How to hit the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on a budget

Rodeo Houston is officially in action. Even if you're not the boot kickin', buckle-wearing cowboy type, a visit to the show is an annual tradition. But after parking, tickets and food, the rodeo ritual can certainly set you back. 

Consumer expert Amy Davis has done the homework to show you how to "Go Rodeo" on a budget. 

Rodeo Houston runs for 20 days. Some of those days are cheaper than others. If you're an ol' codger or cowgirl, 60 or older, or a pint-size cowpoke 12 and under, you can get into Rodeo Houston for free every Wednesday. 
Admission doesn't include the rodeo or concert, but you can see the livestock show and grounds, shopping and all of the other attractions for nothing.  

If you go with little ones between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, kiddie rides and games in the Junction Carnival are just $2 and some food and drink items are $2 each too. 

Armed Forces Appreciation Day is Wednesday. All active military members in uniform with an ID get in to NRG Park free along with their spouses and children under 18 years old.  
Monday, March 5 is First Responders Day. All first responders with a badge plus four family members get in to NRG Park for free. 

Expect to pay $20 to park on-site at NRG. We found the least expensive option is riding Metro Rail if you can easily get to the train. 

You can easily plan your trip online by typing in your address and then "NRG Park" as your destination. Metro will give you step-by-step directions, which bus to take to get to the train and where to get on and off. Your rail ride is just $2.50 a person round trip. That's just $10 for a family of 4.  

If you're not close to Metro Rail, there are seven Park and Ride locations where prices vary from $4 to $7 a person.

If you plan on hitting the rodeo three or more times this year, a rodeo season pass is worth the money. It is $35 and gets you in to NRG Park every day. The only way to see the actual rodeo and a concert is to a buy a ticket. They start at $18 each. That ticket also gets you into the livestock show and carnival too.