Monday, September 1, 2014

5 Reasons Why I am Shopping Local This September

My family is trying a little experiment for the month of September. We are committing this month to only buy locally. We are hoping to be able to spend nearly 100% locally this month, but really, we don't know if that is possible. We are going to try it though and see how it goes!

I will be posting updates throughout the month including where we've shopped, where we haven't shopped--like Costco {tear}--and the things we've learned. 

This post is the why to this experiment. Check back for more shop local posts throughout the month including tips for shopping local on a budget, our favorite local places, and more. 

Written by Marily
Why Shop Local?

1. Character.  
Local businesses are what give our cities and towns their distinct appeal and authenticity. They are the unique and interesting parts of a city, the places you seek out when you've been away for a while. It is important for cities and towns to maintain their unique flavor. 

Does it matter that Glendale and Gilbert and Tucson and Tolleson have different things to offer? Of course it matters. Those things that make them different are in a large part related to local businesses.



2. People.
There is meaning in actually being able to meet the people who own the business that is serving you. These people are our neighbors. They are business owners, shoppers, home owners, and Arizona voters too. This entrepreneurial spirit has value where we live and it deserves my support. 

3. The Economy.
The studies show that when we spend money at a locally owned business compared to a larger chain, more of our money stays in our local economy. What does this mean? When local businesses get your money they spend more of it on supporting other local businesses, and so on.  This means more jobs for Arizonans, more tax dollars that stay here to better our communuties, and a better economic base for Arizona. 





4. Fewer choices.
But, do you ever feel like having too many choices is stifling? My brain seems to function much better when the amount of choices I have is not so overwhelming. Think of the difference between how you feel when you shop at a farmers market compared to shopping at a big box store. Can you understand how limiting your choices to fewer, higher quality options can benefit you? Do you really need 30 different options for buying peanut butter?

5. Quality.
I love the idea of buying produce that was just picked that morning. Generally, buying locally means buying food that is more fresh and more natural. I also believe local businesses add quality to our communities. I believe in the inherent value in farms in our neighborhoods and craftsmen that make their living by word-of-mouth, neighbor to neighbor referrals. 

THE PLAN

So far, this is what I plan to do: I will shop at farmers markets, through local co-ops, or online yard sale pages first. Household items (toilet paper, soap, etc) I plan to purchase at local grocery stores (Bashas, Pro's Ranch Market, etc). 

Where I am NOT shopping this month:

My typical stores: Costco, Target, or Frys. I will have to figure out how to feed and provide for six people at local stores and without buying giganto boxes of goldfish crackers and cereal.

Toys R Us: September is a big birthday month for us with two of my kids' birthdays and my husband Mark's birthday as well. I will need to find local stores to buy birthday presents at and local restaurants for celebration dinners. The restaurants is the easy part for us as we usually eat at local restaurants anyway. Anyone know a local bike shop in the East Valley that has great prices and service ? And don't tell my son he's getting one.

Any ideas for us or recommendations?

What do you do to keep some of your dollars here in Arizona?
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