Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Running on a Budget

One of the many things I love about running is the fact that it does not take much monetarily, especially compared to other sports. All you really need to pound the pavement and get that freeing runner’s high is the right pair of shoes and some comfortable athletic wear.

Of course, as the love of running gets stronger, and you realize you want to progress more, it is easy to get caught in the excitement of purchasing all those awesome accessories that go along with the sport! For all you budgeter’s out there (and that includes myself), I would like to share some tips and tricks to finding those great gadgets to help you along your running journey.

moneysign

1. Overstock Stores: Places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, and Stein Mart all have athletic apparel, and workout accessories (I bought my iPod armband, foam roller, my fuel/hydration belts, kettle bells, and free weights at stores like these for great prices). Lower priced stores such as Target and Old Navy also carry their own lines of athletic wear.

Side Note: These are also fantastic places to buy inexpensive running gear for costumes at runDisney races!

2. Running Warehouse: This website is amazing. They offer just about anything you could imagine that is running related; from apparel and shoes, to watches, sunglasses, energy gels, and more.

This website made this list for a few reasons. First, because they offer some discounts on everyday items. Second, they have a section for liquidation apparel for great brands. Lastly, because they have an incredible return policy and FREE 2-day shipping on ALL orders. Have you ever wanted to try something out, but afraid if you didn’t like it, you would be stuck with it? No need to worry about that here because as it is stated on their website, “items can be return at any point, new or used, within 90 days from the original invoice date.”

3. Gift Cards: If you have a celebration coming up where your family/friends are asking what you want, tell them gift cards to your favorite running stores!

4. Black Friday/Post-Christmas Sales: It is no secret that all the best deals are the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. Find the best sales and STOCK UP on your favorite items! This is also the best time to score deals on the notoriously expensive items such as GPS watches, and high-end compression leggings.

5. Buy Off-Season: For many frugal people, this is a general shopping rule. Purchase cold gear in the spring/summer season and purchase heat gear in the fall/winter season.

6. Race Registrations: There are a few ways to help save on races, and let’s be honest, I’m sure everyone is most excited about this one because this is probably where the bulk of money is spent (especially for runDisney addicts)!

Active.com: One way to save on race registrations is to join Active Advantage. I have not joined myself, but I am certainly thinking about it for the benefits, which include waived processing fees on thousands of events (I hate processing fees), free entry deals, and event coupons to help save even more.

Gifts: Ask for race registries as a gift for a celebration occasion such as your birthday, anniversary, or Christmas!

Join a Charity Team: If you join a charity group such as Team in Training, not only are guaranteed a spot in a potentially sold out race, but the race is generally free to you as well. Not to mention you are raising money for a great cause! This requires some research first, as well as plenty of spare time, because you will need to fundraise a minimum amount of money in order to get this registration.

7. Plan, Plan, Plan: Plan out your races well in advance so you can register before any price increases. Also, try to do more local races, and maybe lower the amount of races you do that require airfare and hotel costs.

8. Gym Memberships: They are overrated, and runners don’t really need them in my opinion. There are plenty of free trails out there, and if you want to strength train, get a few of the essentials for your home and work out there (DVD’s are also great to help with strength training, and they are a one time, low cost transaction).

9. Credit Card Rewards: Chances are, the majority of you have a credit card that earns points, right? With those points, you can probably get cash rewards. Use that extra cash towards your running purchases! Or if you can get airline points, use those to get your to your race destination!

As a frugal person, these are my latest and greatest tips to help everyone shop smart. I hope this serves as a great guide for all you runners out there!

QOTD: Do you tend to splurge on running purchases, or do you try to shop for the best prices out there?

12 comments

  1. I love Running Warehouse, and I am definitely getting my next pair of shoes from them

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    1. They are fantastic, that is a great idea! I am all for getting fitted for your first pair, but after that, it's all about the best deal :)

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  2. LOL...funny you should post this right after I was staring at a cart with three things in it (running skirt, top, bra) that added up to nearly 130$! I didn't purchase, I decided against spending the money when I have to save to get to Disney to run, but ooooh it was so hard! LOL. Great tips!

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    1. LOL! I am like that too, the less I spend today, the more I save for Disney, woohoo!

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  3. I'll splurge on the important things, like shoes or a good sports bra, but I look for deals on running clothes. I'm saving birthday money, redeeming credit card rewards, and taking all the proceeds from my tiny Etsy store to fund my Tinker Bell trip. :)

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    1. That is great! Can you send me your Etsy link? I'd love to take a look at your store :)

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    2. I don't have much or any real variety, but here it is:
      https://www.etsy.com/shop/minipanda
      :)

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  4. Great Post Lauren! I'm still in the process of learning what "accessories" I need for running/training. I'm still not sure of what things cost or what is a "good deal" as most of my running things were given to me as gifts. I will certainly be shopping around now. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks!! Glad I could help! Happy shopping :)

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  5. Great post and very informative! I try to save as much as I can. I love the idea to get running gear through my birthday. I'll remember that for sure! I have found a lot of my gear in discount stores. The Goodwill is a place to find gear with the tags still on. It's a blessing when you're trying to save!

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    1. Great idea!! You can definitely find some diamonds in the rough there I bet! Thanks for the extra tip :)

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