Monday, June 01, 2009

Frugal Footwear: How Many Pairs?

We buy fewer shoes than most Americans, but even our Frugal Hacks plan of 3 pairs/person is more than most of the world can afford.

Yet I didn't walk away from these sweet slippers for Elise (69-cents at the thrift store).

If you're curious, I noticed that the latest trend in Mennonite footwear seems to be black Crocs worn with black socks. That made me feel a little better about my own practical choices.

39 comments:

mama2B said...

I'm also a footwear minimalist. I have it down to 5 pairs; if I didn't work outside the home I'm fairly sure I could pare it down to 3 pairs. Much more manageable and I wear ever pair more often.

Workin' MAMA! said...

ALL of the Target stores here give their surplus to the goodwills =
and guess what? That's where all my children's new shooz come from - including mine - Since my hubby is in a 16 - yeah right... His shooz must come from Nordstrom.

Just a month ago - I got 15 pairs of new shooz for 14 dollars for my growing two children - including 2 cute pairs for mama - one pair of sandals I'm wearing to work today - they are very stylish!

I am constantly getting compliments on my shooz - and the friends I have want to be there when my kids grow out of the shooz -
One thing is for sure - I am always sure to pass them on to friends who have smaller kids -
Me and the shoo thing go way back -
I love fashion for a fraction of the price -

I am also prepared for vacay with summer clothes for both children - and new polos for my kids - total spent: $35 for 11 pairs of stylish shorts (for son and daughter), 3 capris, 6 t-shirts and designer polos for my hubby and a sundress -
all at a 'barely' used thrift shop.

Thanks for the inspiration to thrift, Meredith - I am so done shopping for summer gear - When I walked in the children's place and each of the shorts were 9.99 each, I quickly turned around and rolled out of the store -
In my thrift findings I have bought Limited Too, Old Navy, Gap and Carter's - I'm not really a name brand freak, but know that in comparison, I'm saving a bunch of money and staying out of the mall!

(grin)
latrice

Roxie700 said...

I hit a wonderful garage sale this weekend at the First Baptist Church. The prices were just outstanding. I got enough shorts to see Gavin and Evan through the summer and into school next year as well. All at .50 a pair. The boys are going into a big growing spurt and I can hardly keep up with their clothing. It seems they out grow something from one wash to the next and I wash everyday.
Thanks so much, for your inspiration, it always makes me feel proud of how I clothe my grandsons. They look so handsome when they are dressed up. Makes me so proud. Roxie

the cottage child said...

You're a stronger woman than I, Meredith. I rarely spend more than $20 on any one article of clothing. My figure isn't at it's best lately, and even when it's a little better I just do not look good in most current styles....so, jeans, a crisp white blouse and awsome shoes are my fashion statement/uniform. Forty pair, after culling and giving away about 40 others. Well bought, though, payless,target, and sample sales for trends, *extreme* sales for quality basics, occasional vintage and garage sale/thrift finds (although I'm a little phobic about wearing other peoples shoes).

Brenda said...

"Shooz"-"vacay"!? And we wonder why good grammar and spelling are so lacking today!

I wouldn't have passed up the house slippers either, Meredith. They are just precious.

Brenda said...

Seems I do remember lots of shoes for Elise when she was younger, Robeez and such. Did you find that to be a burden to keep up with, or has a growing family changed your mind?

msanniede said...

Um....I guess we're a minority then. I have 1 pair of dress shoes and 1 pair of tennis shoes. Each of my kids has 1 pair of multi-purpose tennis shoes. I don't see the use of buying multiple pairs for my kids when they're just going to grow out of them in a few months!

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

Shooz and Vacay are welcome here so long as they are written with a positive tone and encouraging attitude.

It is the passive aggressive comments, clothed in careful grammar, that get under my skin.

ClarksCabinet said...

does multiple pairs of the exact same flip flops count as one pair? :)

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

I've bought many, many shoes for Elise but it has rarely worked out to more than 3 pairs/season worn at a time.

