This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shell, in which I was compensated. The opinions and text are all mine.
9 Tips for Saving Money as a Sports Mom
It’s that time of year again, back to school and back to practice! My biggest struggle with this time of year is transforming from a road tripping, laid back, adventure seeking mom, into a sports mom. It’s the time to buckle down on routines and unpack my suitcases and fill my trunk with sports equipment and bleacher chairs. However, even with traveling cut way back, everyday life still forces us to budget and find savings everywhere we can.
With three children, I have been a soccer mom, a dance mom, an archery mom, and a baseball mom over the years. While all these roles have meant a lot of driving and time restraints, I had no idea how busy a sports mom’s life could be until this year when I became a football and cheer mom.
I am at a practice field for hours at least four nights out of the week, and games take up most of my Saturdays, and that’s just time. Between registration, equipment, and fuel costs, these sports have also taken a huge chunk of my budget. Plus, my oldest has decided to switch to golf lessons and sign up for science club, so that is added to the schedule.
Like most sports moms, I am constantly on the go while also trying to save money.
Here are my top money saving tips for sports moms!
- Ask about sibling discounts. I have 2 children registered in the youth football league, even though one is in cheerleading and one is in football, I was surprised when I learned I was eligible for a discount. Remember it never hurts to ask.
- Sell old equipment before you buy new sports equipment. By the end of each sports season, we have a basket of out-grown shoes and cleats, pads and clothing for sports the kids have opted out of for the next season, and lots of practice items like nets and ball throwers. In-between each season, I go through our storage area and sell off the items that are no longer needed or outgrown. I list them on yard sale sites, team Facebook groups, or bring them to sporting goods consignment shops.
- Buy used equipment or borrow it. We have already gone through a pair of cleats this season and football started only 6 weeks ago. You never know when a growth spurt is going to happen. Plus, all the pads can add up even with team coupons. Look for used sporting goods stores in your area, I have paid less than half of retail price on most of this year’s items.
- Make sure everything is labeled and organized. I know how easily things can get lost or mistakenly taken by another kid when a team full of tired sweaty kids are throwing their helmets, pads, and water bottles in a pile. This sometimes equals having to buy the same thing twice and basically throwing money away. Keeping everything labeled with a colorful name tag makes it easy for your child to know exactly which items are his at the end of practice.
- Get out your crockpot. I leave my house to pick up the kids from school and then we are in the car or in the field until the sun goes down. When we get home, the last thing I want to think about is cooking dinner, plus I am already concentrating on bedtime within 30 minutes of stepping in the door. For the first week, I was taken back at how busy our schedule had become and found myself at the drive-thru constantly. This was not only expensive for a family of five, but also affecting my waistline. That’s when I started planning crockpot meals for all our practice nights. This way a warm dinner is ready for us as soon as we get home.
- Pack snacks and drinks. The first week of practices, I not only found myself at the drive-thru for dinner, but I was also driving thru before practices for an iced coffee for myself, and even running in convenient stores for snacks and water. At the end of the week, I realized if that continued I would be shelling out more than the registration fee on waters alone. I now make sure that a soft cooler is packed with drinks for myself and snacks for the kids to have in-between practices or while they watch each other’s games.
- Get a large water bottle for each sports player. The kids are out in the sun for hours every afternoon and here in Florida it is still 90 degrees outside on most days. I want them to drink as much water as possible, and they get thirsty out there. Instead of packing several small water bottles, I found the big sports thermoses to be best. I fill them up at home with filtered water and ice, which saves me money, plus the water jugs stay cold all day so they aren’t asking for a cold one out of the vending machines.
- Pack a supply bag. Over the years, I have learned that if I don’t have it on me they will end up needing it. Thus, I have spent a lot of time and money running into pharmacies while the kids are on the field. Now, I have a tote bag that stays in the back of the car most of the time and is filled with all my essentials. I keep bug spray, sunblock, a towel, baby wipes, a single use ice pack, band-aids, hair ties, small scissors, ibuprofen, and a change of clothes, in it always.
- Use your *Fuel Rewards® card! As sports moms, we spend a lot of time on the road. Between running from one activity to another and driving to games and competitions, we are constantly refueling. Last week was our first game, which was an hour drive away, luckily, I saved money on the fuel fill up just by using my Fuel Rewards® card.
I joined the Fuel Rewards® program at the beginning of the summer and in past posts, I have shared with you how I saved on our Orlando road trip and our beach vacation. Now that travel season has ended, I am still using the Fuel Rewards® program to save during our everyday life.
