The best part of running is that it’s a cheap sport. Er, it’s a cheap sport if you’re not doing it seriously. Add a few races, fancy shoes from your local running store, and technical gear – the cost can add up pretty quickly. Still, much like you should “run smart”, you should also “shop smart”. And with so much technology at our fingertips, there are more than a few ways to cut running gear costs way down.
Honey is a Chrome add-on that hunts down coupon codes at most online stores. Most times, it’s able to find some sort of discount to tack on. As an added bonus, you can get price drop notifications or compare prices from other online stores.
Buy it Used
If you’ve sold clothes at Plato’s Closet, you know they don’t just take anything. Resale shops only take gently used clothing that’s about 1 to 2 years old. That means you’re getting clothes that are good as new, but at a significant discount.
Hit Up Outlet Malls and Local Running Stores
If you’re not into the used clothing scene, outlet malls are another great option. They can be a cluster, but well worth the trouble for higher-end technical gear. Shopping local is also another smart option. Your average local running stores are trying to move product quickly, so it’s rare to walk in an not see some sort of discount rack.
Volunteer at Races
Many races give volunteers discounted or even a free entry in exchange for service. It’s also a great way to meet others that love running!
Buy Investment Pieces
I’ve talked about how I shelled out $200 for a Lululemon jacket before. To this day, it’s the best piece of cold weather equipment I have in my closet. While you don’t have to drop a ton of money for most gear, I highly recommend doing it for the pieces that really matter (i.e. sports bra, leggings, jacket). You’ll have these pieces for years, which means the cost per wear drops significantly.
Abandon Your Shopping Cart
Ok, I don’t mean abandon your shopping cart in real life. I’m in the field of e-commerce, and one thing that I’ve learned is that when you put a product in your shopping cart, it launches a campaign on most reputable sites. Suddenly, they will do anything to make sure you buy what they’re selling. After you abandon your shopping cart, don’t be surprised if you get a discount email a few weeks, or even days, later.
Become a Tester
I recently found out about this, and it’s a lot of fun! Companies like Reebok, Brooks, Saucony, New Balance, and Nike offer beta testing for their products before they’re released. That means you get the opportunity to test out technical gear and give these companies essential feedback. You have a better chance if you’re close to sample sizes and run over 30 miles per week.
What are some ways you save money on your running lifestyle?