Best Ways to Pinch Pennies in Las Vegas

Bunch of Pennies With a Las Vegas Background

High rollers and celebrities grab all the attention in Las Vegas. They stay in the best rooms, eat at five-star restaurants, and enjoy the finest room service.

Therefore, you may get the impression that you don’t have enough money or clout to have a great time in Vegas. The reality, though, is that you can cut costs and still have fun with the right approach.

Below, you’ll find various tips for getting the full Sin City experience without taking out a second mortgage just to do so.

Stay on the Strip for Cheap

The Las Vegas Strip is home to the richest and most lavish casinos in town. Some of these resorts charge thousands of dollars for rooms.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend anywhere near this much just to enjoy a great view of the Strip. The following casino resorts feature average room prices worth under $100 per night:

  • Bally’s
  • Flamingo
  • Harrah’s
  • Luxor
  • Tropicana

Each of these establishments offers plenty of amenities and casino games. They just don’t cost nearly as much as the average Strip resort.

Bally's Resort and Casino in Las Vegas

Assuming you’re okay with staying just off Las Vegas Boulevard, then the Rio and Palms are also affordable options.

Walk When Possible

Sin City is hot throughout most of the year. Temperatures can exceed 110 degrees on certain summer days.

You may be tempted to take a taxi, Uber, or Lyft everywhere you go. These options are perfectly fine for when you’re traveling several blocks or more.

But if you can stand it, walking will definitely save you some money. Assuming you visit Vegas during the right time of year, you won’t be as affected by the heat either.

If you do need a ride, try Uber or Lyft over cabbies. They’re less likely to “long haul” you. Long hauling refers to the process of taking customers on unnecessarily long rides to run up the cab meter.

Take Advantage of Free Attractions

Not everything in Las Vegas costs money. Some attractions are totally free and still provide plenty of entertainment.

For example, you can visit the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop that’s been made famous by History’s Pawn Stars reality show.

Mystic Falls Park inside of Sam’s Town hotel is another cost-free place that’s worth seeing. This attraction boasts robotic wildlife, a jungle atmosphere, and big waterfall. It also features a light and water show at various times of the day.

Mystic Falls Park in Sam's Town Las Vegas

The Wildlife Habitat is yet one more area worth checking out. This habitat features Chilean flamingos, koi fish, pelicans, swans, turtles, and more. You can even feed the pelicans during the daytime.

Get Show Tickets at a Discount

Vegas is home to some of the greatest shows on earth. Unfortunately, you must pay between $40 and $100 on average to see shows.

However, these same productions offer discounts through various websites. A little online research can get you up to 50% off your tickets.

You can also call the casino resort that’s hosting the specific show you’re interested in seeing. They may offer special discounts that are only available upon request.

Play at the Right Casinos and Stakes

Vegas Strip casinos are notorious for featuring big stakes and high house edges. For example, they may feature blackjack tables with a $25 minimum bet and 2% house edge (1% edge is more reasonable).

You don’t have to accept high minimum bets and house advantages. Instead, you can head downtown and find better odds. El Cortez may not be the prettiest Vegas casino. However, it features some of the best odds and lowest bets in the city.

California, Main Street Station, and the Golden Nugget are other good places to visit for low rolling. Assuming you want to stay on or near the Strip, the Cromwell and Palms are also solid spots for gaming.

Book the Hotel Directly

Booking sites offer a convenient way to book your flight and hotel in one fell swoop. However, these third-party services also mean added costs.

You don’t have to go through these sites. Instead, you can call the casino and airline (if necessary) directly to arrange your trip.

In some cases, you may find special deals when calling resorts directly. These offers could include everything from a free spa visit to a buffet pass.

Pick the Right Time to Buy Airfare

Flights to Vegas are most popular on the weekends and holidays. Of course, this demand also increases the airfare prices.

You’ll also pay more when flying during primetime day hours or if a major convention is happening (e.g. Consumer Electronics Show).

The most cost-effective strategy is to book tickets for a late-night flight anytime between Monday and Wednesday. Also, you may find cheaper airfare in the summer (hotter months) outside of the Fourth of July weekend.

Play Table Games for Free Drinks

Most Vegas resorts and bars charge you around $10 for a drink. You’ll find that it’s cheaper to pick up free drinks while gambling.

But you don’t want to just hop on the first slot machine you see, or any slot for that matter. The cocktail waitresses pay more attention to the table games anyways.

What’s more is that you can earn these drinks while facing a lower house edge. Vegas slots typically carry anywhere from a 5% to 12% house advantage.

Overhead View of a Blackjack Table

Baccarat and blackjack, on the other hand, are closer to a 1% house advantage (blackjack can vary). You can choose a $5 or $10 table, when available, and gamble your way to inexpensive drinks.

Here’s the math on how much you save when going this route:

  • You bet $10 per hand
  • The table sees 60 hands per hour
  • 60 x 10 = $600 wagered
  • House edge is 1%
  • 600 x 0.01 = $6 in losses
  • 10 (drink price) – 6 = $4 in savings

Eat at Chains

Your ideal Vegas dining itinerary won’t include Burger King and McDonald’s. Nevertheless, chain restaurants offer a great way to save money during your trip.

Assuming you’re still set on fine dining, you can always mix up your eating experiences between fast food and fine cuisine. The latter can comprise one to three meals on your trip, for example.

Haggle Over Resort Fees

Las Vegas resorts decided that they weren’t making enough money several years back and began charging resort fees.

These nasty little charges are tacked onto your bill in the aftermath of a stay. Your room rate may be $200, but you’ll pay an extra $50 for the use of the Wi-Fi, weight room, and swimming pool.

However, you don’t have to pay these fees in every case. You may be able to effectively argue your way out of covering them.

Another strategy involves asking if your gambling covers the fees. If you’ve been gambling with your player’s card, then you might just get some or all the extra charges knocked off.

Conclusion

Visiting Las Vegas doesn’t have to bankrupt you. Instead, it can be an enjoyable experience without also being a financial burden.

First off, you want to look for cheaper casinos. Certain Vegas Strip venues and downtown establishments charge anywhere between $50 and $100 per night.

When getting your hotel, you’ll save more money by booking directly. Doing so helps you avoid paying extra to a third-party site.

You should also pay special attention to when you fly to Vegas. Weekdays and late nights are the best points to get cheap airfare.

Upon touching down in Sin City, you should consider walking whenever possible. Assuming the weather isn’t unbearable, you should have no trouble traversing through the main parts of the city.

You also want to consider hitting up free attractions. Vegas has plenty of cool sights that don’t cost anything to see.

When you do feel like paying for entertainment, check on discounted show tickets. Both websites and resorts themselves offer deals on shows.

If you hit the casinos, make sure to look for gambling establishments with the cheapest stakes. Downtown casinos usually feature the best odds and lowest minimum bets. You can also use casino games to get cheaper drinks. You’ll often get a better drink deal just by betting the minimum at a blackjack or baccarat table.

In summary, Las Vegas is full of discounts and cost-effective offers. You should put some effort into finding cheap deals before leaving for your trip.