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Ways to Avoid Eating on Strip Prices

Discussion in 'Las Vegas for the Frugal (not Cheap)' started by sco5123, Mar 31, 2014.

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  1. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    There is a wide group of folks on the board who are ready to truly "dispose" of their disposable income while they are living it up on vacation! If you are here, this is probably not you.

    Given that :evillaugh, I would like to offer some ways to save on eating while staying in Vegas. This is a list for those who will go out of their way even on vacation to save a buck. This is probably not for you if you pay for convenience, pay because you are on vacation or pay because you want to try the newest/best/tastiest Strip-price restaurant.

    Sure, I've had my share of fancy schmancy restaurants and it is very good and dandy. But if you are into spreading around little cash but eating just fine in Vegas without paying Strip prices, here are some tips.

    1. Get a suite with a minimum of a kitchenette. A fridge and microwave could go a long way. If you have a full kitchen, even better...because then you have a stove. Stock up on goodies/foods to prepare from local stores.

    2. Stick to food courts. Fashion Show Mall has the biggest food court on the Strip with plenty of variety. But you don't have to go far from your hotel to find a nearby food court. Plenty of hotels have them including but not limited to New York-New York, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Monte Carlo, Planet Hollywood, Ballys, Flamingo, Venetian, Palms, etc.

    3. Eat downtown. This is a favorite for most. Downtown has much cheaper prices than the Strip and is just as satisfying...if not more. While the Strip has good variety and world-class cuisine, some options can fall short and be over-priced for mediocre food. Downtown has Vegas-class cuisine and it can be quite scrumptious.

    4. Eat at lunch. Some restaurants on the strip have cheaper options then.

    5. Feast on typical chain and fast-food restaurants. From Chipotle, Subway, Mcdonald's, Outback, Dennys, Cheescake factory, Hash House a Go Go, and Buca di Beppo, there are recognizable foods for those who want to keep the budget low. Whip out your smartphone and locate the local Red Lobster, Applebee's, Olive Garden, etc and take the local bus, taxi or rental car to reach it.

    6. Eat off-strip. The quality of food off-strip rivals that of the Strip. While the higher-end off-strip properties may not compete with the Strip in terms of famous chefs or 5-star service, they can offer great food at decent prices. Off-strip properties charge local prices. And some lower-end off-strip properties will also offer you good value for your money. Palms, for example, is a upper-mid tier off-strip property only 5 minutes away from the strip with a buffet in the $8-12 range throughout the day. Next door, Gold Coast, a lower-end but very cozy local joint has a buffet from $6-10 throughout the day. You can save a lot of money dining off-strip and there are plenty of free shuttles from the Strip to get you there. :wave: Places like Silverton and South Point have 50% off their buffet for signing up for their player's card in the American Casino Guide book. Off-strip Ellis Island is known for solid BBQ and a good steak at fair prices. Go and see a side of Vegas you wouldn't otherwise see.

    7. Order for delivery. You know Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Chinese food, Papa Johns, Jimmy Johns, pizzerias? They deliver too in Las Vegas. And even better, they will deliver right to the taxi stand at your hotel where you can pick it up. With a group and don't want to spend a fortune but want to chow down? Remember $20 at Papa Johns can feed 5! You also have the comfort of leftovers without having to drag it everywhere with you.

    8. Doggie Bags. Go ahead. Dine out. Splurge. But bring a little back for later. No one will look at you funny for taking your own leftovers in the good ol' U.S.ofA. If you enjoy your meal so much, that second time around will more fully take care of any further cravings for that particular food. But most importantly, you treated your meal like your own personal BOGO.

    9. Price vs. Ratings Compare. So, after everything, you still want to dine on the strip at Strip prices? Well, the best thing to do if budget is still a concern is to peruse websites like yelp and tripadvisor and compare interesting restaurants based on customer ratings. Then you create your own "pre-rating" based on these steps. Peruse their menus online, which they all usually have, and choose your favorite items. In addition to looking at the menu, look at pictures of their food on yelp and tripadvisor. Don't worry about the famous chef or the most popular restaurant, focus on which of your favorite items have the best pictures. Choose the restaurants with the highest self "pre-rating" and lowest or budget-range prices. Sure, pictures do not tell all, but you have a better chance of enjoying it and thus getting value for your money (at least with regard to quality of food) if you do a little research.
     
