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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Shopping therapy… on a budget

shuz 001Argh. 

I spent weeks and months looking for the perfect sandals (yes, I wear sandals, occasionally with bare feet, in keeping with Garnel Ironheart’s comments following this DovBear post).

I couldn’t find sandals anywhere, and the weather kept heating up and my feet felt entombed in running shoes and socks (I would never wear running shoes without socks).  I just kept getting more and more uncomfortable.

I even started looking in retail stores.  My criteria were simple:  wide straps, maybe velcro, but they had to have a back strap.  I feel naked, or at least, a bit slippy without it.  Still, impossible to find in the cheap shoe stores I tried (PayLess, Shoe Company, and one called Globo in Ottawa).

Finally, walking around in Ottawa’s Byward Market, I saw a pair of Birkensticks and broke down and bought them.  Almost $100, all told, though the guy did throw in four postcards from the front of his shop for free.  They’re all-synthetic, but astonishingly comfy… ahhh… relief at last.

And then, today, I found this pair of Tender Tootsies, just loafing on the shelf at Value Village - $6.99.  Seven bucks!  For a great pair of all-leather shoes!  Mysteriously, they look more worn-down in this photo than in real life.  The straps are pristine and the inside & tread look like they were worn maybe a few times; not much.

I don’t mind wearing used shoes.  I know many people have trouble with the idea of it.  What I have trouble with is walking into a store – any store – and thinking, “I could buy five of these for the price of this one.”  Like plain long-sleeved shirts.  Retail price:  anywhere from $20-40.  Value Village:  $5.99. 

It totally takes the fun out of buying retail.  And what it also means – though she may not fully appreciate it yet (or ever) – is that Elisheva and I can share a nice quick shopping therapy outing after supper, buy two dresses, one shell, one pair of shoes for each of us, and a fun “sit-n-spin” toy for the littles… all for just over $50.  :-o

Well, okay, that was partly because I had a $10 off coupon.  I love that it is SO ridiculously cheap but still they have coupons.  Oh, plus I got 6 stamps on my new stamp redemption card.  If I spend $40 more in July, I’ll get incredible savings off my next purchase!!!

Why does anybody shop retail, again?

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