With flashy casinos, famous beaches, and grand resorts, one might think that Atlantic City is only for the rich. But there’s more to this beachside resort town than going on a casino spree and eating in upscale steakhouses. Luckily for us, there are many things you can do in AC, even if you’re on a budget

From budget-friendly transportation options to inexpensive restaurants, you can still enjoy your time in America’s Playground without breaking the bank. Here are some tips to help you enjoy Atlantic City on a budget.

Sign Up for a Casino Card

If you’re in Atlantic City to gamble, you should always sign up for a casino card for every spot you plan to visit. Most casinos have cards that will offer you rewards for each game you play. These rewards include free money for your next machine, drinks, and snacks in the lounge bar. Your casino card will also help you track how often you’ve played a particular game. And that’s good to know if you’re saving points for your next Atlantic City trip.

Spend Your Pre-Game at the Casino

If you’re looking for a place to hang out before your night at the casino, why not go there immediately? All casinos have lounge bars where you can spend your pre-game time. Some even have cheaper drinks than the bars in Atlantic City. And you’ll also save money on transportation because you won’t have to travel from your pre-game spot to the casino. 

Casino lounges can be just as fun as popular Atlantic City bars. They also have DJs, live bands, and other forms of entertainment. And regardless of which day of the week you book your trip to Atlantic City, you are likely to see a top act perform at one of the casinos. 

Save money on food

Aside from travel and lodging, food tends to be the most considerable expense when visiting Atlantic City. There are several of fancy restaurants in town, but those are not the best option if you’re trying to save money on food. However, you can purchase food items and prepare meals in your hotel.

There are several grocery stores near the Boardwalk area, like City Grocery, Food 4 Less, Dover Super Market, and Nashville Market. And there are also dozens of inexpensive restaurants where you’ll still get good food, like Angeloni’s and Angelo’s, both in Ducktown. Less formal and even more affordable options include White House Subs, Maria’s Luncheonette, Gilchrist Atlantic City Restaurant, or Tony Boloney’s.

Sacchianno's at Lefty's by Brian Cicioni

Take advantage of the free public beaches

Atlantic City may be known for its casinos, but in the summer, people also come here for the beaches. For $30 (or $20 for ladies), Ocean Casino Resort guests can splash around the HQ Beach Club during the summer.

If you’re heading to Atlantic City solely for the sand and sun, public beach access is free all summer. You can show up in your bathing suit or trunks, rub on some lotion, and enjoy one of the famous New Jersey beaches.

Ride high, spend low

Atlantic City also has options for adrenaline junkies. There are affordable parasailing options for as low as $70 per person. If you like theme parks, check out Steel Pier, which is located across from the Resorts Casino. Here, you can hop on rides for as low as $3. And if you are looking to splurge a bit, grab a balcony seat at the Resorts’ upscale Italian restaurant Capriccio. From there, you’ll have a clear view of the 227-foot-high Wheel. 

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how to enjoy Atlantic City on a budget

Have you been to Atlantic City? Visited any of the places mentioned in our list? Leave a comment below!

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