How To Save Money On Sports Equipment

As I try to keep my family healthy, I encourage all of us to engage in sports activities as often as I can. Where’s the fun in spending our time huddled in front of the television? I would much rather we spent our Saturday morning at a soccer game or start our morning with a quick workout. I’m convinced that everyone has a sport that he likes; he just has to discover it.

The only downside to sports is the cost of equipment. Soccer players need shin guards. An indoor workout may require a treadmill. Even something as simple as a game of basketball in the driveway requires you to buy a basketball.

So how do I manage to fit the cost of sports into our family’s tight budget? Well, I do not spend an exorbitant amount of money on gear for each member of our family. Rather, I’ve got a few tricks to help me save money on sports equipment:

Buy used.
So many people buy sports equipment for a new sport only to give up the sport in a few months. Their loss is your gain, though. The thrift store in my neighborhood always has a treadmill or exercise bike for sale; I bet the one in your neighborhood does, too. You can also look for used equipment on Craig’s List or at a store that specializes in used sports equipment. Also check out those spring garage sales!

Buy as little as possible.
When you or a family member takes up a new sport, it’s easy to fall into the trap of buying all kinds of gadgets to make the sport more fun. If you end up deciding that this sport isn’t the one for you, you’re left with a bunch of barely-used equipment that you don’t need (see above). You can avoid this problem by only purchasing the gear you have to have right away. Over time, if you stick with the sport, you can always add to your equipment.

Ask your friends and family
When your children want to try out a new sport, ask around to see if you can borrow or even buy used equipment from friends. Kids outgrow gear pretty quickly. My kids have been fortunate that their cousins play the same sport. Gear gets passed down pretty regularly which is a big savings for us!

Don’t think you’re a professional.
Whatever your sport is, you probably don’t need the latest and greatest gear for your sport. If you like to play golf, for instance, you probably don’t need to have the most expensive clubs available at the pro shop. Your five-year-old also doesn’t need expensive cleats to play soccer. Enjoying a sport doesn’t mean that you have to spend a ton of money.

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Tips To Maximize Your Savings When Buying in Bulk

Full Grocery Shopping CartThe popularity of warehouse stores like Sam’s Club and Costco encourage people to reap the rewards of shopping for their household needs in bulk. These stores tout cheaper prices for the average consumer who chooses to become a member of their warehouse club. But does everyone realize the savings?

Buying items in bulk quantities has its benefits, but it has its hazards, as well. Too often consumers are tempted by the vastness of the warehouse stores to purchase things they don’t really need or that aren’t really priced at bargain prices simply because the products are available. Getting all of the benefits of shopping in bulk quantities requires that the consumer do his homework and only make the purchases that will help him realize actual savings.

Only buy products you actually use
Sometimes when you’re shopping in a wholesale club it’s easy to become enamored with the abundance of products available at discounted prices. However, if the product goes to waste in your closet or pantry, then it wasn’t a bargain, no matter what you paid for it.

Don’t buy more than you can use before the product will spoil
Paper goods are great items to buy in bulk. They store forever (provided you have adequate space) and never go bad. You have to be a little more cautious when purchasing food stuffs, though. If you purchase fifty pounds of hamburger, but then have to throw out the last ten pounds because it spoiled, your purchase wasn’t quite as cost-effective as you hoped it would be.

Be familiar with the prices of products you use
Not everything available at a wholesale club is a bargain. If you know how your favorite products are usually priced at your local grocery store, you’ll be able to determine which products really are a good buy.

Share the wealth of your shopping proceeds
To help get your money’s worth out of your wholesale club membership, you can share your shopping bargains with friends or family. This alternative helps eliminate the worry about buying more than you can use in a short amount of time. You can share the cost of bulk items with friends or family and then split up the large, bulk purchases into smaller amounts that are more manageable for single families.

Buying product in bulk quantities can lead to a large savings for you and your family. You just need to be savvy about which things you purchase.