Have you ever noticed how one day your kids’ shoes fit, and then the next they don’t? Or they seem to fall apart within just a few weeks of wear and tear? And those things always seem to happen when money is tight?
With three boys, I know it happens! And I’ve got some simple tips that can help you save money on kids’ shoes.
Stockpile those kids’ shoes.
Kid’s feet grow so fast when they’re little that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to invest in expensive shoes. One way to avoid paying full price for shoes is to anticipate your kids’ footwear needs and stock up on sales well in advance.
And just how do you do that?
First, get yourself a handy foot measurer. This little tool can help you measure your child’s feet so you know what size they’ll need next. If you don’t want to buy one, you can find free printable kids’ foot measuring charts online that can help you figure it out. Make sure to measure the width of your child’s feet, too, as you want to make sure you’re not squeezing their feet into shoes that are too narrow for them. You’ll want to be able to do this at home because sometimes we have the luxury of shopping without our kids and sometimes it’s such a struggle to take kids shopping that measuring feet isn’t high on our priority list when we’re at the store.
Put the shoe size information in your purse or wallet. I personally like to use Evernote to store this kind of info right on my smartphone so I always have it with me.
Regularly check the clearance sections of your favorite discount department stores. You’ll find the best deals as the seasons change, but it never hurts to look other times of the year. When you see a great deal on a pair of inexpensive, decently-made shoes, stock up in the next size or two up from what your child currently wears.
Make a note of what you bought and keep it with you so you’ll know exactly what you have on hand at home when you’re out shopping.
Keep the tags on them and keep the receipt. I found that my preschool and elementary-aged kids went up a shoe size each year, but if you guess wrong on the shoe size and your child can’t wear the shoes you have in your stockpile, don’t worry!
If not too much time has passed, you can try to return them if you have the receipt and you’ve left the tags on. You can also try to recoup your money by selling them online, through Craigslist, at a consignment shop, or at a garage sale. I’ve only had this happen a few times over the last 10 years, and each time I was able to sell the new shoes for what I paid for them, and once, I was even able to turn a profit!
Maintain your kids’ shoes.
Make sure you teach your children the proper way to take your shoes off to prevent wear and tear on the inside of the heels and stress on the laces.
Avoid letting your kids wear their street shoes when it’s snowing or raining and have them wear boots instead.
Keep a little Shoe Goo on hand. It seems like my boys are always having the rubber on the end of the toes separate from the shoe. A little Shoe Goo fixes them right up!
Save money on shoes for older kids.
Once your child’s feet stop growing at lightening fast speeds, you can start to shop for higher quality shoes that will last longer. Look for online coupon codes and deals, and sign up for the e-mail newsletters from your favorite shoe stores to be notified of special in-store sales and bargains. Consider shopping at shoe stores that offer loyalty rewards to stretch your shoe budget.
And then, the same rules apply for maintenance for older kids as the younger ones. Take good care of what you’ve got and it will last longer.
Now it’s your turn: How do you save money on kids’ shoes?
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