Babe Ruth, or as we call him the Sultan of Swat, once said, “Never let the fear of striking out stop you from playing the game.” Spring sets the stage for a great season of sports – from March Madness to team events, ‘tis the season to get in the game. If you have kids, or are a big kid at heart, this is also the time of year when warm weather means baseball bats, soccer balls, and hitting the track. It’s the time of year when new equipment, gear, and clothes must be bought, and can often send the piggy bank squealing. To keep on track with your budget, we’re offering our sports saving tips.
Affordable Team Sports
If your kiddos are playing team or rec sports and you’re on a budget, don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and take charge of team uniforms. You can buy a bulk batch of t-shirts to decorate, or check out the great deals from Threadless and Café Press. If you’re crafty and looking for a great group project, use the bulk batch of t-shirts and buy iron on numbers and letters. Then let your kids and team tie-dye or handprint their own uniforms for an unforgettable team building exercise!
Recycle your Gear and Buy in Bulk
Hand-me-downs are great, but most gear wears out before it can be passed on. Stores like Play-It-Again-Sports sell gently used cleats and other gear at a fraction of the cost. They also sell slightly used apparel like shoulder pads and shin guards. Since both of these go under equipment, they’re a great deal that no one really sees. You might also keep in mind that there are sites where you can sell gently used gear too. Sell what you don’t need for the money to buy what you do! If you go through a lot of tape and socks, look to Costco or online stores for bulk purchasing. If your kids are on travel teams, consider going in with other families on a bulk order of balls, shin guards, or mouth guards. You’ll find even better deals with a coupon.
Desperately seeking sports without the budget for a league or team? Never fear! Neighborhood and community sports are an affordable and fun solution for any age group wishing for a sports team. Whether soccer, kick ball, flag football, or ultimate Frisbee is your game of choice, all you need is a pair of tennis shoes, ball or disc, and a few friends to call on. You can post a community flyer at your clubhouse, send out community emails or notices, and we guarantee you won’t be the only one looking for a great weekly game to get together.
When the weather turns and you’re stuck inside due to a rainout, don’t get mad – just gather the family around one of the many great matchups from the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. These tournaments provide an opportunity for families to cheer together. It’s also a great example of how hard work, sacrifice and the will to win come together for the great teams that make a championship run. John Wooden – possibly the greatest basketball coach of all time – used sport to teach boys how to become men and leaders: pyramid of success.
Remember to take time to enjoy the moments as they pass, whichever athletics and adventures you choose. If a tight budget is your main concern, a little creativity goes a long way to help ease that worry. Then, there’s nothing left to do but gear up and play ball!