  2. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    Hey, is that a fat joke?! I'm trying to quit smoking dammit, cut me some slack! :poke:
     
  3. cartoonp

    cartoonp Low-Roller

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    Can I add look for buy one get free offers as there lots out there
     
  4. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    It's amazing how I skipped that one. It's one of the absolute biggest cost-savers in Vegas period. This is why perspective is critical. As a solo traveler, I always wish to use the BOGOs but it's not possible, so I forget about them. Thanks!
     
  5. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 Low-Roller

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    Two weeks ago we had breakfast at Spice Market at PHO three days in a row for only $21 for both using the $5 dollar coupon available online. I thought it was a pretty fair deal and it kept us full until dinner.

    Mark
     
  6. AOchoa95

    AOchoa95 Low-Roller

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    Late night specials are great too.
     
  7. Mamabear0222

    Mamabear0222 Tourist

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    Are there any coupons floating around the hotels for BOGO or $$$ off??
    I don't buy the ACG or any coupon booklets...
     
  8. PopMegaphone

    PopMegaphone VIP Whale

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    My advice isn't totally on the OP's point, but I feel its at least related in spirit.

    In Vegas I'm not frugal when it comes to dinner. Usually, I have a high-end dinner every night and for me the experience is worth it. In Vegas I think the worst deals are at sit down restaurants during breakfast and lunch*. During these times Vegas diners, buffets, etc serve mediocre high calorie food at relatively exorbitant prices when you consider what they offer. Worst of all eating at these places sucks of up huge amount of your vacation time and aren't particularly memorable.

    For me a typical vegas day is grabbing an oatmeal at McDonald's for breakfast and a pizza slice at the Cosmopolitan for lunch. That's two meals for under 10 dollars. That prepares me budget wise to have a great dinner experience at a restaurant like Sage or Bar Masa.


    *The Milos lunch deal is the great exception.
     
  9. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    I go solo so i like to eat cheap and be frugal.

    I fine dine at the Fashion Show Mall for lunch, why? because it's cheaper walking a couple of blocks down to FSM rather than dining at the "Strip"
    joints, why?.......because Subway at FSM is a dollar cheaper than Subway at Bally's/Monte Carlo.

    I save a buck with my "G" card at Gold Coast. It's $8.99. I stay at Bally's and take the free shuttle to GC (actually Rio, but just a few steps away).

    I don't dine in the morning, lunch is my first meal but i wait a little longer and combine lunch/dinner.

    I use my rewards credits daily in Vegas which is just enough for snacks/drinks. Also, TR is having a promo May 8-10 where you get extra reward points.

    I'm not very fussy when it comes to food in Vegas. As long as it tastes decent, fills me up, and have no vomit attacks, well, i'm a happy guy.
     
  10. xmarksx

    xmarksx VIP Whale

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    Thanks Sco, a couple of my faves:
    1, Search Restaurant.com and buy only discounted coupons. You can buy a good cert from a somewhat more expensive place, like El Segundo Sol and then go during happy hour - double bonus! Travelzoo and Groupon both offer good deals too.

    2, If you are interested in higher end dining, search for prix fixe menus, like at Charlie Palmer. Or leverage their bar happy hour menu.
     
  11. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Well, I will add two other thoughts and a question:

    *If you are staying at a hotel with a fancy high limit area, go in there to grab snacks or small meals.

    *Make sure and use a players club card whenever you play to accumulate points that can be redeemed toward food. Two weeks, one of the friends that was part of my MM trip got very excited on the last day when she realized she had accumulated enough express comps to buy her own coffee and donut from Palio without having to rely on my comps, lol

    Finally, is it really saving money to get a suite with a kitchen area? I mean, wouldn't it be much cheaper to get a standard room (rather than a suite) and spend those savings on food?
     
