Save Big Bucks on Expensive College Textbooks

July 22, 2014

college textbooksCollege students, as well as their parents, can experience sticker shock when they shop for textbooks. Books for a full schedule can easily add up to $1,000 or more a year. We asked a college student who we already know is a thrifty textbook shopper, to give us some tips. For her suggestions, read the full story on our sister site, Living on the Cheap.

Going Somewhere? CityPASS Can Help You Save Big Bucks on Travel

July 22, 2014

Headed to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco or Southern California? Get your CityPASS before you go and save up to 50 percent on that city’s best attractions. CityPASS grants you admission at nearly half the cost you’d pay for separate admission to each. It’s good for 9 days from the day you use the first ticket (14 days in Southern California). You’ll skip most ticket lines at zoos, aquariums and museums because  you’ve got all your admission tickets in hand. And CityPASS is the same price whether you buy online or at any CityPASS attraction. Go ONLINE and choose your destination to learn more.

Celebrate Arby’s 50th Anniversary with a Free Shake

July 21, 2014

Thumbnail for 27045Arby’s is celebrating its 50th anniversary by shaking things up a bit. On Wednesday, July 23, get a FREE value-size shake (12-ounce.) Choose from any of its shake flavors including the new orange cream (limited availability) or classic Jamocha at participating locations. No purchase necessary. To get the free shake, you’ll need this printable coupon, which will be available starting Monday, July 21. You can print the coupon or download it to your mobile device. For locations, click here. Price and participation may vary.

Bear Creek Nature Center Hosts Programs for Kids

July 21, 2014

bear creek signKids getting bored? Get them out to Bear Creek Nature Center for some mid-summer fun. Bear Creek Nature Explorers: Best Foot Forward is on Thursday, July 24, 9 – 10:30 a.m. Children, ages 4 – 5 with an adult, will enjoy hands-on activities, puppet shows or stories, crafts, and a hike. ($4/person including adults and siblings, reservations required, 520-6387) Little Wonders: Curious About Colors happens on Friday, July 25, 9 – 10:15 a.m. Discover the world of nature with your 2 or 3 year-old. Interactive activities and a short hike make this the perfect introduction to the outdoors for your child. ($3/person including adults & siblings, reservations required, 520-6387). Then catch Nature’s Misunderstood Animals on Saturday, July 26, 10 – 11:30 a.m. Some animals seem quite awkward, strange and downright scary but all animals have a place on this earth. Learn about the misunderstood animals of Colorado as well as other parts of the world in a fun, interactive program, with hike and craft. Suitable for ages 6 and up. ($4/member, $5/nonmember)


Sonic Serving $1 All-American Dog or Chili Cheese Coney on July 23

July 20, 2014

Thumbnail for 27008You can enjoy one of America’s favorite foods “on the cheap”, thanks to Sonic Drive-In. The fast-food joint is celebrating National Hot Dog Day on Wednesday, July 23, with one doggone good deal. For $1, get an All-American dog or chili cheese coney. The discounted dogs are available all day (with no limit) at participating locations. With such a low-price, the whole clan can have lunch or dinner for under $10.


Going to a Wedding? Save Money on Travel, Gifts and More

July 20, 2014

wedding (flowers)If you’re going to a wedding this summer or fall, know this: The average wedding guest spends a record $592 each time they attend a friend’s nuptials, and that doesn’t even include the cost of a gift. What’s more, a survey from American Express found the collective cost of hotels, transportation, bachelor and bachelorette parties, clothing and personal grooming has soared by 75 per cent in the past two years. Consumer affairs writer Andrea Woroch ( has some tips for you:  TRAVEL – With an average cost of over $300 per person, travel represents a big chunk of your budget as a wedding guest. Don’t assume the group code is the best rate. The hotel rate offered by the bride and groom is not always the best rate. You may score a cheaper rate for the same hotel or one within a few miles of the reception by checking comparison sites like, or using the HotelTonight app for a last-minute booking. Recruit friends and family to split a condo or home and rent from the owner directly via sites like to find the best prices. Book through warehouse or credit card travel sites. Costco Travel will help you score car rentals, flights and hotels for up to 40-percent less! You can also book travel through your credit card’s reward program for up to 20-percent off airfare and other accommodations. GIFTS –  According to a registry study from The Knot, on average friends spend $79 on the bride and groom’s present while family members spend on average of $146. Use discount gift cards. Whether you’re planning to give a gift card or have your eye on something else, using discount gift cards can save you a bundle. Sites like offer gift cards for less than face value to popular wedding gift stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma. For instance, you can save up to 14-percent off Macy’s gift cards to score a $100 gift card for a little over $87. Redeem rewards. Rewards from credit cards can be redeemed for gift cards, which you can use as a wedding gift or towards the cost of a wedding gift. You can also redeem miles for free or discounted flight to the destination if airfare is needed, or towards gifts available from your credit card’s reward marketplace. Another great idea is to gift miles to the bride and groom, which they can use toward their honeymoon or a future trip together. Don’t buy off the registry. The registry is a great reference point to see what the bride and groom want, but you may find cheaper prices for desired items elsewhere. Check Costco and other warehouse clubs for deals of up to 30-percent off small appliances. Online sites like Overstock have 6-quart KitchenAid mixers for $289 compared to over $400 at Williams-Sonoma! Finally, use coupons to offset the cost of your gift. For example, you can get 20-percent off small appliances from Best Buy using the free Coupon Sherpa mobile app. Shop the dollar store. You’d think something as basic as a greeting card or wrapping paper wouldn’t cost much, and yet the average Hallmark card will run you over $4. Add in the cost of a gift bag, wrapping paper or packing tissue and you’ve just tacked on an extra $20 to an already pricey gift. Skip grocery and department store gift aisles and head to the dollar store for 50-cent greeting cards and $1 wrapping supplies. ATTIRE – Though the wedding party is expected to shell out big bucks for their attire, guests also spend an average of $168 on new apparel and accessories. Rent black-tie attire. If the wedding is a black-tie event and it’s been ages since you fit into your College Gala gown, you’ll find prices for fancy frocks at stores like Nordstrom for well over $200. Considering you may have several other weddings to attend this year, buying a brand-new dress for a one-night affair is a total waste of money. Check out to find high-end apparel for bargain-basement prices. For instance, you can rent a Badgley Mischka gown for just $80 even though it retails for $795. Buy a pre-owned suit or dress. This is especially smart for a bridesmaid who has so many other expenses to worry about! You can save up to 70-percent off attire, accessories and more by shopping pre-owned goods. Speciality sites like offer gently-used bridesmaid dresses (as well as the option to sell your bridesmaid dress after the event), and sells everything from pre-owned wedding gowns to cocktail dresses to tuxedos. Sell any bridesmaid dresses you already own as credit toward a new frock.


