You already know that buying locally helps bring money into your regional economy, but are you aware that you can find better deals on items? Often, locally produced goods are less expensive because there are fewer hands involved in the creation and delivery process.
In cases where local goods cost more than their big-box counterparts, it’s mainly due to mass production. Receiving a manufacturer price break requires capital that most small businesses can’t afford. When it comes to saving a few bucks by buying from big chains or spending a little extra to support local businesses, remember that the latter keeps more dollars in your community’s economy.
According to the New Economics Foundation, when buying locally, twice the amount of money spent stays in the community compared to buying imported or out-of-state goods.
Here are a few ways to shop locally and save money while you support your favorite small businesses.
Find Local Goods at Chain Stores
If you can’t complete your entire shopping list at a single local business, do your best to find homegrown products at big-box stores. Many chains will offer a section featuring regional items, including groceries, hardware or clothing. Items will often be cheaper since the cost of transportation and overseas packaging expenses are eliminated from the asking price.
If a retailer does not separate local products from its name-brand selection, check the packaging to discover where it’s made.
Don’t be timid about asking employees where the goods originated. Most store managers are knowledgeable about their inventory.
Cut Down on Travel Cost
If you find yourself going out of your way to visit malls or shops that are out of town, you may be spending a substantial amount on travel expenses.
The cost of fuel or finding a hotel after a shopping spree for those long-distance trips can add up to significant expenditures. Rather than make a long trip to find your favorite necessities, ask a small business in your area to order the same product for you. They may be able to offer a better deal, as it’s possible they can buy it at a wholesaler’s cost and share the savings.