Thinking Outside the [Shoe] Box. And the Envelope.

I’m always on the lookout for objects, tasks, and habits in my life that could be optimized. So when I began to feel the nip of fall in the morning air, and wanted to put slippers on my feet, I knew something had to change.

See, Mr. FP has, in the nearly sixteen years that I have known him, owned exactly two pairs of slippers, and the second is still going strong. They are leather-soled LL Bean moccasins that I believe I bought him in the early aughts.

Meanwhile, I have owned more like eight pairs. The problem is virtually all women’s slippers have hard plastic soles. Once the padding wear down, which in my experience takes like three days, you’re walking around on the hard bottoms, and they become extremely uncomfortable. What’s a girl to do?

That’s when I thought of looking for boy’s slippers. See, boys’ sizes go up to 6, and they run about two sizes smaller than women’s sizes. So any woman with feet size 8 or smaller has the option of shopping in the boys’ department for shoes, especially if her feet are, like mine, on the wide side.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve never owned LL Bean women’s slippers, so it’s possible that their rubber soles are softer and their padding lasts longer, and they would have given me my money back if I was displeased. However, women’s slippers start at $39.95 for fleece with a rubber sole.

These boys’ fleece slippers with a nice suede sole–no rubber, yay!–cost me $19.95.

I was spending that much on slippers every year or two. So if these last me even just three seasons, I will have saved twenty bucks. And if they don’t last three seasons, well, I will ask LL Bean for my money back, and will still have saved twenty bucks.

My toes reposing happily on the front porch.

My toes reposing happily during my morning coffe-on-the-porch time. Preschool is a great invention.

Next optimization: Banking. Roughly every two weeks, I receive a paper paycheck for my trivia editing job that I must deposit at a bank. Quaint, isn’t it?

Now, Mr. FP and I remain devoted users of Virginia Credit Union for basic checking. We’ve moved a lot, and we just don’t like the trouble of finding a new bank. We’re used to this one, and the checking is really and truly free. Plus you can use any ATM gratis. So I was taking these checks, filling out a deposit slip (if I had any–when I ran out, I would use old tear-off pages from a trivia-question-a-day calendar), putting it in an envelope, and putting a stamp and return address label on the envelope. Super inefficient, plus the cost of the stamps and envelopes.

Yep, I made address labels just for my bank. That's how much I mailed to them.

Yep, I made address labels just for my bank. That’s how much I mailed to them.

Then I realized I could download the Ally banking app. Now I just have to take a picture of the check, and it goes right to our cash savings (which we’re trying to build up anyway).

Have I told you guys how much I love Ally? It’s easy to use, they pay a full one percent interest, and they just gave me and a bunch of other people twenty dollar Amazon gift cards in celebration of their one millionth customer.

This e-deposit is only saving me like thirteen dollars a year, but, as Grandpa FP would say, thirteen bucks is better than a nail in the foot. Sorry, USPS.

What minor things have you streamlined lately?


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About frugalparagon

I'm a part-time librarian and mom to two small boys. I blog about striving for the long-term goal of financial independence while running a tight ship at home.

2 responses to “Thinking Outside the [Shoe] Box. And the Envelope.”

  1. Autumn says :

    That’s good to know about boys shoes – I need a new pair of sneakers so I’m not putting unnecessary miles on my actual running shoes, but I’m having trouble talking myself into spending the money. My feet are also on the wide side – they’d be great for driving cars Flintstone-style.

    • frugalparagon says :

      I suggest going to Target and looking in the boys’ section! Or if you REALLY want to be cheap, hit up Goodwill. Boys’ feet grow so fast, you can often find used sneakers in wearable condition.

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