Sunday, November 3, 2013

Buy Local. Or Not...

This is a bit of a whinge.  I know, how unlike me!  But some things need to be said so I will say a few of them here.

Buy local, that is a good thing to do and I do agree with it, for a few reasons.  It helps the, usually small, business in your town, it saves trekking over to the *big shops*  less traffic, friendlier service.   If you buy locally grown food you save on all those food miles and will eat fresher and in season produce.  Support the little people instead of the big companies, has to be better aye?

With all that in mind I joined a group yesterday.  A hub that says on their Facebook page that they sell local produce, help local farmers, better value, fresher, nicer fruit and vegetables...All great sounding so why wouldn't you order a box of something from them...I planned to even though I grow most of our own stuff.   Buy local, support local growers...I know someone that ordered a box from them.  A $35 box of fruit.  Great, I'd be able to see what they got and drool all over the fresh, locally grown yummy things.  First thing I noticed and she did too, was that there wasn't much in the box.  There was a Pineapple in there though.  Errr, Pineapple?  I went to their Facebook page and asked what they meant by local, asked why there was an $8+ Pineapple in the box instead of more local and seasonal fruit.  Seems I upset someone as my questions were deleted and they unmembered me!!  So funny, I've not been unmembered before.  But gee, we are in WA.   Queensland is not local.  It's all the way over the other side of the country for Pete's sake.  please do not advertise as helping local farmers when you put expensive, out of state produce in your boxes.  Just saying...

Buy local?  We have a hardware shop here in our small town, husband buys a lot from there, he shops local.  But it bugs me big time that the stuff costs so much more and they quite often don't have what we want so we need to order it in and then they forget to order it anyway and 6 weeks later you are still waiting.  It would be quicker and cheaper to just drive the 40 minutes to Bunnings and get what we need.  But no, buy local is better...

Food from the local supermarket costs more.   Petrol costs more, everything costs more.  But you try and do the right thing by shopping local.  

I needed an SD card for my camera so went to the local post office.  I took the camera and showed them what I needed.  They sold me a card and it cost $19.95.  A lot but I needed it.  We go away and I put this card in the camera and it doesn't work.  Seems it wasn't an SD card but a SDHC card...or something like that, anyway, wrong thing.  The surly lady at the post office wouldn't refund my money though and didn't seem sorry about it at all.   And I found out later that the same card is $9.95 over in Mandurah.  Buy local?   Not from there again

We did go down to our local Farmers Markets this morning and I did buy some fruit and veg from there.  Grown locally, fresh, cheap, nice.  The stall holders were friendly.  I will go here again.

It bugs me though how some people think it's OK to put high prices on things and then complain that the locals don't support them.   I won't buy from stalls that are selling  things at what I think is a  too high price.  I wont buy from unfriendly people, I wont buy overpriced food or weak, warm coffee.   But I will buy local if it is reasonably priced, sold with a smile and it's something I need or want.  Otherwise I'll go without.

How about you?  Do you like to shop local?  Does price and friendly service make a difference to whether you buy or not.  Do you pay the extra and not worry about it too much because you are suporting a local producer?  Or do you just find it easier and less stressful to just go to the big supermarket and get what you need when you need it?


  1. "Local" is sometimes not local. A grocery store advertised local produce. How is 340 miles local? It was not like I wanted oranges from Florida! Sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers are grown within five miles or less of this grocery.

    Some of the local farmers go to market and bring back produce for their roadside stands.

    I go to a local hardware and often get things cheaper than even Walmart. However, he is not so great on the service. He is very attentive if he has no other customers. But, let someone walk in that he wants to help and he has someone else help me if he can find anyone. I just walked out last time. He was yelling at me to wait. I said to him, "You said to my face that you did not have time to help me. So, I am leaving."

    The local guy that owns a produce market get his produce from the huge markets in Birmingham. People swear by his produce, but it is not that great and neither is the price.

    It is frustrating. Trying to do the right thing is hard. I just go ahead and buy the produce wherever I want to now.

    This is probably a first world problem. But, it is a problem.

    It's frustrating.

  2. Small businesses purchase a much smaller volume of goods and thus do not have the bargaining power to obtain the goods at a same low wholesale price like the large conglomerates such as Walmart. So their prices will always be higher. We support many of them anyway because so much of their money returns back to the community unlike the large box chain stores where the monies go to the top executives and shareholders. In the states at the farmer's markets that I have attended, the prices are often higher than in the local stores, so I usually do U-pick or purchase through buying clubs where everything is fresh and inexpensive.

  3. Barb,
    I don't understand how a PO sells sd cards. In the US the PO sells boxes, envelopes, tape, stamps, cards. It sounds like your po carries merchandise, not just mailing items. What else does your po sell.

  4. Hi Barb,
    I've finally had time to pop over and say hi, thanks for dropping by my blog the other day.

    Where I live I am lucky enough to have a wonderful locally owned IGA so I no longer go to the big boys. The parking is a breeze, the music is soothing and the customer service amazing. After doing the 'Break up with the supermarket' challenge for the month of October, it really opened my eyes to what is available to me. I too have found on occasion that at the farmers market the local produce is way over priced which is disappointing. You can only do what works and sits well with yourself can't you.


  5. Barb,

    Since I retired I view shopping, of any type, as a Team sport.

    It is my Team's aim to keep as much of my money in my pocket. It's the other Team's aim to get as much of my money out of my pocket as possible.

    I shop on the Net a lot, I examine the junk mail brochures for good discounts, I use my Seniors Card for train travel. I even use it to get a free donut with my coffee at the Forum here in Mandurah sometimes.

    What a tight arse.

    But my Team is winning!!