Stretching your dollar
Recently, I was invited to be a guest on the Rubber Dollar Radio Show. We talked about all things R&R plus Aaron (the host) threw in a few pointers on how to “stretch” your dollar in today’s rough economy.
One question threw me for a loop. Near the end of the show, Aaron asked me ways that I save a dollar. After a few seconds pause (an eternity in radio time!), the hosts jumped in and spared me the “anguish” of answering that question.
That show aired a few weeks ago, and I’ve just now figured how to answer it.
Tonight I was wandering through our friendly neighborhood Internet, and I came across an article entitled “In the era of Big Boxes, a day for the little guy.”
Go ahead, read it . I’ll wait. You back? Good.
Let me first say that NO, I am not looking for something like this to happen at R&R. I am quite happy with our volume, and I enjoy knowing that all who venture in are doing it of their own free will. And I am extremely thankful about that.
Mostly I want to point out one of the comments near the bottom of the page:
sometimes people use the local store for help or stuff they can’t find at the Box, but make a lot of purchases at the big stores because it is cheaper or at least they think so.but when the little helpfull store goes under they lament the loss.Pay 2 cents more for a lightbulb,its cheaper in the long run. –Henry, Tuscon, AZ
Henry, thank you for figuring out for me what I was trying to say during the radio taping.
In the era of
PRICE CUTS! SALE!!! INVENTORY REDUCTION!!!
homogenization of the retail landscape!
SIDE NOTE FACT: most, if not all, chain restaurants use the same big three foodservice distributors. If they’re all getting essentially the same food and following the same recipes, what, besides the kitsch on the wall, really separates one chain from the other?
price match guarantee!
etc., etc., etc….
mom and pop stores throughout the nation are struggling to keep that open sign lit. But guess what? The open signs are lit. And the door’s unlocked.
What I am trying to say is this: if you bypass mom and pops and hit up the chains because it’s cheaper, more convenient, you trust that you’ll always get the same drink/meal/service, or the like, you’re hurting your own wallet. Why? Your dollars are sent to the chain’s headquarters and thusly the stockholders: very, very rarely are the dollars kept in our community. Shopping at mom and pop shops anywhere help start a beautiful circle of money flow: you buy something, the proprietor buys product from local sources when available, any profit is spent in the community in other mom and pops, they come visit the first establishment…. lather, rinse, repeat.
We as a community (and I’m talking general here, but of course it applies to Black Forest) have it within us to stop the economic doldrums that are abundant today. By keeping the money local, local businesses will grow. They will need to hire more people to keep up. More people=more pay=more money in the community. Before you know it, we’re all sitting pretty.
And you’ve just stretched your dollar.
Idealist? Maybe. But I like it that way.
Keep seeing the good in the mom and pops,
Some thoughts about this specific to our shop:
Are there ways R&R can better our community purchasing? Sure. We’re not perfect. Yes, we do utilize one of the big three foodservice companies. But we also try when we can to focus on local businesses:
- Milk, eggs, and other dairy products: Royal Crest Dairies (farm’s in Longmont)
- Paper supplies: DARS Lodging Supplies (based in Palmer Lake)
- Most meat products: Ranch Foods Direct (based in the Springs, ranchland in the South Park area)
- Produce: local farms via farmer’s markets (most notably Denver Urban Homesteading Indoor Farmers Market)
- Honey: Black Forest Honey
- Raspberry Jam for our Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette: locally made by Patty.
As we soon enter our fourth year (really? already? wow.), we will continue to focus on local when we can. It’s only fair to all of you who continue to drop by and say hi.
Thanks for listening. I’ll step off my soapbox now.