Kilgore College Rangerettes Cera Taylor, left, and Rachel Meents, right, pose in front of Big Tex after an official ceremony welcoming back the structure to the State Fair of Texas, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in Dallas. The fair runs Sept. 27, through Oct. 20. 

Kilgore College Rangerettes Cera Taylor, left, and Rachel Meents, right, pose in front of Big Tex after an official ceremony welcoming back the structure to the State Fair of Texas, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in Dallas. The fair runs Sept. 27, through Oct. 20. 

Tony Gutierrez/AP

The State Fair of Texas may be one of the state's most anticipated fall events, but it's certainly not the cheapest.  

Consider a regular price general admission ticket costs $18 per adult and $14 per child. So you want to take your wife and two kids? That's more than $60 to get in the gate, and you haven't even eaten yet. God forbid little Joey wants to go on a few rides.

Pinching pennies at the State Fair can feel like a science, so we've done some of the work for you. Here are nine ways to snag tickets on the cheap.

Your guide to everything at the State Fair of Texas

Go on opening day

Fairgoers can grab tickets for half price ($9 for adults, $7 for kids) on opening day, Sept. 25, by bringing a sealed bottle of Dasani water or any other Coca-Cola product to the gate. Donations, which are exchanged for a coupon for half price admission, benefit the North Texas Food Bank.

Download the DART GoPass app

Beginning Sept. 14, those with DART's GoPass app will have access to discounted fair tickets for any day of the week. They'll be paperless and stored in the app for scanning at the gate. General admission tickets cost $16 through the app and child/senior tickets cost $12.

State Fair hacks: Where to find cheap drinks, food and parking

Add tickets to your Kroger shopping list

Among Kroger's current seasonal items: Discounted state fair tickets and season passes. Stop by the check-out counter or service desk at your local location ahead of time and snag them for $16.50 per general admission ticket or $34.50 per season pass. (Season passes include a "companion ticket" or plus-one for admission Monday through Friday all fair long, among other goodies.)

Get your fast food fix from Sonic or McDonald's

The two chains have separate deals. Swing by Sonic before Sept. 15 for the chance tosave $10 on a State Fair season pass. Look for instructions at the bottom of your meal receipt. If McDonald's is more your flavor, grab coupons from your tray liner or inside your to-go bag. They're good for $5 off GA tickets and half price kids tickets.

Bring a Dr Pepper can on Tuesdays or any day after 5 p.m.

Ronald Gavinskias

Drink a Dr Pepper and bring the can to State Fair gates in exchange for a coupon for a $5 admission ticket. Another reason to try Tuesday: Many of the rides and attractions on the Midway are cheap too, according to the fair's website.

If you can't make Tuesday, Dr Pepper can still save you some money the rest of the week. Bring an empty any day after 5 p.m. for half off the price of admission. The fair closes at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Donate canned food on Wednesdays

Four cans of food buys fair patrons a coupon for $4 admission mid-week. It's a discount to feel good about too -- donations fill the North Texas Food Bank.

Bring a Coca-Cola bottle on Thursdays (and bring grandma too!)

Actually any Coca-Cola product will do, as long as it's in a 20-ounce bottle. Patrons can exchange that for $6 admission tickets to the fair. Seniors (ages 60 and up) get in for free every Thursday, so bring the 'rents or grand'rents along too.

Visit 106.1 KissFM's website on Fridays

State Fair of Texas to serve 'expensive' fried lobster, bacon margarita

You don't even have to listen to win this deal. Visit the radio station's website on Fridays to download a coupon for $5 off general admission. Unlike others, this offer is not available at the gate, so be sure to download and print before you go.

Travel in numbers

The State Fair of Texas has several discounts for groups of 20 people or more. Depending on how many in your party, tickets range $9 to $13.50 each. See the breakdown here.

For everything you need to know, visit our State Fair of Texas page.

What's Happening on GuideLive