Keep some $ at home Black Friday
November 25, 2011, 2:41 am
Filed under: Behavior, Budget

Ho-ho-holy crap it’s Christmas season and tomorrow’s Black Friday! Being a conscious consumer is more important than ever in our slagging economy and spending your hard-earned money can be done with the intention to support local businesses and your community. If you’re brave enough to venture out in the crowds; be safe and shop well. Ask yourself some questions: Who benefits when I buy this item? Where was this item made?

Oh, I know we are all such busy, stress-packed people and really, who has time to think about all those questions? Excuses abound. It is so much EASIER to do your one stop shopping at Target or Walmart. It can be challenging to shop 100% U.S.A. and local. So why not make it a goal of starting with one gift? Shrug the all or nothing mentality and integrate just a little bit of local loving into your shopping spree glee. Small steps count, too.

What we buy reflects our values and how we connect to the world around us. Shopping locally supports community business owners (also known as your neighbors) and strengthens connections to your home. You may not be able to do all your holiday shopping at independent locales, but you could sprinkle the corporate shopping spree with at least a trip or two to Mom and Pop joints.

Visiting your city or county’s chamber of commerce Web site and searching their membership directory is a great starting place to generate shopping ideas. You can check out what your area offers based off of your shopping list. “Here’s a plastic thing-a-ma-jig I bought at Stuff-O-Mart that was made in China” could become “I bought that hand-made necklace from a store down the street. Ten percent of the proceeds go to the humane society.”

Besides local gift grabs, spending your cash online to support great causes is a way to give with more meaning.

Some great Web sites that support independent artists and entrepreneurs: I’m in love with this site ever since buying a hand-made beaded lanyard for my work ID badge. ( ) It’s a community of artists selling hand-made wonders and vintage items. This site promotes hand-made items from artisans in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. This site compiles a list of products made in the U.S. with the intention of growing prosperity at home in a time when our reality is outsourced.

Google. Google. Google. There are so many creative ways to get what you want this holiday while being realistic about the weaknesses that must be strengthened in this economy.




1 Comment so far
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Love this! Absolutely awesome! It is a matter of choices, of priorities. This country is great, but also materialistic. BUY ME BUY ME BUY ME everywhere you go. Ok, let me formulate my thoughts: I’m just a simple working mother and wife, but I do have the time and energy to consciously make choices about the things I buy. The key is not waiting until the last minute. I find that when I give myself enough time and plan out purchases, I am way more likely to but American or at least not made in CHINA. (I love the Chinese people but don’t support corporate sellouts either, that’s a whole other topic). Can I just say that I went to Target the other day and bought all American made goods, except my Ziploc bags, which were made in Indonesia. Now granted, all my goods were toiletries but I did search and found USA-made birthday invites for Szaylah’s party. I was so proud that I told the store clerk who was semi happy for me. LOL Another good website is Am I perfect? No way. But at least I try. : )
Keep up the good work, my Seestah!

Comment by Strawberry

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