Nine years ago I signed up my oldest son for his first sports team. He was four years old. I had no idea what I was in for. Nine years and three kids later, I now fully embrace my titles: Softball Mom and Baseball Mom. Three of my four kids play ball. We are on four different teams. Yes, you read that correctly. THREE kids and FOUR teams. My youngest is not interested in sports at all, and I’m just fine with that!
Team sports costs can add up fast. However, there are some really great tips I’ve learned over the years that can help cut those costs.
Money Saving Tips for the Sports Mom
- Ask about sibling discounts. Many Little Leagues will cut the costs when families of 3 or more sign up together! Be sure to inquire.
- Buy used equipment. Bats, balls, football pads, tennis rackets, etc., can all be purchased in gently-used condition at a much lower cost than new. Check out stores like Play It Again, Sports!
- Hit the thrift and consignment shops. Baseball pants, cleats, shin guards, socks and practice jerseys can all be purchased at secondhand stores as well.
- Carpool. If you’re on travel teams like us, you may be in for quite a few “away” games. Cut down on gas expenses by carpooling with teammates. Get to know the other families and share rides!
- Do NOT cut corners on protective equipment. Be sure your child has all the safety and protective equipment that is required. This will cut down on injuries, E.R. visits and mommy worries, too!
- Pack plenty of snacks and meals. Concession stands can be pricey. Be sure to bring along your own snacks and drinks from home so you’re not stuck paying too much at the field.
- Invest in a large thermos for your little athlete. Refillable, insulated bottles are much less expensive than bottled water. And, if your child runs out of water, they can refill their thermos at the field!
- Keep an eye out for coupons in the newspaper for local sports stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Sports Authority. Did you know that these two sports stores will take the other store’s coupons?
- Start a fundraiser! You can also be creative buy running a football fundraiser event to raise money.
So my fellow Sports Mom, don’t be surprised if your kiddos change sports each year. If you find yourself in this predicament, try swapping equipment and gear with their friends.
I have always supported my kids in their sports adventures. But if you get overwhelmed, try to remember that this investment may lead to scholarships down the road!