Saturday, January 16

How we do Shoes

With eight people in our family and a minimum of forty pairs of shoes, the cost of keeping feet in cute shoes can quickly add up.
1)Only buy on clearance.
This morning I paid $2.48 for the girl's shoes and $3.47 for the little boys pair (Target). I always look for larger sizes to put away when they are this cheap and cute.

2)Before storing outgrown shoes, clean them. Sneakers with wearable life still in them go through the laundry, others can be wiped down with a damp cloth.

3) Shop second hand.
Yes, I know, this skeeves some people. I'm fine with that. I've found too many cute pairs of Hanna Andersson, GAP, Bjorn, and other nice brands of like-new (and sometimes new with tags) shoes in thrift stores to be a footie snob. Disinfectant wipes are my friend.

4) Utilize over the door shoe storage or creative storage.
Our girls have their shoes stored using the over the door method and my shoes? They are stored in an apple bushel basket in my closet, since our current closet is about two feet wide. Sean's are stored on a floor shoe organizer.

5)Buy extra shoe laces to have on hand when you need them. New laces can give new life to a pair of shoes. I found an eight pack of laces recently at the Dollar Tree that I have on hand now when the boys inevitably decide to use a pair of sneaker laces for a long bow or rabbit snare or whatever.

6)Never, ever buy shoes at retail price. Or at least don't make a habit of it.
If you shop ahead sizes and seasons (sandals in October, boots in March) you will always have what you need. I can remember paying full price for a pair of shoes twice in the last ten years. Once for myself when Sean sent me out to find a nice comfortable pair and I recently paid full price for a pair for Andrew at Marshalls with a Marshalls gift card that we got free from our credit cards reward program.

So tell me, how do you do shoes?


Beth said...

Hannah! You are preaching to the choir here! I LOVE clearance shoes... clearance anything really. I have run into the problem of my kids having too many shoes because of Wal-mart putting shoes on clearance for $1.00 when they are out of season. And I ALWAYS buy bigger sizes at that price. Smaller sizes as well since we aren't done with adding babies to our family.
I have also found many high quality shoes that are barely used at the Goodwill.

My main problem is having the kids store their shoes. The girls have flat plastic bins to toss their shoes in, and the boys don't have quite the quantity, so they keep theirs lined up on the floor. But for some reason, I find myself tripping over shoes on a regular basis... sometimes their my own :-)

Mary Ann said...

We don't have kids yet, so we don't have to buy as many shoes. I rarely find used adult athletic shoes in good condition so we almost always buy them new. We usually buy at Kohl's since my FIL works for them. We try to plan our purchases to fall when we have a friends and family pass(15 % coupon), shoe sales and Kohl's cash if possible. This can really help with the cost! I do look for other shoes used, especially for myself. And last week we got a pair of dress shoes for my husband at the thrift store for $1.50! Yeah!!!

We must have the same closet. LOL!!! I have a closet door shoe organizer for mine and he only has a few pairs of shoes so his are stored under the bed.

MamaBirdEmma said...

Hannah, I always have a hard time buying up... Do you have any tips for this? We only have two children so far, but I am never sure what size they will be the next season.

Myra said...

I have 4 kids. My oldest, a girl, usually wears out tennis shoes now, so they go to donation. Dress shoes are saved for the youngest, who is now 2. Almost all her shoes are handmedowns if they were in great shape, and most were left in good shape, otherwise I buy her new every once in a while, like high top walkers, since she needs them. The 5 year old boy has larger feet than the 6 year old, and wears most of his out, except dress shoes. The 6 year old has C and wears braces, so his don't get externally worn outbut are torn up insides we usually remove the insert for the braces. So there is some hand me downs, not much. My mom buys them shoes from time to time or we buy WM or Payless on sale or Famous Footwear.

Ways of Zion said...

Yahoo! We do the same. I've been keeping my boy shoes forever and finally started parting with some to family with younger boys as it looks as though we are done (?) with being blessed with more olive plants.

i live around shoe snobs so this really got me excited to read another like minded mom!


Catherine Anne said...

Love post as this... We too try best to get the deal even with a fam of 5....

Allison said...

