Equipment - Rather than continuing to rent, we bought used equipment for my kids at the last Ski Chalet parking lot sale in Arlington. They had great used equipment selection for skis, snow board selection was only fair, but they had gloves, hats, jackets, and ski bibs too. I figure my kids will grow out of most of it in a season or two anyway. As I recall, I outfitted my daughter with boots for $25, skis for $50, and poles for $5...and the obligatory goofy hat for another $5.
We did conclude that you need to buy new goggles and gloves though. We caught Scott goggles on sale at Galyans for $9.99...money well spent.
Lift tickets - Obviously the ski free days are a good way to keep that expense down. Also, Massanutten has night skiing for $20 adult/$15 juniors (or military). It runs from 5pm to 10pm. Montage has $18 night skiing but they also offer discounts down to $10 for groups...I think they run from 4:30 to 10pm.
Travel - Carpooling works but it sure is nice to not have to drive home at 10pm. I'm looking for ideas here. Van trips on weekday evenings? Paying a few bucks to ride might be less expensive than possibly hitting a ditch because I'm too exhausted to drive!
Food and drinks - I bring this up because I have a ravenously hungry teenager and another not far behind! Ski lodge food is always expensive so we usually tuck some snacks in the boot bag to munch on. We sometimes pack picnic lunches and a small cooler with drinks too. However, some ski lodges frown on outside food...so I don't recommend rolling out the checkered tablecloth and bottle of wine. Our experience has been that if you keep it low key, nobody really cares.
I sure would appreciate your ideas on keeping the cost of skiing down. My family and I really enjoy going and would like to go more often.
For used gear go to the swaps etc. You should check out play it again sports. I get my daughters boots there and get a few buck back at the end of the season on trade ins.
LIFT tickets are the biggest expense. I skied 30 days last year. (awesome) I also race and need to ski every weekend prime time bucks. That was why I started SKIDOME Night card club. We only care about local skiing and teaching people how to ski a lot for a little. With the SKIDOME club you can purchase an evening pass which includes roundtop, whitetail & liberty. Add a little bit more to that and get the advantage card which will cut 40% off the day/weekend rates.
Ok so your not a skibum like me and the club is too many days.
No problem check my website and starting in November I will update the BIRDMON cheap ski. This lists the free day, the weekend night late skis..all the events that will cut the price of a lift ticket.
If I can be of assistance just check out my website http://skidome.go.to