Discover the best and easiest ways to save whether you’re a Nashville visitor or newcomer.
Here’s the deal. You buy a pass (see link for details) and you gain admission to four key attractions, plus the Parthenon in Centennial Park, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, a 25% discount on a Grayline tour and 10% off at designated gift shops. What attractions are included, you ask? Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Historic RCA Studio B, Frist Art Museum, Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, the Hermitage and Adventure Science Center, to name a few. At $75, it’s a bargain–up to 54% savings according to the Nashville Visitors and Convention Corporation.
In essence, it’s a big page posting deals on lodging, dining, activities and merchandise hosted by the Music City Convention & Visitors Corporation. I was surprised that some top-tier enterprises are among the offers.
Cost: $25 plus shipping; sometimes runs buy-one-book, get-one-free offers that’ll help you save in Nashville. Coupons are good from September of one year through December of the next. Compared to the Entertainment Book/Nashville, I think visitors will find more coupons they will actually use, especially for attractions. Most attraction deals are of the 2-for-1 variety for places like the Nashville Opera, Nashville Children’s Theatre, Nashville Symphony, Nashville Zoo, Nashville Predators, the Escape Game and AdventureWorks ziplines.
I definitely get my money’s worth as I’m driving around town. A roster of restaurants ranging from fast food to a few gems is included but be warned–few are near downtown and none are the new foodie hot spots. There’s also an app version so you don’t have to carry the coupon book around. If you can’t get one locally from schools selling them as a fundraiser, you can order online.
Cost: Starts at $25 (plus shipping) at the beginning of the year and decreases toward year’s end. (On June 1, it was $12.) Many of the listings are for merchants in surrounding communities of Nashville which adds up to a lot of offers but some may be too far away to be appealing. Among the highlights are 400 Degrees (hot chicken), Hog Heaven (barbecue by Centennial Park), Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, Nashville Predators and Trail West (boots and other cowboy wear). They also include a bunch of national discounts for lodging, car rental and other services. Like CitySaver, they have an app and last year I found a GroupOn “app only” deal. Order online if you can’t one at Walgreen’s or other locations.
Also known as the Smart Card. Often sold for $20 as a fundraiser by schools and other groups, each county has its own offers. Not great for visitors but could be valuable for locals. Includes tiny coupons as well as deals that can be used multiple times. Merchants include Outback Steakhouse, Chili’s, Bar-B-Cutie, Office Depot, Firestone and Shoe Carnival.
Sign up for our daily newspaper’s Insider program and you’ll gain access to an assortment of deals and special offers. Honestly I wasn’t impressed at first glance but maybe it’s improving.
Our weekly local tabloid-style newspaper available free around town offers $20 for $10, $30 for $15 and other half-price dining deals online. Most restaurants are locally owned and mid-range in price. The list changes weekly. Think of it as Nashville-only Groupon. And speaking of Groupon…
If you’re planning to visit, you might consider signing up for Nashville’s Groupon a month or two before your visit. If you live here–well, there are new deals all the time. On the day I wrote this, deals were mostly half-price or 2-for-one offers including dinner at City Winery (nice place), distillery tours, walking tours, Nashville Sounds tickets, Nashville Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum, Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predator tickets. Plus, a bunch of stuff that doesn’t interest any of us.
The website was created to showcase local restaurants and fight the ever-increasing number of chains. But they also give you a chance to save in Nashville through occasional sales. In December I bought a $100 gift card that came with a free $50 bonus. Pretty good deal considering Nashville Originals include both quick-and-casual dining as well as some of Music City’s finest. They even have an app.
I’ve never seen a huge difference between it and GroupOn; some even promote the same offer. Sign up for both and see whether one fits your life better than the other.
I know it’s not very exciting but chances are you’ll end up in a Kroger at some point, even if you’re a Whole Foods fan. I typically save 10-20%. Easy. You can register here. for a KrogerPlus card. Then may I ask a favor? A portion of your purchase totals can be donated to non-profits through their Community Cares program; unless you have allegiance elsewhere, my son’s Special Olympics swim team would love your no-cost support: the code for Nashville Dolphins is 54355. Learn more about the program here. Thanks!
Drugstore loyalty cards
Walgreen’s, CVS, RiteAid–they’ve all got them and they seem to be intent on making it unnecessarily complicated to actually save money. And yet, we have all three. One extra tip: snag that little coupon booklet when you enter Walgreen’s. If you’re lucky, you might save a few bucks.
Opry Mills, Rivergate Mall and Green Hills Mall coupons
Check online and at the information booth for discount coupons or special sales.
Clipper Magazine shows up in our mailbox each month as does The Home Magazine; the former has an assortment offers and the latter is homeowner-centered. Occasionally I’ll find something of value there. There’s also Valpak with a variety of deals. I might hang on to two or three coupons but none make me openly weep.
Good deals to be found of the non-coupon/discount card variety.
Okay, we know the horror stories of people who thought they were buying legit tickets to concerts, sporting events and monster-truck shows….then something went wrong–bogus tickets, never delivered, etc. Still, there are honest souls who just wanna get their money back…so play at your own risk. Craigslist can also be a smart place to look for good prices on all kinds of stuff–but you probably already know that.
If you’re a resident, sign up for this hyper-local neighborhood service available in many areas. Along with notices about lost dogs and crime reports, there are daily classified ads from people selling everything from concert tickets to leftover building materials. Occasional freebies too. I highly recommend it as an information source–even if you’re not in shop-mode.