The easiest way to save right now is by taking advantage of their limited time offer: Instant Gold Status. This savings has helped me stay on budget during every fuel up. With the Instant Gold Status promotion, everyone who joins gets a 5c/gal savings (up to 20 gallons per visit) every time you fuel up at a Shell location for at least the first 6 months from signup.
Plus, there are additional ways to save on fuel with the Fuel Rewards® program. When you link your debit or credit card to your Fuel Rewards® account you can earn additional saving each time you shop or dine with participating merchants.
Do you still have a list of things to buy for back to school? Two of my favorite stores for back to school shopping are currently offering 10c/gal rewards (up to 20 gallons) for every $50 spent while shopping online through the Fuel Rewards® website. You can also earn an additional 10c/gal reward for every $50 spent by dining at participating restaurants that are listed on the Fuel Rewards® app or website.
By stacking all these potential rewards, you can really save at the pump and keep your family going while staying on budget! Best of all it’s free to sign up!
Make sure to head over and sign up for the Fuel Rewards® program and start saving at the pump now!
After signing up send your referral link to friends and family so they can join the Fuel Rewards program. The first time a friend uses the program by earning a reward or using their card at a participating Shell station after registering with your link, you will instantly earn 25¢/gal (up to 20 gal). There’s no limit to how much you can save!
These are the top ways I save as a busy sports mom. What is your top money saving tip?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shell. The opinions and text are all mine.
*Restrictions apply. To qualify for the Gold/Silver Status offers, you must be a Fuel Rewards®member and swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID when you fuel at a participating Shell station. With Gold Status, you will receive 5¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings on every fill-up. The 5¢/gal reward for Gold Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. If you are an existing Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status from 6/5/2017 through 12/31/17, the “Existing Member Introductory Period”. If you are a new Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status for the initial month you join through the last day of the month, 6 full calendar months later, the “New Member Introductory Period”. The last 3 months of the Existing Member Introductory Period or the New Member Introductory Period (collectively the “Introductory Period”) is the “Qualification Period”. You will retain your Gold Status during the Qualification Period, but you must make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to qualify for Gold Status for the next 3 months, the “Benefit Period”. During the Benefit Period, you must continue to make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to maintain your Gold Status for the next 3-month Benefit Period. A qualifying fuel purchase is any fuel purchase at a participating Shell station in which you swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID and fill up with at least 5-gallons of any grade of fuel. For example, if you are a new Fuel Rewards® member and register on 6/15/2017, you will receive Gold Status through the New Member Introductory Period (i.e., 12/31/2017). You will need to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the Qualification Period (i.e., 10/1/2017 and 12/31/2017) to maintain Gold Status during the Benefit Period (i.e., from 1/1/2018 to 3/31/2018). Thereafter, if you continue to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the successive 3 consecutive month Benefit Periods, you will retain your Gold Status. If you do not maintain your Gold Status, you will receive Silver Status. With Silver Status, you will receive 3¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings. The 3¢/gal reward for Silver Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. Redeem Fuel Rewards® savings with your Fuel Rewards® card or Alt ID at participating Shell stations. Fuel Rewards® savings are limited to 20 gallons of fuel per purchase, per vehicle, or fraud limits placed by Shell and/or limits placed on your financial card by your financial institution, each of which may be lower. Fuel Rewards® savings must be redeemed in a single transaction. Once you begin to dispense fuel using your Fuel Rewards® savings, you must dispense to the 20-gallon limit or you forfeit any remaining discounted gallons of fuel. For example, if you only pump fifteen (15) gallons of fuel, you would abandon the remaining five (5) gallons of discounted fuel. If you have a rewards balance greater than the current per-gallon price of fuel, the price will roll down to the maximum capability of the fuel equipment, and your remaining rewards will be saved for a future fuel purchase. Dispenser may require a price of up to 10.9¢/gal. It may not be possible to combine multiple discounts and/or rewards in a single transaction. For purchases of $75 or more, please go inside to pay. Unbranded diesel and alternative fuels may not be eligible. The Fuel Rewards® program is owned and operated by Excentus Corporation. Offer may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Not valid where prohibited by law. Please see fuelrewards.com for complete Fuel Rewards®program details and Terms and Conditions. Other restrictions may apply. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. To learn more, visit fuelrewards.com/gold or call (888) 603-0473. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shell. The opinions and text are all mine.