Chili's Free Chips and Queso


You have found your complete guide to living better for less in St. Louis.

Looking for inexpensive or free things to do in St. Louis? You'll find news about them here.

Want to sample the city's attractions, hotels, restaurants and bars without breaking the bank? Check out St. Louis On The Cheap.

Here you'll find out how to get the most for your dollar. We post new deals and discounts almost daily, so check back often!

Area resident? We'll show you the best steals and deals in town.

Visiting St. Louis? Congratulations! You've picked one of the best cities in the country to visit if you're traveling on a budget. Outside of Washington, D. C., no other American city offers so many FREE attractions!



Free: Arnold Days Festival Opens Friday; Runs Through Sunday

The Arnold Days Festival kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday at Arnold-City Parks & Recreation Department Headquarters and Recreation Center, 1695 Missouri State Road, when the carnival and food and craft booths open. Helicopter rides and Segways will be underway. Smashband will perform at 7 p.m.

Hours are 5-11 p.m., Friday; 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday and noon-8 p.m., Sunday.

Saturday’s event begin with a free children’s fishing tournament. The St. Louis Longbeards will  provide fishing poles to those without them–while quantities last.

Other events on Saturday:

9 a.m., Car Show

10 a.m., Carnival Rides and The Edge

10 a.m., Helicopter Rides and Segways

10 a.m., Craft and Food  Booths Open

11 a.m.., St. Louis Longbeards (free children’s activities and crafts)

Noon-1 p.m., Dance Productions Unlimited performs at main stage

3:30-6:30 p.m., Jessie Kohut & the Boys perform

7-11 p.m., Joe Dirt and the Dirty Boys perform

8:30-9 p.m.  (approximate), fireworks

Sunday events

Noon, carnival rides, activities, booths open; helicopter rides and Segways

1 p.m., parade begins at Wilde Conference Center (Fox Campus) and finishes at Arnold City Park

UPDATED: Free Events All Weekend Long In St. Louis Sept. 16-18, 2011

So many great free events in St. Louis, such a short weekend!

You’ll have to schedule wisely to take in the free events in the Lou this weekend.

Here’s a sampling:

Free: Greentree Festival In Kirkwood This Weekend

Free: Mississippi Earthtones Festival In Alton On Saturday

Free: Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival This Weekend At Soldiers Memorial

Free: St. Louis Forest Park Balloon Race In Forest Park This Weekend

Free: Arnold Days Festival Opens Friday; Runs Through Sunday

Free: Music At Stone Hill Winery This Weekend

Need A Cool Costume? Opera Theatre Of St. Louis To Hold Liquidation Sale Saturday

Free: New Invaders Plays On Friday, Sept. 16, At Town Center Plaza In Wildwood

Free: Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival Saturday

Genealogy Expert To Speak At St. Louis County Library Headquarters Saturday

Free: Showing Of A Bug’s Life Highlights Activities Starting At 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, At St. Louis’s Lafayette Park

Free: Street Musicians To Compete For Best Of Show Trophy On Saturday, Sept. 17, At Festival In St. Louis’s Dogtown

Free: The Blind Nils To Perform At 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, At St. Louis’s Tower Groves Farmers’ Market

Barter Up! Fall Barter Fest, Workshops Set For Sunday In Old North St. Louis


And don’t forget there’s still time for these great savings:

Get Family Attractions Card And Save Up To $1,000 In Fun

Vineyard Values Card Offers Deals At Missouri Wineries

Free: Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival This Weekend At Soldiers Memorial

Here’s another great free event this weekend in St. Louis--the Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 16 and 17 and 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 18. at Soldier’s Memorial (14th and Market Streets in downtown St. Louis).

The festival include:

  • Live Latino bands
  • Authentic food
  • Folkloric dancers
  • Los Niños Kids Corner
  • A low rider car cruise
The procession of hispanic flags will take place as part of the welcoming ceremony at 5 p.m. Saturday starting at 15th and Chestnut streets. Participants will wear clothing from their home countries.
Highlights of the weekend include:
6-10 p.m., Friday, Nitro salsa band
3-5 pm., Saturday, Kaza Nova Band
7-10 p.m., Saturday, Nabori band
3-5 p.m., Sunday, Los Latinos salsa band
5-8 p.m., Sunday, Grupo Tumbao salsa band

Free: St. Louis Forest Park Balloon Race In Forest Park This Weekend

Here’s a great free event that’s become a September tradition in St. Louisthe 2011 Great Forest Park Balloon Race. It’s happening this weekend in Forest Park.

