It’s Springtime, and it’s finally starting to feel like it! Spring brings warm days, rain, flowers, and, of course, baseball season.
Anyone that’s ever had a kid in little league can tell you that not only is it a time commitment, but the upfront costs can be quite the commitment, as well. You need uniforms, mits, gloves, bats, and balls. Beyond gear you have to get everyone to their practices and games, which can add a little more spending to the “gas” line item on your budget. There are snacks to provide, and victory dinners to buy.
But you can’t put a price on all of the life skills sports teach your children. Baseball teaches little ones how to work hard, how to handle defeat, how to handle victory graciously, and how to work with a team. We have some savings tips for you so you can focus on all the positives this little league season will bring instead of the hurting it will put on your pocketbook.
Saving on Baseball Gear
Gear is probably the biggest expense you’ll incur this season, unless your child has played before, and their old stuff still fits. When you’re shopping for baseball gear, coupons will be your best friend. In addition to promo codes, sometimes big chains will partner with local teams to bring you even more coupons. Check out places like Dick’s and Sports Authority to see if your local store has any great promotions specific to your league. They may even be stackable.
Saving on Gasoline
Think about all those minivans that show up to each and every practice. I’m willing to bet that more than 50% of them are not filled to capacity, and that if they don’t come from the same neighborhoods, they come from the same general area. Talk to some of the other moms and see if you can set up a carpool. You’ll want to be at those practices and games, though, so make sure to reserve a seat for yourself, too!
Saving on Snacks, Dinners, and Other Obligations
Some teams will have parents rotate who brings snacks to games. When you’re buying for a large group of kids, it only makes sense to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk for one game is going to leave you with too much food, though, so see if you can team up with some of the other moms to buy all of your snacks at once, splitting the costs equally. You’ll probably have many eager to sign up; everyone likes saving money.
Sometimes teams will go out after a big victory to have a group dinner together. These things can be spur of the moment, and that’s part of what makes them so fun. If you don’t have them budgeted for, however, those spur of the moment dinners for your entire family can really mess up your budget. Make sure you have an app on your phone ready-to-go to bring you savings at the restaurant. Or, if there’s a particular establishment your team likes to frequent, search the Sunday paper or their website for more savings on your next trip.