This brings me to my first tip on cutting hotel costs. I hardly ever stay in hotels when I travel. In Europe, you'll catch me using couchsurfing (a free lodging system mainly based on trust). Couchsurfing has always worked wonderfully for me overseas, and I highly recommend it. However, some people feel uneasy about a system solely based on trust.
Enter Airbnb--the happy medium between hostels and hotels. When researching for places to stay in New York, I found the hotels to be OUTRAGEOUSLY priced, and the couchsurfers to be unresponsive. That's when a friend recommended Airbnb, and all my problems were vanquished.
With this air "bed and breakfast" people rent out rooms in their apartments and homes for cheap prices. What results is a room that is more than half the cost of hotels, with more accountability than couchsurfing (good reviews from customers equals better business).
In Manhattan, my friend and I stayed with a lovely young married couple who gave us insider knowledge on cheap broadway tickets and places to avoid--I love staying with locals for this reason. We payed a third of the cost we would have payed in a hotel.
I highly recommend Airbnb. While couchsurfing is my ultimate favorite, sometimes it falls through. Airbnb, however, is old reliable.
P.S. I didn't get paid for this post...I simply wanted to share a tip on saving money!