This is what I learned from my very first Vegas trip.
Stay at a hotel north of the strip. A short walk or monorail ride can get you to the strip in minutes. We booked a room at the Westgate.
Avoid all the come-ons. The Westgate was going to give us a free meal and a show for sitting thru a 90 minute time sharing presentation. Several artists were giving away their music. In exchange for an autographed CD, they wanted a donation.
Bring a cooler filled with beverages and sandwiches. You get complimentary beverages while you gamble, but not while you are in your room. And don't expect a microwave oven in your room either.
Seek out smaller/local casinos like Ellis Island and Brewery. Beer was 2 pints for $4.50 and breakfast is $4.
Hit this liquor store across from Bally's on Flamingo Boulevard for cheap spirits!