Splurge & Save: Fitness Edition

We all have those things – those expensive-but-worth-it things, those gotta-have-it-at-any-price things, those splurge-but-i-need-it things – and then there’s the other stuff.  The stuff that’s not worth putting your life savings into, but can be fun for a little impulse buy or pick-me-up.  And I want to address both of those categories in today’s post.

For example, I always splurge on running shoes.  AL.  WAYS.  There is no substitute for proper fit, alignment, and form when it comes to distance running gear, and going into an actual running store, getting professionally fit, and purchasing your first pair of “real” shoes from a pro shop is a must.  That said, once you know your style and arch type, you can go online and search out the best deals for your shoes (for my Asics, Kelly’s Running Warehouse is tops) – and save a bit o’ cash.  (I’m currently running in these lovelies – Asics Gel Evate – which I bought for under $80 at the Asics factory outlet).

That said, I never spend more than $30 on walking/crosstraining shoes.  Granted, I am on my feet over 10 miles a day (friend me on Fitbit for proof!) but all I need in this arena is a nice, supportive, decently stylish shoe – I’m not as worried about mechanics as I am long-duration comfort.  So I hit the shelves at Nordstrom Rack, Marshall’s, or even Ross for these (and have picked up several name-brand, last-season pairs – Adidas, Nike, New Balance, and Brooks – at my price point!).

Another splurge?  You guys just read the most – waterproof longwear makeup.  There is no fooling around when it comes to my cosmetics, and I will accept nothing less than the best when it comes to my products.  But a dedicated save?  Makeup remover.  A friend recently turned me on to the magic of using Johnson’s baby shampoo (no more tears!) to get off my most stubborn eye makeup (yes, even liquid eyeliner, waterline pencil, and mascara) and it changed my life.  Buy a bottle and believe.

Speaking of workout necessities, lululemon pants are a must.  Disclaimer: they’re about a hundred bucks (!).  But also know this: they last forever (I recently just wore out my first pair ever from 2006, and remember I wear them at least once a week).  I don’t care if you have a thousand pairs of black capri workout pants; if you don’t have at least one lulu (my fave is the Inspire Crop), you have nothing.  Your butt has never looked perkier, your legs never smaller, and your torso never leaner than you will look in these pants – and I’m serious.

But whereas the pants are worth the cash, workout tops are (somewhat) a dime a dozen.  Once you’ve got yourself a sturdy sports bra, what you put on top is going to get covered in sweat, makeup, gym filth, etc. – so it’s really not worth paying a pretty penny to put on your bod.  I actually find that some of my favorite tops are from the clearance rack, or even not workout tops at all – I wear a racerback lacy black shirt that always gets compliments and is definitely from Wet Seal.

And finally – when it comes to healthy living – you gotta feel confident splurging on organic and healthy food.  Sure, the organic kale is twice the price.  Yeah, I known the organic apples don’t last as long, and the organic grass-fed beef is about a zillion times the price of the Wal-Mart ground chuck.  I get it.  We’re all on a budget.  But whereas people will shell out four bucks for a giant coffee drink, they shudder to pay a couple extra dollars for premium food in the supermarket – a decision that makes no sense for your wallet, your body, or your waistline. 

If you want to save a few bucks in the supermarket, go for bulk – bulk bins, that is.  Grocery stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts have bulk-bin areas where you can buy what you need by weight – at significantly lower prices.  I rely on bulk oats, nuts, flaxseed, spices (this is a boon when you want to try a new recipe but don’t want to commit to a whole $6 bottle of za’atar), and even freshly ground natural peanut butter to stretch my grocery dollar a bit further while still getting the natural, whole foods I love.

What healthy stuff do you consider “essential” splurges, and where do you try to cut costs?


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