I only have two kids and two adults to shoe and even i know how expensive it can be. Lucky i can recycle from the oldest to the youngest and i also dont buy expensive shoes. I always choke when i see little toddler Nikes at hideous prices. Who buys shoes like that? The kids will have outgrown them in a year and they will still be new!!!

Me said...

Beth, there are always shoes lying around her too! I tell myself, as I trip over them, that someday I will miss that - all the little shoes everywhere!

MaryAnn, I also find it harder to find athletic shoes second hand. Those I almost always find on clearance and buy a few sizes when I do. How nice that you have the connection at Kohls!

Emily, I have had good luck with just buying a whole size up for boots, or sometimes a size and a half. It gets very cold here and so some extra boot space to fit a pair of warm socks is a good thing. The same would go for sandals, usually a size ahead. All other shoes can be worn year round here so I'm pretty safe buying any larger size.

Myra, I've also found grest shoes at Famous on clearance.

Haha, Ways of Zion, no shoes snobbery here, though I do covet a pair of vintage remix shoes. I'll just wait until I find them on clearance, ebay or second hand!

Thanks, Catherine Anne, for stopping by to comment.

Allison, I have found so many pairs of baby Nikes and other expensive baby shoes in perfect condition second hand!


Anonymous said...

I have to admit my girls had baby Nikes when they were little.. But my husband was a store manager for foot locker so when they would get the sale table together he would call and say what sizes are we missing. LOL
Dress shoes, boots etc I do what you do, I buy ahead for the next season.
My latest problem has been sneakers.. my kids basically have 3 pairs of shoes, sneakers, winter boots and dress shoes. I have been shopping at famous (they have the best prices on the name brand shoes,) cause the last couple of pairs I have bought, WM, Target have completely fallen apart on me! Anyone else had this problem??????
Not just the bottoms wearing out but the material on the sides after one month they are just falling apart..... I guess they just do not make them like they used to.

Sue In NJ

E said...

My husband and I have resolved to not buy anything from china this year, so that pretty much means I am not buying more shoes. This will not be a problem as I am guilty of having over 25 pairs of shoes - just for myself! Having been married recently, many of those impractical pairs came for wedding related events - a pair of shoes for my shower, a pair of shoes for the rehearsal dinner, and of course the pair for my wedding.

My husband and I have separate closets - his shoes are all in a Rubbermaid tote. I actually have a bookcase in my closet with all my dressy shoes lined up on it! My dress boots, hiking boots, light hikers, chacos (yes, we live in the mountains!) and cycling shoes all line the floor of my closet.

Me said...

Msr. R, I love that you aren't buying from China. My kids are notorious for receiving gifts and checking the label to see where it was made. We are trying to rectify this but it makes me smile.

Do a quick search for the worst sweatshop companies, that is a huge eye-opener and we try not to support those retailers in any way. This is another reason why I LOVE second hand because the profits always go to suppost a worthy cause or a small business owner. How much better could that be?


Unknown said...

those were some of the very methods I used when they were that they're a bit bigger, and their growth spurts a bit more unpredictable, I tend not to buy on clearance ahead of time any more. But I'm no "footie snob" I've found great shoes in second hand shops!

Julie said...

Genius! Some of these tips I use some not so much. With five soon to be six though, I need to reevaluate!

Cara said...

I love it! We only have two, but I've learned to stock up when I see Stride Rites at Ross for under $10 a pair.

I make my own little soft leather baby shoes, that saves since I have a leather store in town where I can get inexpensive leather.

Also, it's not for everyone, but we have *one* pair of shoes + snow boots per size per child. No sandals, no dressy shoes. We dress casually for church and plain white tennis shoes are fine for us. Simplifies my life!

ShannonAshley said...

I do not have any children but I do live on college budget. I do many of the things you list here simply to keep my own shoe addiction at bay! If you have small feet, I wear a 6.5, you can almost always shop the kids section in size 4 or 5. This almost always cuts costs. Even their full price sandals seem to be cheaper than the womens clearance sometimes! I got kids rain boots for $7 at Target and the Ladies version were $35!!

Shanna said...

I'm not a footie snob at all...I've bought secondhand shoes [and clothes] for myself for many years now. My favorite little consignment store always has something really nice I can wear!

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