Save Money Eating At A Fair Or Carnival


saving money at a carnival, saving money at an amusement parkWith the Summer season comes countless fairs and carnivals with endless options of tasty treats to eat. Prices at a fair midway or carnival are high, so it’s easy to drop a load of cash on a meal, especially when it’s a family event. Luckily, there’s an easy way to keep that bill in check and save money when eating at a fair or carnival.

What Most People Do When Eating At A Fair Or Carnival

Most people will enter the food midway at one end, and just start buying food that looks good. They buy it, eat it, and move on. They then find something else that sounds good, buy it, eat it, and move on.

When they reach the end of the midway not only are they miserably full from eating so much (I know I’m full, but I HAVE to try this!), they’ve also got an empty wallet. They eat more and spend more than they would have liked.

What I Do When Eating At A Fair Or Carnival

Before buying a single item, I walk up and down the midway, making note of everything that’s available. If my family is along with me, this is a group activity. Once we’ve observed everything that the midway has to offer, each person selects what they want to eat. In some instances, there’s even discussion about sharing an item because the confidence in liking it is low, or the item is huge and one person can’t eat all of it.

We then take a second pass through the food midway, purchasing the selected items. Rarely is anyone miserably full because we had all the facts in front of us ahead of time thus it was easier to make selected choices and gauge just how much food a person is going to intake. Every time we do this, I’m amazed at how little we actually spend compared to what we used to shell out just eating as we go.

Going to a fair or carnival can be expensive once you add up ticket prices, food, drinks and potential souvenirs. That cost can be kept in check by simply observing everything the event has to offer before buying a single item.

How about you Clever Friends, how do you approach eating at a fair or carnival?

Disease Called Debt

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • I hear you on the size thing; I like funnel cakes, but really? Who needs a plate-sized portion of fried dough with sugar on top? Sizing everything thing up first, and sharing definitely gets you more for your money

  • I love carnivals – I think my family has always done this your way though. How can you know exactly what you want without perusing all the offerings (I mean, other than fried Oreos. If there are fried Oreos, I want the fried Oreos)?

  • The trouble really comes when you’re showing animals at the fair. Never ending temptations! We kept food in the car to try to avoid it, but always let ourselves have one treat (like the giant snowcones with awesome flavors or fair fries). Then I would let myself celebrate the fact that I actually survived fair week by buying a fried brownie on Saturday.

    I see you’ve found my weakness….haha

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