Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Two-Fer Tuesday! Part One!

Because I care about value and giving my readers more, today’s post will be a two-parter:

The post in the first part – A companion piece to The Cheap Chick segment on inexpensive sporting equipment debuting today on Fox 9 News at 5PM. Here's where you'll find store info (i.e. their websites) and a few tips I couldn’t fit in the on-air segment.

The post in the second part – Two (TWO! As in, TWO-FER!) new favorite things of mine. One even comes complete with its own swear word. Which makes it that much better, yes?

PART ONE, I WANT TO RIDE MY BY-SIC-CAAALLLLLLL….

If you live in Minnesota, particularly the TC, and you look out your window, you will find it is sunny today. NOT SO YESTERDAY. WHEN I WAS FILMING. FILMING PRIMARILY OUTSIDE. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

Seeing that it is sunny, you might be tricked into thinking it also warm outside. Don’t be fooled – it’s still only in the 50’s. Actually, 45, but the “Real Feel” is 54. Just in case you cared.


LIES.


However, tomorrow is supposed to be nice. And with any luck, and some judicious praying/whining/sacrificing to the Weather Gods, it may just stay nice and warm for awhile. Until October hits and it starts to snow all over again.

My point with all the weather talk is this – it is finally time to break out your bike or Rollerblades or (if you are a twelve-year-old boy/Tony Hawk) your skateboard and hit the road. Self-propelled transportation is fun, good exercise, and cheaper than driving your car.

If you need new outdoor gear, here are a few places to get it for less:

1. Play It Again Sports. They only carry blades, boards and some vintage-style roller skates, but they also have accessories like helmets, so you all don’t kill yourselves.
Go here for store locations and hours:
http://www.playitagainsports.com/

2. Thrift Stores. I have it on very good authority (their Marketing Director) that the Goodwill in Stillwater has an excellent selection of sporting goods. Also, the Goodwill in Maple Grove had some bikes and blades, and HELMETS – which really? You need.
By the way? That Raz’r Scooter I’m riding in the segment? I bought it for just $4.99, and it is SWEET.
Goodwill:
http://www.goodwilleasterseals.org/site/PageServer?pagename=shop
Savers: http://www.savers.com/aboutus/storelocator.php. They also carry sporting goods, don’cha know.

3. Craigslist and eBay. Craigslist has a section for bikes and section for toys AND a section for sporting goods. Check all three and you’re bound to find something you want. Plus, you can often “try it before you buy it” – i.e. stop by the seller’s home and take a peek. Just bring along a (very large and strong) friend, for safety.
If you go the eBay route, only buy lighter items like boards or skates. Shipping a bike is mucho expensivo and defeats the whole savings aspect of eBay.
Craigslist:
http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/
eBay: http://www.ebay.com/

4. Big Box Stores: Through the power of bulk-buying, the big guns can offer peons like us decent deals on sporting goods. They’ll never be as cheap as buying previously-owned, but they do what they can. They’re trying, dammit!
Sam’s Club sells bikes and skateboards online, but ONLY online. At least, that is what they told me when I called and asked. Check with the store near you, they may carry them in-house, or rather, store.
Costco also sells bikes and boards online – once again, check your local store to see if they carry the stuff actually IN the store, or only online.
And, of course, Target and Walmart sell EVERYTHING YOU NEED, including self-propelled transportation. Otherwise known as bikes, skates, blah, blah, blah.
Sam’s Club:
http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/index.jsp.
Costco:
http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/index.jsp.
Walmart:
http://www.walmart.com/.
My Happy Place, aka Target:
http://www.target.com/.

5. Garage Sales: Check your local paper, or if you are TC-ian, the Star Tribune, in the classified section. You’ll find lists of local garage sales, and what they are (supposedly – sometime people LIE) selling at the sale.
Like shopping at thrift stores, this option takes work. But the yield (awesome sporting goods for less) is worth the effort. Plus, who can resist a garage sale? Extra points if the sellers offer homemade baked goods and bottled water for sale.
Star Tribune:
http://pd.startribune.com/sp?p=shoppingportal/classifieds_garagesales.

Now let me ask you – where have YOU found inexpensive sporting goods? Please share – it IS caring, after all.

3 comments:

The Material Girl said...

My bike was free - cheapest EVER! -from my sister since she had two. LooLoo's (soon to be BooBoo's) bike came from Savers. So, The Blonde One's new, and NOT cheap, bike becomes quite the bargain when you divide it by three.

Michelle said...

The Unique Thrift store always has a big selection of ice skates and ski boots in the winter. A lot of the skates are in pretty good condition, too.

mia said...

The Outlet Section of the Sports Authority's website has some good deals (lots of stuff 50-75% off), plus you can usually get some sort of free shipping code on Retail Me Not.