Do your "Let's Go" (or whatever your guide book of choice) homework before you come for hotel / pensione and eating hints (though for the latter, hunt out the "Brek" cafeteria
wherever you are in Italy...it's acceptable food, but watch out...piling your tray can chalk up quite a bill).
What about cultural stuff?
There are sometimes free concerts around town (see my recent post on summertime music in Milan).
A walk along what's left of Milan's canals (Navigli) is fun and sometimes is enlivened by open air flea and art markets. (For info about boat trips on the canals, see my "watery" post on August 1st.)
Museums have discounts for special categories of people...another good reason to belong to FAI-Fondo Ambiente Italiano (in English, yeah!)...the yearly fee is cheap, about E. 40, and the card entitles you to discounts, even at participating museums.
Want more info? Try the new pages on the Province of Milan's web site for low cost options in the area. The pages are in English...yeah!
(My photo: a happy pair of mallards on the Naviglio Grande within this last year.)