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

1 pair of multi-purpose tennis shoes is truly a simple choice! Andrew would be delighted if 1 pair of Tevas would serve all purposes for him, too.

a King's daughter said...

Do flip flops count???? LOL I have several pairs of sandals for church, plus one pair of tennis shoes and two pair of winter boots. I hadn't thought much about it, but I guess we are blessed to have so many pairs of shoes.

Amy said...

There is nothing I can say here that would be remotely appropriate.

My old avatar was my Christian Louboutin shoes.

However! I have made a decision to try to become more frugal. That will look very different for me than it does for you, but baby steps are required after all.

Ann said...

In light of your "yes" post, this gave me a grin, because I was a "frugal shoe" mama for years (and still am for the most part). As my older girls became teens, I have relaxed many shoe limits and said "yes" to shoes that I don't have to pay for--and that they organize themselves. There are so many things I must say "no" to when they are teens, that I am delighted to lighten up and give a "yes" to shoes--and they are surprised and delighted with that simple "yes." ;o)

Workin' MAMA! said...

Thanks, Meredith -
You know what for... (wink)...

latrice

Rhonda said...

You have just inspired me to give several pairs of my "Great Deals" away. Thanks for our attitude of simplicity. By the way how many articles of clothing do you own? I was just wondering if you also keep your clothing selection simple too. Some deals are just hard oo pass by for me. Thanks for a great blog.
Rhonda

Brenda said...

Meredith,

I cannot believe that you, a wife of an educator, and one who always writes correctly, condone such deliberate misuse of the English language. I know that you cannot control what posters write, but for an adult to choose to misspell words is incomprehensible to me!

Where does such disrespect for the language come from? Is it because so many people text these days? I, for one, like to see proper puntucation, spelling and grammar, and I think we should be teaching young ones how to read and write.

I may misspell and misuse the grammar at times, but it will never be deliberately!

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

In light of everyone else, my closet full of shoes seems rather gluttonous. Guess I shouldn't confess that I fell in love with a pair of pink Converse at Target and am considering going out and getting them!

My problem tends to run along the lines of keeping shoes for too long. I have a small, narrow foot, so when I find well-fitting shoes, I tend to keep them, even if I haven't worn them in ages. Perhaps I should just ruthlessly purge some of my pairs.

Pokeberry Mary said...

Oh gosh I used to wear crocs almost entirely. They cured my 'retail feet'. But the last pair I got didn't ever fit right or give the support the older ones did. Now I wear tennis shoes--even with dress pants. I keep 2 pairs sparkling white and some super clean socks. There's nothing you can do when your feet start to hurt!

songbirdy said...

In our budget shoes happen to be the area where we spend a fair amount of money, comparatively!

It comes from having had foot issues myself. That being said, good quality shoes can be found in every price range and in the thrift stores just as much as junky shoes can be found in the high-end stores.

For the children, we usually have 1 pair of good shoes, 1 pair of slip on shoes, and 1 pair of running shoes.

My husband's size 15 feet and need for orthopedics means he has the most expensive shoes bought on the advice of his orthopedic consultant.

I usually get by with free hand-me down shoes or inexpensive but excellent support shoes from Payless. Department stores also have great shoes but often don't have the size 12 women's shoe I need ;) !

Workin' MAMA! said...

Dear Brenda,

I am a mom of 2 - wife of 1 -
I have a masters degree in English Ed (oh, I apologize, you may not know what that is: Education) and undergraduate degrees in Mass Comm (Communication) and J-School (Journalism) -

I don't usually flip the cards about 'me' and my accomplishments/nor my educational status - but, I've been forced to show 'the hand'...

I choose to be relaxed, because I can afford to, as an educated career woman - where my list of accomplishments have made Oprah and Dr. Phil, and Presidents Clinton and Bush - I will not let you know my full name, there's no need.

This blog has afforded me the constitutional right to say what I please - In accordance to what I feel is my democratic right - as a mom and wife - From a woman, like Meredith, who inspires me to continue being my best 'self', while stationed in my proudest accomplishments: a baby boy and a blushing little girl child...

I appreciate this venue so much - Meredith surely knows.

