Bulletin #3105, Do Your Holiday Shopping Locally

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woman shopping in a local hardware storeBy Jane Conroy, Extension Educator, University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

For information about UMaine Extension programs and resources, visit extension.umaine.edu.
Find more of our publications and books at extensionpubs.umext.maine.edu.

Shopping locally is good for your community

Shopping locally bolsters your local economy. 46% of every dollar spent by a consumer in a community stays local in the form of wages paid, space rented, and goods purchased.

Shopping locally is convenient

You can save time as well as transportation and/or shipping costs when shopping locally.

Local business owners are responsive

Customer service is the number one competitive strategy for local retailers. They tailor their inventory to meet the needs of local customers. They are often willing to order items not in stock. Local business owners know their customers—often by their first names.

Local gifts can have local relevance

Think about

  • Memberships to local historical society
  • Trees from your local boosters group
  • Tickets to upcoming sporting events, plays; theater tickets
  • A gift certificate to the local veterinary service
  • A dental visit coupon

Cash, checks, and layaway can save you money

Local businesses may prefer cash, checks, or layaway. Frankly, this is often the best way, with no debt accumulation and no interest. You know what you have to spend and when it’s gone, it’s gone. With layaway, the store will hold your purchase while you pay it off in small payments. Ask local retailers for details.

Ways to reduce your holiday costs

  • Stay on budget!!!!
  • Give to a charity in someone’s name—it serves two purposes.
  • Give a coupon for services you can provide, such as gardening.
  • Draw names and set limits on gifts.
  • Make gifts—for instance, homemade cleaning solution in a decorative bottle with the recipe.
  • Plan ahead so you can do some year-round spending.
  • Watch out for unplanned expenses such as holiday decorations, wrapping paper, party outfits, extra phone calls, Yankee swaps, and extra baked goods for office parties.

Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

© 2014

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