For me, part of frugal living is to not only save money, but to make the biggest impact with my money.
I know it is easy to lose sight of, but we really do vote everyday with each dollar that we spend.
I tend to lose sight of this, but today I was reminded just how important each dollar can be when it adds up.
My husband was looking for some replacement nuts and bolts because our kitchen stools were getting loose and rickety. He spent nearly one hour at his usual large home improvement shop trying to find what he needed to make the repairs. No luck.
After we brought our van into the repair shop, we decided to see what our local Hardware Hank had in stock. The owner was so helpful and we found what we needed in about 15 minutes of searching and trying some different options. As we drove away, Steve said, “that was so much better than my large store trip.”
And I was reminded that shopping locally is a great way to go.
Our local pet food/supply store is one of our favorite shops. The two owners are always there, often with their toddler and dog. They know what food we need, even though we seem to always forget which one it is. They give us a 10% discount because Steve is a volunteer firefighter for the city. And they support local fundraising events like Cub Scouts. When our dog was getting all sorts of infections/irritations, the local store figured out it was the food before our vet could. It saved us hundreds of dollars.
Other favorites include local restaurants/cafes, gas stations, hair salons, vet, pet boarding, printing, chiropractor, dentist and auto repair shops.
Another spin on the same idea is to support stores and items that are Made in America, as well as small, personal businesses.
On another shopping trip, Steve noticed that two nearly identical items were priced differently. One was a few dollars more. He wondered what the difference was, and upon inspection, realized that the more expensive item was Made in America, so he bought that one.
For our annual Christmas gift exchanges, family baptisms and other religious events, I try to find unique, personal, handmade items on Etsy. You can search in your location first, to see if you can find something local, but either way, you are supporting an individual business owner.
As a bonus, voting with my dollar makes me feel a lot more satisfied than I usually end up feeling after I cast my vote in a political election.
How about you? What types of store do you shop locally?