Money Saving Tips for Sports Moms

Participating in youth sports is great way for kids to stay active, socialize with others, and learn the value of teamwork, but for a parent, it can be worrisome.  There’s always the worry that your child will get hurt, but with some sports, the hit to the pocketbook can be just as painful. As a mother of three boys who play multiple sports (as well as a daughter in college), I try to save money wherever I can. Here are some money saving tips you might find useful for your kids!

Sports Moms

Family Discounts

If you have multiple children playing the same sport, even if they are in different age divisions, many organizations offer family discounts. Often times these discounts are not advertised, but if you ask, they may actually be available. The type of discount is different with each organization, sometimes the cost is less with each additional child, and in other cases, the discount is in the form of a percentage off the entire registration fee for the whole family. Either way, you save money, and it doesn’t hurt to ask!

Save on Sports with Family Discounts

Equipment

Depending on the sport, equipment can get expensive. While most leagues provide uniforms at no cost, parents are often left to purchase equipment such as helmets, bats, gloves, sticks, padding, etc. on their own.  Purchasing new equipment is extremely expensive, and in my opinion, never worth the money. Whether your child changes their mind and stops playing, or experiences a major growth spurt, you could be left with a garage full of useless equipment for years to come. Many towns now have consignment shops dealing exclusively in sporting goods. You can purchase gently used equipment, sell what you don’t need anymore or trade items your child has outgrown. If you don’t have a store like this in your town, consider online shops like http://2ndtimesports.com, check your local Craigslist, or better yet, talk to friends and family who may have unused equipment they’d love to get rid of.

Save on Sports Equipment

Cleats

Cleats or other athletic shoes are quite costly, and with growing boys, I find that I have to replace them from one season to the next. Hand-me-downs can work, but are not always the best option when it comes to shoes. I find that my best bet is to shop off season, and not necessarily at a sports store. I have walked into a large retail store during the summer and found heavily discounted cleats that are used for fall/winter sports. Just make sure to get a half to a full size larger, to account for your child’s inevitable growth by the next season.

Save on Sports Cleats

Carpool

With any sport, in preparation for the upcoming season, there will be many practices. There’s no need for every parent to drop off and pick up their child at each practice.  Talk to the families of your child’s teammates, especially those in your neighborhood, and set up a carpool schedule. This will save you time, gas money and many hours sitting at the park waiting to take your child home.

Affordable Sports Tips

Pack a cooler

As a mother of four, when I go to watch my sons’ games, I usually have some of my other children with me that are not playing and, quite frankly, are bored. If your town has a snack stand at the field, this can be a costly combination. To avoid the constant requests for candy, ice cream and sports drinks, I always pack a small cooler.  Buying the snacks your kids like in bulk and bringing a few to each game will help you control what your kids are eating, keep them satisfied and save you from going broke from buying overpriced, unhealthy snacks.

Affordable Snacks for Kids

Traveling

Many local sports organizations offer tournament teams, or championships at the regional, state or national level, all of which require traveling outside of your hometown. Lodging can be expensive, especially when traveling with the whole family. To minimize this expense, ask the hotel if they will give a group rate if multiple families book rooms at the same hotel. Sometimes the tournament will provide a host hotel, which is not always the most economical option. Look for hotels in the surrounding area and you may be able to get a better deal. Eating out for every meal while away can be costly, as well.  I always try to book a room with a refrigerator or bring a cooler so a quick breakfast or lunch doesn’t have to be at a restaurant.

Save on hotels

Hopefully these tips can help to take away some of the stress over how to pay for sports for your kids, and allow you to focus on the important things, keeping your child active, interacting with others and most importantly, having fun!

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