Getting inked can be an expensive endeavor, with the average tattoo costing over $100 per hour. However, for the budget-conscious ink lover, there are ways to get high quality tattoos without breaking the bank.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the best cheap options for getting tattooed.

If you’re looking for cheap tattoos, here are some quick tips: Look for tattoo specials, get small designs, go to apprentice artists, and search outside your area.

Look for shops running tattoo specials

When looking for cheap places to get tattoos, one great option is to keep an eye out for tattoo shops that are running specials. Many tattoo parlors offer special promotions and discounts throughout the year, making it easier to find a great deal on your next tattoo.

Flash day specials

One popular type of tattoo special is known as a “flash day.” During a flash day, the tattoo shop will have a specific set of pre-designed tattoos available at a discounted price. These designs are often created by the tattoo artists themselves and can be a great way to get a unique and affordable tattoo.

Keep an eye out for announcements on social media or check the websites of local tattoo shops to see if they have any upcoming flash days.

Friday the 13th events

Another exciting option to look for is Friday the 13th events. On this superstitious day, many tattoo shops offer discounted tattoos with specific themed designs. These events can be a fun and affordable way to get a tattoo, as the shops often have a wide range of designs available at reduced prices.

Make sure to follow your favorite tattoo shops on social media or sign up for their newsletters to stay updated on any Friday the 13th events they may be hosting.

Holiday sales

Lastly, keep an eye out for holiday sales at tattoo shops. Just like any other business, tattoo parlors often offer discounts and promotions during holidays such as Black Friday, Valentine’s Day, or Halloween. These sales can be a fantastic opportunity to get a tattoo at a lower price.

Be sure to check the websites or social media pages of local tattoo shops to see if they have any upcoming holiday sales.

Remember, when searching for cheap places to get tattoos, it’s important to also consider the quality and reputation of the tattoo shop. Look for shops that have positive reviews and skilled artists. Getting a tattoo is a permanent decision, so it’s worth investing a little extra time and effort to find a reputable shop that offers both affordability and quality.

Opt for smaller, simpler designs

When looking for cheap places to get tattoos, one option is to opt for smaller, simpler designs. This can help you save both time and money. Here are a few reasons why choosing smaller tattoos can be an affordable choice:

Less detail means faster sessions

Smaller tattoos usually have less intricate detail compared to larger ones. This means that the tattoo artist can complete the design in a shorter amount of time. If you’re on a budget, opting for a smaller design can help you save money by reducing the number of hours you spend in the tattoo chair.

Small tattoos take less time and ink

Another advantage of choosing smaller tattoos is that they require less time and ink. This can significantly reduce the cost of your tattoo. Tattoo artists often charge by the hour, so the less time they spend on your tattoo, the less you’ll have to pay.

Additionally, smaller tattoos require less ink, which can also help you save money.

Avoid large, complex designs

Large, complex tattoo designs can be expensive due to the amount of time and effort required to complete them. These designs often involve intricate details and shading, which can take multiple sessions to finish.

By opting for smaller and simpler designs, you can avoid the high costs associated with larger tattoos. Plus, smaller tattoos are easier to cover up if needed, giving you more flexibility in the future.

Remember, when choosing a tattoo design, it’s important to prioritize quality over cost. Research reputable tattoo artists and studios, and don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations or view their portfolio to ensure you’re getting the best possible result.

For more information on tattoo designs and ideas, you can visit websites such as or These websites offer a wide range of tattoo inspiration and resources to help you make an informed decision.

Go to an apprentice artist

If you’re looking for a cheap place to get a tattoo, consider going to an apprentice artist. These are artists who are still learning and building their portfolio. Since they are in the early stages of their career, they often charge less for their services compared to more established tattoo artists.

This can be a great opportunity for you to get a unique and affordable tattoo.

Apprentices charge less as they build portfolio

One of the main reasons why apprentice artists charge less is because they are still building their portfolio. They need to gain experience and showcase their skills to potential clients. By offering their services at a lower price, they attract more customers and have the opportunity to create a diverse range of tattoos.

This benefits both the artist and the client, as the artist gets to practice and the client gets a tattoo at a more affordable price.

Ensure mentor oversees their work

When visiting an apprentice artist, it’s important to ensure that their mentor or a more experienced tattoo artist oversees their work. This ensures that the tattoo is done safely and up to par with industry standards.

The mentor can provide guidance and feedback to the apprentice, ensuring that they are learning and improving their skills throughout the process. It’s always a good idea to ask about the mentorship program and the level of supervision before getting tattooed by an apprentice.

Check apprentice’s portfolio first

Before getting a tattoo from an apprentice artist, it’s essential to check their portfolio first. This will give you an idea of their style, skill level, and the quality of their previous work. Pay attention to the details, linework, shading, and overall composition of their tattoos.

If their portfolio aligns with your aesthetic preferences and you are comfortable with their abilities, you can proceed with getting tattooed by them. Remember, even apprentice artists can produce amazing work, so don’t dismiss them solely based on their lack of experience.

Expand your search area

If you’re looking to get a tattoo on a budget, it’s important to expand your search area beyond just the big cities. There are many hidden gems in smaller towns and rural areas that offer quality tattoos at a lower price.

Not only will you be able to save some money, but you might also discover talented artists who are just waiting to be discovered.

Studios in small towns or rural areas charge less

Studios in small towns or rural areas often have lower operating costs compared to their counterparts in big cities. This means that they can pass on those savings to their customers by offering more affordable tattoo prices.

Don’t underestimate the talent and creativity you can find in these places – sometimes, the best artists are tucked away in unexpected locations.

Avoid tourist hotspots where demand is high

When searching for cheap places to get tattoos, it’s best to avoid tourist hotspots where demand is high. Tattoo studios in popular tourist destinations often charge higher prices due to the demand from tourists.

Instead, venture off the beaten path and explore less crowded areas where prices may be more reasonable.

Search in suburbs vs. big city centers

Another tip for finding cheap places to get tattoos is to consider searching in suburbs rather than big city centers. Suburban tattoo studios often offer competitive prices as they have lower overhead costs compared to their counterparts in city centers.

Plus, you may find that the artists in suburban areas provide a more personalized experience, as they have more time to dedicate to each client.

Remember, when searching for cheap places to get tattoos, it’s important to do your research and read reviews from previous customers. This will help ensure that you find a reputable tattoo artist who can bring your vision to life without breaking the bank.


Getting an affordable tattoo is possible with some savvy shopping. Taking advantage of specials, choosing smaller designs, going to apprentices, and looking outside major cities can help you get inked without overspending.

With some research and flexibility, you can get high quality body art at budget prices.

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