I must admit, I don’t go into Dollar Tree or Dollar Store that often. I guess because it’s a bit of drive for me and I don’t have time to schlep across town all that often, but the other day I was in Dollar Tree to pick up some items for a Christmas DIY craft I saw on Pinterest and, much to my surprise, I discovered they sell many items that I often use in my training for races or marathons. I generally pay full price, but for the things I spotted, high quality doesn’t really matter.
I take pride in the fact that our sport is inexpensive. With the amount of money my husband and I spend on sports for the kids, I fully appreciate the fact that running only requires a pair of shoes, some good quality socks, and few other basic necessities. To reduce the price of my hobby even more makes me a very happy girl.
So I’ve put together a little list that I think will surprise you, too. Some of the items require a tutorial and a little imagination but don’t worry, I’ve linked in a few ideas to inspire you.
25 Dollar Tree Items and Hacks for Runners
1. Gloves – Some runner’s use these gloves at the start of a marathon when it’s cold. I use them all of the time! Here in California, it rarely cold enough to wear long sleeves, but my hands are always like ice cubes. These light gloves do the trick!
2. Sunglasses – This is one item that I personally go through like crazy. I don’t know why, but I lose them monthly. I was so excited to see these and stocked up on a few pairs… cost? $2.00. I’ll take it.
3.Hair Ties – No explanation necessary because if you wear a ponytail or man bun these are essential. They even had my brand… and no-slip!
4. Headbands – To keep all those stray hairs and bangs from falling into your eyes. They had quite a variety to choose from! Or make your own! Tutorial HERE.
5. Lip Balm – I usually make my own, but in a pinch this is a great option. During the cold winter months, being outside takes it’s toll on the lips.
6. Deodorant – I usually make my own on this one too, but this would work on race morning or if you didn’t have time to DIY.
7. Muscle Rub – For minor aches and pains this provides some topical, soothing relief. It’s not going to heal an injury, but it feels good when you have achy muscles or feet.
8. Sore Muscle Rub – Another topical rub, more liquid this time, that can provide some relief after a long or difficult run. A great alternative to making your own.
9. Colorful Shoelaces – I love to brighten up my race day outfit by adding a splash of color to my shoes– so much better than boring black or white, and you can make this HEADBAND with them too!
10. Post Run Slipá’s – After a long run or race there is nothing better than taking your running shoes off! It’s the first thing I do. Keep a pair of these in your car or checked bag.
11. Ibuprophen – Occasionally needed for minor injuries, headaches, etc.
12. Tube Socks to make these No Sew DIY Thumb Hole Arm Sleeves.
13. Gatorade – Keep yourself hydrated on those long runs.
14. Candy – They have an entire aisle of candy in case you don’t care for gels or other fuels on your long run. Make your own running fuel with the candy of your choice with this HACK.
15.Brown Rice – One of the best carbs for runners, brown rice is a pantry staple in our house. For a more comprehensive list of foods that runner’s need to have on hand, check out this POST.
16. Beans – There are several foods that optimize your performance, but beans are an excellent source of fiber, protein, and carbs. I soak these in my pressure cooker overnight and then slow cook them all day. For more foods that you should be eating to perform your best, take a look HERE.
17. Cleaning Towels – I use these ultra soft cleaning towels to sew my own microwavable heat pad for sore muscles or an achy neck. I fill it with rice and add a few drops of lavender essential oil. For a total cost of $2.00, you can’t pass that up.
18. White Rice – I use this to fill my microwavable heat pad.
19. Rubbing Alcohol – I use this for making my own gel ice packs.
20. Zip Lock Bags -So many uses for these. Dollar Tree carries the large and extra large which I use when I check my bag at a race or to throw my sweaty, wet clothes in after a run. These are also great to put your muddy trail shoes in when you drive home from a wet trail run, but most important, for use in the above tutorial for the ice pack.
21. Epsom Salt – I use this when I need to soak my sore muscles and relax. I add a few drops of essential oil to give it a nice scent. For more tips on how to ease muscle soreness, read HERE.
22.Petroleum Jelly – Used for any hot spot and to prevent chaffing. I apply under the edge of my sports bra, my under arms and on my feet to prevent blisters.
23. Can Cozy – I swear by these can coolers to make your own hand-held water bottle holder. Why spend a fortune when you can make one. I never feel bad if I have to pitch one at a race.
24. Reflective Slap Bracelets – With the days getting shorter wearing reflective gear to keep you visible is essential. For more tips on how to keep your safe on your next solo run, check out this list HERE.
25. Duct Tape – Hands down the very best way to prevent blisters and chaffing. Place a small piece on your heals or toes to prevent blisters and for guys, I’ve heard placing it on your boobs is the how you prevent bloody nips.
26. Green Tea – Not only is green tea full of antioxidants, it also has a calming effect so if you are high anxiety like me, then it’s something I drink all of the time. I ice this with a little honey or agave in it. I drink it during and after a run.
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Have you found any great deals at Dollar Tree or Dollar Store ?