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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Keeping My Money Local

We are blessed to have a small house and some land near our family.  It’s an older home and has needed quite a bit of work.  There is still much to be done, but the basement is our first big project (if you don’t count replacing the HVAC system that died at Thanksgiving).  This past week I spent much time up to my elbows in paint.  Luckily my little guy got to spend a lot of time with his grandparents.  Otherwise he would have also been up to his elbows and knees and probably every other little body part in paint as well.

I’m constantly amazed at how productive I can be now when left alone.  I marvel at the quantity of time I was obviously wasting before he came in to our lives and shook things up.

The first order of business with any job around the house is getting the supplies.  I could’ve headed to either of the large chain hardware stores to buy what I needed, but I kept it local.  I instead headed to a locally owned building supply to get my paint and a little advice about brushes.  I also ran into an old friend that has worked there for decades!  That doesn’t happen often in the other options.  I’m a huge fan of locally owned hardware stores.  They often have the best stuff.  More on my love of hardware stores another time.

I was also trying to find a couple unusual things from the pharmacy.  The big box stores had let me down.  My first thought was to head to one of the big national pharmacies.  I realized I was right at a small local pharmacy owned by another friend.  I figured it was at least with a shot.  He had exactly what I was looking for – both items.  One was in a version I didn’t even know I could find.  It was perfect and I was still keeping my money local. 

So far, I was 2 for 2.

My tummy was beckoning for food at this point.  It’s amazing the dining options that will open up to you when there isn’t a 3 year old to consider.  I headed across town to a little spot I’ve wanted to try.  It was under new ownership, and I was probably a little underdressed for the whole place, but it was wonderful.  As I waited for my food, I enjoyed the quiet, did a little people watching and caught up on Twitter.  I paid for lunch, keeping my money local, and headed off for a little walk.

One of the last tweets was from a yarn shop just down the street.  Since there was no 3 year old in tow it was safe to go in.  I was thanked by the owner for recognizing that this was indeed not a place for a 3 year old.  I know we all love our children, but you still need to be respectful of others and their property.  I bought a lovely book mentioned in the tweet and was on my way – again keeping the money local.

It was a wonderful start to the day.  According to The 3/50 Project, $68 of every $100 spent at locally owned, independent store returns back to the community as compared to $43 if I’d shopped in a national chain.  So while I got everything I needed and wanted in one town, I also helped it out at the same time.

At the end of the day I was 4 for 4, batting 1.000.  That’s pretty good; ask any baseball fan.  

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