I've been busy reading and writing. My ever-growing pile of magazines and newspapers yields lots of good tips.
Please walk all over this shoe-saving advice!
From Quick & Simple (Sept. 13, 2005 issue)
Problem: Dinged up leather
Cheap Fix: Use a matching "sharpie" or some other permanent marker to hide scratches on dark leather. Cover up the scratch and then buff the shoe or boot with a bit of polish and a soft cloth.
Problem: Soaked with water
Cheap Fix: Stuff damp shoes or boots with newspaper or place the item on a shoe tree. Avoid heat while drying out the shoe or boot.
Be proactive: Spray suede shoes with a weatherproofing spray and if you are still blindsided and blind-spotted by rain, take these steps: Dry out the shoe and then use an emery board or basic towel to rub out rain spots.
From Real Simple
This magazine runs a regular feature called "Solutions," which is just great!
Problem: Leather or suede shoes with salt stains
Cheap Fix: Stir up a mix of water and white vinegar using a 50-50 ratio of the two liquids. With a cotton cloth or a brush with nylon bristles, gently rub the solution all over the shoe. Allow time to dry.
First Magazine Oct. 17, 2005 issue
Problem: Inconvenient scuff marks on leather party shoes. You're almost at the party when you notice the ugly scuffs.
Quick Fix: Lip balm to the rescue! Apply a small amount of lip balm (a penny-shaped dap) to the back, front and sides of your shoe. Reach for a white-tissue and rub in the balm for an instant shine. (The wax in the balm sparks the sheen).
Take care, stay frugal and live well!