Search This Blog

Monday, October 25, 2010

THE FAIR - The Opposite of Thrifting

I love saving money.  
I try to make my dollar stretch like a chewed up piece of double-bubble bubble gum.  I'm always looking for a deal, so when the counselor suggested we take the kids to the Arizona State Fair, my mind started thinking of ways we could do it for cheap.  
We looked on-line for coupons, two-for-ones or anything that offered a financial break in the fun-filled adventure.    
The counselor found out on the first day of the fair there was no entrance fee.  For our size family, that saved about $40.00.
I remember years past, taking the kids to the fair.  Sure, it's a good time; kettle corn, roller coasters and ferris wheels, but all those smiles and giggles comes at a price.
The fair is what I like to call 
"The opposite of thrifting."
Because unlike thrifting, going to the fair is the most over-priced experience one can have in the state of Arizona.
For all the times I cut corners, save a buck here, save a buck there, eaten at home instead of eating out and so forth, the fair puts a stop to that way of thinking.
Actually, it mocks it.
The fair is deceiving.   It tricks the average parent into thinking "If my kid doesn't experience this place to the fullest, then I'm a bad parent."
Standing in line to get our tickets for rides, I thought I would have an anxiety attack when the counselor asked "What should we get, like a $100.00 in tickets?"
The boys looked at the giant sand castle being built. I was surprised we weren't charged a  looking fee. 
It this poor economy, you wouldn't believe the cash being thrown around.   $4.00 for a soda, $8.00 for a 60-second thrill ride and that's only the first few minutes in the gate.
To throw a dart and try to pop a balloon is $6.00.  Where's the fun in that?
All it took was watching my kids go down this enormous slide and I was all smiles.  We had so much fun.
That is, as much fun as we could afford.
The boys are sweet and gracious little consumers.
Little sis had a nice short nap 
until she heard the Sponge Bob Square Pants theme song.
I'm not sure who was more excited to see Sponge Bob, the kids or the counselor (can you tell who is the better parent in this equation?).
The highlight of the "opposite of thrifting" was playing in these air-filled balls while rolling around in the water.
First they fill up the plastic ball with air.  
Then, they let the kids loose.
Who knew having fun could cost so much money?
We played on the playground until the destruction derby started.  
The counselor couldn't wait until the cars started crashing.  
Sissy loves her white-trash daddy.
For the writer in me, the fair had a booth sponsored by Harlequin novels.  I stopped by their booth and they gave me a free trashy romance novel.  
Don't be surprised if next week My Dear Trash has a give-away of a free Harlequin trashy romance novel. 
All in all, it was a great time.  
If may not have been thrifting, but saving money can't buy everything.
Linking up to:
Jenny Matlock


  1. Oh, I so understand. When I think how much I spend to make a trip to California so we can experience Disneyland. Basically, those are $400-$500 tickets a piece (drive there, hotel, food, etc...) but the memories are amazing.

  2. those balls are AWESOME!!! I have never seen them before! I am so glad the fair only comes once a year & I would be sad if I missed it, but its just the 2 of us. :)

  3. We went to our State Fair last weekend, and my husband left saying the same things about the cost LOL! Our fair also had free romance novels!

    Mary Ellen

  4. Ah, but part of the reason I try to be so thrifty is so that we will have the money to do some of these extra things, like go to the fair. That's not to say I don't have a heart attack at the costs though.

  5. Ok so those air filled balls? Flippin amazing! Ive never seen those before. Love the comment about the "white trash daddy."
    I so agree with you that having fun shouldnt be highway robbery. Looks like you made the most of the day though. Great pictures:)

  6. Oh my gosh...those plastic balls on the water...awesome! I wanna do that!
    Glad you had fun.

  7. Great post! We were at the fair that same day. I found out that they allow food to be brought in so we might do that next year to save money on the overpriced junk food. My in-laws go to the figure-eight races every year. Actually it was my husband's grandma who was the first one to go! Also, there is a form kids can fill out and get up to three free rides for reading books. And, we looked and looked but could NOT find the playground anywhere! No one that worked there could tell us where it was and it wasn't on our map. Anyway, looks like you guys had fun and yes, the balls on the water looks like lots of fun!!


  9. I think all fairs get you that way. I looks like you had a great time. The plastic bubbles on the water look like fun.

  10. That plastic ball thing is sooooo cool! But those beautiful children are even cooler!!

  11. You are so right. Everything at a fair is way overpriced. My husband spent $1.00 on two chances at a cake walk. The people were slow and the music was over in seconds. I decided I could bake my own at home faster than I could win one.
    Your kids lookthey had a great time!~Ames

  12. I loved this!

    What a great take on the fair. I agree with you wholeheartedly but now I totally want to take our Grands there to play in those bubbles...that looks sooooo fun!

    I can only imagine how much you can spend at the fair. The first time we took the Grands to a movie we about had a heart attack. Now we pack a big bag with snacks and drinks and make sure we go to the matinee. It's still ridiculous!

    I think you're a wonderful make sure your family has everything they need AND you are teaching your kids about being economical at the same time. Fabulous kids! Fabulous family! Fabulous stop on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday!

    Thank you for linking.


  13. Oh gosh I miss going to the state fair SO much! We usually only got dinner and rode the "Alpine Slide" at the state fair when I was a kid. It seems like it's a lot more commercial now, but I still love it *L*