Saving Money at the Minnesota State Fair

[anvplayer video=”5130322″ station=”998130″]

The Minnesota State Fair starts August 25th! With so many new things to try on a stick, a trip to the fair can easily bust our budget! Local financial professional Barry Bigelow has tips to manage our spending at this year’s Great Minnesota Get Together.

People can prepare their finances for the State Fair by first deciding how much money they are comfortable investing in the experience. Remember that going to the fair is an experience for all of your senses, and many people share the experience with their spouses, kids and friends. Look at your household budget and determine how much you’re comfortable investing in the fair experience. It can be helpful to make a list of expenses like tickets, parking, rides, carnival games, food and your must-dos! Everyone has a favorite fair treat! When you plan out your spending, it gives you the freedom to enjoy your time at the fair rather than getting distracted by prices or constantly checking your wallet. 

People can save money at the fair in a few different ways. The first is by purchasing discounted admission tickets, rides and games ahead of the event. Discount tickets can be purchased at Cub Foods or the Minnesota State Fair website. Buying early saves $3 on an adult ticket! Purchasing a Blue Ribbon Bargain Book can help you save on purchases while at the fair. Another way to save on tickets is to go on a discount day. For example, there are two Kid’s Day discounts where you can save $3 on kid’s admission tickets. Plus, there are all-day specials offered on the Mighty Midway and Kidway rides and games. There are also discounts for seniors and members of the military.

Many people don’t realize you can bring your own food and water to the fairgrounds. Water can really cut into that food budget, so bring your own water bottle. There are many places throughout the fairgrounds where you can refill throughout the day.

Take advantage of the free entertainment offered daily. There are more than 900 shows and 100+ performers throughout the 12 days of the fair. Everything from live music to dance groups and lumberjack competitions to stunt dogs. There are also booths with hands-on experiences. (i.e. DNR, Miracle of Birth, Dairy Barn, Eco Experience, 4-H Building).

We also can’t forget about all the free stuff being handed out! You can find magnets, pencils, pens, bags, sunglasses and, of course, the yard stick! 

Since the state fair usually marks the end of Summer in Minnesota, we have a few things to think about as we head into fall. Of course, kids are headed back to school and need fresh supplies. Watch for deals from major retailers. Comparison shop, and feel free to spread out your shopping. There may be additional upkeep expenses on your home as we head into fall like a new roof or tree trimming. We can’t forget that the holidays will be here before too long. Start thinking about your holiday budget and try buying things this fall to ease the financial burden in December.