As for you, Sister Brenda, I would just ask you to 'relax' a little -
Colloquialisms are allowed amongst sisters who share in the cause of being the best for our children and husbands - If I were to join a blog where the 'queen's English' is required, I'd succeed with the highest marks - could you? I taught it. My mother is a college professor - of English, Grammar, Diction - American Lit 1, 2, 3 -
Wanted you to know I've 'got' good down home (southern) home training and roots (soo proud of that too)...

Perhaps in this venue you can excuse my text language - Doesn't society put enough on us already?
Aren't you taxed enough? Are there children reading this blog each day to get tips from Meredith on keeping house, group meal planning, and decorating?
Thinketh not...

Thank you Meredith for allowing women like me - those who may have graduated college, have a career - and for my sisters who chose to take your great classes on how to bloom where you're planted - It doesn't matter your background - that's what I love most about LMS!

I appreciate you and thank God the day I ever stumbled upon your blog while sitting on Air Force One...

Know that.

Latrice

Chris said...

For the boys in the family, 3 pair each works great. Tennies, sandals, and dress. I could never get away with only three pair. Just for work and church I need to have one pair of black flats and one pair of black heels, one pair of brown flats and one pair of brown heels.

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

I think that's great! I certainly don't mean to suggest that our plan would work for everyone; just sharing what is working for my family's budget/routine this year.

Stephanie Griffith said...

Those slippers are adorable! I've been pairing down on shoes too. We live in Minnesota, though so we have various footwear needs for different seasons which makes the total number of shoes higher than I'd like it to be. I'm trying to keep it to one pair each of snow boots, rain boots, sandals, tennis shoes, dress shoes and slippers with a pair of work boots thrown in for my husband.

lindsay said...

Brenda can you please start your own blog. I'd like to read about the life of someone as obviously perfect as you.

Brenda said...

I obviously not prefect, nor do I claim to be. Look! I have a typo and misspelled punctuation! Also, this is my last comment on this, as it is not fair to Meredith. I also want to say that I enjoy Meredith's blog, or I would not read it.

This has nothing to do with education, degrees, background or colloquialisms. It is about using slang, only in this case writing in slang. We all know how shoes is spelled. I was not intimating that someone doesn't know how to spell, but to me it is using slang, and I just don't understand why anyone choses to use it.

I'm not suggesting using "the Queen's English", but I see nothing wrong with talking, or writing in proper English. By the way, I love hearing different accents and dialects. That adds richness to a language, but I don't like to hear slang. My intention wasn't to insult anyone, but I feel to it is insulting to use this type on speech.

Sarah said...

Those would be hard for anyone to resist!

Honey said...

I think those shoes are so cute-and it seems to me they were made from a dress-what a great way to reuse something!

~K~ said...

For me, the shoe issue is a bit different. I have a few pairs of shoes that I chose out of a missionary clothing center, and a few pairs from Payless, Target, and Payless. Since I don't have the chance to get them until I'm in the US, I do have several pairs. The only footwear I buy overseas is winter boots.

We are in the US right now. I wore one pair of comfy walking shoes on the plane and had a pair of dress shoes and two pairs of sandals in my suitcase. I left my walking shoes (they are more for spring or fall)at my sisters house up north and bought a pair of sneakers. So I have four choices of footwear, but I find that I wear my sandals the most here in sunny Florida!

Where we live overseas, people do not have much money. They will try to buy good quality clothes at a decent price. They might have one or two nice outfits for the season, and something for around the house. The same is true for shoes.

Milehimama said...

I, for one, am glad that Meredith has a gracious blog that allows for our imperfections and that women feel comfortable being themselves and having fun.

Sometimes my fingers type faster than my eyes can proofread!

Michelle said...

Good grief...Meredith...you don't need to explain yourself on your own blog. I would advise anyone with a problem with the way you do things...or the way your friends choose to spell...to just simply stop reading this blog. And definitely don't read the comments. Wow...pathetically pitiful. Redundant? Too bad.

