How to Save Money on Running Gear


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Last May, I completed my first-ever 5k race, Run on The River. Running has been a great addition to my fitness regimen – having a race to train for gives me a tangible goal, but I can still work my my training around my hectic schedule, since the beauty of running is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. Running requires virtually no equipment, but over the past year I’ve collected a few items that make my jogging routine easier and more fun. I’m not one to dump a lot of money on unnecessary gadgets, so I thought I’d give you a rundown of what items have been beneficial for me and how I’ve cut costs.

Saving Money on Fitness Gear 101

Mama told me you better shop around: Before I buy anything, I research my options, check out reviews and read discussion forums. For example, I subscribe to r/xxfitness on Reddit, which is a forum for active women. I’ve found it helpful to see overall opinions and recommendations from other ladies who run and share my needs. From there, I can compare product categories to see how the price and quality stack up between similar items.

Groupon

Clip those coupons: Once I find something I like, I make sure to check Groupon Coupons before I place my order to see if there are any coupon codes that can save me money. Boasting a collection of 78,880 promo codes and sales across 11,833 stores, Groupon Coupons can help me find extra savings with a quick glance. Trust me, it’s worth the 60 seconds to check for a promo code before you hit “Purchase”! I’ve linked to the Groupon Coupons page for each retailer below so that you can see what sales are currently active.

Running Gear: Favorite Products & Where to Shop

Clothing & Shoes:

Activewear and shoes are the only gear you “Have” to have for running, but unfortunately, that’s also the most expensive part! I try to stock up on leggings whenever there’s a clearance sale (usually around New Year’s), but as time goes on I’ve gotten more picky and started to pay more for leggings that I know won’t pill up or ride down. With sneakers, I try to take advantage of price reductions and special coupons when I can, since they’re always so pricey. I had a run gait analysis done last year and specifically asked them to look at my shoes so I could get an idea if I was buying the right kind of footwear, since I don’t want to mess around with something that isn’t going to be supportive; I think that the price you have to spend on your shoes really varies based on personal needs.

Here’s a few deals currently running (pun intended) for shoes and clothes:

Accessories:

There is very little that you need to go running beyond clothes and shoes, but as I’ve become a regular runner, I’ve found a few items that make my life easier. I’ve bought all of these products on Amazon, which is one of my favorite places to shop! Not only do they carry affordable items that generally have free shipping, but you can also snag Amazon coupon codes from time to time that will bring the price down even further. These are my favorite running accessories available on Amazon:

  • FlipBelt – retails for just under $29: This belt is sold by Level Terrain and fits around your waist, holding a phone and keys or other small items. If I’m running around the block, I need somewhere to put my keys, and I personally can’t run without music so my phone is always there, too. I was using an armband previously, but it was getting cumbersome trying to get the phone in and out and keep it from slipping down; it also didn’t work for my house key, which actually fell out and left me searching by the road for it! So after looking around, I saw the FlipBelt recommended many times on Reddit and decided to go for it. I haven’t gotten the opportunity to use it much yet with our terrible Oregon weather this year, but I like it so far – I can put my large phone in it easily without it shifting.
  • Thermos Intak Hydration Bottle – $9.99: I wanted a water bottle that could easily track my water intake over the day, and I opted for this one. It has a simple dial at the bottom that you move each time you refill it, to indicate how many bottles you’ve had that day from 1 to 6. The bottle holds 24 ounces, so I know that if I refill it 5 times, I will have met my water goal for the day. It’s a simple thing, but it helps me, and the bottle is nicely made and sturdy. I had this bottle on my list for a while and ended up ordering it in February with a few other things because there was an Amazon coupon on offer that month which saved me over $8, paying for most of the bottle!
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo – under $10 per bottle: In order to keep my hair healthy, it’s important that I don’t wash it every day, so dry shampoo is my friend. Although I tie my hair up and wear headbands to try to protect it from sweat, I still feel gross after working out and didn’t feel like a little bit of powder was cutting it. Batiste seemed to be the hands-down favorite with female athletes on Reddit and once I tried it, I saw why. It thoroughly sprays your hair down and works through to get rid of oil and make your hair feel clean.

Are you a runner? What are some of your favorite accessories?

Tomato Cream Cheese Tulips Recipe

Tomato Cream Cheese Tulips

Photo credit: Sean Kramer.

I love making playful recipes like Spider Deviled Eggs (Or even Turkey Deviled Eggs!). So I love this idea for tomatoes and cream cheese designed to look like fresh Spring Tulips! This recipe was created by The Hotel Saugatuck in Saugatuck, Michigan and will be served all through the month of May to correspond with a local Tulip festival. If you can’t make it to Saugatuck this month, you can still recreate this recipe at home:

Tomato Cream Cheese Tulips

Recipe by The Hotel Saugatuck

Ingredients:

1 pint grape tomatoes
1 package (8oz) cream cheese
2 bunches green onion
1 large garlic clove
10 chives
Juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch kosher salt

Directions:

1. Cut off the roots and ends of the green onion
2. Let cream cheese sit out for 1/2 hour to get to room temperature. Then chop chives and garlic together using an electric mixer. Next whip the cream cheese, chives, garlic, and salt until blended evenly. Add lemon juice and blend into mixture.
3. Using a skewer, poke a hole in the stem side of each tomato. Keeping the stem side down, make a cross (2 slices) 1/2 way down the tomato using a small spoon (or the tip of an old fruit peeler) scoop out the seeds from the inside of tomato.
4. Take a pastry bag and tip, fill the cut side of the tomato with cream cheese, and
insert the green onion into the hole at the stem end of the tomato.