A Balloon Glow (a walk-through event) will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Friday  on Central Field (the site of the Race). Visitors can get  breathtaking views of the inflated balloons lighted by their burners.

A fireworks finale display sponsored by PNC Bank begins at approximately 9 p.m.

The Balloon Race will take place on Central Field near the Jewel Box in Forest Park, on Saturday afternoon.  Events begin at noon.

Click here for maps of the locations.

Organizers say the event will help celebrate the 20th birthday of the Energizer Bunny.

The Purina Children’s Entertainment area opens at noon will offer pony rides, games and other activities. A variety of local talent will perform on the Entertainment Stage. Race-goers can can enter the balloon field and take pictures of their favorite balloons. Prizes will be awarded for the best photographs.

A skydiving team will perform and land in the center of the launch field. The race begins when the Energizer Bunny Balloon takes off ahead of the pack. 70 “hound” balloons then launch in pursuit. The balloon dropping a birdseed baggie closest to the Energizer Bunny Balloon will be declared the winner.

See the schedule of activities. 

In case the race is cancelled because of weather, it will be rescheduled for Sunday, Sept. 18.

Free: Icee at AMC, Facebook And Coupon Required

Taking in a movie at an AMC Theatre?

If you’re doing it on any Friday between now and Oct. 7 and the theatre is participating, you can get a coupon for a free Icee. You do need to “like” AMC on Facebook to get the coupon. 


Free: Cliff Cave Library Branch Presents Movie Beastly On Monday Sept. 19, In Program For Teens


The Cliff Cave branch of the St. Louis County Library at 6:30 p.m. on Monday Sept. 19, will present  Beastly in a movie program for teenagers. The library is at 5430 Telegraph Road, Oakville.

Beastly is a modern retelling of the classic fable Beauty and the Beast;  a New York teen is transformed into a monster to find true love.


Free: Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival Saturday

The family-friendly Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival returns to Webster Groves from noon to 11 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. It’s the festival’s 10th anniversary year.

It’s a mostly local event showcasing St. Louis’ most talented performers. Food and drink will be available from area restaurants. In addition, there will be street entertainers, face-painting, juggling and balloons. Festival-goers are advised to bring lawn chairs.

Here’s the tentative schedule which is subject to change:

Webster University Stage – Gore
Noon – Matt Rowland Group
2 p.m. – Have U Heard (Pat Metheny Tribute w/ Tom Byrne & Ralph Butler)
2:30 p.m. – Spiritual Jazz Meets Pojazz (located at McCaughen & Burr, 19 N Gore)
4 p.m. – Alvin Jett & Phat Noiz
6 p.m. – Webster University Faculty Jazz Band
8 p.m. - Marquise Knox Blues Band

Allen Stage
Noon – Rum Drum Duo
2 p.m. - Funky Butt Brass Band
2:30 p.m. – Spiritual Jazz Meets Pojazz (located at McCaughen & Burr, 19 N Gore)
4 p.m. – Jim Stevens Group
6 p.m. – Webster Groves High School Jazz Band
7:30 p.m. – Javier Mendoza & The Latin Jazz Experiment


Save $10 On A $50 Purchase At Sappington Farmers' Market Thursday

Today you can get $10 off a $50 purchase at Sappington Farmers’ Market, 8400 Sappington.

The $10 off coupon is in several local publications or you can get the coupon here.

You can’t use the coupon on milk products, liquor, gift certificates or case items. It’s good Sept. 15, 2011 only.



Barter Up! Fall Barter Fest, Workshops Set For Sunday In Old North St. Louis

Following the first barter fest held this summer, The Cowry Collective and underWAREs, two St. Louis bartering groups, will hold the second Fall Equinox Barter Fest on Sunday in north St. Louis. The action takes place from noon to 5 p.m. at Old North St. Louis Restoration Group 2700 N. 14th St.

Barterists will trade and showcase the “wares” they offer. They include a variety of foods, drinks, crafts and services.

The event is open to the public and will also feature live music performances, a potluck and a clothing swap. Bring your dancing shoes, a dish and that stack of clothes you never wear.

Workshops will be offered on screen printing, creative meal planning, how to build a re-purposed greenhouse and ceramics. New to bartering?  Take the Barter 101 workshop.

According to fest organizers, bartering seems to be “just the creative solution to America’s economic woes” as community groups spring up and find  untapped wealth in their neighborhoods

The Cowry Collective is a local time bank serving the Black community. Currently it has about 30 members.

UnderWAREs’ Barter Circle has about 70 members and offers a diversity of goods and services from garden labor to carpentry to child-friendly “sock monsters.”

To display goods or services at the event, contact Stephanie Co at 708.323.6867 or