This title probably just set my mother not simply rolling but spinning in her grave!
When I was growing up, we shopped at Ralph's. Ralph's was the small local grocery store in Snider Plaza near our house. We did not go to Minyard's, which was the local chain store, even though my mom knew the family who owned the chain. Nope, we paid slightly more to support the local store.
While I agree with supporting local merchants, for my family it really does come down to what I can get for less. We are starting back to school tomorrow, and money will be extremely tight for the next ten months. We have three children in daycare, which runs about $1100 a month. I am essentially working for health insurance for me and the kids and my car payment this year.
Our financial plan includes Seth going to Sam's Club once a month and getting the bulk items and snacks and such for the kids. Then every week, I do the grocery shopping. I can only spend $50 a week.
There is not much you can get these days for $50. For example, I put $60 in my vehicle on my way to the store today. It is quite a challenge, but one I have tackled for the past few weeks and it has been working out well.
I plan my menu for the week's meals. I cook mostly from scratch, which is much cheaper. When I get to the store, if the cart is getting too pricey, I start eliminating what we can do without.
The reason I say that I love Walmart is this: I can buy $50 worth of groceries and make it last a week. Even cutting coupons, I can't get everything we need for $50 at Brookshires or another local grocer. (Not that Brookshires is very "local" anymore!)
Walmart has their own generic brands that are literally half the price in some cases for the same product. Plus, you cannot ignore the convenience. Last week, I went at 9pm on Saturday night to do the weekly shopping, after I got the kids in bed. And, in addition to the groceries, I also was able to pick up a couple cute t-shirts for Emma Jo, for $2 each. If I had needed a fishing pole or a cooler, I could have gotten that as well.
So I am sorry to mom that I just cannot make myself spend more to support local. The fact of the matter is that there just isn't very much local left to support anyway. But one thing I will always do is buy from our local produce stands. There are a ton out here where we live in the summer and if you buy up and freeze, you can be set all winter long! Yum!