According to Sperling's Best Places cost of living data, the cost of living index for Minneapolis is 102, compared to a national average of 100. The Sperling's cost of living index for St. Paul is 95.
So what is expensive, what is average, and what is cheap in Minneapolis and St. Paul?
Minneapolis/St. Paul house prices are lower than the national average.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro area is slightly lower than the national average. The CPI takes into account the cost of food, utilities, health care, consumer goods, new and used cars and clothing. In Minneapolis and St. Paul, utility bills, primarily heating bills during the winter, are significantly higher than average and offset the lower than average prices of just about everything else. Also notable is clothing, which is cheaper in Minnesota because the state of Minnesota doesn't apply sales tax to apparel and shoes.
The cost of living in Minneapolis and St. Paul is comparable to the average for the nation, and with higher wages than national average, and plenty of free and cheap amenities, it can be a good value metro area to live in. In 2009, Forbes magazines named the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro are the number 1 place in America to live well affordably. Just watch out for expenses specific to Minneapolis/St. Paul, especially if you are relocating from a warmer area.