With the Minnesota State Fair only happening a short week and a half a year, most of us are willing to hand over wads of cash for our most lusted-after items--cheese curds, corn dogs, and the latest and greatest confections and concoctions.
But if you're looking for a solid treat to tide you over without emptying your wallet, here are our top five picks for cheap eats at the fair--all for a buck each.
5. Sno cone A classic fair find by any account--except this one is less than half the price of others at the fair (most go for around $2.75). Comes with your choice of one flavor: cherry, blue raspberry, grape, or lime. Vendor: Caramel Apples, Cotton Candy, Sno Kones Location: On the south side of Randall between Cooper and Underwood (T-16)
4. Salted-in-shell peanuts Bar snacks at their finest. Plus, it probably isn't the biggest deal if you leave a trail of cracked shells in your wake, since the fair is an outdoor event. A 16-ounce cup of these is more than enough to share and should tide you over until your next exciting food purchase. Vendor: Frontier Bar Location: South side of Carnes between Clough and Liggett (K-27)
3. Mini bag of chocolate rocks These little gems are like M&Ms--only made with really good chocolate and in fun rock shapes. A mini bag is about the right amount for one person, but at a buck each you can probably afford to outfit the whole team. Don't let the vendor's name throw you off--this is a candy shop through and through. Vendor: Hot Roasted Peanuts Location: Just inside the entrance to Heritage Square on the south wall (H-24)
2. Apple cider freeze Made from a blend of Minnesota apples (mostly Haralson, according to the staff), this lovely "freezy"-esque treat is a favorite for kids and adults alike, and the price hasn't changed in years. While you're there, snag an apple or three for munching on your walk to the car at the end of a day of fried, fatty goodness. Vendor: MN Apples Location: West Hall of the Ag-Hort Building
1. All-you-can-drink milk Perhaps the busiest of any stand after Sweet Martha's (and a perfect pairing, no less), in exchange for a measly dollar, they'll refill your 16-ounce cup with white or chocolate milk as many times as you can bear to stand in line. If you're sugar-rushing your way through a bucket of cookies, that might work out to pennies per cup. Advanced maneuver: Ask for yours half and half--when the bubbles pop, you can see the chocolate swirl, and it isn't as sweet as straight chocolate milk. Vendor: All the Milk You Can Drink Location: Corner of Clough and Judson