  12. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    Great suggestions everyone!

    I could throw in that it doesn't hurt to ask for a food comp.

    As for the suite UK, yes, this can be the case for some. But if one was 1. already considering nicer rooms; 2. came with a group (split price for more room) or a family; 3. receiving good deals on suites whether through casino rates, comps or third-party websites that beat other deals (even some lower rooms in the city) or provided a preferred value...than it is definitely worth it. Some people value a comfortable or luxurious room but see good value in eating well without spending much.

     
  13. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Got it. I thought you were suggesting a suite solely as a way to save money on food
     
  14. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    oh yeah and MyVegas buffets!
     
  15. coralrush

    coralrush Tourist

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    When you're going to go to buffets, eat a very light breakfast, then arrive 1/2 hour - 45 mins before the dinner changeover time, pay the lunch price, and gorge on food there.

    Yep, and take advantage of lunch specials and happy hours (check out the lvhhtime website).
     
  16. vegasnut

    vegasnut Low-Roller

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    Another tip for the frugal here
    Have afridge in your room and do groceries off strip( i know its easy when you have a car) not that far off strip they have a 99 cent store
    Compared to wallgreens( on strip) you pay far less :nworthy:

    But than again i dont have a car and im on vacation so i wont drag myself in the heat with grocery bags for a few miles:evillaugh
    Its wallgreens for me (and yeah i know i pay a bit more)
    Dinner options are many even on the strip and not that expensive either
    Cheesecakefactory( on end of forumshops) is always a good bet
     
  17. ajonate

    ajonate Low-Roller

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    2for1 coupon offers are rare at the Strip, but you don't have to go far from the Strip to find better food deals. Just east of the strip there is Ellis Island, Tuscany, and Silver Sevens (formerly Terribles). They all have terrific food deals. Ellis Island & Silver Sevens both have 2for1 coupon offers in the American Casino Guide.

    Honestly, food & gambling conditions are much better when you get away from the Strip. It pays to have a car and a handful of coupons from ACG or LVA.

    Another valuable hint is that if you're going to do a buffet do it for lunch instead of dinner. Often you will find no difference in the menu, but prices will be reduced to make the lunch price more competitive. It's not unusual for find lunch for half the price of dinner at the same buffet. Fill up at a lunch buffet, then have a small dinner.

    The American Casino Guide (ACG) is pretty much worthless for Strip properties, but there are a few good offers in the Las Vegas Adviser (LVA). Notable LVA Strip opportunities are:

    Mirage Buffet 2for1
    Planet Hollywood Buffet $10 off Per Person (up to 2 persons)
    Rio Buffet 2for1
    Riviera 2for1 Entree
    Mandalay Bay 2for1 Entree
    TI 2for1 Entree
    Tropicana 50% off Entree
    Paris 2-For-1 Burger in Le Burger Brasserie

    LVA costs $35, but you can make that up pretty easily. ACG is only $15 but doesn't have much for the Strip area. You need to visit off-Strip casinos to make ACG worthwhile.

    As mentioned earlier, Ellis island is a terrific resource and very close to the Strip. In addition to the 2for1 ACG coupon for the restaurant or BBQ, they have a Metro Pizza inside the casino that has 2for1 deals all day Thursdays. That's 2for1 for either whole pizzas or pizza by the slice -- no coupon necessary. Sundays also has 2for1 whole pizzas, but not by the slice like on Thursdays. Great NY style pizza!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  18. Cinwhim

    Cinwhim Low-Roller

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    Don't forget the "fun books" given at check in at many hotels on the strip and downtown. We got BOGO meals at the cafe at the Cortez last year. Nothing spectacular but lots of choices on the menu.
     
  19. ajonate

    ajonate Low-Roller

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    Sure, check the fun books when you get them, but they aren't want they used to be. The Four Queens funbook is usually pretty good also. Most aren't worth the trouble anymore.
     
  20. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

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    The ACG book and the LVA - MRB offer a wide range of food coupons all over town.
     
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