Introducing: The 3/50 Project

A few weeks ago, I posted about some great stuff I bought at a local antique shop. About a week after that post, I learned that one of those antique shops would be closing.  Then I heard that another local antique shop I’d been meaning to visit was closing.  Then I got an e-mail from another local shop that they would no longer have their brick and mortar location, and is going completely online.   Last month, a local vintage store closed their store front.  I never got around to visiting there.

Seeing so many local shops go under is heart breaking to me.  I love shopping at local stores.  I like finding unique and interesting objects.  I like meeting people who really care about their businesses and what they sell.  I like buying things that support an individual and not a corporation.  Not to mention the fact that buying local is simply fantastic for your local economy.

I recently read about The 3/50 project, and I love what they’re doing.  They’re encouraging everyone to pick three local shops each month and spend $50 at those shops. (Of course, you can shop at more shops than that, and spend more than that.  It’s just kind of catchy to call it 3/50).  Their site is full of information and resources about why shopping local is so important.

I have decided to be more intentional about spending money locally, and I’d like to challenge everyone else to try spending $50 locally every month too.  At first, it may sound like a financial burden, but it doesn’t have to be.  Just shift the money that you would usually spend at big businesses to local businesses.  Instead of buying coffee beans at a chain store, buy them at a local coffee roaster.  Instead of buying some cheap furniture at a big box store, buy some cool (much more durable) furniture at a local antique shop.  Instead of buying clothes at the mall, hit up a local thrift or consignment store.

And just a note:  as I’ve said before, I don’t think that big box, chain stores, and malls are necessarily bad.  I just think it’s good to have balance.  I still shop at Target, the Gap, IKEA, Starbucks and plenty of other big chain stores.  But I try to balance that out with local independent businesses as well.  I think that in all things in life, balance is key.

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About Diana

Style maven, knitter, crafter, seamstress, one who does not walk the beaten path.
This entry was posted in Budgeting and Shopping, Sustainability and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Introducing: The 3/50 Project

  1. Jenn says:

    While in general I don’t shop much outside of thrift stores (some of which are local), I’ve really tried this summer to put a lot more money into farmer’s markets than I have before, and to support as many local farmers as I can. I actually just walked in the door from the market, and am really happy that I spent $20 on some wonderful, locally grown produce and, since I have to buy groceries anyway, it’s not a hardship, and is actually far, far more pleasant than the local grocery store.

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  2. Shybiker says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. Local stores add character, are owned and staffed by your neighbors, and usually have more interesting, diverse stuff than corporate chains.

    My hometown, which is admired and well-known as the mini-Manhattan of Long Island, started a similar program last year, encouraging residents to buy local.

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  3. Thanks for the great post -and- for pointing out the importance of balance. That’s a central part of our message; pretty sure we’re the only “buy local” movement whose FAQ page actually says it’s okay to go to big boxes too…just need to spread the love around a bit more equitably.

    I invite everyone to visit our site and our Facebook page. The more, the merrier!

    Cinda Baxter
    Founder
    The 3/50 Project
    http://www.the350project.net
    http://www.facebook.com/the350project

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  4. Clare says:

    This is such a fabulous idea. Though at the moment I don’t think I can swing 3/$50, I might have to go for 1/$50 or 3/$20. The importance of supporting local businesses cannot be overstated.

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  5. Pingback: The 3/50 Project: September | Smiles Go With Everything

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