A Cheapskates Guide to the State Fair

October 16, 2015

I’m just going to say it. My family is cheap, or as my mother likes to call it “frugal.” We do not go anywhere without a coupon and you can bet we go on the day with the greatest bang for our buck, the Texas State Fair included. We are a family of four, but my dad is 6’6″ and my brother is 6 feet tall, so as a family, we can eat. In total for a day at the fair we spent $160, which is on the lower end. I figured I would share some of our secrets and give you an overall assessment of my experience.

First off, in case you did not know, you can get free student tickets from the attendance office. That’ll save you $18 per person right off the bat. For Friday’s, they have coupons at McDonalds and online for $5 off regular priced tickets as well. There’s no way getting around the $15 for parking, but that is manageable.

Tickets for rides and food are 50 cents per ticket, and we bought them as we went. Ticket booths are all over the place and that keeps you from buying a ton at the beginning and having leftovers.

Most of the buildings have booths with samples of fudge, dips, toffee, salsa, etc. The mother load of samples and free ice cream though was in the creative arts building. We hit up that before we even thought about buying food, that way we would not buy too much.

My family does not eat fried food food on a daily basis, so we only tried a few things. The chicken fried bacon was yummy, but you could only taste the chicken fried and not much bacon. My brother and I split deep fried Oreos, which were also fantastic, but I could only eat two of the four before I had too much. I would have actually preferred normal Oreos. My dad had the fried Thanksgiving dinner which had fried turkey, dressing, and mashed potatoes. There was also gravy and cranberry sauce for dips.

The only ride we rode was the Ferris wheel since it is a classic. We also stopped by to see Tex, watched the dog show, went in to the car show, and went to the petting zoo. There was plenty to do that was free and it was a great way to spend quality time with my family. I definitely give the overall experience an A+. Cheap and all.

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