Julie is a writer and travel expert who lives in Indianapolis and is passionate about sharing great deals in her home city. Find her on Twitter and Google +

Oct 202014
Before you go to sleep, grab these FREE tickets

Before you go to sleep, grab these FREE tickets

It’s a thriller with a different twist.

Indianapolis on the Cheap has 60 admit-two tickets to see Before I Go to Sleep, a  thriller starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth. The movie will have its screening at the AMC Castleton Square on Wednesday, October 29 at 7 pm.

This one is a first come, first served ticket grab. Step one, head to Gofobo *(you’ll need to set up a free account if you haven’t already): Tickets, please.

Step 2 is to enter the access code, which we’re emailing to our newsletter subscribers at an undisclosed time on Monday, October 20.

From there, if you are among the first 60 to get to the site, you’ll be able to claim and print your ticket passes. It’s that simple!

And, for those who are new to the movie screening entertainment, a pass is not a seat guarantee, so get to the theater before the start time; some movies start lining up as early as 90 minutes in advance.

Here’s what you can expect:

Before I Go to Sleep, the story of a woman (Nicole Kidman) who wakes up every day with no memory as the result of a traumatic accident in her past. One day, terrifying new truths begin to emerge that make her question everything she thinks she knows about her life – as well as everyone in it, including her doctor (Mark Strong) and even her husband (Colin Firth). For more information, catch the Facebook trailer.

Previous movie screenings from Indianapolis on the Cheap:


The Best of Me

Dracula Untold

The Maze Runner

The November Man

As Above/So Below

Let’s Be Cops




Oct 022014
Yay for FREE Disney movies!

Yay for FREE Disney movies!

Families, we know you’re planning to see Disney’s Alexander, and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day when it comes out in theaters next week. So why not save a little money by seeing it FREE now?

We have 90 admit-two tickets to see this movie with the epically long title at a preview screening next Wednesday, October 8 at 7 pm at AMC Castleton.

How do you get the tickets? Well, I have them on my computer. And at an undisclosed time on Saturday, all of our newsletter subscribers will receive an email telling you which email address to send your request. Just write Alexander Movie Tickets in the status line; no need to write anything else unless you want to use the opportunity to say something specific about Indy on the Cheap. When I’ve reached 90 requests, I’ll start replying with return emails containing the tickets! Please, just one request per household.

(I may be the only person in Indy who is hoping it rains and keeps me at my computer this weekend.)

If you’re not a newsletter subscriber, it’s a great day to become one. We send out links to the local deals, discounts and freebies we post on Mondays and Thursdays, so you aren’t signing up to receive a gazillion emails throughout the day.

And there’s always a disclaimer on the movie tickets: a ticket is not a guarantee of a seat. We recommend you arrive at the theater approximately 90 minutes in advance to get in line. Don’t worry—you won’t have to stand there for 90 minutes because they will open the doors and let folks inside at some point, but it’s a matter of physics. When there are no more seats in the theater, then they can’t, by fire marshal’s law, let any more folks in.

Here’s what you can expect:


Genre:                                      Family Comedy
Rating:                                      PG
Cast:                                        Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Ed Oxenbould, Kerris Dorsey, Megan Mullally, Jennifer Coolidge, Bella Thorne
Director:                                   Miguel Arteta
Producers:                                Shawn Levy, Lisa Henson, Dan Levine
Based on the novel by:              Judith Viorst

Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life—a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family about the misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns that he’s not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn’t had one.

“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” directed by Independent Spirit Award-winner Miguel Arteta (“The Good Girl,” “Cedar Rapids,” “Youth in Revolt”) from a screenplay by Rob Lieber, is a 21 Laps Entertainment/Jim Henson Company production. The film hits theaters nationwide Oct. 10, 2014.

Sep 222014
Welcome to the fun side of life.

Welcome to the fun side of life.

Are you ready for some fun that doesn’t break the bank, Indy?

We’ve identified more than one way to spice up your week for FREE or very cheap. Check back throughout the week at our Cheap to Do This Week tab as we add more things to this week — and next!

FREE or cheap (and by that, we mean less than $10 per person) this week:

And for ongoing fun throughout the week, don’t miss:

Indy’s popular (and mostly FREE) fall festivals

How to eat out for $5 per person

Sep 222014
Steak n shake milk shake

FREE with a $10 gift card

The best thing about September in my world are the caramel apple milk shakes they roll out at Steak n Shake every fall.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Ah, let me help you remedy that. Between now and November 2, you can get a FREE caramel apple or S’mores milk shake at Steak n Shake when you buy $10 in gift cards. The catch? You have to use it by November 30, and it has to be on the next visit. But you can buy them on line with free shipping, so that can help on the budget, too:

Steak n Shake gift card

This is a 35% return on your investment, which is one of the best gift card perks we’ve ever seen. Heck, we get excited to find $5 when you buy $20 these days.

