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?