seeing and hearing and smelling pizza.
Or again, just behind the Flamingo, stumble over to the Stage Door bar, for no-muss no-fuss late night grub. A beer and a hot dog will cost you about 3 bucks!
Buffets are a Las Vegas staple and almost a right of passage when visiting this over-the-top city. And depending on which buffets you check out, they can be a great option when visiting Vegas on a budget.
The Medley Buffet at The Orleans offers one of the best value options as far as buffets go.
Downtown, the Garden Court Buffet at the Main Street Hotel is a great bargain.
Wicked Spoon inside the Cosmopolitan isn’t the cheapest buffet, but it’s one of the best if you want to try a good one. And for an extra $17 per person, you can add bottomless beverages to your meal.
So if you didn’t make it to happy hour, this might be a good option to save money.
Look for the buffets that don’t close between lunch and dinner. Time your arrival at the end of the lunch service (which is cheaper).
If you take your time, they will start to bring out dinner items!
Buy all your snacks, drinks, Gatorade, bottled water, beer/wine, headache remedies, toiletries, etc. at the shops on the strip like CVS, Walgreens or other convenience stores. Shop here instead of the extremely overpriced hotel shops.
If you’re able to snag a hotel room with a fridge, get your Uber driver to stop somewhere off the strip to grab a few provisions before you check in to your hotel.
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Accommodation Options for Vegas on a Budget
Hotel prices can be a little deceiving these days. Almost all the hotels on the Strip now charge a ‘resort fee’ which you have to pay on top of your room fee.
There are some things you can try to avoid paying hotel or resort fees, though.
I’ve researched all third-party booking websites, and Booking.com came out the winner for the best rates and random sales for last minute deals!
But if that doesn’t work, one of my favorite places to stay that’s reasonably priced, even after the resort fee is at the Flamingo Hotel.
It’s usually a little less expensive, but has a great pool and perfectly located in the heart of the Vegas Strip.
Casino Royale is located on the Strip and doesn’t charge a resort fee, so this would be another great option to save money on hotels.
Staying downtown or on Fremont Street will also help your budget. The Four Queens is another good option that doesn’t charge resort fees.
At any hotel you check-into, you can try the $20 trick. Slip a $20 bill (or more) in between your credit card and ID and ask if there are any upgrades available.
The front-desk staff will usually be able to bump you to a bigger room or a room with a better view if available. It’s not a guarantee, but always worth a shot.
Another great option is to stay off the Strip at a vacation rental property.
On a recent trip, We found this great house to rent in Las Vegas on VRBO. We had our own pool and with 10 people, it worked out to be $40 per person a night!
And while we had to pay for Uber rides to get to the Strip, we found that we still saved money by buying groceries and making many meals at the house instead of dining out 2 or 3 times a day.
Vegas Pro Tip: Order yourself a copy of the American Casino Guide which is the most extensive and trusted resource about all things gambling in Vegas. PLUS, there’s over 150 coupons and basically pays for itself after you use one or two (buffets, shows and match play coupons, meaning you’re paid out 2-1 on your bet).
Best Casinos in Vegas When You’re on a Budget
For some cheap fun, play the penny slots. Careful, as some penny slots have high max bets, sometimes $6.
Look for the slots that have a max bet $0.45 so you can play for much longer!
Remember, drinks are free when you’re gambling, as long as you tip! Yes, even on penny slots.
A $1 tip is standard if you want the cocktail server to keep checking in on you. If you want them to come back more often, tip a little more. I
f you’re not a big gambler, this doesn’t really save you money, but if you like to have a little fun at the slots or tables, $20 can keep you going for a while, with at least a couple of drinks.
So, for a one dollar tip, you can get things like beer, gin & tonic, long island iced tea, coffee & Baileys for a morning spin, an espresso martini or the raspberry lemon drop at the Cosmopolitan, or whatever else you’d like.
If you’re craving some old-school vintage Las Vegas, El Cortez Hotel and Casino in Downtown is your spot.
It’s a gold mine for some cheap casino play. On weekdays you can find 50 cent roulette, $5 blackjack and the drinks flow freely.
Excalibur has $5 tables all day, everyday.
