Online Shoe Shopping

Ravi is obsessed with shoes.  Especially new ones.  He wants to wear his shoes at all times.  If he could, he would even wears them to bed.

Ravi walked late at 14 months of age. As a result, I had only ever bought one pairs of shoes for him, as of last week.  At the very beginning, I was clueless about kids’ shoes.  For his first pair of shoes, one of our friends was kind enough to let us borrow her son’s old shoes which was barely worn.  It was a pair of Stride Rite, very well built and comfortable.

Ravi’s First Pair of Shoes (size 5)

When I found out it actually cost ~$45 (not including tax), I was glad I didn’t have to buy it myself.  Also during early days of walking, Ravi only used them sparsely as he was more used to walking on his bare feet.  By last September, Ravi has finally outgrown his first pair of shoes.  So we decided to bite the bullet and take Ravi to a Stride Rite store to get a new pair.  I thought, sure it will cost us lots of money, but we need to make sure his feet will be comfortable!  At this point I was beginning to understand what to look for in a good pair of kids’ shoes.  I liked shoes with good treads on the bottom and sturdy Velcro straps for easy closure.  We had Ravi tried on several pairs and eventually loved this one.

Ravi’s Second Pair of Shoes (size 6)

As it turned out, it was only $34!  It is not cheap, but much lower than I thought I had to spend.  Though with tax it became a $37+ bill.

Fast forward to this year.  I have started to notice that Ravi’s second pair of shoes is getting harder to put on.  When I felt his toes against the front of shoe, there doesn’t seem to be any room left.  I guess it is time to get another pair of shoes for Ravi.  At this time, I felt confident enough to shop online for a better deal.  I searched high and low hoping to get a good discount, but when you add price and shipping together, most sites don’t seem to have good deals anymore.  I finally came back to Amazon and found a pair of shoes I really liked with raving reviews, and priced at $30.  Even though it doesn’t come with a hefty discount, but considering I got two days free shipping and paid no taxes on it, it turned out to be a really good deal.

Ravi’s Third Pair of Shoes (size 6.5)

It finally arrived last night and I couldn’t wait to open it up to take a look.  Heck, my future online shoe shopping depends on how well this purchase turns out.  The shoes look fantastic, better than the picture on Amazon.  When Ravi saw it, he instantly became obsessed with them and demanded us to put them on immediately.  Then he pointed to the door suggested that we try them out outside!  Of course we couldn’t refuse his request.  When we got back and tried to take them off, he cried and cried, so we left them on till his bedtime.

Overall, I got to say it was a great purchase.  In fact, I love this pair the best out of all three pairs!  It is everything I thought it would be at a price little lower than I initially budgeted for.  I would definitely shop for kids’ shoes online again.  I might even buy couple more pairs of the same shoes at larger sizes, just like another mom has done in the reviews.


Huggies vs. Pampers

Last night Ravi unexpectedly drank 15 to 20 oz of liquid.  Normally it takes only couple of hours for the liquid to pass through his system.  So after changing him couple of times out of full gigantic diapers, I thought we were out of the woods.  But I can always count on Ravi to be full of surprises.  When I changed him this morning, his Huggies Overnight diaper was again full and some urine leaked onto his undershirt.  This is definitely a sign that I should re-evaluate my diaper selections.

Ever since Ravi was born, we have been using three kinds of diapers through various sizes.  This is because I personally prefer Pampers Baby Dry, the daycare lady prefers Huggies Snug & Dry, and a third the Huggies Overnight for extra protection.  So for as long as I can remember, I have been buying three different kinds of diapers.  I use Pampers at home, bring Huggies to daycare, and use Huggies Overnight for night time.  Out of all of them, my favorite is Pampers.  Compare to the other Huggies diapers, it is much slimmer and form fitting.  Because it is much smaller in volume, it doesn’t look bulky under cloth and hugs baby butt much better than Huggies.  It also has a nice stretchy guard line that prevent leaks.  Don’t be fooled by Pampers’ thin material, it is actually extremely absorbent and redistribute liquid incredibly well.  This is especially important for boys since they pee in front, the urine will actually gets distribute to the back before it ever gets out.  Even when the diaper gets really wet, its inner surface still keep relatively dry.  Additionally, Pampers diaper doesn’t clump up like Huggies, and has a nice and fabric like texture.  I have changed Ravi out of some truly amazingly gigantic wet diapers, I would otherwise never have believed how much liquid it could hold without leaking if I didn’t see it myself.

But what about the cost?  Honestly speaking, I have not carefully checked on the prices for a while and I had to look into it again today.  Normally Pampers is the more expensive choice, but not so for me right now.  I am a member of Amazon Mom and I subscribe my diapers through Amazon Subscription service.  This means I get 30% off the list price.  So as of today, I pay:

Pampers Baby Dry:  $0.137/diaper (size 3, 204 per box at $28 after 30% off)

Huggies Snug & Dry:  $0.143/diaper (size 3, 156 per box at $22.34 after 30% off)

Huggies Overnight:  $0.25/diaper (size 3, 62 per box at 15.49 after 30% off)

I did notice that price does change over time, but I am surprised that right now I got Pampers at a lower price than Huggies.  Of course the bigger box means the bigger savings, and that may be a contributing factor to the lower price.  By re-evaluating my selection today, I’ve decided to eliminate Huggies Overnight, which is nearly twice as expensive as Pampers Baby Dry and doesn’t hold liquid nearly as well as I have hoped.  Even though I don’t like it, but I would continue to order two types of diapers.  Between you and me, I think Pampers is the much better choice.


Cheap Thrills

I am notoriously cheap… maybe frugal is a better word to use here.  Over the years, I managed to keep this a little secret.  I am personally proud of it, but sometimes I have doubts.  Here’s a conversation I recently had with Mario on this subject:

Me: Do you think I am too cheap?

Mario: No!  Why do you say that?

(thinking “That better be the answer she is looking for, because I am not smart enough to guess what she wants…”)

Me: (thinking “He’s not telling me something.  Better play along.”)

Well, you know, my parents have been nagging at me to spend some money on making our place look better.  You know, now that we have Ravi, he needs a better environment.  Sometimes I feel I am too cheap.

Mario: No!  That’s not true!  You are doing great!  Just be who you are.

(thinking: “Good, I betting on the right side… Yeah, I like that you are cheap, so I can invest the money YOU saved.  My goal of reaching a balanced portfolio is getting nearer…”)

Me: Do you really think so?  You don’t think I am weird or anything?

(thinking: “I’ll bet he thinks I am weird, but he’s weirder than I am! Ha!)

Mario: (thinking: “balanced portfolio…. Ahhhhh”)

No!  I love it that you save money.  It helps us build a nice nest egg.

(thinking: “balanced portfolio…. Ahhhhh”)

Me: (thinking:”I think he’s drifting off.  Better leave this conversation before I start talking to the wall.”)

Alright.  Thanks.  I think I hear my mother calling now…

(thinking:”He’s a pain in the butt, but at least he made me feel a little better.”)

Mario: (thinking: “Wow, I should do that analysis that I was thinking about.  Maybe it will help me to better balance my portfolio.  I should sell that bond ETF idea to Flo, it would be a really cool idea to try it out…  Its been a while since I looked through my stock watch list… Wait, she left already?!  How did I miss that?!  Okay, its time for a nap.  All this thinking about my money make me so tired…”)

So today I am introducing a new category of posts, called “Cheap Thrills.”  In this series, I will talk about the new deals I have found.  I am passionate about finding good deals and I can’t wait to share my trophies with you.