February 23, 2010

Buying Local

I just got done grocery shopping - anyone who follows this blog knows how much I love going to the grocery store (and for those of you who haven't read my blog before, I seriously LOVE it!)!  I added another stop along the way today, though - the Eden Meat Market.  Luckily, I live on the far east side of Fond du Lac so the trip isn't so far for me (it's about 7 miles out of town).

Now why on earth would I travel seven miles out of my way for ring bologna?  Simple - their meat is incredible.  To me, it's worth it to travel that far.  Another really good reason?  They're local.

In my opinion, it's becoming more and more important to buy local.  What a paradoxical age we live in - we can now purchase pretty much anything we could ever dream of (old Canadian grocery store matchbooks, anyone?), but our local businesses need us more than ever.

Maybe some of you have seen that little 3/50 Project link I have on the left hand side of this page.  The basic premise of this project is that, every month, choose three separate local businesses, any type at all, and spend 50 bucks there.  And it's not $50 at every place; they just mean $50 divided by 3, or roughly $16.50 per place. 

How easy is that?  If you get your hair done at a non-chain salon, chances are you are already spending the $50 a month.  But there are so many other options!  Let's say you want to buy a gift for someone - pick a cute little downtown shop instead of buying it online (and even though you might complain about paying a meter for parking, you're saving 10 times that amount on not having to pay shipping!).  Or instead of ordering flowers from an online shop like 1-800-Flowers, try one of your local florists - you'll get a custom bouquet, something that's impossible over the phone (and the local flowers are always going to be fresher, too!).  And of course, there's always restaurants!  Try that local Mexican place instead of Taco Bell - you KNOW it's going to be better!

This might sound like I'm trying to take business away from online stores - heavens no!  I have an Etsy shop too, so I like it when people from out of town purchase my stuff!  :D  But did you know that when you shop local, 68% of that money stays local, whereas none of your online purchase comes back to your city in revenue?  Just something to think about.

I just thought for about five minutes about all of my favorite places in Fond du Lac, and I came up with a pretty big list.  Here are some local places that I would totally miss if they went out of business:

Sanopelo Aromatherapy Salon
Bellafini's Italian Restaurant
As You Wish - Fine Stationery
Fond du Lac Antique Mall
Botanicals Floral Studio
Eden Meat Market
Graphic Center
Gallery & Frame Shop
Windhover Center for the Arts
Fond du Lac Reporter

And that's just a small sample!  I know that if you thought about it, you could come up with your own list and it would be just as long (and Fond du Lac has a population of only 40,000!).

Let's show our local peeps some love before it's too late!

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