Well, I'll admit it. I thought about making spaghetti (per the request of child #3). I even pulled out the Italian sausage. But because I am just that nice of a momma...and we ate a ginormous lunch, LATE in the day...we made chocolate chip cookies. And had those. And glasses of cold milk. And then happy little bellies went to bed. And momma sat up, trying to get the weather to download onto her laptop, reading some of her blogs, hoping she won the latest Pioneer Woman giveaway (2 sets of Le Creuset! Not in my color, but who on earth is going to knock a free set of Le Creuset cookware?!? Not me, that is for sure!), and drinking a glass of water. I ate two cookies, that was all. I am still full from lunch and haven't got the slightest desire to eat any real food. And neither, for that matter, did anyone else.
I wish I had a picture, really. I didn't even think about it at the time. But the lunch we had at the local diner was so good (I love their freshly made burgers)....I had their "1000 Island Burger. Oh me oh my. And, even better, I got to support a small local business. Which, in case you haven't gathered, is pretty important to El Husbando and I. He has watched his small town, and the others around it, slowly start to fade, and businesses close and not be replaced. Bigger, multinational corporations move in, and at first, it sounds like a great idea. Until you realize that those small businesses, spent a good deal of their money locally. I'd much prefer to spend my money in our local small place, than to run to the closest McDonald's or Sonic, and give "them" my money. With the local diner, the money is spent here...one less store front is empty. They are spending money to continually upgrade the building and fixtures, the waitresses get tip money and spend it locally, and it all goes around and around. Shopping at the local IGA does much the same thing--the owners live right here in the nearby town. Not some mega conglomerate with headquarters in another state. Or worse yet, another country! I'd much rather see the profits made here, stay here. So that is why I go to my local stores. I get my medicine at the local pharmacies, run by the same family for 50plus years. I go to the IGA, and get most of my groceries. I try to buy my gas in town (even though most of the stations are run by large companies, there are still a couple of smaller, mom and pop set ups around here). Until it closed late last year, there was even a small fabric shop here in town, where the quilting guild met for their meetings.
But even in the larger towns, such as the one where El Husbando works, we try to be selective about where we spend our money. We don't bank at the biggest national bank we can find, we use a smaller locally run bank. We go to the local feed stores, he gets his haircut at a small barbershop, not at some big chain place. We try, when we do eat out as a family, to eat at businesses owned and run by people we go to church with, as opposed to chain restaurants. Not that there isn't a place for such entities--I suppose the best spot is close to the interstate, lol. But if one can, why not go to locally-run businesses? Why, especially in this economy, not spend your money in ways that will keep small businesses afloat, and even better, keep that money circulating in your local economy, as opposed to sending to another state? Get your oil changed at the smaller place, not at Walmart, or Sears, when you're in there shopping. Sure, it may take a few more minutes. But every time you do that, someone is getting paid. And I'm sure Wally World, and Sears, aren't going to be closing any time real soon. But your local two-ten man operation? It is far more probable. Go to the small barbershop on the corner, instead of heading off to some chain place. Go to the little local places, the little hole in the walls, and see what you can find.
It is hard enough, for businesses to make a profit, especially when they are first starting out. But with the economic downturn massively affecting larger and larger swathes of the country (shoot, the world), we'd all do a bit better, I think, if we remembered to just keep it closer to home, and try to do what we can, to patronize our local merchants, the small mom-and-pop places, the one-store-front businesses that are just getting started and making a name for themselves. I don't own my own little business, nor does anyone in my family. So we won't directly profit from anyone doing their business on a local level. But there are lots of people who will...including you and I, as the money makes its way around and around and around again.
Just...spend thoughtfully. And remember, it isn't just the price on the item that you may be paying, in the long run...
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