Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's Not Much. . .

. . .but it's the least I can do.

What, you might ask.

I have pondered what I can do in this uncertain economy. And I have lit upon a not very original strategy--I can buy locally as much as possible. And, the emphasis here is on BUY and LOCAL.

With money tight, and jobs shaky, it is natural to pull back, to stop spending completely. But that may be just the wrong thing to do.

I think of all the people whose services I use who will suffer if I stop buying. So, we still go out to eat--the servers need our tips.

I still get my occasional pedicure--the women who perform this wonderful service have small children and need to earn their modest incomes.


I get my haircut with the same regularity as always--the hairstylist still has her mortgage to pay.

And I am even trying to expand my support of local businesses. Tomorrow, our dog--who is sadly in need of some grooming--has a fur cut appointment. I have always bathed her, popping her in the tub, and then drying her with fur flying everywhere. This time, I contacted a locally owned small pet store that does dog grooming, and got Tipper a "beauty appointment." The dog washers have to live, too.

And when a local business man and his son walked around with paper flyers advertising help with yard work and home maintenance, I called. They will come later this week, and help gather up last fall's leaves, and trim dead branches from fir trees in the backyard.

These are small efforts, I realize, but each of the people I patronize in turn will have a bit more money with which to make their normal purchases. And bit by bit, we may all have an impact!
Anyone else have ideas how we can take incremental steps in this economic crisis? Anyone doing anything that makes you feel you are helping just a bit?


UPDATE: behold, the clean dog!

Note the suspicious look in Tipper's eyes. She hates it when I get the camera out. I don't know what she thinks I will do with the photos of her, but she is clearly on her guard.

The scarf around her neck, featuring Easter eggs, was temporary. It is now discarded.


Garnetrose said...

I toss nothing out any more. I save all my towels and use the ratty ones for rags to save on paper towels. More of a coupon clipper and make less trips to the store. I am also donating more to good will and salvation army instead of tossing things out the door.

Jayne said...

I think that is a good start Donna. We all should support small local businesses. :c)

Anvilcloud said...

My theory is that most people are not directly affected by the economy but react to the general fear. And that expands the problem rather than being a good solution.

Of course, my theories are usually wrong. :)

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I think Anvilcloud is right. The fear is making people want to hang on tightly to what they have. Now I don't think it's wrong to re-examine our spending patterns and maybe think twice about how much we should use credit, but we NEED to support businesses-especially local ones. We had to cancel our plans of building a cabin at Hasty Brook this spring. We are uneasy about taking on a second mortgage. Instead we're going ahead with building a garage with a loft/living area. We've chosen local small businesses for the construction, septice system and well.

Climenheise said...

I like supporting local, although the 100 mile diet (or whatever the distance is) is more difficult this far north (Manitoba) than it is in, say, Costa Rica. The one difficulty I have is buying local when I want curry, or Marie biscuits, or gooseberry jam (made from Cape Gooseberries). What then?

possumlady said...

I had cut back on my donations to local animal shelters but have heard that they are REALLY hurting right now. So, the extra stimulus money in my paycheck (I'm already getting it and it amounts to just under 50 dollars a month) will be going to two local shelters.

The shelter closest to me had to institute a hiring freeze and basic work is piling up so I will be stopping by one night a week to help do laundry, clean litter boxes, and fill Kong toys!

(Tipper is such a sweet looking dog! I love that she is getting a "fur cut")

Dog_geek said...

Love the Tipper photo, of course! I've been making much more of an effort to buy local this past year. I've been in the habit of "saving time" by ordering things online, but it is so much more satisfying to support locally owned small businesses. (Hmmmm... can I justify getting a manicure by claiming that I am stimulating the economy?)

NCmountainwoman said...

Blogger lost my comment!

We are hiring a local handyman to do small projects around the house that we could easily do for ourselves. This year we are hiring someone to wash the windows. Our area workers are devastated by the lack of construction and anything we can do to help them is important.

It goes without saying that we buy locally when the option is available and we donate more to the food pantry because of the great need.

Ruth said...

I try to support local businesses, especially our farmers and our markets. However, for purchases like books, I use Amazon because of price, availability and service. I know this has hurt local booksellers. When I see our retirement savings cut by 50% or more in the past year, I do not feel like spending at all. Neither my husband or I have workplace pension plans and we are not getting younger. We do give to local charities regularly.

KGMom said...

Thanks all; let's keep the conversation going.

Garnetrose--welcome to my blog. Thanks for stopping by. Good for you donating to places that help others.

Jayne--supporting local businesses--yay.

Ac--I totally agree--fear is a big reason people are putting on the brakes.

Lynne--your alternative plan sounds good--garage with loft above!

Daryl--I have not consciously tried to buy local only in foods. But I noticed something tonight with great chagrin--a bag of frozen peas had "product of China" printed on the side! CHINA! Good grief. That's ridiculous.

Christine--awww. Good for you. I know you need your extra $$ for your kitties. But you also have a big heart!

DogGeek--trust me, a manicure (or a pedicure) is supporting local business! The sacrifices we make!

NCMntWmn--hmmm, hiring someone to wash the windows. I hadn't thought of that. I like!

Ruth--on books, there really has been a huge shift away from local sellers, long before Amazon came on the scene. Ouch on the retirement savings.

possumlady said...

Awww, she looks so soft!! Very nice fur-cut!

dmmgmfm said...

I definitely think you are on to something here...I am going to try to do some of the same.

And she does look adorable, though slightly suspicious as you said. :)

RuthieJ said...

Well, Donna, with part-time work and unemployment supplementing that, I'm making only 60% of my previous income, so I've had to re-define my budget even further and unfortunately do very little to support the local economy (except for my birdseed purchases-which I'm unwilling to give up!) I've been cutting my own hair for years and am doing a lot more cooking at home rather than going out or even picking something readymade up at the grocery store.