You just have to find them! Both Ellis Island and Planet Hollywood also have many table games for $5 and low limits.
You can even look for casinos that offer lessons in table games. These are usually offered in the mornings when it’s quiet and less busy.
I found that Fremont Street seemed to have the best concentration of lowest limits. Binion’s Gambling Hall was my favorite as it was a little less busy than other casinos.
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Happy Hour = Essential for Vegas on a Budget
If buffets aren’t synonymous with Las Vegas, then Happy Hour most certainly is. If you’re aware of all the great drink specials, this can save you tons over the course of your trip.
The Flamingo Bird Bar has $0.50 beers from 5-6pm and then it’s still only $1 from 6-7 and $2 from 7-8.
Tons of other specials on cocktails (all named after birds of course) as well. Stick around or come back for beer pong and reverse happy hour from 2am-10am.
At Miracle Mile, hit up Ocean One for 3 drinks for $10 anytime! There’s also lunch for $4.99.
The Bound Bar at the Cromwell will make you feel like Frank Sinatra or James Bond should be in the booth beside you.
A lively and sophisticated atmosphere will add to the delight of $1 martinis and specials on cocktails from 5-6 pm.
Hit the iconic Peppermill Restaurant between 3 and 6pm for appies under $10, and drink specials ranging from $4.50 – $6.00.
If you’re on a girls trip, head to Oscar’s at the Plaza from 4-7pm where ladies drink for half price on Thursdays!
From Monday-Friday, Mickey Finns has $3 wine specials from 4-7pm. This is also one of my favorite spots to sit, sip and people watch on Fremont Street.
For seafood lovers, Bouchon at the Venetian has an oyster bar from 3-10pm.
The Casino Royale has $3 bottled beer all the time.
Chayo at the LINQ has $2 beers and $2 tacos from 2-6pm. And $5 margaritas.
Ellis Island micro brews are $2.50 all the time.
Drinks are half price from 4-6pm at the bar at the Burger Brasserie in the Paris Hotel.
At the New York New York, head to Tom’s Urban from 2-5pm for half price on all drinks.
Have some fun at the Luxor between 4-6pm at Aurora for $2 jello shots.
Of course, when you’re gambling you get drinks for free (even though tipping is highly suggested).
Here’s my list of what free drinks you can order and which casinos make the best signature cocktails.
Reference this list on TripAdvisor for the most up to date comprehensive list of happy hour specials!
There are free trams that run between some Vegas properties. A great option when you’re tired of walking!
You can also purchase Monorail passes online ahead of time to save money.
If you get a taxi from the airport, make sure you mention you don’t want to take the tunnel route.
If you don’t, they might take you through a tunnel for a longer ride to increase the fare.
You can also purchase a 24-hour bus ticket for $8. You can make this last almost 2 days if you time it properly. The bus is great for going between Fremont Street and the Strip.
Shows and Entertainment
It’s cheaper to buy tickets online most times, and sometimes you can even save you more than purchasing at the Tix4Tonight booths along the Strip.
Vegas.com has lots of great options, including concerts that are in town. Again, prices change as tickets sell, so it helps to check regularly for price drops or increases.
There’s free live music, entertainment, DJs and dancing at the Carnival Court at Harrah’s. It’s an open-air nightclub vibe that’s always fun.
And don’t forget about all the free shows and displays all along the Strip. Like the fountain show and the Conservatory at the Bellagio.
Fremont Street Experience
Grab a cheap beer at the CVS and hit Fremont Street from 8PM to 10PM to watch the free bands and light shows.
After 10, walk one block to Pizza Rock for late night happy hour.
The walk around and people watch for even more free entertainment that you can’t get anywhere else!
Final Recommendations for How to Visit Vegas on a Budget
Overall, at Ellis Island you can have a fun & cheap evening with dinner and a beer for less than $15, and some of the cheapest gambling on the strip.
Stay at the Flamingo Hotel for cheaper accommodations, central location, a nice restaurant and late night meal options, and close proximity to happy hour drink specials.
And with a convenience store close by, perfect spot to visit for regular drink stock ups.
And Fremont Street will probably save you the most, between no resort fees, plenty of value at restaurants and many cheaper casino games to choose from.
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