The Real Deal

Suggestions for navigating Austin on $10 or less, every night of the week.

Being frugal in this decadent age can be a real challenge for the young at heart, but when it comes to leisure, food and drink, Austin is most definitely a buyer’s market. Beware though: with such an abundance of venues, a few missteps and suddenly you realize that your $65 bar tab isn’t going to pay itself. So, if you want to frolic without going Cyprus, it’ll take ten dollars, some form of transportation…oh, and you better set your palette to Lone Star.

SUNDAY: Kung Fu Saloon-it-up for $1 mimosas, Jumbo Jenga and Jumbo Connect Four. Of course, you ARE then stuck at the Kung Fu Saloon. Though it has a hot mess of sexy yet efficient bartenders and doormen, Kung-Fu is chock-full of meat market mania. Seriously consider buying condoms beforehand ($3). Hey, that’s still 4 mimosas, even with a $3 tip! If uncomfortable shoes, a mind-bending din, and excessive amounts of cologne are your bag, you’ll be in paradise.
Monday: Gotta love Monday - No lines, plenty of seating, stocked toilet paper and better music. On Monday EVERYTHING is cheaper. Chuy’s does a fully stocked FREE nacho bar and $3.75 margaritas (M-F actually). Right down the street, Barton Springs Saloon has $1 Lone Stars and great summer people-watching on the patio. ALSO, The Crowbar does $5 happy meals (Lone Star + a well shot) and FREE pool. Yeah, that’s right. I said it: FREE POOL.
Tuesday: The dilemma: wholesome outing OR yet another night at the bar? For the inner child, hit up Playland Skate Center’s Adult Skate Night ($8 w/skates). This is a great place to see disco-skating elders shape curlicues around hipsters, roller-derby competitors, and everybody in between. OR, if you’re not into the whole levity thing, Bender’s Bar on 290 does $1 sliders, $2 Lone Star and $2 wells. It’s whatever you want. Nobody’s judging you.
Wednesday: 2 for 1 burger night at the Jackalope on 6th. At around $7 a burger and $2+ for domestics, it’s the plan. Split the bill with a friend, and you can tip $4 (towards the kitchen AND the bar). OR Doc’s S. Congress offers $1 tacos and $2 Modelos on the patio, if the idea of going downtown fills you with dread.
Thursday: EASY. Stand-Up Comedy at The Velveeta Room on 6th for $5! If you’re a big drinker-smoker, suck it up and enjoy this for what it’s worth. WHAT YOU GET: 30 comedians, of varying comedic ability, 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m., Lone Star for $3.50, and some REALLY uncomfortable moments. Best date night 5 bucks can buy. Cheapen it up by hitting Jackalope’s $2.50 pint-night down the street first. 
Friday: Friday is a mess. Download a movie and stay home. If you can’t manage that, Trudy’s is a decent happy hour spot, but can be a bit pricey at $9 a house Mexican Martini (Serves 2… or 1, if you’re me). If that’s too rich for your blood, The Violet Crown is known for its cheap drinks ($2.50 wells), heavy pours and ‘hip’ atmosphere. If you have tattoos, apparently they’ll smile at you.
Saturday: SO, you’ve been frugal all week but haven’t heard any live music, seen your weekly quota of pearl-snap shirts, or managed to find the hipster of your dreams? Get yourself down to The White Horse on East 5th. $5 buys a happy meal (you guessed it: Lone Star + a shot of well whiskey), and on the patio you’ll find ‘Bomb Tacos 2’ $3+/-. Great place to catch a few phenomenal honky-tonk bands, do a little 2-steppin’, soak up the atmosphere, and look for that future ex-husband or wife. 

Feel free to comment below if you think you can get yo’ play on EVEN CHEAPER any night of the week. I’d like to see you try, and I’m ALWAYS up for a better deal.


Tags: Austin, Drinks, Happy Hour, Free Stuff, Cheap, Pool, Comedy

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