Those flyover states aren’t as boring as you think when you’ve got extra money in your pocket.
7 Ways Midwest States are Cheaper Than Others
If you assume Midwestern U.S. states are mostly rectangular regions of cornfields, friendly people and highways leading to better places, you’d be partly right. But you’d also be kind of wrong.
Many Midwestern cities offer prime employment opportunities, along with arts and music scenes that can sometimes – in their own humble, midwestern ways – rival the culture in some cities on either coast. Meanwhile, the cost of living is low in the Midwest, so you’ll have more expendable income.
Click or swipe through to see 7 things that won’t break the bank in the Midwest.
You’ll pay less for a night at the movies in a landlocked state. The average movie ticket price in the U.S. and Canada in 2018 was around $9, according to Statista, a provider of market and consumer data.  But prices creep higher as you near either coast.
You can snag a ticket for anywhere from $6 to $12 in Kansas City, Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri, Madison, Wisconsin, and other Midwestern cities. Compare those cheap seats with New York City, where the average movie ticket cost is nearly $17, or San Francisco, where the average ticket price is $15.
2. Apartment rent
Want to live on the East or West Coast? You’ll pay big bucks for a place to live. According to a 2018 survey conducted by GOBankingRates,  this is the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the following big East and West Coast cities...
- San Francisco: $3,400
- Los Angeles: $1,985
- Seattle: $1,995
- Portland, Oregon: $1,579
- New York City: $2,395
- Boston: $2,000
- Washington, D.C.: $2,207
- Miami: $2,000
You’ll also pay high rent in Chicago, with the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment at $1,595, and in Minneapolis, where median rent runs around $1,550, but rent prices drop significantly in smaller midwestern cities.
For example, the median rent for a one-bedroom in the following Midwestern cities is much cheaper...
- Indianapolis, Indiana: $779
- Kansas City, Missouri: $936
- Wichita, Kansas: $625
- Tulsa, Oklahoma: $599
3. House prices
Homeowners pay less for a house in the Midwest, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED).  The median home price in the U.S. was $320,300 in the second quarter of 2019, with East Coast and West Coast home sales prices well above that figure.
Northeastern states were most expensive – $450,700 median home price – according to the FRED quarterly report. The west region followed with a median home price of $401,700, and southern states fared better with a $289,900 median home price. However, the median price for a house in the Midwest was lowest of any region: $271,300.
Want to kick the habit? Try moving to New York, where the average price of a pack of cigarettes is nearly $13, thanks to combined sales and excise taxes of $5.85 per pack, including a $1.50 per pack tax levied in New York City. Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts also have high per-pack taxes, tacking on $4.35, $4.25 and $3.51, respectively, to retail prices, according to the Tax Foundation. 
The cheapest smokes are in Missouri, an average cost of $5.25 per pack, according to. Southern states have cheap cigarettes too, but Midwest states such as Kansas ($5.83), Nebraska ($6.83) and Iowa ($6.29) are still some of the least expensive cigarette prices in the country. The big Midwest exceptions: Illinois, averaging $11.50 per pack and Minnesota, $8.10 per pack.
5. Gas prices
Gasoline prices fluctuate, but you’ll typically pay more at the pump in California than in any other state, according to Gas Buddy, which calculates data from crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices. 
For example, in Oct. 2019, the price of gas in Los Angeles was $4.25 a gallon. Northwestern states fared better, with prices hovering just above $3 a gallon. Meanwhile, drivers in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Kansas paid less than $2.50 per gallon.
Regional grocery prices vary, thanks to state sales taxes and multiple grocery chains, along with logistical factors. However, you’ll generally pay less for groceries in the Midwest, according to the second quarter 2019 report from the.
The cost of living index for grocery costs in Midwest states ranges from 87 in Michigan to 98 in Wisconsin.  Compare those figures with the cost of living indices for groceries in the following large, coastal states...
- California: 119
- Oregon: 112
- Washington: 108
- District of Columbia: 118
- New York: 112
- Massachusetts: 114
- Maryland: 109
- New Jersey: 109
- Florida: 105
Find out: How to Save Money on Groceries
7. Beer and Wine
How much you pay for beer and wine varies greatly by state. However, the highest distilled spirits taxes in the U.S. are in the states of Washington, Oregon and Virginia, according to the Tax Foundation. 
The state with the lowest distilled spirits taxes? Landlocked Missouri, of course, where snapping open a beer or uncorking a bottle of wine is the next best thing to driving a thousand miles to sit on the nearest beach.
This article by Deb Hipp was originally published on Debt.com.
Published by Debt.com, LLC