Jul 252012

Shoe budgetWith three growing boys ages 2, 6 and 9, it feels as if someone always needs new shoes. There used to be a time, where I could pass a pair of shoes from one kid to another, but this is no longer the case with my two oldest sons. My kids do a lot of walking, and the shoes show signs thereof, so in many cases, the big boys wear out the shoes before they grow out of them. Still there are ways to save on shoes, and today’s how to be frugal post is about just that.

There are ways to cut the family shoe budget, but you might have to change the way you think about buying shoes. If you usually buy shoes, whenever someone needs them, it is time to change your way of thinking. Frugality is about thinking ahead, so that you are not forced to buy anything at full price. However, with frugality comes organization, because if you are not organized you can easily loose money.


How To Save On Shoes & Cut Your Family’s Shoe Budget

  • Think ahead
  • Never stop looking for shoes
  • Always make a trip past the shoe clearance sections, my favorite stores for shoe clearance are: Kohl’s, Target, JCPenney and Sears.
  • Combine coupons with sales or clearance and free shipping
  • Stay organized, know shoes sizes and keep a list
  • Keep all shoes in one place
  • Realize that the cheapest shoes are not always the best value.


Back-to-school shopping has begun, and all three of my boys are growing out of the shoes that they are wearing, and at full price and even sale prices I could easily end up spending $15 – $30 per shoe for each of them. Since we live in South Florida, each one of my boys need a pair of sandals and a pair of regular shoes that they can wear to school, and a conservative estimate would mean that I would spend $100 on shoes.


family shoe budget


However, because I am always shoe hunting, I went shoe shopping in our family’s shoe box instead. In there I found:


  • A pair of size 6 sandals for my 9-year-old son bought at Payless online with a sale, coupon and free shipping to store for $7.31 ($12.99).
  • A pair of Z skechers size 6 for my 9-year-old son bought at Shoemall.com on sale with a 25 percent off coupon and free shipping $18.75 (was $59.99)
  • A pair of Champions running shoes size 1 for my 6-year-old son on clearance at Target for $5.98 (Was $19.99)
  • A pair of Hotwheels shoes size 1 for my 6-year-old son bought on clearance at Sears for $7.49 (Was $24.99)
  • A pair of Faded Glory sandals size 9 for my soon-to-be 3-year-old son bought on clearance on Walmart.com with free shipping for $6 (Was $10) (Paid for with Walmart gift card earned at Superpoints see online earnings tab in top navigation bar)
  • A pair of Circo toddler sneakers size 9 for my soon-to-be 3-year-old son bought on shoe clearance at Target.com for $8.48 (Was $19.99) with free shipping  (Paid for with Target gift card earned at Superpoints see online earnings tab in top navigation bar )
  • A pair of Cherookee play sneakers size 9  for my soon-to-be 3-year-old son – hand-me-downs from older brother FREE (saved $16)


save on shoes


So if I had bought all of the above shoes for my sons at full price, I would have paid $163.95. Because of looking ahead and buying the shoes, when I found the right deal, I only paid $54.01 (or $7.71 per shoe). The best part was that I found shoes my sons liked, which means that they will actually wear them.


Save on shoes is a part of the How To Be Frugal series here at Frugality Is Free. The How To Be Frugal series is all about frugality and living a frugal life without compromising on quality.




As you can tell it is easy to save on shoes, but you need to have patience, you need to be organized, and you need to think ahead.

  11 Responses to “How To Save On Shoes & Cut Your Family’s Shoe Budget”

  1. My son wears through his shoes so fast, so this was the perfect post for me! Thanks!

  2. How many pairs of shoes does one person need?

    I have an opinion for girls:
    I think
    One pair of sandals , one tennis shoe, one school shoe, one dress shoe , one dress boots , one hiking boot, one water sock, one flip flops and one extra pair they pick ( not really shoes one pair of slippers)
    No one needs 150 pair of shoes like you hear the rich have. 10 pair each person max in my personal humble opinion.

    For boys:
    One pair of sandals , one tennis shoe, one school shoe , one dress shoe, one tux pair, one hiking boot, one water sock, one boat shoe, and one extra pair pick. (not really shoes one pair of slippers)

  3. JR, I know your pain. my boys are 3, 7 and 8 (almost 9) and fortunately some shoes i could save others.. not so much. I am hoping that atleast the gym shoes from school last year can be used as everyday shoes this year until they outgrow them. my kids have 2 pairs tennis shoes, 1-2 pairs sandals (usually hand me downs) and a pair of flipflops. oh and winter boots.. that’s it. They usually only have 1 pair of tennis but with school out right now they’ve got 2.

    Great idea and I may consider watching those clearance racks.. the shoes i’ve been buying at walmart are very cheap and get worn out rather quickly.

  4. I have 3 boy one is 3 one is 4 one is 8 and let me tell you there is no hand me downs here because they wear there shes to there is nothing left

  5. Realizing the cheapest is not always the best is soooo true! I am finding that spending just a little more on quality shoes actually saves me money – I’m not having to replace them as soon. Thanks for the advice.

  6. Yes sometimes the kids wear their shoes out that they cant be passed down the line. I do the same thing sometimes and try to buy a bigger size too but you have to make sure that he gets to wear them and their not to small . With 2 or 3 kids its alot easier to do it that way. Thats one good thing about kids being able to hand down things to younger siblings. But make sure they get something new once in awhile so they dont feel left out. thanks for all the tips

  7. I always check out the clearance racks of shoes at stores like Target. Another good place to shop is Payless. They often have special sales, clearance prices, as well as free shipping to the store.

    • Cheryl, we love the clearance at Target. Not too long ago, I bought a bunch of little girls shoes (in various sizes) at $3 each after coupons, clearance and Target Cartwheel. We used to shop a lot at Payless, and in college I only wore Payless. However, I think they must have switched manufacturer, because I’ve been very disappointed in the quality of the several last shoes that we’ve bought there.

      Thanks to a couple of giveaway wins, my two youngest have some high end shoes, and there really is a difference in quality and longevity.

  8. Your tips on being frugal with shoes is helpful. With three grandchildren, I use the same “save ahead” method with clothing and toys. Planning ahead is necessary to be frugal, and more often than not works.

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