March 30, 2013

3 Ways You Can Save Money On Your Skating Starting Right Now

OK, so another budget post today. Because you can never know too many ways to save your hard earned cash, right? Like it or not, skating is a very financially demanding sport, and there are some expenses that we just can't cut corners on (skates, for one thing!). But how many of these skating expenditures are you shelling out too much for?

Read on for 3 ways you can save your cash, starting right now!

I ended up getting savvy about these areas of my skating life after many years of "doing it wrong", so hopefully this post will help you start getting more bang for your buck in your skating life!

Fabrics ♥
Yes, you read right. Sounds a bit nit-picky doesn't it? Fabrics? Yes, fabrics. Chances are you (or your skater) have 2 programs for competition per season, plus any testing outfits and gala costumes that may be needed. Let's say you're averaging out at 3 outfits per season, that you need on average 3 yards of fabric per costume, at $30/yard retail price. That's a whopping $270 before you've even hired a dressmaker, or thought about those precious (read: expensive) crystals that need to be hand-applied once the garment has been made.

Often, your dressmaker will offer to go buy the fabrics for you. They probably have favourite stores and like to have control over the quality of the fabrics they're working with, to make sure the stretch will give in all the right places, and provide you with the best working garment for your sporting event. That's great, but if you get a little more involved you might be able to snag deals for as little as $10/yard. 

Discuss fabrics in advance with your dressmaker, and then either hit the wholesale shops, or go online. Online shopping is best when you've got enough time to buy 1 yard ahead of time, to check for quality and colour. Some online stores will even send you swatches of colours you would like to review, without having to buy yards of fabric. This saves you money and also means that you have a range of colour swatches for future reference! 

I have bought fabrics from online shops and eBay, and have been more than happy with both experiences! I went on to make skating dresses out of them, no problemo. Often you don't need anywhere near as much stretch as you'd think. Here's a paragraph from my popular post "how to make your own figure skating outfits", which pretty much sums up my point:

"You need to concentrate on the elasticity of the fabric too. As you bend, stretch and shimmy (oo-er!) you need your outfit to fit and flow, not constrict and cut off blood circulation! So go for a 4-way stretch fabric. This is also sometimes called 2-way stretch, and it basically means that the fabric stretches whether you pull it up-and-down or left-to-right. The supplier will usually tell you what amount of elastane is present in the fabric, but don't worry too much about this as long as it is stretchy under-finger. I once used a pattern which stipulated the use of a fabric with minimum 70% elastane, but used a fabric with only 7% as the fabric was a cheap piece I picked up. The dress turned out a hot success and is comfortable for everyday practice wear! Be savvy and trust yourself."

If you plan ahead, you may end up saving as much as $180/season!

♥ Tights & Other Accessories 
I know tights don't really seem like a big expense in the grand scheme of things, but if you're anything like me, you go through them. And with figure skating tights running between $15 and $25 a pair (for regular footed tights and over-the-boots, respectively), those babies can really add up. Especially when you need an extra pair in your bag, for when the unexpected happens at the big event of your season.

If go search for ballet tights rather than figure skating tights, you'll see a huge difference in price. DanceDirect.com for example sells ballet (80 denier, so perfect for that fine look you're after for competition and testing) for as little as $4, and Capezio branded tights for $10.

Other accessories you can save on by going to high-street stores or shopping online rather than specialist skating stores include:
♥ Gel pads for in your boots (go to shoe dept. of a high-street fashion store and buy gel pads that are marketed for women who wear high heels. Same thing, low price tag)
♥ Hair accessories (eBay have tons of stores selling crystal hair accessories, hair bands, pins, tiaras, and everything else for as little as a couple of dollars per pack)
♥ Training leggings (with the surge of fitness-conciousness gripping the world, you can find thick waterproof sports leggings in the sports sections of high street retailers now. No more spending $90 on "skating leggings")
♥ Crystals for outfits (go online for reduced prices in comparison to professional skating stores and fabric shops. Remember: 1 gross = 144 stones, and 10 gross will make your costume so bright the judges will need shades)

Music Editing
I've paid for this in the past, and sure thing it has been done well. But nothing better than I could do with a couple of hours time in front of me, with a nice hot cup of tea. If you think you need a bunch of fancy equipment, think again! I use the free downloadable program Audacity, which is easy to use and gives really good results.

Buy your mp3 from an online store like Amazon, or import it on to your computer from a CD you have lying around. Then all you need to do is import that track into Audacity, and you're ready to go. It's pretty inuitive: click-and-drag to highlight portions of the track you don't want, and then simply cut them out. The key is to make sure you're cutting between beats (which are easy to visualise because they appear as peaks), so you don't get choppy editing.

Depending on where you go, and how many programs you have edited per season, you could save yourself in excess of $50!

Go here for the Audacity download: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/


What areas of your skating budget have you cut back on lately? And did you realise that you maybe didn't need those things in the first place? Share your ice-based adventures with the FigureSkatingAdvice community, either here, on Facebook, or over on Twitter!

Until next time, pinch those pennies!
XOXO
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2 comments

  1. I bought a hot glue gun and put the rhinestones on my self, my dressmaker sells me rhinestones at cost and will suggest where they should be applied.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Lori that's awesome that your dressmaker supplies them at cost! You're got a keeper there! :D Happy rhine-stoning! Would love to see your latest creation XOXO

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