As far as your frugal ways...I appreciate them. And I think a lot like you do. I try to find it thrifting..and if I can't, I wait for it to be on sale...and hope to have additional savings in the form of coupons etc.

You do a fantastic job here...know that. I visit daily..and always find inspiration from you and how you live your life. Which is with integrity! Keep it up. And never mind the negative commenters...they're just unahppy with themselves.

Oh...and Brenda...could you start your own blog? Because I'd love to hear MORE OF WHAT YOU'VE GOT TO SAY! Go girl!!

Becky said...

I have pairs of shoes - I work in an office so I need dressy shoes; I workout and have athletic shoes; I work retail on the weekends so I have higher-priced comfortable dressy shoes for standing 6 to 8 hours. I also have casual shoes. I'm not sure how to get around needing these although I probably could spend less on some of them.

I've been in a "I don't want to be frugal right now" stage for the past few months. I could've been better at it but didn't want to but now all of the spending has come to a halt.

Carrien said...

I fantasize about only 3 pairs. I try. But we live where there are a lot of young families, and my girls especially keep getting cast offs, flip flops, sandals, etc. I have in my closet 7 pairs of size six toddler girls shoes that are just a bit too big for little. Honestly, I'm not sure it's worth the clutter and space, but I will not complain because, free shoes, generous friends, and there are people to pass them on to.

Tracy said...

I decided the other day, that my 9yo son needs more than one pair of shoes. Church clothes look a tad shabby when worn with stark white or grotty white runners. Oh my goodness....he'll be a two-pair-of-shoes boy. He won't know himself! He'll have choices LOL.

I keep seeing cute shoes, turning them over and dying when I see the price tag. I seem to have very few pairs of shoes. It's probably a throw back from my childhood where I never wore shoes at all. You can get away with that when you live in a developing nation where the national people don't wear shoes either ;)

Mamalama said...

Three pair per person per season sounds about right for our family, too. Although in truth, I live in my Crocs, and the kids are barefoot 99% of the time.
Work boots for dh, one nice pair of shoes for church, tennies for being active, and boots for camping or cold weather. Dh wears slippers, but the kids wear flip-flops or just socks.
I don't buy baby shoes, either, until they can walk, and then it's just one pair of something soft and flexible. Wal-Mart mock-Crocs in a Mary Jane style are my fave!

bluebonnetbelles said...

Meredith,
I appreciate the equanimity with which you respond to your commenters, regardless of the topic. Thank you for continuing to post. I look forward to your blog every day.
Regards,
Rita

Cat said...

I've been aiming for three to four pair each for my children as well. Don't think I could do the "one pair" thing with my son because I dress him up a bit for church (not suits, but nice khakis and polos). For myself, a more realistic goal is probably three pair winter styles and three pair summer style, but I'm not there yet. Nice sandals are just not dressy enough for some church and special occasion wear, so ironically, I have several pair of dressy shoes in the closet that are worn only occasionally, while the basic three are worn several times each week.

Cara said...

We do similar to that- one pair of all purpose sneakers for the kids in each size. Plus snow boots for whatever size they're in when it's snowing. No sandals or slippers- I'm a big fan of socks and shoes for playground ages. I hate it when I see little girls who want to play, but chose to wear fru-fru shoes that day and so can't, so I go ahead and make the choice for my little ones. And I choose play!

For me I have hiking boots, dress boots, slip on casual shoes, and fisherman-style sandals. Hubby has work boots and logger boots lol

The rest of the comments here are cracking me up

Martha A. said...

I grew up with one pair of new shoes a year. When the year was up, they were usually falling apart. For myself, unless it is cheap yard sale shoes, it is more like one pair of everyday shoes every 5 years. My everyday shoes need to be replaced! I have some nice flats that I bought for $3, as they make me feel pretty, rather than clunky loafers!

It is so nice to have shoes! I just spent the last couple days searching for a pair of shoes for my 11 year old son for under $20 in his size and it was pretty much nigh to impossible. i bought a new pair at Walmart and realized I will never buy that brand again for a boy. They fell to pieces literally in 2 months, with normal wear (for a boy!)