In and around Denver, the best things in life are free - or cheap. Mile High on the Cheap tracks down, free entertainment sales and special promotions and posts half a dozen or more every day.
Mile High on the Cheapskates Claire Walter and Laura Daily also have some general tips on how to live or visit without breaking the bank.
- Explore the Outdoors. Denver boasts 260 parks throughout the metro area and nearby mountains and 850 miles of off-road bike trails, all free, for commuting to work or joy riding. To explore the heart of Denver, ride the free 16th Street Mall shuttle, and hop on and off when you see something interesting.
- Wine and Dine on a Budget. The Denver area is the country's happy hour capital. Restaurants and pubs compete for late afternoon/early evening business with food and drink specials at hard-to-beat prices usually offered until 6 to 7 p.m.
- Take Public Transportation. The Regional Transportation District operates 140 local, express and regional bus routes serving 10,000 bus stops, six light rail lines with 35 miles of tracks and nearly 80 Park-n-Rides - plus seasonal service to big sports venues and special events.
- Tap into Ticket Bargains. Even big-league teams like the Rockies, the Avalanche and Broncos offer deals on tickets or tickets plus value-added offers. Watch equally exciting sports (lacrosse, rugby, etc.) and college games for a song. Ski areas offer money-saving season passes and assorted multi-day deals that pare the cost of skiing and snowboarding.
- Loyalty Pays. Sign up for eClubs or other loyalty programs at your favorite dining spots and cafes, movie theaters and retail stores. They typically offer freebies after a certain number of purchases.
- Profit from Grocery Wars. Metro area supermarkets compete for business with loyalty cards good for discounts at the store and often at the too pump. Many also double manufacturers' coupon discounts. Register tapes are often imprinted with coupons from local businesses too.
- Free Days at Museums and More: Performing arts centers, museums and other attractions that receive public funding that must "give back" to the community do so via free admission days (usually once a month). These include top venues like the Denver Zoo, Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Children's Museum.
- Give Twitter a Try. Follow your favorite local restaurants and get a last-minute heads-up on daily specials. And if you're a Coloradan heading out of town, sign on for airline and hotels deals.
- Be a Joiner. Members of recreation centers, swimming pools, golf courses, museums, zoos, etc., save big with free or heavily discounted member benefits.
- Books Plus. Libraries feature free workshops classes in everything from art, films and cooking to workshops on marketing your business, Internet research or finding a job. Don't forget story time for kids. Most Colorado libraries are open to all, not just those living in the immediate district.
Follow Claire Walter on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ClaireWalter