Just Plain Cheap

>> 11.09.2009

I’ve mentioned it before, but I believe that being thrifty is making the smartest decisions with my money- getting the best deals possible on great, long-lasting materials. To me, being cheap is just spending as little money as you can all the time. I really do consider myself to be thrifty… I mean, I even created a blog about it! This weekend I crossed the line from thrifty to just plain cheap… and boy, do I regret it!
One of my favorite hobbies is running- I run in races regularly and I’m currently in training for my first marathon (February). Most runners know that you need to change running shoes every 300-400 miles. At this rate, I should change my shoes every third month. Well-made shoes range from $80-120, but sometimes I find the same pairs at $40-60 by stalking the end-of-season sales at running stores. With all my money going towards house-stuff and a serious lack of good sales, I’ve put off buying a new pair.

Thrifty-me would know that it would make more sense to just bite the bullet and spend the money on quality shoes, but Cheapo-me want to stretch out the life of them even longer… so I ended up wearing the dead shoes to a 10-mile race this weekend.

Pain is not a strong enough word to describe what I was in during that race!! We’re talking blisters covering the half of the bottom of my foot (I’m nice enough not to show you a picture). After hobbling back to my car and stopping off at the drug store for some emergency blister supplies, I realized this was a cheapo mistake that I would never make again! So far, this cheapo move has cost me: $10, a better time in the race, the chance to wear cute shoes to a wedding, and the ability to walk normally (anywhere!)… which ends up being worth more than the difference in price would have been.

Have you ever crossed over the cheap line and regretted it? Any finish line crossers out there going for a big run (marathon?) this year?

Fortunately for my house, I was able to spend a big chunk of the weekend (before the race) finishing a giant project I’ve had in the works. I’m excited to share it with you tomorrow!


Katy Campbell November 9, 2009 at 10:26 AM  

I'm training for a half in December, another half in February and then I'm going to run the USAF marathon in Dayton (I'm a military brat born and bred so Dad has been asking me to run that one ever since I picked up my running shoes 6.5 years ago right before I started college!)next September. And I've actually gone cheap on running shoes in the past, regreted it, and now just swallow, close my eyes, and hand over the credit card trying hard not to think about how I could have bought ten really cute shoes for that price!

Amanda November 9, 2009 at 10:46 AM  

I ran my first half-marathon last spring, and before that, my first 5k, and before that, my first 10k. I surprised myself by actually investing in a good pair of shoes beforehand, and I did not regret it. They breathed so well compared to my old cheapies, and did not give me pain. And I told myself it was a health and beauty investment as well, because of my rockin' 13.1-mile-runnin bod! I hope to do another half marathon in the spring, maybe in an exotic locale if I can afford it.

SeeJaneGetRich.com November 9, 2009 at 12:03 PM  

I crossed from thrifty to the cheapo territory once with sneakers and I swear I won't ever do it again. When I am happy and I am outside on a sunny day I like to play around and this particular day I was wearing my cheapo shoes and I happened to do a little jump and the landing didn't go as planned because the sole's slid for some reason and I landed on my knees! No more wal-mart shoes for me. Not even for just wearing around the house.

Danielle and Clint November 9, 2009 at 12:36 PM  

My husband has learned this the hard way since living with me. Espeically on groceries. He never went to a deli counter in his life and bought the cheap lunch meat all the time as a bachelor. Now he looks for the sales at the deli counter and realizes it's only a dollar more for the better stuff.

Ugh...I know your pain. Cheap shoes do not always work.

Sara @ Russet Street Reno November 9, 2009 at 1:47 PM  

I've made so many cheapo mistakes, from not paying for parking and getting blisters just walking to and from an event in cute shoes, to buying things on clearance that I end up never wearing (because I only bought it since it was on sale!)....I do lots of stupid things because I'm cheap. I also just posted about cheaping out on a rug that I'm not happy with, so our posts are along the same lines!

dolores @ "Welcome to My Humble Ablog" November 9, 2009 at 3:13 PM  

I like to buy my running shoes through zappos.com. They have some fantastic deals and great customer service (sorry for the plug. I swear I don't work for them). My purchases also depend on the shoes ratings and reviews since running is so hard on your knees. So far New Balance has won me over. ^_^

My Frugal Miser November 9, 2009 at 6:24 PM  

I pay the price of being cheap all too often. I learn my lesson, eventually.

I used to defer maintenance on my car as long as possible. You can deduce the lesson I learned there - better to be proactive.

As another example, in March I was bit by a spider. I didn't start worrying until it clearly became infected, but even then I decided to hold off going to the doctor. I would have saved a lot of money by just going to the doctor right away versus what I eventually had to pay in medical bills (not to mention the scarring...ugh!).

chacha November 10, 2009 at 3:46 PM  

I've done two marathons (LA and SD), both in 2003, and I'm not sure I have it in me to put in the training to do another one. I have to say, though, the effort was worth it. It really felt like an accomplishment.

Yeah, skimping on shoes is never a good idea, though I was just thinking that I am probably due for another pair soon and not looking forward to the expense. Thankfully you just got blisters and not something bigger like knee issues, major shinsplints, stress fracture, etc.

I might do a 1/2 in January or February - 1/2 I can train for in two months - marathons require 4-6 months training (I would lose most of Saturday running and then taking a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon). For now, I just have the local Turkey Trot (5K) on my schedule and working on my speed (I'm not very fast, so a big goal for me would be to break 26 minutes).

Oh, not sure if you know this site, but sierratradingpost.com has some good deals on running shoes. No tax (they're in WY) and cheap shipping.

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