by Karen Vazquez, Founder of LoSoCal
Hello friends and readers of LoSoCal! I have been spending a great deal of time revamping the branding and marketing for the blog in the past several months, and I realized recently that it was time for me to get back to basics with tips on “how to shop local.” In the four and a half years since I first launched my blog, one thing that I have heard from locals is that most of them want to spend more money at local shops and restaurants and they love supporting local artists as well. The challenge for many people, however, is simply a lack of time OR they don’t know where to start after years of shopping at larger chain corporations. It seems like it would be fairly easy to shop and eat local, right? Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Many people have a set mindset that shopping local will cost them more money and more time. I am here to help you see another perspective where you will actually SAVE time and money in the long run by shopping local. I will ask you to pay closer attention to your shopping habits so grab a pen and a piece of paper to write down a few notes and exercises and let’s get started! I have quite a few quick tips and practices that can help you to support local shops, restaurants and artists and you will be a natural before you know it.
There is a “reflection and planning” phase at the onset of creating and developing any new habit and the same goes for shopping locally. The first step is simple: planning. I would suggest setting aside about fifteen minutes per week over the next four weeks. It should not take any more than one hour over the next MONTH for you to reflect and plan your goals with this practice. It can be any day of the week and any time of the day, so there really isn’t any excuse. An hour is actually not much time at all and if you do four small fifteen minute sets of research and planning once a week for the next four weeks, I promise you that after a short month you will already notice how easy it is to shop and eat locally more often. In this fifteen minute time frame spend the first five minutes brainstorming in a list format with three sections titled “Shop, Eat, Spend.” Be sure to give yourself enough room in each section for your notes. I have attached a few sheets below that you can download and they will help you with this process, but the first phase is actually the easiest with free-form brainstorming as the initial step. On that note, get out your pen or pencil and start brainstorming!
Set your goals for the week. I like to use my own “weekly goals" sheet and it really helps me create balance with where I shop! I simply print out a few goals on a sheet and post it on my fridge as a reminder to hit up local farmers markets, tradespeople and more.
Measure your progress in thirty days. You can also keep your goal sheets for the month and do a comparison with a “before and after” analysis to help you gauge where you are open to making changes to shop, eat and spend more locally. In this part of the process, you will notice that you will have some areas where you are extremely flexible, and others where you are not open to change. That is completely understandable! The idea is to practice more conscious consumerism with shopping at local places, but only do what feels comfortable for YOU.
I have spent decades practicing the art of conscious consumerism by shopping local SoCal farmers markets and grocery stores, dining at local eateries, hanging at local venues and hunting for local pieces to add to my home and wardrobe with my ever evolving vintage collection. I try my best to incorporate “the art of shopping local” into my daily lifestyle whenever I am able to do so. I don’t do it passively. I take charge of my spending habits and I CHOOSE where to shop by remaining in control when I need a new product, service or am planning the entertainment activities in my upcoming schedule. I believe that this is the easiest part for me personally and the area where I can help others to LIVE a local lifestyle.
I understand that not everyone has the time or DESIRE to make such an effort with their spending habits. Some people do not know about the tremendous impact they can have on their communities by shopping locally, and quite frankly they have no intention of changing that. I get it. Life is hectic. I believe that in our world today, it has a lot more to do with value and convenience for many consumers. With life being insanely chaotic and unpredictable, it makes sense that many shoppers are laser focused on getting what they need for the least amount of money and heartache. Hopefully, after reading this article, utilizing a goals sheet of some form and then applying a few of the tools that I mentioned above, you will see that it is easy and affordable to shop local, eat local and spend local! Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any additional tips for “how to shop local.” I always appreciate feedback and extra tips that I may not have discovered!
Thanks for the support, friends and readers of LoSoCal!
...find us on Instagram @LoSoCal @LoSoCalStyle
Owner, Lead Blogger
Hello, my name is Karen Vazquez. I have lived in Southern California for over thirty years. I realized about four years ago that it was time for me to give back to this wonderful community by supporting local SoCal businesses, performers, restaurants, spas, boutiques, fitness studios, farmers markets and more. My support shines through here by highlighting these fabulous local SoCal spots. You can also follow me on Instagram, Twitter, PInterest and LinkedIn. I will be featuring many local destinations in the area that have been my personal favorites for years and am currently recruiting guest bloggers to expand the voice of LoSoCal. I have had guest bloggers in the past, but aim to incorporate local SoCal bloggers on a regular basis as a fun, creative and collaborative way to connect with the community here. Essentially, LoSoCal is a community blog, and it is meant to be resource to locals in this area and visitors from around the world. Please like or follow LoSoCal on the social media business pages and tell your contacts about the blog. Thanks for stopping by...
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