Top 10 Reasons to Shop at Local Stores

Ever wonder where the quaint little bookshop, or the family-run bakery disappeared to?

Chances are they’ve closed their doors due to not having enough clientele to sustain their business. As national brand chains and big box stores converge on cities and shoppers flock to them, business is lost at the smaller stores selling similar products.

The national chains have done due diligence and set pricing just right in order to undercut locally owned shops in their quest to convert shoppers. They can afford lower pricing because they are able to purchase in bulk. The small merchant appears to be overcharging, but often they are merely covering their costs. When the big-box stores become successful at monopolizing the area, they then raise their prices.

While the damage to smaller, locally owned businesses is not always obvious, the cost is high. For every job a national retailer brings to a city, other jobs are lost when a local business has to close down and let its employees go.

Every time we choose to purchase online, a local supplier is left without that revenue, revenue he needs to pay his overhead. Revenue he needs to stay open.

When we shop at national chains or online, we don’t contribute to our local economy. Instead our money leaves town and settles in the coffers of the out-of- town retailer.

When businesses can’t stay afloat, there is a trickle effect. Not only are the businesses and services they were using now affected, but the personal shopping habits of their employees also change. Hair salons, restaurants, and other services that people can no longer afford become at risk. Real estate is affected as some small business owners need to declare bankruptcy, have their homes foreclosed on, or pack up and move out of town to try again in another location.

There are many reasons to choose to shop at locally owned and operated independent retailers:

  1. They create an identity for your city. Supporting them preserves the character of your community. Local artisans have venues in which to sell unique creations, making your community a destination place for tourists. Tourists bring outside money into the community.
  2. When you shop at a locally owned retailer, your money stays in town keeping businesses open and locals employed.
  3. Shopping locally sustains a good retail mix, keeping the community from looking like a no-man’s land when developments become abandoned.
  4. The businesses feed the economy with purchases of products and services from local firms, growers, artisans, and service companies. National chains have corporate purchasing departments in another city.
  5. The money earned creates tax revenue for your community, keeping your personal taxes lower.
  6. Promoting locally-owned businesses is an investment in entrepreneurship. Stimulating innovation fuels the economy. It’s important to create ongoing opportunities for business-minded young people to flourish, and family-run businesses to continue to provide personalized service.
  7. Locally owned small businesses have well-trained staff and invested owners that are interested in keeping your business and their reputation. They know their products and want to help you find what you need.
  8. Your local shop owner may be more knowledgeable about local regulations that would be important for you to know, and may be more up-to-speed on products that fit your specific geography, climate and culture.
  9. You can usually get a recommendation from friends in town who can vouch for the products or services provided by locally owned businesses.
  10. Supporting local businesses keeps your community from getting stuck in a position where the only choice for purchases is online or in a big-box store. This is already apparent in the closure of small bookstores that have faced giants like Amazon and Indigo, who are able to offer lower prices, as well as the convenience of shopping from home. Reducing shopping to big box locations actually may reduce the selection available as you become hostage to only the products they choose to carry.

All it takes to support your local economy is to stop and ask yourself if what you are about to purchase is available at your locally-owned merchant and to shop there instead. Shopping locally-owned is a choice that helps keeps choice alive!

Smart Food Shopping is Buying Cheap Food

With spiraling food prices, it is smart to shop smart. Buy what you want when it is on sale. Are there some foods that you need everyday? Stock up when they are cheap if they are nonperishable. If they are perishable, buy when they are on sale and substitute with cheap perishables. Saving money on food can be fun.

You get a variety of what you want, because all core foods go on sale once in a while. Here are ten more ways to get cheap food.

  • Plan your shopping. Make a written shopping list or a computer shopping list from your favorite store. Avoid impulse buying. Supermarkets have made it easy to make lists online. Read the newspaper on Wednesday to see what’s on sale. When you are ready to go shopping, go to the computer to make your list. But remember, saving money on food is not just about reaching that 30% to 60% savings goal; it’s also about not buying on impulse. Make a list of what you need and stick to it. If what you need is not on sale, buy the store brand until what you need goes on sale, then stock up.
  • Stock up when your favorite supermarket has sales. But don’t buy just because it is on sale. Supermarkets often use loss leaders to entice spontaneous buyers into their store to buy more than they need. Again, buy only what you need or can use later. Stock up on toilet paper, soap and other such items on sale. Canned vegetables are a good substitute when produce is not on sale. So stock up with canned goods use them when you can’t buy the fresh ones. In other words, buy the cheap food. You can also buy meat on sale, cook up some extra and freeze for sandwiches.
  • Buy store brand products. Retail stores often have brands, usually specific to a chain (e.g. Kroger, Select, etc.). Some store brands are better than the national brands. Occasionally, national brands may be on sale, but the store brands are usually cheaper since the retailer can save on production and advertising costs. Store brand products are often manufactured by these same national companies. Look for products advertising “no added sugars” or “packed in juice or water.” Spice the product up with spices, vegetables and other mixtures. For example, buy the cheapest brand of spaghetti sauce and add onions, mushrooms and tasty spices.
  • Buy produce in season. The quality of fruits and vegetables is best when the price is the lowest. Generally, the supermarket ads will let you know what produce is in season by the sales that are currently running. It is a good idea to buy the freshest produce possible; otherwise you will find yourself throwing away overripe fruits and vegetables.
  • Watch those coupons. If your favorite store doubles the value of your coupons, there must be a reason. Perhaps, it’s an item that is hard to sell or maybe the coupon is for items that you don’t need. Compare the coupon items with store brands; in most cases, the store brand will be cheaper. And be careful on 2-for-1 sales. The store wants you to buy more than you really need.
  • Be wise when buying by the piece or pound. If cucumbers are on sale 5 for $1, buy the larger pieces. If bananas are on sale for 39 cents per pound, buy the smaller bananas. Don’t forget, people concerned with their weight are always on a diet. Eat the smaller fruit.
  • Use a small cart or no cart at all. If your list is small, carry the small hand carry cart or don’t use a cart at all. Using the large cart facilitates impulse buying.
  • If you are hungry don’t go shopping. It makes impulse-buying easier. Go shopping after a meal or eat a snack before going to the store. If you forget to eat before shopping, go to the produce section and smell an apple. Supposedly, that will curb your hunger. It works for some people and others say it does not work for them.

