I’ll be on the Sound of Ideas show on WCPN 90.3 FM with host Regina Brett from the PD on Tuesday, June 29th starting at 9:00 AM until 10:00 AM. I bumped into Regina the other week while I was at the PD for a work-related seminar. I was on the show a couple years ago and she wanted to get me back on. So expect to hear about deals and the latest in the world of saving money.

She’s also planning to do a column this Thursday on finding entertainment deals around Cleveland. I shared a ton of ideas with her of which you can find below.

Listen to the Sound of Ideas show live and webcast at:

There are a ton of Clevelanders that haven’t seen the great sites and things to do around town. Clevelanders are a frugal lot and love a good deal. I think when Moses Cleaveland landed on the Cuyahoga he picked up a penny he found on the shores of the river.

When travelling downtown some might say parking costs too much, there’s crime, it’s dead, it’s blah, blah, blah. Time to turn the record over and play a different tune. Most of those same people that complain haven’t been around town to see how things are for themselves. And if you look for negative, you’ll find it. Time to bring out the positive.

Here are some low-cost or free entertainment deals around Cleveland:

First off, West-siders get your East-side passport and vice-versa. There a whole new world just minutes away. Explore just like Columbus did in the Pinta, expect go in your Pinto. Chuck your preconceived notions aside, get a map or GPS, and explore. Better yet, have someone from the other side of town show you around. Return them the favor. Or take Lolley the Trolley for a reasonably-priced guided tour of Cleveland.

Many people in the Cleveland area have never visited popular local attractions. Whatever the excuse, it’s time to pay a visit. All are free to visit and are great for just people-watching or seeing the sites. Check out Amish country, Chagrin Falls, Coventry, Mentor Headlands beach, Cleveland Metroparks, West Side Market, Huntington beach, Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath (great for bike riding), Little Italy, etc.

Find Happy hour specials in the Cleveland area at and Find some freebie food and heavily discounted drink deals on those sites. Catch the happy-hour nightlife around spectacular East 4th and the nightclub West 6th street Warehouse District area for some energy and excitement.

For some old-timers the East 4th area and Prospect brings back memories of wig shops and hookers…not that they go together, but that is what you found in that area way back in the day. If only the gum on the sidewalk could talk. Now it has a lot of fine-dining restaurants, including Lola with Iron Chel Michael Simon as the chef/owner. Pickwick & Frolic with Hilarities is impressive. It looks like Mardi Gras on the street.

The bars in the area should name a drink or appetizer to harken the memories of that time. Perhaps an appropriate name would be fried wigs and ham. All the work staff should dress up in wigs and Prospect historical outfits. Crab specials should dot the menu.

West 6th used to be all suit shops. Now it’s restaurants and nightclubs. It took over for the Flats. Sadly, the east bank of the Flats are no more. It’s being rebuilt now with offices (Ernst & Young’s new digs), condos, hotels, and what may be a set of new restaurants and hotspots. I sure miss those sloppy gyros after a night in the Flats. Half of the gyro ended up on my shoes.

Some restaurants and bars offer free food or heavily-discounted deals. Try to get discounts at restaurants. This week use a discount code and get up to an additional 80% off on the gift certificate, so a $25 gift certificate can be purchased for $2. The code can be found in the LINKS or DEALS section of The summer is great for sitting out on patios at local restaurants. The nonsmoking law had a lot of restaurants investing in great new patios.

The Our Town and All Around coupon book offers discounts to Cleveland area attractions. Buy-one-get-one free deals for the Improv, Hilarities, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Steamship WIlliam G Mather Museum, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Children’s Museum, BOGO rounds of golf coupons at dozens of golf courses, putt-putt, and more.

The Entertainment book, soon to come out with a $10 price for the remaining books (will post the deal on my site when it comes out – currently $15 plus free shipping), has BOGO coupons for Hilarities, swimming admission tickets at local rec centers, batting cages, Holden Arboretum, USS Cod WWII submarine, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Pioneer Waterland, Geauga Lake’s Wildwater Kingdom, Soap Box Derby, and more.

Many destinations offer better pricing using AAA or AARP rates. Ask for senior discounts.

Check hotels, bars, and restaurants for magazines that list events around town. Many have coupons or list deals.

Fireworks are just around the corner. Check you local paper for times and locations. Oohs and ahhs are free.

Groupon and MyEZ Deal have deals of the day. Today, Monday, 6/28, Groupon has a half off ticket for Canton’s Football Hall of Fame. Get an adult admission for half off for the Football Hall of Fame in Canton. Instead of $20, pay $10 for a ticket. When I went there some years ago, what impressed me the most was at how shiny some features got on the heads of the busts. For instance, a player with a prominent nose or chin would get it rubbed often enough that it would shine. Worth the price of admission…

A certificate can be ordered at: HALL OF FAME TICKET DEAL

Free mass bike ride in the Cleveland area:

The observation deck is now open. Cost is $5. Kids 5 and under are free.

