Friday, June 24, 2011

Buying Local

With the recent economy, everyone is thinking more about not only how, but where they spend their money.  My family is no exception.  I had never really given much thought to where I was shopping or where the products I purchased had come from until recent years. 

There has been a real marketing push to purchase products made in locally or sold by locally owned companies.  I really see it as reinvesting in the community and helping to rebuild the economy the only way I can right now.   I have listed below a few items that families already buy and how those dollars can be redirected back into the local economy. 
Groceries – I am fortunate to have 3 grocery stores within a 15 minute drive that are owned and headquartered in my state.   I also shop at local farmers markets and buy items directly from local farmers.  I get meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and vegetables directly from local farmers.  It doesn’t get any more local than taking right out of the hands of the person that produced it.
Pharmacy – I also avoid large chain pharmacies.  I prefer the locally owned pharmacy.  Having a special needs child means I am at the pharmacy for something all the time.  I like knowing the owners are active in the community I live in
Bakery – There is nothing better than fresh doughnuts and pretzel
Hardware – Perhaps I am nostalgic for the trips to the local hardware store with my dad, but do enjoy the local hardware store.  I like to just browse.
Eating out – We tend to avoid chain restaurants and opt for locally owned restaurants.  Even when we travel we try and eat at locally owned restaurants as much as we can.  This is not to say that chain restaurants are not locally owned.  You can do your homework to find out if your favorite chain restaurant is a corporate store or a locally owned franchise.  We do frequent a few locally owned francises as well.
Vacations – I have lived in this state my entire life and I know there are many attractions I haven’t seen.  The ones I have seen will be completely new when sharing them with my children.  We have planned local vacations for the last few summers and have several spots we still want to see.  We live in a state with lots to see and do. 
There are also hundreds of other items that can be purchased with an effort to help the local economy.  Cars, car repairs, books and gifts, furniture, clothing, hobby and craft items, pet supplies, baby supplies, and home repairs are just a few others that we have purchased locally.  It is just about taking the time to research a local option first. 
I am not saying that my family only consumes locally made products, but we have become more educated consumers.  We shop locally first, look for American made next make our peace with buying the rest from other sources.  If all families just changed a few of their buying habits maybe it would make a difference.

Friday, June 3, 2011

This Moment

Photo by J. Baughman
A picture, a moment to savor and remember.  For more see Soulemama.