Let’s Talk About Shopping!

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I just thought I’d bring this up because within the past year I have totally changed how we shop. While a few things have stayed the same…it is very few!

We used to buy everything – EVERYTHING – at Amazon. As Prime members we were able to save money on fuel costs if nothing else. But we all know how the pricing and selection is there. Then I decided to not use Amazon anymore. At all. We canceled everything.*

At the same time we felt led to do our shopping locally whenever possible. Given that we live in the middle of an Amish community, we have a LOT of local shopping options that offer high quality and reasonable prices, along with friendly service from our neighbors. So what we can buy from them – which is quite a bit – is our first choice.

Second choice, for things that we can’t get locally or that are cost-prohibitive in our area, we use online stores. I look for places that are individuals or families that operate web-based stores, and order from them whenever possible. Things like bird foods and toys are a great example of things I can buy from small business owners online.

For things like supplements and other health needs, I will use a larger online business as the prices – which in an ideal world we wouldn’t have to worry about, but this isn’t an ideal world – availability, and quality work for us.

Groceries that are vegan, organic, sugar-free, and/or low carb (in various combinations) can be bought locally – well, within 20 miles – at Aldi and Meijer. I’m not one who sees all large corporations as evil entities, but I do, where possible, choose carefully where to spend based upon what they do with what I provide to them. In some cases, however, I can’t be too legalistic if I want to buy what we need, and what works well for us and our health issues. So I do make Costco run every so often, less than monthly, to stock up on things that we can’t buy elsewhere without sacrificing price and/or quality.

Getting back to the many supplements we purchase, a little side story: I’ve been using Vitacost the most since they have a vast selection not only of supplements but also some of the unique grocery items we like. However the last few orders have taken up to two weeks to arrive! Their explanation starts with “due to the covid pandemic…” Well, none of the other online vendors I use have shipping issues, and I am receiving ALL other orders within 3-4 days at the most. So this month I am placing my entire supplement order with iHerb which has been my secondary source. This is a big change but the prices, specials, and service are definitely great! The only reason I haven’t used iHerb primarily is the availability of some of our less-common supplements. They also have a limited supply of grocery items, not nearly the selection of Vitacost, but I also have a Thrive Market membership that I will start using to fill in the gaps. (Plus they are a supporter of one of my favorite vlogs!)

As I’ve written about elsewhere, I have moved away from large online social media companies as well. I have nothing against large corporations just because of their size, but those who throw their weight around in arenas that have nothing to do with their product I cannot support in good conscience. But I am finding a lot of satisfaction and even joy in working with neighbors and smaller companies, and that’s as important to me as saving money.

*Let’s just say that corporations should stay out of politics. Corporations don’t vote – people do. The job of businesses is to serve their customers.

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