In the news last week was a discussion about the cost of keeping a monarchy in the UK and it was revealed that taxpayers pay 56p each to keep the royal family running every year. I know that not everyone will agree with me, but I think that’s fairly good value for money – I’ve certainly got my share from the entertainment the Royal family provides over recent years: my trips to London include visits to Buckingham Palace, seeing the changing of the guard and walking down The Mall, I enjoyed watching the Jubilee Concert on TV, my interaction with the local community is fuelled by Royal events such as the village Diamond Jubilee celebration BBQ and watching William and Kate get married on a big screen in the town, and this year I’m looking forward to the Commonwealth Games. I feel like I’ve got my money’s worth out of the Royal family in personal entertainment alone, and that’s not to mention all the diplomatic and political work they do to represent Great Britain around the world. But what has all this got to do with shoes, I hear you ask?
Well, it made me think about what else I could buy with my 56p per year if it wasn’t going towards supporting the royal family. The honest answer is not much at all! Once upon a time I could at least buy a loaf of bread to feed myself, but that’s a distant memory now! In fact, the only place that I tend to be able to buy things for 50p nowadays is at the car boot sale. And that leads us nicely on to the topic of 50p shoes. These ones:
It was the end of the morning and lots of the car boot stalls were packing up and going home. I find that this is sometimes the best time to go bargain hunting because stall holders might reduce prices rather than take their unsold items home with them, and many put up cardboard-and-market-pen signs saying “Everything 50p” to sell as much as possible before the end of the sale. Luckily for me, this happened just as I was browsing a stall with a few fashion bits for sale and I spotted these court shoes. They were my size and looked nice, so I didn’t even try them on – I paid my 50p and took my chances! Thankfully, they fit me fine and I’ve worn them a few times since without any problems. In fact they have similar height heel to my dancing shoes so they really were a bargain pair of comfortable shoes.
The same thing happened when hubby was shopping at a car boot sale too, and he picked up this pair of brogues for 50p. They are the most comfortable shoes he’s owned and they have become his ‘dancing shoes’ too. One time when we were shopping in a high street shoe store, hubby told the sales assistant that the shoes he was wearing were only 50p and she practically told him off for wearing second-hand shoes: “What if someone else has worn them in differently? You could damage your feet!” Tell that to all the vintage footwear fans out there! I’m sure that probably is the case if you’re a toddler and your tiny feet are still developing, but I’m pretty sure that hubby’s feet are fully grown. Plus, you ‘wear in’ any pair of shoes, especially new ones, so what’s the difference between getting used to a brand new pair of shoes and a pair that someone else has worn? All that matters is that they are comfortable shoes to wear and didn’t cost as much as our weekly food shop unlike the new shoes in that shop!
So what do you think about second-hand shoes? Is it a bargain waiting to happen? Or are those shoes really going to damage your feet? Do you prefer a ‘lived-in’ pair? Does it matter that someone else’s feet have been inside them before? Is that kinda gross? What about bowling shoes?! I don’t know where I stand (oops unintentional pun) about shoe hygiene but I know that I can’t afford to be picky when I’ve got more important things to pay for than expensive brand new shoes! Let me know what you think and tweet me photos of your shoe bargains to @Cassiefairy.