Women and shoe stores are always dangerous. That isn't any different for the women in a household on a budget. The Princess and I had a talk about the clothing/shoe budget after we bought the prom dress and I told her how very very tight the budget was after that purchase. She assessed her closet and came up with her basic needs and I did the same for mine.
We each needed a new pair of good black flip flops (not the uncomfortable $5 Old Navy ones, but actual high quality, go with half your wardrobe GOOD ones), as we'd both had ours give up the fight last September (mine were 4 years old at the time so they were well worth the price paid, Princess's were only 2 years old, but since she wears hers a good bit more than I do, they too were worth the price). She also needed shoes for the Prom Dress, and a pair of somewhat dressy but neutral sandals to go with a multitude of outfits. She also came home after work the other night telling me that she needed a pair of non-slip shoes that are designed with restaurant workers in mind. She'd done her research, knew where to find them and approximately how much they cost. I also needed a pair of shoes specifically for Zumba because the sneakers I was "dancing" in were catching on the floor and my foot was stopping while my knee was still going. Sigh. That's a LOT of shoes.
So, I started doing my research and found out the going price for what we wanted/needed. I say "wanted" because I did have specific brands and styles in mind. So yesterday, on the way home from the college visit, we stopped at this place that is about 20 minutes outside of the college town. Its this huge, unfancy, warehouse type building that I've visited many times during my travels for work. I'd hoped that we might get lucky there and we did. We found the black flip flops for each of us and the sandals, each pair for $10-$15 less than I'd expected to pay based on department store prices. That's 3 pair down.
When we got back to our metro area, we stopped at another huge shoe store that's way out of the way from our house, but essentially on the way back from where we had been. Scored the prom shoes there. And for about $20 less than I thought I'd have to pay. I have to give the Princess props on this one, we had narrowed it down to 2 pairs that would be perfect, and she chose the less expensive ones (although I don't think the money factored in really as much as the comfort and looks). After that we went to an athletic store about a 1/2 mile away from that place, and scored my Zumba shoes on clearance for about half what I'd expected to pay.
Then finally, we went to get the work shoes. Those were the only ones that were more than I'd expected, but only by $3. Since she'd gotten the information about price from co-workers and they had said "about" when they told her the cost, I can live with that!
All in all, that's 6 pairs of shoes in one day. Yikes. But our needs are covered for the foreseeable future. I probably could have made do with some cheaper shoes, but I really do believe in quality shoes. We are hard on shoes as it is, especially our favorite ones and cheap shoes rarely last us a full year with regular wear.
I'm hoping though that we can stay out of the shoe departments for a while, though!