These tips for shopping locally will help you make the switch to shopping local even if you are on a tight budget.
Shopping locally is something I have recently been making a conscious effort to do. It used to be that shopping locally was the only choice, but nowadays, we can shop globally via the internet and chain stores. Shopping locally is so important for the local economy though. Doing so when you can really helps local artisans and business owners. Many people think they can’t afford to shop locally if they are trying to live frugally, but the truth is, you can! Here are my tips for shopping locally and how to do it even if you are on a budget.
6 Easy Tips for Shopping Locally
Go to the farmer’s market – This is the very best way to shop locally in my opinion. You not only are supporting the actual farmer or artisan in the most direct way possible, but you get to know what’s out there too. Additionally, many markets now participate in programs with SNAP that give you bonus ‘dollars’ to spend at the market if you shop with SNAP benefits. For non-food items, I find local craft fairs great places to find local makers of lotions, soaps, and household goods.
If you like to shop online, shop locally – Just because you are shopping online doesn't mean you can’t shop locally. On sites like Etsy, for example, you can filter by area to find local crafters and sellers. This helps you find out what’s in your area and you could potentially skip shipping and meet up with the creator in person instead.
Ask for recommendations from friends and family – If you are unsure where to find the best local goods, ask around! I have discovered some amazing products made locally by simply asking friends and neighbors. You may even find that one of them makes and sells their own!
Consider eating locally too – Non-chain restaurants often source local food for their recipes and eating at these places is often very affordable when you use discounts found online on sites like Groupon. Check Yelp for some of the local favorites if you are unsure where to go and when you are out of town.
Support non-chain stores – I like to shop at the non-chain grocery stores when I can. I have often found that they can have incredible savings. One of my favorite places to shop actually has the lowest priced bulk spice area and largest selection of locally created spice blends. These smaller local stores are often a great resource for discovering new local goods and brands as well.
Visit local farms and shop directly from farmers – Most people don’t realize it, but many farms allow the general public to buy from them directly. This holds true for either meat farms or produce. If you are on a budget, this can actually be a great way to get stuff all season long for one price. A local produce farm here offers a limited number of spots for people to pay one fee at the beginning of growing season and then each month after, until final harvest, you get a large box of that month’s fresh harvest. If the cost is too much for you, ask a friend or neighbor to go in on it with you and split it.
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