Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Shopping Moral Dilemma

Now I know I am on a frugal trial and 'debt repayment' is my daily mantra, however, throughout this debt repayment/frugal trial lifestyle, I will, on occasions, need to go shopping. 

Specifically, I need a pair of shoes. I promise, I really do!! 

I have three pairs of shoes suitable for working in an office. 2 pairs of heels and 1 pair of knee high boots. However, I cannot wear heels everyday without being in pain and while my boots are flat, they are knee high and summer is coming (said Ned Stark style). I really really need a pair of flat shoes which are smart enough for work.

Being on a frugal trial, I should go to Primark/H&M/New Look/Supermarkets etc and buy a cheap pair of flat shoes or perhaps check out a charity shop. However, my feet are getting old (this is what happens when you turn 30  believe) and my feet need a soft sole with arch support. Perhaps I am getting fussier as I get older but I would also like them to be made out of some decent leather and last for a while. Now, I love Primark. I have bought some great items over the years (shout out to the beige jogging bottoms purchased circa 2009 which are still going strong and get worn much more than my cashmere 'lounge pants') but a £7 pair of plastic ballet pumps which will go baggy in two weeks, smell like a decomposing body within the same time period and in all likelihood will be in the bin by Autumn are just not going to suffice. Unfortunately, the local charity shops are full of these little buggers. 

I need a decent pair of shoes.

From a debt repayment perspective, decent shoes are a problem as they cost more money than cheap shoes. I suppose this is the difference between cheap and frugal. Frugal being non-wasteful and cheap being, er well cheap. 

From a 31 year old perspective, arch support requirement results in purchasing shoes that your granny would die for. The choice is limited. 

However, after much searching I FINALLY found a decent pair of shoes that did not look too much like they belonged to Dot Cotton. 

The shoes were £65, a bit out of the price range I could really justify. However, if I purchased them via its website instead of its shop, I could save £10 plus they had FREE DELIVERY. To top it off, if I purchased them via Quidco I received 5% cashback. I would save £13.25 this way.


The British High Street is dying and I want to keep it alive. Amazon/Asos etc are taking over. I don't want my local high street to be full of betting shops, supermarkets 'mini' versions and charity shops (well charity shops are not so bad however my local ones need to wake up and smell the coffee and stop selling second hand Primark for a higher price than when it was brand new). I also want to contribute to the local economy and ensure someone has a job. I have undertaken a lot of retail work and all shoe shops I worked in paid commission on sales. Now I don't know if this particular store pays commission to staff, but if they do, I would prefer my wages were paying for the sales assistant to have a drink after work rather than the operating costs of a website. 

This is my moral issue. Do I buy online or do I buy in store?

I don't know if it is because 'granny' boutiques are not really my normal stomping ground, but I've never notice this particular brand until recently where it seems to be popping up all over the place. Accordingly, if they want people to shop in their stores, why are they offering 'web exclusives'? Are they opening stores in long empty buildings for cheap rent to build a profile for their online store with the view of closing actual shops? Or do they intend to remain on the High Street? 

I was dithering for days what to do. My boyfriend was adamant that I should forgo the £13 and buy in store. But it's £13 and I'm not really in a position to be chucking money away. 

In the end......

I bought online but every time I walk past the store, I am going to feel a pang of guilt. 

Anyone else feel guilty buying online instead of in store?

Check out - Financially Savvy Saturdays

A Disease Called Debt
* Header image courtesy of Stuart Miles via freedigitalphotos.net


  1. One day when your debt is paid buy another pair in store, rotating their wear to maximise lifespan :-) guilt free frugal shopping without excess

  2. Good idea, hopefully the store will still exist!

  3. It was very useful for me. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to...