Go to Edgewood Park and fly a kite or enjoy the beach. Picnic there or any other park in the area.

Take a look at some interesting homes in the area. Visit where The Christmas Story was filmed or the boyhood home of one of the Superman creators. Check out LeBron’s mansion in Bath or Shaq’s digs in Macedonia. Just don’t serenade them with a vuvuzela, one of those soccer horns. See what’s left of Millionaires Row.

Stroll through Lakeview cemetary (heard it was real nice – this is on my list – never done it). Look for some prominent Clevelanders buried there.

Attend a gallery opening. They usually offer free refreshments, appetizers, and music. Visit them in Coventry, Little Italy, Tremont, etc. The Tremont ArtWalk offers a free walk through its galleries every second Friday of each month.

Attend a local festival. Most have free concerts and entertainment.

Sign up to Pickwick & Frolic’s web-site to get free tickets to Hilarities Comedy Club and get points for other freebies when purchasing items at

Open-mic night and class-graduation gigs at the Improv offer tickets at $5. Nothing better than watching a brand new comic cut their teeth for the first time, good or bad.

Playhouse Square offers $10 Smart Seats for certain performances. Find the deals at

Ohio’s largest free music festival is held in Painesville every summer with numerous bands. Find info about the concert at This year it’s on July 16-18.

Find free factory tours at

One thing that would be neat to do would be to take someone, like your grandparents or parents, that grew up in Cleveland and take them around to the homes they lived in or where they went to school. Bring a video camera and gather in all they have to say. Great memories to have on tape. They’ll love going back to the old haunts. If they say they want to drive to Prospect…time to go home!

Visit the Cleveland Art Museum. Admission is free. Other free local attractions include:
Polka Hall of Fame in Euclid
Kent/Blossom Chamber Players concerts –
International Women’s Air and Space Museum at Burke Lakefront airport
Malley’s Chocolates Tour –
Glenn NASA Research Center –
The Great Lakes Science Museum is free on Tuesdays for youth 18 and under with a paying adult. Become a paying member and you can get unlimited free admission along with free admission to over 250 science centers worldwide.

Find free events at local parks –,, or Lake Metroparks Farmpark offers free days each month to Lake county residents.

Find a discounted pass for Cleveland-area attractions such as the Zoo, Botanical Garden, Holden Arboretum, and more at Other discounts can be found on the page.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo admission is free for Cuyahoga County residents on Mondays. In 2010, admission is half off for attendees on specific Wednesdays for those in surrounding counties of Lake, Lorain, Summit, Portage, Geauga, and Medina. Check their web-site for info:
Wild Wednesdays
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo offers half-price admission on “Wild Wednesdays” this summer for residents of Lake, Lorain, Summit, Portage, Geauga and Medina counties. The special discount applies to residents of surrounding counties as follows:
July 7: Lake County Day
July 14: Lorain County Day
July 21: Summit County Day
July 28: Portage County Day
August 4: Geauga County Day
August 11: Medina County Day
On Wild Wednesdays, Zoo admission for qualifying residents is half-price all day (includes admission to The RainForest). Out-of-county residents should bring a valid photo ID (with current address) to the Zoo Box Office on the specified day, or bring a current utility bill with another form of photo identification.

Get an Ohio fishing license for $19 and fish some rivers and lakes for perch, walleye, trout. Resident Free Senior Licenses – for Ohio residents born on or before December 31, 1937. Oil-free fishing in Lake Erie!

The state of Ohio offers discounted deals on admission to active and retired military members. Discounts are available for the Football Hall of Fame, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, and many hotels and inns. To find the deals go to

Look for deals at the Rock Hall at Find merchandise deals on the Rock Hall site too.

Megabus,, offers bus trips for $1 each way from Cleveland to Chicago or Toledo. After the dollar seats sell out they raise the price to the next level and to the next level as those sell out. Best to book the seats when the schedule opens up when the dollar seats become available. Free wifi on the bus. Picks up behind Tower City. Speaking of Tower City, they have great jumping water fountains.

Visit a local winery. Some are in beautiful settings and sell bottles of wine for mostly around $10 to $20. Many have won prestigious awards, including double golds and best-of-show in competitions across the U.S. Markko’s, Harpersfield, Ferrante’s, and St Joseph wineries have excellent wine and not the sweet headache wines from the past. They have planted vinefra grapes for a higher quality wine. Ohio has come a long way when it comes to wine. The Our Town book has a bunch of winery coupons too.

