Miami on a shoestring

1. Watch out for bars or restaurants that advertise specials.

As a general rule, Hooligans is a sure bet on Tuesday nights with $0.25 pitchers. As an alternative, Bouganvillea’s behind Sunset Place on Wednesday nights is ladies night, where ladies drink free and JJ’s Diner across from campus has proved to have excellent Happy Hour Specials, 4 to 7 p.m. and then again from 10 p.m. to midnight. You just can’t go wrong.

2. Take advantage of student discounts.

Although some places won’t even dream of offering student discounts, museums and MetroZoo offer rates to students at a discount or even for free. Some of these museums include the Miami Art Museum, Bass Museum, Miami Art Central and almost any art gallery in the Wynwood District downtown.
Don’t buy candy at the movie theaters. Though we shouldn’t be reminding you, smuggle it or buy it from a nearby candy store. In comparison, you’ll pay almost twice the price for a box that’s barely even a quarter full of candy.
Don’t forget about the movies! Though you probably already pay the student price, check the information desk or look for flyers around the UC advertising free screenings at Sunset for movies yet to come out. Not only do you see a movie for free, you view it before it comes out to the general public.

3. Check out the local music scene.

Want to catch some live music without paying the price? Stay with the local scene and check out the bars and clubs such as Sandbar or Flavour where Miami bands regularly entertain the crowds.

4. Eat for free on campus!

Though it might take a bit of work to find out, pay attention to all the obnoxious neon-colored flyers and you’re bound to find out where the free food is located on campus. Sounds like a crazy idea, but just imagine how much money you’d save by not spending almost $8 in the food court or the Storm Surge everyday.

Challenge: Make a meal from nothing and take after the participants on the TV show Top Chef on the Bravo Network; make a menu out of things found only in a convenience store. On campus or not, your purchases shouldn’t cost any more than $10.

5. Go back to simple entertainment: bowling.

Two popular bowling alleys, Strike Miami and Don Carter Kendall Lanes offer some great prices on games; something like $2 a game for Kendall. AND they have great drink prices. And if you like to bowl without the crowds, they open at 9 a.m.

6. Make dinner instead of going out to dinner.

Set yourself a budget and see how many courses you can make for under that budget, you’d be surprised to see how much you can actually eat for under $15. Buy a bag of salad, a roll of French or Cuban bread (around $1 to $2), pasta and chicken and you have the makings of a gourmet meal. If you don’t have a kitchen, make friends with someone who does and trade off the duties. If you live in the dorms and Chartie’s isn’t doing it for you, encourage your RA to have a floor dinner or ask to use one of the apartments. Any of these people would be more than happy to help with your dinner endeavors; just don’t forget to offer some up!

7. Take advantage of ads tailored to the sexes.

Ladies, why not take advantage of your feminine wiles and use them for your profit? Most places have ladies nights (a ploy which actually brings in more men), drink and food specials. Don’t ever pay cover! Put your name on the guest-list for any swank party you are planning on attending ahead of time. Don’t know how? Contact one of the millions of promoters that crawl around campus, cell phones and flyers in hand. If that doesn’t work, go to Elite or the websites to clubs themselves. Sign up for their mailings and you will never again be out of the know or $50 for an entrance fee. Things to remember:

Student discounts! Drink and food specials! The more you got out, the more money you’ll spend. Oh, and EDGE promotes responsible management of alcohol. Please do not drink and drive.

Joanna Davila can be contacted at