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I was talking to a friend the other day on the phone. He told me, “I’m driving into the city when we’re off the phone to get a steak sandwich.”
“I thought you mentioned that the pub there in town had really good steak sandwiches,” I responded.
He answered, “They do but their sandwiches cost too much.”
Just prior to this part of the conversation, he’d shared with me that his pickup truck is a real gas-guzzler and that he was exhausted from that day’s work. Call me lazy and cheap, but I’d rather have my expensive steak sandwich in town and save my gas money and my time.
Listen to me read this post:
So often it’s habitual to hop in our vehicles and drive to a larger centre a couple hours away to search for what we want to buy. I agree that a shopping adventure is also fun. Unlike in the old days, our roads are smooth and wide, and our vehicles are reliable. Heck, you hardly even see anyone broken down at the roadside or anyone fixing a flat tire. It’s convenient and entertaining to travel far to shop. And it’s one of the many factors killing our small communities.
A small thing but great to finally find for sale locally
This is just a small thing, but I had been looking all over for this item. When I’m invited out to dinner at someone’s home or when I attend an event to which I bring a dessert, it’s always best to bring the food in a container that I don’t need returned to me. Apparently these 8X8 inch aluminum pans can be tough to find. I searched all over cities and box stores for these but with no luck.
Then one day we were shopping locally for something else we needed. I’d pretty much given up on ever finding the pans when, as I was wandering the aisles, I saw them sitting on the shelf, a shining beacon of portable-baking optimism. My heart leapt with joy when I spotted them and then it leapt again when I realized that each square foil pan had its own plastic lid. It was better than I could’ve hoped for.
A larger item and awesome to find it on sale locally
This year we needed to replace one rain barrel because someone didn’t drain the old one in the fall and it split right open. (That someone was me.) We had our collective eye on a barrel from a large retailer, but the rain barrel was never in stock whenever we happened by one of the chain’s stores.
Once again, we were shopping for something else locally when we stumbled upon the exact same rain barrel conveniently close to home and a whopping 35% off the original price! It’s now sitting in our garage until the earth thaws and the spring rains fall. And next autumn, someone will drain it properly.
A big-ticket item that I usually wouldn’t buy except that it was on sale locally
This past summer, we got a new covered deck built. It’s a comfortable outside space that made me consider for the first time in my life sinking money into decent patio furniture. I didn’t want anything too big, nothing that I considered too extravagant. Initially I thought that the best place to find good quality furniture would be online. So I scoured the retail sites, clicking on outdoor furniture tabs and hoping that what I had in mind would pop up. All the furniture was too expensive, too cheaply made, or not available for delivery to our relatively remote area.
I was out and about shopping locally this fall and I saw a sale price on a patio-furniture set that I would’ve not usually considered buying because it was so big and so beautiful. It was much more than I thought I’d ever need. Heck, it was nicer than most of the indoor furniture I’ve ever owned. But the price and the proximity to home made it irresistible.
The sales staff came out and loaded that furniture into our van, placing each section and each cushion like interlocking puzzle pieces and, amazingly, the whole thing fit!
Years ago, we were in a box store parking lot in the city removing the table and bench we’d just purchased from its cardboard boxes so that it would fit in our hatchback. No one offered to help us get our purchase to our car let alone to load it.
When I shop here in town, the store owners take the water jugs I buy out to my car for me. If I’ve got several bags of groceries, they take those out, too. They thank me sincerely for shopping at our local store because, to them, my patronage makes a big difference.
Yes, I could drive to the city for a cheaper carton of milk and a steak sandwich, but I’d rather save my money and my time and buy locally while I still can.
Thanks for reading and listening today. It was nice to have you here with me. If you’re not already following me here on WordPress or through email, please consider it. That way, you’ll never miss a post. Take care. ~ Lori