Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.


There are shoe people and there is everyone else.   Those who collect shoes by the dozens and those who are happy with only a pair or two.  My daughter is a shoe person.  She collects them.  Even as a child she would hang onto shoes that no longer fit simply because she loved how the shoes looked.  I’m one of the other people.  A couple of pair and I’m good.  A pair of house shoes and a pair of outside shoes are enough for me.

When I was a child we got new shoes only in the fall.  Our new shoes were actually second hand or “hand me downs” as Grandma Mama called them.  We were taught we absolutely must care for our shoes so they would last a very long time.  Grandpa Papa could be found on many winter nights rubbing our shoes with tallow that Grandma Mama had made.   As soon as we were old enough Grandpa Papa gave us the chore of polishing our own shoes.  Polishing the leather with tallow made shoes water tight.  It had to be done often because working on the farm was hard on shoes.

As soon as the weather grew warm in the spring we started going barefoot in order to save our shoes from further wear.  There were very stern looks and warnings from Grandma Mama if our shoes didn’t come off at the door.  We put our feet into homemade house shoes.  There were two reasons we took our shoes off at the door.  One was to prevent tracking dirt into the house and two was to save excessive wear on our shoes.   Shoes were like an investment.  You bought quality, not quantity.  Shoes were passed from one child to the next or traded with cousins.

Hmm…. the next part of this post is going to upset my daughter but I’m gonna show it anyway.  She already knows I wear shoes until they are nearly gone before replacing them.  I repair and repair until all that’s left is almost compost.   The soles of my outside shoes had come loose.  I think this pair is about 10 or 12 years old?

detached shoe sole

detached shoe sole

A little hot glue put the soles back in place.  I don’t wear outside shoes very often.  I rarely go anywhere, especially during the cold winter months.

Shoes are good for more wearing

Shoes are good for more wear

All I need do now is apply a coat of white polish to brighten them up.  These shoes are now ready to be used a few more years.   Too bad I don’t have any tallow to make them more water proof.

Well how about you?  Would you repair a pair of tennis shoes or would you buy new ones?

4 comments on “Shoes

  1. ruralreality
    October 2, 2015

    I just started reading your blog a couple of days ago and I am really enjoying it! It is hard to find real people sharing real ideas these days. I love this post…I have shoes that look like those except my soles come off in sections. I glued them on a few times and then the tops started looking too bad to wear out and about , BUT, I still have and wear the shoes! I just peal off the loose parts and I wear the shoes for gardening and messy projects like painting. (They make a shoe cement but it is a little pricey. We had some on hand from a project years ago and it held longer than the other types of glue I tried.)

    • Na Na
      October 2, 2015

      Thank you for reading. I try to keep it real without too much embarrassment for myself. 😉

  2. Faye
    August 25, 2015

    I repair my shoes! I think it is a waste to throw away good shoes. I polish and buff my old shoes. I will glue my shoes. I add beads to my shoes. I do what ever to make them look good and get a couple more years of wear out of them. I also make a point of buying solid white tennis shoes as I can find the polish at my local Walmart.

    • Na Na
      August 26, 2015

      Yes! Another person who doesn’t mind wearing old, repaired shoes. Black shoe polish works good on black tennis shoes too.

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This entry was posted on February 13, 2013 by in MAKE DO AND MEND.

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