FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. - One of the great things about the Minnesota State Fair is that you can still have a lot of fun on a budget.
Carrie Rocha, local money-saving expert and founder of pocketyourdollars.com joined us at the KARE 11 Barn with tips to save money. Use a free Park & Ride. Instead of taking the Express bus, drive most of the way to the Fairgrounds and park in one of the 34 free park & rides . Shuttles run from those lots to/from the Fairgrounds every 20 minutes from 8am through midnight. If you do decide to take the Express bus, purchase discounted tickets in advance if you're traveling with a group.
1. Go on a weekday. The best discounts on both admission and Midway/Kidway rides happen on weekdays. Different groups are discounted on different days. Below are charts that show the discounted admission prices, plus another that tells who is discounted when and Midway/Kidway deals by day.
2. Use a coupon
· The Blue Ribbon Bargain Book costs $5 and can be purchased at the State Fair Box Office. It contains hundreds of money-saving coupons, including one for $8 off a sheet of ride tickets for the Midway/Kidway. That alone covers the cost of the book. Plus, the State Fair app ties into the coupon book.
· I use homemade coupons with my kids. Each coupon is worth one ride or one treat. When they are gone, then my kids have to spend their own money.
3. Bring some things from home. Pack a lunch especially if you have kids that are picky eaters. Definitely bring your own water bottle and refill if at a fountain or filling station, and glow sticks if you plan to stay after dark; you can pick up a variety of glow sticks at the dollar store instead of buying inflated prices at the Fair.
4. Volunteer. Some exhibits and attractions allow you to sign up for a volunteer shift, then enjoy the rest of the day at the Fair for free.