The Lake County Captains minor league baseball team affiliate of the Cleveland Indians offer great giveaways and game specials. Buck night on Monday, Kids eat free on Tuesdays, and Nickel Beer on Thursdays. Check their event calendar at
$1 discount on adult tickets
$2 discount on adult tickets with PNC Bank debit/credit card
50-cent hot dogs
$1 fries, popcorn, onion rings, fountain sodas, 10 oz. drafts

$2 discount on adult tickets
Kids receive free hot dog, fries & small soda (with paid admission)
2-for-1 hot dogs, fries, onion rings, chips, soft pretzels & popcorn
Cargo Hold merchandise specials

For only $18, fans receive a game ticket and all-you-can-eat hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, onion rings, popcorn & chips! *Night Games Only

Nickel domestic draft beer for one hour before game time*
Half-price draft beer and fountain soda through the seventh inning*
All-You-Can-Eat pizza and wings buffet for only $10, located near the Corona Castaway’s Bar.
$5 military tickets for active and retired military and families with ID presented by Lake County Speedway.
$5 tickets for college students with College ID*
*Night Games Only

And to find the best gas prices around town to get to these destinations, go to You may find out it’s 30 cents cheaper per gallon in the area you are going to visit.

The city of Cleveland doesn’t ticket for expired meter parking on the weekends. Check parking signs during the week to see when parking on streets is allowed for free. Typically meters are not monitored after 6:00 P.M. (after rush hour). Many other cities operate the same way.

There are plenty more deals out there… explore and let me know what you found.

Click on the link below for templates to make coupons for your business. I think I may make one for a garage sale, if I have one. Buy one clothing item, get a can of peas free. Or maybe buy my old white undershirt with chirping canaries on the armpits, get a free cup of tap water in a take-home Solo plastic cup.

Buy $10 worth, get $5 in extra bucks – Windex & Pledge – $2.50 – use recent $1 coupon and get 4 for $1 total.
Kodak Picture Movie DVD – free after extra bucks
M&M pretzel singles – use BOGO coupon to get both free

Free after register rewards:
Blistex Fruit Smoothies
Flexitol Blistop
Airplus Ulta Moisturizing Socks for Her
Twizzlers – 2/$1 after $2 register rewards – use $1/3 coupon
Dentyne gum – 3/99 cents after 99 cent coupon in Walgreens store coupon book
Gillette Proglide razor – 89 cents after $4 coupon and $5 register rewards
Crest Pro-health mouthwash – 1 liter – 99 cents after $2 register rewards & $2 coupon
Reach floss or crystal clear toothbrush – free after in ad coupon and recent $1 manufacturers coupon
Stayfree – BOGO – get free after $2 coupon
Xtra detergent – 50 cents after $1 coupon

Crest Sensitive Pro-Health toothpaste – free after rebate
John Frieda hair products – $4 for $20 – get $10 rebate – plus use four $3 coupons
Crest 3D mouthwash – 59 cents after $2 UP reward

15% off everything – through July 5th

Watermelon – $1.99 each
Blueberries – 99 cents/pint
Strawberries – 99 cents/lb
Honeydew – $1.59 each

Breyers ice cream – $2.50 – plus use .75/2 coupon
Oscar Meyer hot dogs – 99 cents – plus use $1/2 coupon at COUPONS.COM – limit 4 – with $25 additional purchase
Free bread for members of Shop Your Way Rewards program

Jack Daniels BBQ – free after .75 coupon
Heluva Good dip – 25 cents after .75 coupon
Bic multipurpose lighter BOGO – 99 cents after $1 coupon
Breakstones sour cream – 40 cents after .55 coupon
Ball Park hot dogs – BOGO – plus use .75 coupon to get it nearly free
Hebrew National franks – BOGO – plus use .75 coupon to get it nearly free
Mellita coffee filters – $1 – use $1 or $1/2 coupon to get it free or 50 cents
Reynolds aluminum wrap – $2.50 – use .75 coupon to get it for $1

Use $5 off $25 purchase coupon in Entertainment book – order at

Be sure to sign up for their Ace Hardware Club card to earn points for additional discounts
Sale – Friday, July 2nd to Monday, July 5th
99 cents: assorted sunglasses, sidewalk chalk, squirt gun, children’s swim goggles, swimming arm bands, beach ball, butterfly net
Two way radio – $4.99 after $10 rebate

Free after rebate:
Soy-based lubricants
Totally Green All purpose cleaner
Organic Automotive Glass cleaner
Jobe’s fertilizer spikes

Turtlewax car wash concentrate – $2.99 after rebate
Homeinsect control – $2. 99 after $4 rebate – limit 2
Weed & grass killer – 99 cents after $2 rebate – limit 2
Bug free backyard spray – $3.99 after $6 rebate

$4.99 after rebate:
Stanley 3 piece pliers set
Stanley Leverlock tape rule 3 pack
Stanley 16 pc cushion grip screwdriver set

Free 5 gallon bucket with $30 purchase

Blockbuster – Willoughby Hills

5 line ad in print and online for 5 days for FREE. List price of item must be less than $1,000. Call 440-951-SOLD or contact

Check them for coupons in the weekly magazine

Get restaurant gift certificates 80% off! Spend $2 for $25 gift certificates! Use 80% Off coupon code SUMMER on any three of their popular products: Gift Certificates, Dinner of the Month Club, and Gift Cards. Ends 6/30.
Click here to order:

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