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Buying Local

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:07 pm
by fr8mech
So, the wife and I are having dinner at a locally owned and operated place this past weekend and talked about adjusting our consumption patterns to support more local businesses. We have a fairly vibrant local restaurant scene, so eating out wouldn't be a problem, but I started looking into other sectors and decided this would be a lot tougher than I expected.

Groceries: There are a couple of little places, but they are more specialty (ethnic) shops than anything else and I already shop there when I need something specific. Farmers markets have popped up recently. I need to look into those for my produce.

Pharmacies: not a whole lot of choice there. I'm sure if I look hard enough I will find something local.

Hardware: nothing really beats the box stores for convenience, but there are a couple of hardware stores in the area that I will endeavor to do more business with.

General merchandise: here's where I'm really stuck. I really don't know of any local retailers. Target, Wal-Mart, Meijer, etc., have basically taken over the market.

Anyone else try to go local only or for the majority of your consumer needs?

Did you find it difficult?

RE: Buying Local

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:50 pm
by YXD172
Quoting fr8mech (Thread starter):

Groceries: There are a couple of little places, but they are more specialty (ethnic) shops than anything else and I already shop there when I need something specific. Farmers markets have popped up recently. I need to look into those for my produce.

I find a good compromise (when local grocery stores are limited) is to shop from the big stores that source produce locally. I find certain chains have more locally-grown fruits/veggies than others. Markets are great if possible.

As for the rest... can't really help you. I've got the same problems!

RE: Buying Local

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:53 pm
by fallap
In terms of everyday products like grocery and pharmacy. The local area here have more than enough to satisfy my needs.

However when it comes to electronics and clothes, I have to go to elsewhere  

RE: Buying Local

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:03 pm
by desertjets
Grocery is tough, since there aren't really many local choices beyond smaller produce markets and the like. I do really like the convenience of my local Smith's (Kroger). That said in season there are several farmers markets throughout the week in town and during the summer months we do the CSA (community supported agriculture) thing, where we get a bi-weekly box of produce. Much of it is grown very locally, especially in season.

Pharmacy is the same thing, with a Walgreen's or a CVS on practically every corner I don't think there are very many local drug stores any longer. Ditto on the general merchandise.

Hardware and home improvement I have a locally owned Ace and TruValue right down the street from me. Both Lowe's and Home Depot are considerably farther away.



Honestly beyond restaurants there are really only a handful of niche things where the local option is both available and better. Case in point I love my local retro video game store. Good selection of stuff, knowledgeable staff and a great local business. Game Stop doesn't really have the older stuff I am after and eBay can be a pain.

RE: Buying Local

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:17 pm
by srbmod
My beer drinking tends to be local, as I try to support my local breweries as much as possible. I've also found a really awesome butcher shop/charcuterie place where I'll go to buy steaks (From a farm a couple of hours away.) that are cut to order (Most grocery stores chains have done away with cutting their meat in-house and everything comes prepackaged and pre-priced.) and makes their own sausages and cured meats in-house. They offer a selection of locally or regionally produced cheeses and other products (jams, bread, beans). It's about a 20 minute drive from my house, but worth it as you can't get steaks this good at a Kroger or Walmart.

RE: Buying Local

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:19 pm
by darthluke12694
Quoting fr8mech (Thread starter):
Anyone else try to go local only or for the majority of your consumer needs?

Unfortunately, not really. For grocery, the only stores available are Walmart, Kroger, and Publix. I know of one local pharmacy, but I just go to Walgreen's since they are convenient and are all over the United States. Hardware we have Lowe's and Home Depot, nothing else. Anything else, it is usually a large retailer.

Unfortunately, there is simply not enough local retailers to shop at. There are a few local restaurants, and I do eat there, but when it comes to shopping it's nothing but large retailers. It's hard to support local retailers when the large ones take over the place.

There is a local camera shop 30 miles away I like to shop at, it's called Dury's Camera in Nashville, TN. Unfortunately, I don't buy much there due to lower prices on Amazon. I can't afford to pay a few hundred dollars more when I can get it cheaper and tax-free (until 2014 for TN) online.