So far our daughter has been involved in both soccer and ballet classes. We’re pretty fortunate that neither has been overly expensive but the fact still remains that we’re still at the point of needing new equipment every year because kids grow so fast! Last summer we managed to get away with only needing a soccer ball and outdoor cleats for kiddo and this year was a bit more expensive adding her ballet gear (suit, tight and slippers). Compared to my husband who can spend $50 on a pair of soccer cleats and get a few years out of them, we spend close to $40 for kids cleats and are only able to use them for a few months.
At the end of her soccer year I looked at her cleats and realized they looked brand new. They were literally on her feet for a total of about 15 hours and now, one year later, they don’t come close to fitting her. I figured if she’s in this boat, there has to be other local kids who are too which is how I started my search for less expensive sports equipment.
This seems to be the best for me locally. There are many (usually private) Facebook groups advertising the sale or swap of all things related to kids. Though they tend to be heavier on baby items there is definitely a good selection of other things. It also gives you an opportunity to reach out to a group of parents with young kids for inquiries about what you’re looking for, if someone in the group doesn’t have any of the equipment that you are looking for they may know someone. I’ve seen many successful transactions in the mommy groups I am a part of.
I have looked both internationally and locally at different classifieds for stuff that we needed and in there were deals to be found, but in the end we had more luck with Facebook and word of mouth. Still definitely worth checking out.
Local Kids Swap
This is a huge help if you have access to one. Every year one of the huge arenas on town hosts a weekend long kids clothing and ‘’stuff’’ swap. You can attend looking to set up a table and sell or swap your stuff or you can gain admission to buy things that you may need. These tend to be hugely successful and you can find some amazing deals the only downside is that they are usually very busy especially if they’re advertising that they have a ‘’multiples’’ section for twins and triplets (a hot commodity).
Word of Mouth
This is probably my favorite way to find things we need. How successful you are will depend on how connected you are though so it may not work for everyone that well. At my work I see tons of patients every week and I’ve grown to form quite a few relationships with people. When I couldn’t find shin pads that fit kiddo last year I started asking parents whose kids I knew played soccer and in a few days I had a brand new pair sent to me at work from a kid who never used them. It never hurts to ask around! Moms at dance also swap dance gear between kids as new kids start and older kids grow out, though it’s not advertised the receptionist at the studio usually keeps a list of dance gear people have looking to swap if asked.
I feel that it is important to involve children in all kinds of different activities, and while they’re young and have a lot of energy, sports especially. It can be overwhelming when it comes to equipment but don’t let equipment cost alone prevent you from having your kid try a different sport out!
How do you save on your kids sporting activities?