Unfortunately, unless you want to grow your own vegetables, bake your own bread and raise your own meat, it’s pretty hard to eliminate all of those unintelligible additives in your diet. And buying “all natural” foods can put a serious dent in your wallet. Use the above simple and affordable changes to help you along your path to better health.

Why Buy National Lottery Tickets Online

First I would like to make a quick introduction to the National Lottery for readers and players who have not yet bought lottery tickets for this great game. This game was first made available to UK Residents in 1994 and at the time of writing this page makes this game over 15 years old. A company named Camelot has managed to maintain proprietors of the license to run the National Lottery fending off competition till this very day.

Although the jackpots of this game are really no match for some other world lotteries on the market today they will usually start at around £2 million and can easily rise to over £7 million with just one rollover game. I think what UK residents love about this lotto game and helps to keep people playing is that all prizes are completely tax free and Camelot will donate quite a lot of the money made through lottery ticket sales to charity. I would also like to mention the 2nd and 3rd prizes can also make people very wealthy in the state of today’s economy.

National Lottery Tickets: Why Buy Them Online

So you love playing lotto games and you will usually buy tickets for them from your local shops or the many lottery retail outlets that there are scattered about your local town. Many people now with big quote “family sized vehicles” will jump in their car just to rush out to by their National Lottery Tickets from the closest merchant.

Why?

This amazes me when people do this as many of these same families will be making a big effort in what we have come to know as and call going green to help our environment and the world in which we live. When you buy your national lottery tickets online you will be saving yourself time and also aiding in helping the environment and town in which you live by lowering your carbon emissions by not getting in your vehicle to just go and buy your entries.

There is also another reason buying your entries online will have a positive effect on the environment over buying them from the retail shops however you choose to get there. When you purchase your national lottery tickets you will be using two separate bits of paper, one for choosing and writing down your numbers and then the actual print out of your ticket once you have handed over your lottery numbers slip to the person at the till.

Seen as we have the technology that we have today shouldn’t we considered this to be a complete waste of paper?

When you buy your national lottery tickets online direct from Camelot many trees will be saved and a lot of paper will not go to waste each week when the millions of people who used to rush out and buy entries turn to the internet. There are other places on the internet you can buy tickets for lotteries and these companies will give you plenty of good reasons to use them to purchase your entries. For instances better jackpot odds, free ticket entries or a chance to make an income from lottery games.

Is it Safe to Purchase National Lottery Tickets Online?

That question is easily answered with another question, is it save to buy a car from a complete stranger in a pub somewhere?

What I am trying to say is that it is in fact completely safe to purchase your entries online you will just have to make sure you buy them from a reputable company; I would like to suggest that they are normally very easy to recognize and there are just a few things to be concerned with.

Please see a short numbered list below of what to look out for in an official online lottery tickets merchant, but first I would like to point out being a resident of a country entitles you to purchase your entries from the official lotteries website of your country.

What to look out for when buying your National Lottery Tickets Online from available Merchants.

1. Check that they have more than one game on their site.
2. Check they are looking out for your online safety they will state it somewhere that is easy for you to notice on their website.
3. They will have a logo from companies like veri sign, this helps you identify they are indeed who they say they are and have the veri sign assurance.
4. The payments area will always be protected and you will notice this secure area just before payment with your credit card, there will now be a thicker area normally bolded in green just before where the websites address is displayed on your navigation browser.
5. The use of pay pal on their website is a good sign, pay pal give payment protection and businesses have to be registered with them.

I would like to suggest to people new to the internet worried about using their credit card whether you are buying National Lottery Tickets or not it is a perfectly safe process. Credit Card companies have got our back they take credit card fraud very seriously and tend to reimburse the user of fraud quite quickly unless of course you are involved with the fraud gang.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and the contents have helped in some way in swaying your mind to start you buying your National Lottery Tickets Online, if not to save you time maybe to add as a next step in helping the environment by doing away with the senseless waste of paper which buying tickets from the shops creates.