Think Big, Spend Little: 22 Hints & Tricks To Living Luxe!

We'll admit it: We are pretty spoiled. Between the weather, the food, and the sartorial selections, the paradise that is Miami offers a certain quality of life we just can't deny. Unfortunately, living so (experientially) large sometimes means digging a little deeper into our wallets than we'd like. So, us clever Magic City residents have come up with a couple tricks and tips to act like you made it…without the credit-card debt.
Yes, it's possible to glam out without going broke. After scouring the city, bribing buddying up to a few concierges, and calling in some "favors," we've learned the ins and outs to living the Miami high life on a budget. Hey, even if your bank account is kind of small, it doesn't mean your taste of adventure needs to be, too.
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Bella Beach
We raved about the Trump oasis when it opened earlier this summer, and we’re back to do it again. Chill out for free on the beach every day, or enjoy an aquamarine lounge chair for a flat rate of $50. Sounds easy enough.
Where: Trump International, 18001 Collins Avenue; 305-692-5777.
When: Daily, 11 a.m. to Sunset

Photo: Bella Beach
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Cooking Lessons at Williams-Sonoma
Head over to the Lincoln Road Williams-Sonoma for some DIY gourmet-kitchen shuffle every Sunday. Learn everything from canning your own pickles to the freshest farm picks of the season, sans currency.
Where: Williams-Sonoma, 1035 Lincoln Road (at Michigan Avenue); 786-276-9945.
When: Every Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Photo: Williams-Sonoma
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Blo Midtown
Known for being the least expensive (but consistently glamorous) blowout in town, Blo Dry Bar offers a $35 wash, dry, and style. With a total of eight different looks, you can match your hair to your mood on any day of the week.
Where: 3301 NE 1st Avenue (at NW 34th Street); 786-373-5256.
When: Monday – Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday – Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Photo: Blo Midtown
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Brilliance NY
If you’re like us, you would doubt the reliability of a $26 package, which includes a blowout, full makeover, deep conditioning treatment, and a facial. Well, doubt no longer because we’ve confirmed its existence, and it’s at Brilliance New York.
Where: 631 Lincoln Road (at Pennsylvania Avenue); 786-276-6389.
When: Daily, 10 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. (call for appointment)

Photo: Refinery29
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Mondrian Sunset Hours
Introducing a happy hour that keeps you on your toes. The Mondrian’s Sunset Lounge holds a daily drink deal where the selection and price change and match the hours between 6 and 9 p.m.
Where: 1100 West Avenue (at 11th Street); 305-514-1941.
When: Daily, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Photo: Mondrian
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Vizcaya Tea for Two on Sundays
Experience Vizcaya with a touch of royal decadence and enjoy the café’s Sunday tea for two for just $16. Sip on Vizcaya café’s own Tapestry Tea blend, and nibble on fresh baked scores and clotted cream.
Where: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, 3251 South Miami Avenue; 305-250-9133.
When: Every Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.

Photo: Vizcaya
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Cecconi’s Weekly Specials
While splurging at Cecconi’s can often lead to a hefty bill, its Bring Me Food Wednesday nights, Sunday Family Suppers, and Sunday Brunch feasts present irresistible offers to enjoy the elegant retreat this restaurant so gracefully offers.
Where: 4385 Collins Avenue (at W 44th Street); 786-507-7902.
When: Every Wednesday and Sunday, various times

Photo: Cecconi’s
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The Ritz: Beauty and the Beach
$99 later, your skin is super smoothe, and you’re lying on a beach bed next to your bestie or beau. A facial or massage plus free beach amenities for a hair less than a hundo? A deal so simple yet so satisfying.
Where: 1 Lincoln Road (at Collins Avenue); 786-276-4000.
When: Available through September by appointment only; Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Photo: Ritz Carlton
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Free Days at Fairchild
If you’re looking for the type of paradise that doesn’t involve sand and surf but still keeps it cheap and local, stroll through Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden during its free days each month.
Where: 10901 Old Cutler Road; 305-667-1651
When: First Wednesday of every month and the Sundays left in August; Open Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Photo: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
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Wine Down Wednesdays at Shelborne Beach
Get through your mid-week crisis guilt-free during Shelborne’s Vesper American Brasserie Wednesday night Wine Down. We can’t get enough of these playfully themed happy hours, and neither should you with 50% off wine and appetizers all night.
Where: 1801 Collins Avenue (at 18th Street); 305-531-1271.
When: Every Wednesday, 6 to 11 p.m.

