As a frugal mom of 5 kids, I’m sharing practical and frugal Christmas gift ideas for other moms who run and are on a budget for their gift giving. I’ve been running off and on since I was in high school. Running got me into shape in college, and now, with my kids getting older, I’ve been challenging myself with running goals like completing a half marathon (2014!).
Running can be an expensive sport. I love tech gadgets like my Fitbit One, and I will spend money on a good pair of shoes and compression socks. However, I prefer to hit the clearances racks at Target and Kohl’s for my running clothes, and wear my clothes practically forever.
Ebates Cashback Rewards: Easy as 1, 2, 3
If you shop online, start your shopping on the Ebates site. You can earn cash back from 1,600 stores without redeeming points, mailing in forms, or jumping through any other hoops. Simply sign up for Ebates, and then search for your store. Most stores on Ebates offer 2 to 10% cashback on your purchase. Do your Christmas shopping through Ebates, and get a nice check to jump start your emergency fund in the new year.
Jogging Stroller – Single or Double
As a mom of 5 kids, I went through 2 seasons of using jogging strollers while running and walking. My aunt gave me a Baby Jogger jogging stroller as a baby shower gift for my first son; we still have and use that jogging stroller. When I had my 3rd baby, we purchased the BOB Revolution SE Duallie Stroller, Orange which I used primarily for walking. I used that stroller for about 4 years before reselling it to a friend.
Having a jogging stroller was key to staying fit while the kids were young. While I was recovering from childbirth, I could take a walk with 2 kids. I wore the baby in a Baby Bjorn and pushed the older kid in the jogging stroller. When the baby was 6 months, I could put both in the jogging stroller and get out for exercise, even on a rainy day by using the all-weather shield and the warm fuzzy fleece paneling for the seat.
Running Clothes from Target and Kohl’s
When I was rebuilding my running clothes wardrobe, I shopped the clearance racks at Kohl’s and Target plus hit a few of their sales. Target’s running tights work for my body shape. For the summer, I love to wear the capris, t-shirts, and jogging bras from Target. In the winter, I layer up with tights, a long-sleeved top, and fleece. When it’s really cold, I add in a body-hugging shirt to keep the warmth close to my body.
3. Fleece Top
Swiftwick Compression Socks
More than a year ago, I won a pair of Swiftwick Compression Sock in a giveaway on another blog. I fell in love. While I love my Goldtoe socks for every day walking, the Swiftwick socks made my feet feel so much better when I was running. At $9.00 per pair, these socks are pricey and worth it. I wash mine in cold and hang them to dry.
Map My Run Software
Map My Run software is a free app with a paid component if you want more tracking and coaching information. I use the free version on my iPhone; I found it runs better on the iPhone than it did on my old LG Ally. I use MapMyRun to track my walking, running, and other workouts. For awhile, I tried tracking my food intake. I found it easier to track food items on the laptop in MapMyRun with more options for documenting real food versus processed food.
Map My Run can also be linked to the Fit Bit if you’re a Fit Bit user. The linkage works better in the Fit Bit dashboard than the MapMyRun one. Fit Bit tracks the overall steps for the day and doesn’t count the Map My Run workouts twice.
To ensure I stay active daily (not easy when you’re a blogger sitting at a laptop), I wear a Fitbit One Activity Tracker. The Fit Bit One has a screen to track steps, distance, calories burned, and stairs climbed daily. Each night it resets automatically to start tracking again.
You can check your activity level over time via the Fit Bit Dashboard on the Fit Bit site. You can also track your sleep if you’re concerned about catching enough zz’s, and record your food intake in the Fit Bit Dashboard. Both iPhones and Droids can run the FitBit app if you want to check your daily stats on the go.
I love the communal aspect of the Fit Bit. If you have friends wearing the Fit Bit tracker, friend each other on the Fit Bit site to challenge and support each other in being active.
My only complaint about the Fit Bit is the clip that holds the tracker to your clothes. The end of my clip broke off in less than a year, and the rubber on the clip ripped apart shortly afterwards. I ended up ordering a new clip for $14.95 because it’s a priority for me to stay active and track my activity.
My Running Tips
Warm Weather Running Gear