Pick Up Back Issues of Magazines for Only a Dime at Library

July 20, 2014

Looking for back issues of your favorite magazines? East Library only has room for a few years’ worth of each title in its circulating collection, so older issues are pulled and sold on the fourth Thursday of every month outside of the Friends Bookstore at East Library.  The price is only 10 cents per issue (or 11 magazines for a dollar). Whatever doesn’t sell is recycled the following day. Proceeds go to the Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District.

Leadville Has Many Things to Do for Under $10 — and Many Free

July 19, 2014

Leadville logoLooking for a winter getaway? How about Leadville, the state’s highest town? It’s not a pricey ski resort. It’s a real town with real good prices. In fact, on the town blog, it lists 10 Things to Do for Under $10 — and the first seven are FREE. BYO tube or sled, snowshoes or Nordic skis and do all of those things for FREE on designated hills and groomed trails. Explore downtown Leadville: Most of the buildings in Leadville were built between 1880 and 1905. There are 70 square blocks included in the National Historic Landmark District of Victorian Architecture, including the largest opera house west of the Mississippi, the saloon visited by Oscar Wilde, and two historic 1879 churches. (Free maps at 809 Harrison Ave,) Take a FREE self-guided our the National Fish Hatchery.  You also can ice skate or swim for just a couple of bucks and visit the fascinating  National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum for less than $10. For more details, CLICK HERE.



Pizza Hut Has Ultimate Hershey’s Chocolate Chip Cookie for $4.99

July 19, 2014

Thumbnail for 27012For a limited time, get the new Pizza Hut Ultimate Hershey’s Chocolate Chip Cookie for $4.99 with a pizza purchase ($5.99 without a pizza purchase). The cookie is eight inches in diameter and, like a pizza, comes in eight slices.


Get Your Kids to the Library for Free Children’s Programs

July 19, 2014

It’s easy to keep kids entertained with local library programs, and they’re FREE. Between Penrose Library, East Library, Library 21c and all the branches, there are programs almost every day somewhere. The list is way too long to publish here …. so for all the kids’ programs at the library, go ONLINE.

Junkyard Dog Picks Up and Recycles Big Stuff for Free

July 19, 2014

recycle appliancesGot an old washer or microwave you need to get rid of but no way to haul it off? JUNKYARD DOG RECYCLING will pick it up and haul it away for FREE. That includes freezers, refrigerators, washers, dryers, ovens, microwaves, water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and some electronics (except CRT monitors and tube TVs). They also take scrap metal.  Check them out ONLINE or call them at  213-4811.  It’s a local, small, family owned and operated recycling business.  They serve all of Colorado Springs and near by surrounding areas.

Sprechen Zie Deutsch? Improve Skills with Free Language Groups

July 18, 2014

Would you like to improve your German? Brush up on your Italian? Pick up a few more words of Japanese? How about practice speaking French or Spanish? You can exercise your basic knowledge  of all these languages with FREE classes and conversation groups sponsored by the Pikes Peak Library District. There are groups that meet to speak in German, Spanish, Japanese and Italian — and also English, for non-native speakers. To find out where your class meets, and when, contact the library by calling 531-6333 Ext. 1315, or going ONLINE.

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About This Site

Pikes Peak on the Cheap is your guide to free and inexpensive things to do in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region. We’ll find deals, bargains, two-fers and other ways for you to dine, shop, stay or have fun in our area.

Your guide is Linda DuVal, a former writer, reporter and editor who worked at The Gazette for 32 years and who has lived in, and written about, Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region for most of her life.

You can reach us at

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