When it comes to the cost: Big company or small shops?

Associated Press/Steven Senne - In this Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 photo a worker pulls a line of shopping carts toward a Walmart store in North Kingstown, R.I.  (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Associated Press/Steven Senne – In this Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 photo a worker pulls a line of shopping carts toward a Walmart store in North Kingstown, R.I. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The following conversation has come up numerous times in the past few weeks between my fiance and I. There’s a product we want to buy and we shop around for the best price. Inevitably, the bigger company has a better offer and we question: do we support our local business or save for the future?

Here’s three examples:

Last week we went to a locally owned book store to look for two recently released novels we wanted to buy. Do we pay the $35 cover price for each or save about $10 by buying them on Amazon.com and get free shipping?

My fiance has recently become a bit of a cigar connoisseur. He really enjoys the pre-embargo Cuban blends at Hain’s Pipe and Cigar Shop in York, but there are only so many $8 cigars he’s willing to buy when he can get entire boxes online, many with free goodies (ie sweatshirts, lighters, etc) for $3 to $5 a cigar.

With a wedding next spring, we’re looking to save across the board. I conducted an experiment by gathering fliers from local grocery stores and then made a trip to Walmart. Even with Walmart’s price match guarantee, their prices were still less than the specials at regular grocery stores. I never would have had to pull out a flier at the register.

After posting about my experience on Twitter, several people responded, noting that while they appreciate saving money, there are big concerns with buying from larger companies, such as Walmart, instead of local grocery stores or even farmers markets.

We been known to patronize both local stores and big ones, depending on what we’re shopping for and how much of a savings we can pocket. For Christmas, I loved buying local food items and cooking supplies to give to my female relatives. Their baskets were filled with unique items only found in York County.

But when it comes to regular shopping, what do you do? Do you support the local economy or try to save more money?

Do you have any secrets to saving locally?

About Rebecca Hanlon

Rebecca Hanlon is the health reporter with a religion sub beat at the York Daily Record/Sunday News. Follow her on Twitter @mrsbeccahanlon or on Facebook at facebook.com/byrebeccahanlon.
This entry was posted in Quality of life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to When it comes to the cost: Big company or small shops?

  1. Jenni Sipe says:

    Hi Rebecca, I read with interest your story “where to buy”. America has been so conditioned to buy “cheap” mostly from a country that already owns us – that is China. That is why so many manufacturers have moved their business overseas where the labor is paid in pennies and work in deplorable conditions. I design and create a line of handmade pillows that I advertise on Facebook with this information: “You don’t have to wait until the Saturday after Thanksgiving to “shop local”. If you want to give a gift that lasts longer than flowers, is under $50 and is designed and made right here in PA, go to Facebook and type in search “The Work of My Heart Quilts” to see my line of 11″x 13″ pillows featuring hand embroidery sayings and hand stitched applique details.” Sure, you can go to Walmart, Target, Kohls, etc. and buy a nice pillow made in China or another foreign country for less. but why would you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>