So check it out and leave a comment to let me know if you agree on the caramel apple thing. I’ll see you in the drive-thru!

Sep 212014

A warm proposition

What’s the latest buzz? From now through Sept. 29, stop by any participating McDonald’s for a FREE small McCafé coffee — no purchase necessary. McCafé coffee is a freshly brewed, whole-bean roasted coffee with a bold, rich flavor, made from fully ripened 100% Arabica beans harvested by hand in Central America, South America and Indonesia. Limit one per customer, per visit. The freebie is available during breakfast hours only, drive-through or dine-in.

Copyright Living On The Cheap.

Sep 212014
When the sun goes down and your stomach starts rumbling, remember this post.

When the sun goes down and your stomach starts rumbling, remember this post.

We’ve all been there. Dinner ended a few hours ago, the sun has gone down … and you’re hungry. As you sit there after dark with your stomach growling, you start to contemplate your options. Going to bed hungry doesn’t appeal much to you, but going out and paying full price for what night owls often refer to as “Fourth Meal” doesn’t sound particularly responsible.

Not to worry, as we know of a few restaurants that run specials specifically for after dark. Hopefully you find something on the following list that can take care of that craving on the cheap:

Smokey Bones – From 10:00 p.m. to close every day at Smokey Bones, the menu heats up for the “Best Bites for Late Night” promotion. You can choose from a limited menu of items available for anywhere from $4 to $7 each. Check out the full menu by clicking the red lettered link, and then smoke our your late night hunger.

Steak n Shake - Speaking of milkshakes, we had to bring up the King of Shakes. Most people are aware that Happy Hour at Steak n Shake means half price milkshakes from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. What you may not recall is that Steak n Shake doesn’t discriminate based on p.m. or a.m. That means that from 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., you can still enjoy Happy Hour after dark. And with new shake flavors including red velvet and salted caramel pretzel, you’ll be glad you did.

Applebee’s – Talk about things the go mmmm in the night.  Applebee’s locations start serving half-priced appetizers after 9:00 p.m. as part of their late night special.

Uno Pizzeria & Grill: Dine from 9 pm to close here on weeknights and watch the prices on some delicious food drop this season. Monday night, it’s the $3.50 build your own burger, Tuesday features the $5 individual deep dish pizza and Wednesday you can chow down on 50 cent wings or bites (minimum order of 4, please). This one is for a limited time only.

McDonald’s – While this offer isn’t necessarily available at every McDonald’s, many locations now offer After Midnight menus. These menus feature a combination of breakfast and dinner items so that whichever meal of the day you’re craving, you’ll find your fix at the Golden Arches in the middle of the night.


Sep 112014
Don't store your dancing shoes for the season yet.

Don’t store your dancing shoes for the season yet.

While summer is the bigger time for concerts and outdoor gatherings, the music hasn’t stopped yet, Hoosiers.

Check out these FREE scores:

The Rathskeller Biergarten (some concerts require a $5 cover)

  • Sept. 19: Jamie Kent & The Options and Scarletta
  • Sept. 20: Harper
  • Sept. 26: Polka Boy

Grooving in the Garden  (Easley Winery, Saturdays, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., wine specials available; BYOC — bring your own chair)

  • Sept. 13: Island Breeze
  • Sept. 20: The Brave
  • Sept. 27: Indiana Island Band

Shakespeare in the Park ( Fridays, 8 pm, Garfield Park)

  • September 12th – Camelot
  • September 18th – Camelot

Watkins Parks’ Blues and Jazz in the Park (all shows at Watkins Park unless otherwise noted)

  • September 14: On Cue (this one starts at 4:00 p.m.)
  • September 28: Clifford Ratliff and the Indy Jazz Company (this one starts at 4:00 p.m.)


Sep 042014

indy on the cheapLet’s get the important part out of the way from the get-go: Indy on the Cheap is still your go-to online newspaper for deals, discounts, and freebies.

But over the past month, I’ve been cleaning out my email box. Yah, I signed up for all of those sites, because sometimes I need a book and I want Bookbub to make recommendations on sale. I like buying from Zulily when I need something new. I chose to give money to a social cause  and I still smile to see TeamMash in my email box because I know when/if I click on it, I’ll get my latest roundup of news about IU sports.

However, I didn’t really understand how annoying it would be to have Groupon send me multiple emails a day. Or that craft lesson site that thinks because I didn’t buy a course in the morning that it’s perfectly fine to bug me again in the afternoon and evening. I have politicians who don’t know the meaning of the word “stop” and so many offers flooding in daily that I’m hostile to them all.

And that’s when it hit me: Indy on the Cheap arrives in your email box every Monday – Friday. That’s a lot of newsletters. A lot of deals you aren’t interested in. A lot of messages you must delete.  So our publisher, Kevin Sermersheim, and I sat down to evaluate traffic patterns to determine which posts you like, and which posts are just more noise. We’ve consolidated some of our categories, and we’ll be bringing you more collection posts in the future — the best happy hours. Where to find the best prices on wings. The city’s largest list of kids eat free restaurants and hours. Where to visit Santa for free here in a couple of months.

