It's Cheaper and Easier Then I Thought
Early this Christmas season, I decided that I was going to buy all my gifts locally for several reasons.
1) My family owns a small business. (I do too!) It would seem at least a little hypocritical to not support others in my same situation.
2) My Best Buy fiasco clearly illustrates what it can be like to do with the corporation.
3) Living in the community that is heavily dependent on summer tourism, the least I can do is help support the businesses that serve year-round residents like myself. I appreciate not have to drive half an hour to buy milk, or a cashmere sweater for that matter. (Milk happens a little more often in my world.)
I was a little worried about how shopping local this was going to go. Should I buy my brother-in-law that gadget I saw an online gift guide? Will I be able to find the perfect gift for my mother in some small specialty shops?
I realize that two things have happen for me to have success at buying local: I had to be flexible (what! no, insert-specific-item here in purple?!?) and also actually visit storessee what they had. (And as a personal finance blogger who almost never goes shopping, some of these people would never have seen me otherwise.)
I was pleasantly surprised at the selection of items, the reasonable prices, and the friendliness of salespeople who were genuinely appreciative of my business.
Here are a few moments I relished as I finished up my Christmas shopping today:
- reading through funny children's books to find the funniest on
- laughing with some fellow drug store shoppers at the now available Clapper Plus
- running into a potential friend I met last week wearing a really fun hat
- finding a really great book/gift store that has all kinds of things that I'd go back for (I know, I am not buying books at the moment but I can dream, right?)
All in all, there is no long mall drudgery or battling crowds to buy my Christmas gifts, which made spending money oddly relaxing for me. As a bonus, I actually got to know my community a little bit better and still stayed within budget.
So whether you are completely finished with your Christmas shopping or have yet to start, I urge you to consider a local purchase as your next purchase.