These days, it’s more important than ever to buy locally. Shopping locally has a number of benefits for your immediate community. Not only can you get some unique items–handmade crafts, clothing, fresh produce–but you’re also putting money back into the area around you, rather than just sending it to a large company.
However, if you’ve never tried to buy locally before, you might have a hard time determining how to do so. It’s not as hard as you think! Here are three easy ways to make the move to buying locally.
Try Farmer’s Markets
Farmer’s markets have been around for centuries; it’s a long-standing tradition for farmers to sell their produce directly to the public. In America, they’ve recently experienced a revival, and many individuals choose to shop weekly at a farmer’s market for certain items rather than going to the grocery store.
And fortunately these days, farmer’s markets are considered essential, and thereby still open to the public (with social distancing precautions in place, of course). It gives you an opportunity to meet some of the people growing your food and give them money directly rather than having to pay a middleman grocer.
If you’re worried about finding a farmer’s market nearby, don’t worry. Hundreds of farmer’s markets exist in the United States, many of them in large cities. Just because you don’t see a huge farm nearby, that doesn’t mean there aren’t farmers. Some of them could live on the outskirts of town, while others could be growing gardens right in their backyard. No matter where you live, you can surely get farm-fresh items from people who live in your area.
Look into Locally Owned Businesses
When you’re buying locally, that doesn’t just have to mean buying apples and corn from a roadside stand. Independent businesses allow you to buy virtually everything locally. Whether you want hardware, lawn and garden supplies, or even fine dining, thousands of businesses are founded and run by people who live right in your neighborhood.
Even better, finding these businesses and restaurants is easy. A number of online search engines will help you get in touch with locally owned businesses for every need. Many of these small businesses offer contactless delivery or curbside pick-up for your safety and convenience.
When you’re getting ready to make a purchase, stop and consider whether you can get it for a similar cost at a locally owned business. Chances are strong that you can. When you buy locally, you’re putting money back into the area economy, making it a more fulfilling place to live.
Find Peer-to-Peer Buying Services
Buying local usually implies going in-person to a small, charming brick-and-mortar storefront. But, like so many other things, you can just as easily go online and still stay local. Sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are great when you’re interested in getting something you won’t find at a farmer’s market or store. Much of the time, these items are secondhand. This means you’re reusing items, helping out someone in your neighborhood, and getting a great deal, all at once!
However, when you’re utilizing one of these services, it’s important to keep safety in mind. That’s where a people search service like PeopleFinders can help. With PeopleFinders, you can meet up with people you don’t know and still be confident that you–and your finances–will be safe.
Once you’ve decided to buy something from someone nearby, all you have to do is get his or her full name. Then, you can perform a criminal records search to ensure the person doesn’t have a shady past. When you use PeopleFinders, you can buy directly from others in your area and still feel completely secure.
Buying from businesses and individuals in your area makes your whole neighborhood a better place. Businesses pay back into your community with taxes, employee payrolls, and by purchasing supplies. Individuals can improve their own lives, which improves the livability of the whole community. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
If you’re planning to go outside of farmer’s markets and local businesses, it’s important to keep your safety at the forefront of your purchases. Before you go to meet up with someone to buy a custom trinket or used goods, make sure you use PeopleFinders to check the person’s information first.
Image Attribution: Andrew Angelov – www.shutterstock.com