Las Vegas is the mecca of consumerism. The money flows freely on the tables and in the stores. Every high-end fashion name has bought their corner of Vegas. This doesn't mean that you have be a high roller to have a good time. Here are some tips to do Vegas on a budget... and hopefully stick to it.
1. Plan how much you are going to spend on gambling and stick to it. Not being big gamblers (i.e., we can't rip up a $20 bill and not cry about it), we only planned to spend $50 - $70 on gambling. This is also part of your drinking budget since as long as you are sitting in front of a machine or at a table, drinks are free!
2. Get the Players Club Cards. Just for signing up for a comp card, you get freebies, discounts on tickets, meals and souvenirs. We got a lot of promotions that were well worth the 5 minutes in line. This includes: $5 off buffets, 2 for 1 tickets to the Eiffel Tower, free playing cards and sweatshirts, and free tickets to a magic and a comedy show. These were just the promotions that we used!
3. Do a Timeshare Tour. These tedious 2 hour sell-fests are notorious cash grabs, but if you don't plan on buying in, go for the freebies. Timeshare companies want you to see their stuff and to get you there, they will entice you with freebies. For a 2 hour tour of a timeshare, we got free tickets, coupons for discounted shows and $75.
4. Look for What's On Magazine. This magazine is a tourist's bible for Las Vegas. It lists all the shows, attractions, restaurants, etc for the time that you are there. In between the advertisements are coupons for cheap meals, free swag, and discounts. Tear them out and use them.
5. Do your research before going to Vegas. Just by researching online, I was able to get a lot coupons for free admission to the Auto Collection at the Imperial Palace, Money off the roller-coasters at the Stratosphere and New York, New York, and information about a 2 for 1 tour of the Grand Canyon (from a fellow rough guide community member!). Some coupons you'll find online will cost money, but don't pay for them. They are all free in most magazines and online. Vegas.com and the Nevada tourist board are also an awesome site full of information. Send them your information and they will send you maps, tourist guides and lists of attractions.