Guilty Pleasures Can Still be Frugal

This past week I have bought more clothing for myself than I have bought since I had to shop for maternity clothes four years ago. You know how it is once you have kids. Other needs take over. Theirs - usually - and with less time and money other things take priority.

For the most part this doesn't bother me. I like classic clothing so styles that are 'in' or 'out' never really matter. In fact, I'm a jeans and t-shirt kind of person. And as for shoes, most of the year you can find me in Crocs, Birks, or sneakers since I require shoes that are flat and fit my wide feet.

But next week I'm going out of town to a conference and I need some new clothes. I've lost weight this past year and I need clothes that also don't have years of food smeared into them. And as a bonus I treated myself to a couple of new pairs of shoes. Not that I don't have some lovely Birks but the flame orange Crocs are going to stay home!

And here's my confession. Of all the shopping in the world, I love shopping for shoes the most. I learned early on that shoe shopping was a safe place for a 'big' girl like me to go with her Gidget-like friends. Shoes don't care if you are 10 or 20 pounds overweight and when you tell the lady that you wear an 8 1/2 or a 9 it's not a value judgement about your ability to keep a Snickers out of your mouth.

My friend Hope has a writing blog that is full of mirth and great stories about writing. She has a different perspective on shoe shopping which she will be posting shortly. Definitely check it out. I've had a sneak peak and you won't want to miss it. Not to mention that Tartitude includes some good pictures of Man Candy!

But even having shoe shopping as a 'safe place' to go I also grew up spending my own money at the Mall on weekends. I knew the value of the dollar and how to translate it to shoes. What does this mean?

Well, it might be a bit of a surprise that I made a deal with my mom that I could get the-most-comfortable-glorious-spectular-wonderful pumps that had every been on my feet [low heeled Ferragamo's at $500] for my wedding if I could find a dress for $250 thus making the grand total of dress and shoes the same as what we had budgeted. Sadly, I do not own those Ferragamo's but they were like butter on my feet. And seriously, I cannot believe I even had $500 shoes on my feet at one time!

It means that I buy for quality first and cost second. The shoes I bought last week are ones that I scouted out over a month ago. I went to DSW and saw them when they were $65 and knew I wouldn't spend that much on shoes for me even if they were going to last for 10 years. And these shoes probably will. So, I played the odds. Shoes usually go on sale around the middle of the season they are made for so I figured they would be a good sale around the 4th of July. Armed with this knowledge and my best friend, who also possesses coupons from DSW because she signed up as frequent shopper, we went out to see if the shoes were still there.

Not only were the shoes still there but the shoes I'd worn around the store the day I did my recon work - because my own shoes were killing my feet - were still there. Both pairs were now marked down 40%! On top of that there was the coupon for 10% off anything over $50. The Grand Total for both pairs of shoes was the same as one pair.

Could I have gotten shoes somewhere for less money? Yes. Would they have lasted as long? Probably not. I now have two pair of excellent quality flats for less than $50. I have other shoes in this brand and none of them are less than 5 years old and I predict that I'll be wearing these shoes for another 5 years, at least. And when I meet meet Hope next week for the first time perhaps we'll talk about our respective shoe shopping adventures. I figure we'll have lots of things to talk about though. She's a funny woman.

So, whatever your personal style of shoe shopping - go for cheap and replace often or quality and wear them into the ground - but make sure that you shop smart. Either way can work well but make sure that you aren't spending more money than you should because otherwise you're just throwing money away and you don't need me to tell you that that kind shopping just ain't smart or frugal or a Cool Idea!


July 13, 2009 at 2:02 PM hope said...

Aw, Steph, you're making me blush. And you are *so* going to be disappointed when you meet me in person.

I know, I know! Why don't we take all that gift you have for organization and mount a letter-writing campaign to the shoemakers....? Just a thought, since you have so much free time on your hands. :-P

Post a Comment