A Tightwad’s Timeline

If there’s one thing tightwads don’t like to do, it’s waste time on some hunt for cheap booze that turns into a bar tab. So the Department of Burnt Ends offers up this cheapskate agenda for a full day of the things we all like most: freebies.

1 8 a.m. Even tightwads have to work out, but paying for a gym membership disqualifies you from the Cheap Bastard Club. So begin your day by feigning interest in a yearlong membership at Scott Fitness, which will let you work out for a day for free. Tomorrow, it’s on to Gold’s Gym, then UMKC’s Swinney Recreation Center and the other Gold’s Gym and Scott Fitness locations.

Scott Fitness: 1814 Westport Road

2 10 a.m. As the man says, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, so start your happy hour early with the free beer given away at the end of the Boulevard Brewing Company tour. This 10 a.m. tour is only on Saturdays, but regular tours run Thursday through Friday, too. The tour culminates with samples of Boulevard, the champagne of craft brews.

Boulevard Brewing Company: 2501 Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri


Click the image above for a closer view of the cheapskate’s map.

3 Noon Soak up all that beer by grazing on free food samples at Costco. Though the megawarehouse puts out food throughout the day, starting at 10:30 a.m., lunchtime seems to offer the greatest variety of nibbles, including chips and dip, crackers and toppings, heartier fare such as quesadillas, and soups and sweets. If they begin to recognize you in midtown, there are three other metro locations.

Costco: 241 East Linwood Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri

4 1 p.m. There’s probably some rhyme that warns against drinking wine after beer, but tightwads can’t be picky. Especially when there’s a great wine-tasting opportunity in the City Market. Every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., The Wine Cellar pours samples from at least six bottles. Sometimes a beer tasting is thrown in, too. The shop also collaborates with a local chef, who offers bites from chicken and beef dishes as well as appetizers and desserts.

The Wine Cellar: 23 East Third Street, Kansas City, Missouri

5 3 p.m. To keep this cheapskate event going, you’ll need some caffeine. So head over to the Roasterie’s headquarters, where the tour climax is a sampling of its air-roasted coffees.

The Roasterie: 1204 West 27th Street, Kansas City, Missouri

6 4:30 p.m. Now that you’re revived from the caffeine, it’s time for an afternoon snack at the Better Cheddar, which always sets out samples of its highfalutin fare. Recent offerings have included a summer-fruit jam served with a barely sweet, dense cracker, and a chunky salsa paired with thin crackers speckled with black pepper. There are also small cubes of cheese to try as well as cheese straws

and other fancy-schmancy delights.

The Better Cheddar: 604 West 48th Street, Kansas City, Missouri

7 5 p.m. Nothing goes better with cheese than wine, so end your day with the free wine tasting at the CVS at 75th Street and Wornall. Yes, you read that right — CVS, the pharmacy and purveyor of US Weekly, paper plates and romance novels. From 5 to 7:30 p.m. every Friday, the “75th Street Wine Club” gathers in the store to try 12 wines. The club got started when CVS used to be Osco; now in its third year, the group serves its wines alongside cheese, crackers and bread.

CVS: 315 West 75th Street, Kansas City, Missouri

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