I practically live in my active wear. Except for when I am at my office job, I can be found  in my yoga pants, crop tops and hoodies. Which means I have gathered up quite the collection over the years to be able to wear a different outfit every day of the week. And good, quality active wear doesn’t come cheap! But I didn’t have to spend a fortune to create a well stocked, 7-day-a-week active wear closet. Want to know how?

Here are my tips and tricks to finding and getting quality active wear for cheap!

1. Shop the Sales Racks.

Why pay full price if you don’t have to? I pretty much bee line to the sales rack in any active wear store first to check out what has been recently marked down. Sure, it may be end of season crops and pants, but that tends to not matter as much if you are working out indoors anyways. Also, if you tend to be on the extreme ends of the scales (think xs/size 0-2 or xl/size 14+) you’ll most times have better luck finding something as the mid-range sizes (especially mediums/size 6-10) are the most common sizes and sell out the fastest, thus not on the sale rack.

2. Check out Second Hand shops or consignment stores.

This is where I’ve had my best luck, but it is also the most hit and miss out of all options. Know the brands that are known for quality (or your favourites) and how much you would normally pay on average for an item before heading out. That way when you see a lululemon sweater for $20 in your size, you can jump all over it, knowing you saved yourself at least $70. And when to walk away, when those Adidas legging are only $10 less then a brand new pair.

I also find that consignment stores in trendier neighbours also fair better for finding brand names, or those targeted at not a young adult audience (think mid-30’s and older) have better deals for active wear. (I wasn’t kidding about the $20 lululemon sweater!)

3. Go to events sponsored by active wear or fitness companies.

A part of the reason I love going to free classes and events is the chance there may be free stuff! While this can be smaller items most time (think water bottles), some events give out more unique items such as boxing hand wraps (shopping center and a boxing gym paired up during a wellness week), barre socks (Thanks ClassPass!), or even gift cards (another wellness week at a mall). lululemon is also know for their giveaways (Check out my experience with my free lululemon bra!) so their events are totally worth checking out and can be usually found on your cities lululemon Facebook page.

4. Ask friends or family to let your know when they are getting rid of their old clothing.

Know someone that has the most fabulous gym clothes? Drop them a hint that next time they are cleaning out their closet that you would be interested in their old gear. Even if they are selling it, they may offer you a great price since you’ll save them the hassle of posting an ad or dropping it off at a consignment store. So it’s worth a shot! (I highly recommend this if looking for retro gear. You’ll be surprised what people hold on to!)

5. Know when to splurge vs. save.

A while back I wrote a whole post on this, so this is really important! There are some active wear items that are worth the splurge no matter what and other that aren’t worth spending more the $20 on period. Things like that tank top that you only wear to and from the gym? Use what you already have in your closet and save the money. A pair of gym shoes? Do your research, bind your time and buy new when they go on sale (just don’t get too picky on colour!). A brand name is also only as good as the quality of gear, so don’t always get hung up on it. There are a ton of smaller brands that offer top notch gear, you just need to find them! (Then wait till like now, June, when it’s end of financial year and everything goes on sale!)

Bonus: Go online.

I don’t do really any online shopping as I am super picky about fit and quality when it comes to active wear, but I know that many people swear by it. My advice: do your research, read a lot of reviews and be smart with your money. Remember to factor in shipping cost (and taxes! And import fee!) into the cost of the item. Because that $30 sweater can soon turn into $70 with all the extra fees and there goes the money you would have saved.

What are your money saving tips when it comes to active wear? Let me know in the comments down below!

Happy working out!
-SB

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