Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Extremes in Frugal Living

Evening descended upon Madison, bringing with it a nice dosing of snow.  Enough so my children put on their outdoor gear and headed to the back yard with visions of snowmen dancing in their heads.  While the snow was too fine to pack into the shape of a man, it was perfect for snow angles and sprinkling bird seed.  I joined them outback, and quickly grabbed my counter top compost bin to join me.  Yes, the snow falls and I still compost.  Just toss it on the frozen pile, and come Spring mother nature will continue the decomposition process that yields nutrients for the yard. Unable to toss away the value in coffee ground, egg shells and pumpkin skins, I compost year round.  

On my feet we another frugal purchase, but some my question the label frugal.  At the start of my day I look my trusted four year old Lowe hiking boots down to Morgan shoes at Hilldale.  The daily foot pain could not be ignored, and my hope was all I would need were new inserts.  But now, after four years of nearly daily wear, the boots were nearing the end of life.  The clerk suggested I spend $30 to $40 at a cobbler and use them for gardening, but as for my morning walks with my son to school, the hikes, etc. - it was time for something new.  

To get even more versatility out of the shoe, she brought me the version of Lowe hiking boots that went to my ankle.  She'd listened well - I wanted something for summer hikes, daily walks to school in rain, snow and heat, and something for shoveling and sledding days.  All of that in one shoe. Slipping my foot in, I realized how unsupportive my old pair had grown.  I'll take them, and I need a good house shoe as well.  Within 10 minutes the house shoe was added to the pile.  I took advantage of the buy 4 get the 5th pair of Smartwool socks free, and added a canister of water proofing spray.  I handed over my client loyalty punch card and the $20 off coupon from the Bucky Book.  In under 20 minutes I spent just over $500.

Some may choke on the price, but I don't.  The frugally minded factor in the price per wear, as well as the fact shopping takes time -- time I could spent at my legal practice, working out, playing with kids, or preparing a healthy meal.  I paid for time, quality, and will argue until I am blue in the face that it was a frugal purchase.  Spur of the moment yes, but when you watch your pennies daily, maximized the efficiency of everything you can (note the winter compost) your budget allows this type of expenditure.

And now it is time for me lace up those boots and head up to my son's school for a Thanksgiving feast his teacher is preparing in the classroom.

Be well, enjoy the holiday, and keep it frugal!


  1. Before you throw out your husband's hiking boots... check out The Shoe Box in Black Earth. They will give you an estimate on cost to repair the old boots and if you go on a certain day, you may also get another discount. My DH was very pleased with the quality and price to rejuvenate an old pair of boots. It is worth checking into! If nothing else, it would be an "extra" pair of boots for those grungy jobs!

    1. Thanks for the comment. The boots are actually mine, and yes, I intend to get an estimate. Cecil's is shoe repair store minutes from our house, but I will keep The Shoe Box in mind....we love to drive out to Peck's Market. I just hate to take a long drive for one reason only. Thanks for reading!