You know those free movie screenings are still on the list!

But most important, we’re cutting back on the newsletter volume to twice a week: Mondays and Fridays. You’ll have time to plan and time to share our deals with your family and friends. You’ll have some breathing room, and hopefully we can stay friends this way for a long, long time.

As always, we thank you for your support of Indy on the Cheap!

Aug 192014
FREE White Castle

Slide into something good

Well, something had to make Wednesday worthwhile, and White Castle came along with some FREE hamburgers to oblige.

All central Indiana locations have teamed up with Shriners Hospitals for Children Day, and from 8 am to 7 pm all you have to do is stop in at the Castle  (the drive-thru counts) and make a donation to this organization. WC will hand you three FREE sliders, which is a $2.07 value. But more than the money, it’s a free lunch for doing nothing more than being a good person today. There’s no specific donation limit—every loose coin helps!

Some stores have planned special activities, so be prepared for anything!

The following area restaurants are participating:

The following White Castle locations will be participating:


102 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN

3229 S. East St., Indianapolis, IN

6901 Pendleton Pike, Indianapolis, IN

7630 Shelby St., Indianapolis, IN

5301 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN

5501 W. 38th St., Indianapolis, IN

5440 E. 82nd St., Indianapolis, IN

3210 E. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN

1686 National Rd., Columbus, IN

4520 S. Emerson Ave., Indianapolis, IN

5523 Scatterfield Rd., Anderson, IN

105 Sheek Rd., Greenwood, IN

5910 Crawfordsville Rd., Indianapolis, IN

15005 US 31, Westfield, IN

2820 Kentucky Ave., Indianapolis, IN

120 N. Sam Ralston Rd., Lebanon, IN

2353 N. State St., Greenfield, IN

1414 W. Thompson Rd., Indianapolis, IN

2368 E. 38th St., Indianapolis, IN

10705 E. US 36, Avon, IN

5070 Cambridge Way, Plainfield, IN

1801 E. Markland, Kokomo, IN

2165 Shelby St., Indianapolis, IN

4723 Meijer Ct., Lafayette, IN

8740 N. Michigan Rd., Indianapolis, IN

960 N. Green, Brownsburg, IN

10053 E. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN

3233 W. Jacob, Bloomington, IN

55 W. South St., Indianapolis, IN

8801 W. Market Square Dr., Daleville, IN

8290 Windfall Lane, Camby, IN

630 Birk Rd., Martinsville, IN

10303 E. Pendleton Pike, Indianapolis, IN

3175 S. State Road 3, New Castle, IN

1129 N. Morton, Franklin, IN

4340 S. US 41, Terre Haute, IN

1970 E. Tipton St., Seymour, IN

1830 Marketplace Blvd., Shelbyville, IN

16826 Clover Rd., Noblesville, IN



Aug 152014

Lyft screenshotAnytime a big event takes you downtown, that makes it a not-so-great time to find a parking space. Indianapolis on the Cheap has an exclusive partnership that can help you avoid that hassle and save serious money at the same time.

Lyft, a new ride-sharing program in Indianapolis, is less expensive than calling a cab. You can think of it “your friend with a car,” as folks  in about 20 cities nationwide have come to think of it.

That’s why we teamed up with Lyft to give you a chance to try it out.  The company is offering new Lyft customers a FREE ride, worth up to $25. Here’s how to claim yours:

1. Download the Lyft app to your smartphone and sign up, linking it to your credit or debit card.
2. When you want a ride, just open the app and it will locate you on a map and show you where the closest Lyft driver is.
3. Request a ride and when a driver accepts the request, you’ll see a picture of the driver and car. There will be a button that will allow you to call the driver if you need to, and you can even track the driver’s progress on the map.
4. When your Lyft ride arrives—it’ll be easy to tell because the car will have a pink mustache on it—sit up front, relax, charge your phone, listen to the radio and chat with your new friend. A Lyft is more than just a ride; it’s a way to meet friendly local people who can show you the best way to get around your city.
5. After the ride Lyft will prompt you to pay. If you’d like to add a tip for your driver you can do that too.
If you’re hesitant to get into a car with a stranger, know that there are strong safety measures in place. Lyft does a background check on every driver and has high standards for safety. (You can check those out here.) Also, the Lyft community helps out by rating drivers (and passengers) so you can feel good about the person whose ride you’re sharing.

Ready for that free ride? Your special promo code is CHEAPINDY. It’s good for one ride, worth up to $25, and it doesn’t expire. It’s for new Lyft riders only. To use it, just go to the payment screen in the app and enter it there.

After you try Lyft, let us know how you liked it. We’d love to hear about your experience.


This content was produced in collaboration with our sponsor Lyft.Lyft logo_color