Photo: Shelborn
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My Dog Grooming
While My Dog features all the necessary grooming items like nail trims and flea baths, the extra lush offerings, like the blueberry facial, will have your dog plumped up with glam. Get more bang for your bone and gather your friends’ pups for the multiple dog discount.
Where: Dadeland Plaza, 9561 South Dixie Highway
When: Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Photo: Courtesy of My Dog Grooming
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SLS “Sunny Little Stay” Special
The hotel that puts the glam in glamorous is having a promotion through October 11, where you can stay-cay at 15% off the best available rate, receive a complimentary room upgrade, drinks for two at Hyde Beach, and drive away with complimentary valet service. Enter the promo code Staycation (how appropriate), and let Miami’s finest piece of Art Deco win you over.
Where: 1701 Collins Avenue (at 17th Street); 305-674-1701.
When: Through October 11

Photo: SLS Hotel
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Gee Beauty
For those days you feel like being a beauty diva (and we all have them), snag a glamour session over at Gee Beauty and receive a makeover and faux eyelash application during its beauty happy hour. While the actual package costs $40, you’ll walk away feelin’ like a million.
Where: Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Avenue (at 96th Street); 305-868-3533.
When: Wednesday through Saturday, 5 to 9 p.m.

Photo: Gee Beauty
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Sip and Spa at The Palms (Thursdays)
Grab a little pre-weekend beauty and booze kick during the Palms’ Sip and Spa. Its weekly Thursday steal includes half off spa and bar offerings to make for an indulgent mix at an easy price.
Where: 3025 Collins Avenue (at 30th Street); 305-534-0505.
When: Every Thursday through the end of September; Spa services from 9 to 7 p.m., Happy Hour from 6 to 8 p.m.

Photo: The Palms Hotel
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Terrazza Brunch at the Shore Club
No one does Sunday Funday like the Shore Club. Make it a ladies' day out and grab a $32 brunch complete with unlimited BBMs (bellinis, bloody Marys, and mimosas).
Where: 1901 Collins Avenue (at 18th Street); 305-695-3100.
When: Every Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Photo: Shore Club
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Free Your Mind Fire Pit Meditation
Destress during this complimentary meditation session at the Standard Spa, which is given by yoga mongrel and Standard instructor regular Mary Robertson. With the fire pit and the crashing waves, all you need to bring is some good energy.
Where: The Standard Spa, 40 Island Avenue (at Venetian Causeway); 305-673-1717.
When: Saturday, August 25, 7:30 to 8 p.m.

Photo: Standard Hotel
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Wine Down Sundays at STK
Wrap up your starry-eyed weekend at the numero uno scene for sleek and sexy. Enjoy all the luxuries of dinner at STK with a $25 bottomless glass of red, white, or bubbly.
Where: 2377 Collins Avenue (at 24th Street); 305-604-6988.
When: Every Sunday, 6 – 11 p.m.

Photo: STK
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The Forge: Veuve Clicquot Happy Hour
Fill out your Friday nights at the classiest happy hour on the beach. Each week The Forge Bar features $10 glasses and $50 bottles of Veuve Clicquot, $7 Belvedere cocktails, and complimentary hors d’oeuvres by Chef Dewey LoSasso.
Where: 432 41st Street (at Sheridan Avenue); 305-538-8533.
When: Every Friday, 6 to 9 p.m.

Photo: The Forge
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The National’s Summer Lunch
Paying homage to its debut year, The National Hotel is hosting a $19.39 summer lunch special Monday through Thursday with $10 of unlimited mimosas, bloody Marys, and beers. Kick back and relax for the day with complementary use of its pool and beach area and even a discounted valet price.
Where: 1677 Collins Avenue (at 17th Street); 305-532-2311.
When: Monday through Thursday until September 27, 12 to 3 p.m.

Photo: The National
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Miami Spa Month
Pamper your skin from the wear and tear of the hot summer months just in time for Labor Day festivities — all without the guilt of overindulgence at $99 per treatment.
Where: Various Spa Locations
When: Through August 31, 2012

Photo: Biltmore
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Wine by the Bay
Finally, get those expert wine tips and soak in a beautiful bay view twice a week during Wine by the Bay’s weekly exhibits. Become a Pinot pro and make these tasting soirées a regular occurrence in your calendar.
Where: 888 Biscayne Boulevard (at NE 9th Street); 305-455-9791.
When: Thursdays and Fridays, 7 p.m.

Photo: Wine by the Bay
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Shakespeare Under The Sun
Does the summer have you feeling a bit dusted? Steal some intellect from Miami Botanical Garden’s two free Shakespeare shows of Macbeth, put on by nonprofit theater group Ground Up & Rising.

Where: Miami Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Drive; 305-673-7256
When: Sundays, August 26 and September 2, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Photo: Courtesy of Miami Botanical Garden
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