Monday, May 5, 2008

Your Stimulus Check - If You're Going to Spend It, Do it Locally

The other day I suggested in a post about buying locally that if you are intending to spend your stimulus check that you consider spending it locally. When you spend money at local businesses, much more of it stays right in your own community than if you shopped at nationally owned businesses.

We got our stimulus check later that same day, and my husband and I immediately started talking about all the ways we could spend it. When I mentioned that I thought we should spend a lot of it right in our town and its surrounding communities, he was willing to consider it. We haven't decided exactly what we're doing with it, but here are some ideas:

  • Spend a lot at the farmer's market - don't just buy fruit and veggies, but spend some extra on local meats, cheeses, flowers, etc.
  • Donate money or supplies (bought at a local store) to a local animal shelter
  • Eat at independently owned, local restaurants
  • Make the big purchase your eyeing - that tv, new frig, etc. - from an independently owned appliance or hardware store.
  • Buy a piece of local art.
  • Buy tickets, or a season subscription, to your community theater.
  • Take a class at your local art studio, yoga studio or adult community center.
  • If you happen to still have an independently owned gas station in your area, buy gas there instead of at the national station, even if it is 2 cents more a gallon.
  • Buy something from the neighbor kid selling things for a school fund raiser.
  • Take that thing you've been meaning to have fixed to a local repair shop finally or hire a local contractor to come to your house and do it.
  • It's vegetable planting time, buy your plants locally instead of getting them from the garden center at a national chain.
  • Hire someone local to prepare your vegetable bed!
  • This week, May 5-9, is teacher appreciation week. Buy some treats from a local bakery and take them to the teacher's lounge at your kids' school.
I could probably come up with a much longer list, but my five year old is beckoning. But I'd love for the list to get longer, so please add to it in the comments. I'm especially interested from hearing from people who live in a city. I'm sure that there are many other ideas for spending locally in that environment.

Happy Local Spending!

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