Monday, October 20, 2008

How One Person Can Help the Economy

Sofi, thanking the local goats for her cheese :)

There are so many things we can do to save the economy. One thing I am doing to help is to make every cent I spend be significant in some way. I am making sure as much of my money as possible is going directly to people and not big corporations. I look around me, I listen to what my friends are saying and I watch the news and I see that there are hundreds and thousands of people just like me suffering from the poor economy and suffering from the fees and rates banks pile on us. Sometimes just a few dollars can make a difference to a family like ours. When you are struggling to get by, a few dollars can buy milk, some more gas, or even an item of clothing for a child.

When I spend my money I want to know that that is where it is going. If money comes out of my home and away from my family (to buy clothing, food or gifts) I want to know that it is enabling someone else to purchase those same items. When you purchase from large corporations your $5.00 gets broken into parts - $4.70 goes to the corporation, ten cents goes to China, ten cents goes to running the business and ten cents goes to the person who is at the cash register. These numbers change according to what corporation you are purchasing from but the idea is basically the same, most of your money is going over-seas or to someone who already has enough.

This week I purchased the following items and I know where my money went:

Local Goat Cheese from Local Farm - $4.25 - Money went directly back into their business to keep them running and into their pockets to purchase food for their own family.

Handmade Sweater from Local Business Owner - $50.00 - This sweater will last me ten times as long as any machine-made sweater. The money went directly into the business to keep it running and into their pockets to support their family.

Jar of Honey from Local Farm - $3.25 - Money went directly to the farm owner. I even placed it in her hands.

Hand-spun Yarn - $10.00 - Money went directly to the person who raised the sheep.

Coffee at Local Coffee Shop - $4.50 - Money is helping to support their business. Hopefully if more people go there each day and spend $4.50 they won't go out of business during these rough times and they won't be driven out of business by Starbucks.

Groceries at a market that supports local agriculture, dance lessons from a local dance teacher...

The list goes on and on....

It feels really good to know that my money is going to real people. I almost feel like every time I shop I am making a donation, instead of just "spending money". On a more "morbid" note, I also think, "well, at least if I go down with the economy my money went to prevent other people from the same fate" - LOL!

So vote with your dollar and help out your neighbors and friends and local business people as well as anyone running a small business. We may be going through rough times but we can help each other simply by making our spending really count!

How I Never Forget "My Bags"

I love re-usable grocery bags and can't live without them - for many reasons. Of course they are great for the environment but also they fit a lot more groceries than the standard plastic bags so they allow me to get into the house with my groceries in fewer trips. An added bonus is that the checkers usually are happy to let me pack my own bags and since nobody seems to have any idea how to pack groceries anymore that makes me even more happy :) I actually arrive home with nothing smashed and everything where it should be!

So my favorite new discovery has been portable nylon bags. The bags themselves are not "eco-friendly" - they are made out of some nylon material. However, the fact that I have not forgotten my shopping bags since purchasing these is VERY eco-friendly. I use these EVERYWHERE now - not just the grocery store. It used to be that I only used them for grocery shopping, and then only on planned trips when I could remember to lug my 5 eco-friendly canvas bags into the store. I never brought them to the mall, or to other stores and I often forgot them or did not have them if I just suddenly decided to stop by a store and pick up some milk and eggs.

I actually found these bags for only $1.00 each in the dollar section of Jo-Ann Fabrics AND Target. However, you can find them online for various prices and in various prints. I have included a picture of my purse and my bags above. Here are some places I have found them online:

DON'T get sucked into paying more than $5.00 for such a bag. Brands like "Baguu" are making these bags a fashion statement and charging $22.00 and up for them! Their bags probably cost about ten cents to make - the same as all the rest!

Here are some more reasonably priced bags (note: It took me an hour to find the best deals online last night so...these are the best of what an hour search came up with. These are not just randomly picked):

Chico Bags from come in many colors are are extra large. $4.95 ea.

A set of 3 for 12.99 from here: Green Shopper

Sale priced at only 1.35 (down from 6.95) this WEDDING FAVOR shop actually has some really nice ones! Get them while they are still there! This was a "find"! They come in many colors. I am providing the link to the IVORY BAG.

Buying in bulk for a business or organization to re-sell as a fundraiser? Try: Bulletin Bags


Blessings & Health,