The Essential SA Guide To Pinching Pennies & Clipping Coupons

Do you love shopping, eating out, and trying new things? Do you long to fill your calendar with social events and activities? Some of you may be rolling your eyes and muttering, “Yeah, as if I could afford that!” And we get it: city living can be expensive.

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But (as usual) we’re here to help you find ways to experience the magic of San Antonio without breaking the bank. Below, we’ve provided an exclusive guide to the deals and steals within each San Antonio neighborhood, from restaurants to museums.

Put your wallet away, because you won’t be needing it.

Central San Antonio

Dining: In Central San Antonio, we’re highlighting Main St. Pizza as our budget-friendly dining choice. The entire menu is built to cater to your budget. Most of their pasta dishes are just $7.99 (for a heaping portion!), and they offer 18-inch pizzas for just $12.99. The home-style marinara sauce will leave you wanting more, and we promise that your wallet will be happy.

Activities: It’s a classic: visit the Alamo! The iconic building offers free entrance, and you’ll learn the history of San Antonio’s greatest landmark! If you’re feeling really ambitious, make it your goal to visit all of the other missions in the city as well. Each one comes with the appealing price of $0.

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North San Antonio

Dining: A local business famous for its affordable prices, Beefy’s Backyard Burgers is also perfect for active kids! Located off of Highway 281, Beefy’s has a rad backyard play space for the kids to enjoy while you savor a mouthwatering hamburger (with a side of onion rings, of course). Kill two birds with one stone this weekend: enjoy some great food and let the kids have the afternoon to play.

Activities: The JW Marriott Hill Country Resort may have a steep price per night, but you can still enjoy all the luxurious details that it has to offer! Keep some cash in your wallet with a day pass. This deal allows you to utilize the gorgeous facilities (golf, tennis, pools, etc.) without paying the fee to stay the night! Instead, just go for dinner and a stroll around the luxe property. The hotel lobby offers free games on electronic touch tables, perfect for kids to enjoy. Walk the grounds and experience the beauty without having to book a room!

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South San Antonio

Dining: Residents of South San Antonio are lucky enough to claim Mama Margie’s, the beloved “hole-in-the-wall” Mexican restaurant that has garnered a serious reputation for incredible (and affordable) Mexican food. Open 24/7, Mama Margie’s ensures you can always find a time to stop in. We recommend stopping by during happy hour, obviously.

Activities: Often overlooked, San Antonio’s top-notch YMCA branch continually hosts a plethora of activities that promise to keep you active and healthy. Find your closest YMCA here, and keep in mind that many have discounted rates and exercise to help affordability. It’s a great organization that can help save you money!

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East San Antonio

Dining: As cozy as it sounds, Mr. & Mrs. G’s Home Cooking offers everything you want for a good, old-fashioned Southern a price that you can afford! Fried chicken, corn, and mashed potatoes are only an order away at this establishment.

Activities: Get tickets to a Spurs game! The Central East side of San Antonio is home to the famous AT&T Center, where you can easily find cheap tickets right before a home game. Whether you’re touting nosebleed seats or not, the Spurs are San Antonio’s team and are always fun to cheer on during a game! It’s a great activity that promises prime entertainment.

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West San Antonio

Dining: For an affordable Asian meal, check out the flavors of Yum Thai. The authentic style and excellent service will have you coming back for more. It may be a small restaurant, but customers consistently say each dish is filled with big flavors and warm spices. Fresh, delicious food can be difficult to find on a budget, but this little place has you covered.

Activities: Located in the Balcones Heights neighborhood, Santikos Bijou Cinema offers tickets to see indie films for just $7! The small Bistro is dedicated to showing foreign, independent films on a regular basis. With the Oscars just around the corner, now is the time to stock up on your knowledge of films and impress your friends.

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Bonus Saving Tips:

If eating out is your preference, then you know that constant meals away from home can add up fast. One prime way to cut costs is to go out for lunch instead of dinner. Places like Taqueria Chapala Jalisco and Big Bob’s Burgers offer lunch options for less than $10. Looking for discounts? Coupon Sherpa lists restaurants alphabetically and allows you to find coupons for your favorite spot. Just print it out and bring it when you go out to eat!

Want culture without the price tag? To avoid paying entrance fees and high prices, stay up to date on free admission days! Almost every San Antonio museum schedules in regular “no admission” days. (i.e. The Witte every Tuesday from 3-8 PM; The DoSeum on the first and third Tuesday of every month from 5:30—7:30 PM; The San Antonio Museum of Art on Sundays from 10 AM-12 PM). For a full list of free admission times, click here.

In addition to museums, you may want to visit major San Antonio attractions like the Alamo. By purchasing the San Antonio Go Card, you’ll have access to over fifteen attractions (the zoo, Sea World, Fiesta Texas, etc.) but with a 40% discount! Additionally, the pass works from your phone. All you have to do is scan a QR code, and you’re in! This is a fabulous way to save money and still have a calendar full of activities.

Our last tip on saving money comes from the website and app Groupon. Groupon is free to join and gives you current deals and discounts for local businesses and chains. You can get huge discounts at restaurants, spas, hotels, gym memberships, and other activities. It’s worth looking into if you maintain an active lifestyle, but don’t want to pay full price.

Want to take your penny pinching a bit further? Download our exclusive San Antonio Buyer’s Guide for tips and advice for finding the best deal in the area! 

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