Lunching for Less in Las Vegas

Lunching for Less in VegasIf you’re looking for a post about a way to devour a 57-ounce dry-aged bone-in rib eye and wash it down with seared Hudson Valley foie gras at Prime Steakhouse while the Bellagio Fountains dance for $10 a person, keep looking. While I won’t promise you big-name chefs and bank-breaking restaurants, I can promise you that there is such a thing as a free lunch in Las Vegas. Crab legs included. 

First, the backstory: Mr. P and I booked a whirlwind four-day trip to Vegas as our Christmas present to each other. Basically, I made the mistake of finally talking him into going to Vegas for the first time this past spring, and he hasn’t stopped fantasizing about showgirls slot machines since. So, we decided to do Vegas: Part 2 over winter break. Because there’s nothing like seeing the most glitzed-out town all dolled up for Christmas. Excessive? Absolutely. Over the top? It’s Vegas. Pretty? Stunningly so.

We decided to pay for the trip two ways – I would sell some of my stuff and the rest would come from credit card rewards. The only thing I’m more miserly with than real money is money from credit cards. Fighting my tendency to squirrel it away forever, we decided to cash in on our cashback bonuses. And I sold a lot of stuff. Like over $800 worth in a few short months. And there’s loads more where that came from.* Still, we wanted to keep the cost down, so we knew we’d have to get a little creative with our spending. Enter MyVegas Rewards.

MyVegas Slots and MyVegas Blackjack are free** mobile Apps or Facebook Games that let players earn rewards redeemable at any MLife property in Vegas and select other locations. We had already redeemed rewards in the spring for a Cirque show, and the other shows we were interested in all had blackout dates for this trip. As a result, we turned our sights to food. (Question: When aren’t Mr. P’s sights set on food? Answer: Never.) Specifically, we scooped up buffet passes from Monte Carlo, Luxor, and The Mirage. We also scored two free buffet passes for The Aria when we booked our vacation. While this may seem like overload to some, I can assure you that Mr. P never tired of crab legs.

We purposely opted for lunch buffets since we could use them from 7 am – 3 pm. By dining around 11 am, our Central Time Zone brains thought that we were eating a late lunch while everyone else was still waking up from the night before. Short lines for the win.

As I stood in line, I was really surprised with what I saw. I figured most people eating at the buffets would be doing so on comps***. Surprisingly, almost everyone in line around us paid in cash. We did tip at every buffet, and we were some of the only people to do so. As a result, our lunch total came to about $20 for two people, or $2.50 per person per day. MyVegas Rewards turned out to be more of a win than we thought.

*Another post for another day. In fact, there’s probably a lot of posts hidden in this one paragraph.

**You can buy chips on the apps. But why? If you can’t resist the urge to blow your money on pretend slots and virtual Blackjack when you’re NOT in Vegas, you definitely shouldn’t actually go to Vegas. No, sir. Skip this post and watch Rounders or Ocean’s Eleven instead.

***Either MyVegas Rewards or real comps. Because they’re not afraid to lose more than $20 at penny slots. So sue me.

So Tell Me…Have you ever been to Vegas? Do you have any vacation money-saving tricks?

Lunching for Less in Las Vegas

6 thoughts on “Lunching for Less in Las Vegas

  1. $2.50 per person per day is extremely reasonable (read, ‘wonderfully cheap’)! To get a decent meal in a regular cafe, you end up paying around $5 so if you managed to pay half of that, kudos to you. As for tipping, I also make it a point to give a tip because waiters are so under-paid, but I recently saw a TV show where the host pointed out that our tips make it easier for restaurants and hotels to under-pay their staff because the tips tend to make up for the low salaries. Point to ponder!

    1. Ha! Wonderfully cheap. I like it 🙂 It did work out very well. And I was shocked at the freshness. I think our timing helped a great deal. They were really just putting everything out when we showed up.

    1. Cravings at The Mirage was the best. They were all good, but Cravings was more like a restaurant than a buffet in terms of variety. And bottomless mimosas, champagne, beer, and wine didn’t hurt!

  2. $2.50 per person, per day AND crab legs?! That’s incredible! I am so happy to hear you had a great trip. The first & only time I’ve been to Vegas was actually last July for my best friend’s Bachelorette. There wasn’t much saving that took place (everything was pre-planned/paid in advanced per the MOH) so a lot of preparing prior to the trip was pretty essential (we did luck out on a killer deals for hotel & Cirque show due to bridesmaids’ connections)! My fiancé & I keep talking about going on an impromptu trip (flights from Eugene are incredibly low to Vegas), so if this happens we will need to start using the MyVegas apps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *