Shopping locally is a wonderful way to support your local community, reduce waste and benefit the environment. It can also help you save money. Here are even more reasons why I love shopping in my local community.
Benefits of Shopping Locally
My nearest local shop is less than two miles away. That’s walking distance in good weather. Many small local businesses also offer delivery so it’s great for those who may not be able to walk or drive to the shops.
My local butcher can tell me exactly what high welfare farms the meat I buy comes from. My greengrocer can also trace his fruit and vegetables back to individual farms. The baker can tell me exactly where the flour he uses has been grown and milled. At the local farmer’s market the producers are happy to share where they have grown and prepared the products they have brought for sale.
Buying locally means your food doesn’t have to travel very far. It’s great for the environment and it’s an advantage to the consumer because it means we can serve our families the freshest food possible.
I know most of the suppliers and producers of my food by their first names. They take pride in their products and always sell the very best available. Quality is second to none.
While there is nothing wrong with buying products you will definitely use in bulk at a supermarket or warehouse store, it’s easy to be dazzled by special offers and multi-buys. This can lead to over-buying and subsequently, wasted food. Smaller local shops often let you buy exactly the quantities you need, be that three chicken breasts, four tomatoes or a handful of mushrooms. There’s also a lot less packaging.
Being able to buy exactly what I need means I don’t over-spend. Even when higher welfare, artisanal products are slightly more expensive, I still find I can stick to my budget more easily because there is no waste.
Creating a Sense of Community
The butcher, baker, florist and people in my local cheese shop know every member of my family by name and even remember small, seemingly unimportant details of our lives. My florist has visited my home to see how it is decorated. So, when I say I want a bouquet for a specific room or occasion, she knows exactly the colours I need. All of this makes a huge difference to our shopping experience and really makes us feel a part of the community.
Stimulate the Local Economy
I’m all for corporate success but I also have a very big soft spot for the little guy – the small businesses that are trying to make a go of things in a challenging economy. By shopping locally I’m putting money in the pockets of folks from my own local community.
Shopping locally is a win – win situation for the consumer, the producer and business owners. It’s also a more relaxing shopping experience than soldiering through a crowded supermarket and standing in line at the tills for ages. Try your local farmer’s market, check out the shops in your town or village or, like me, visit the village closest to where you live. You’ll be amazed at the difference shopping locally can make to your life, your budget and your local community.