Monday, November 28, 2011

A Mix of Things...

Did you shop on Black Friday? Not me.

Did you shop on Small Business Saturday? I did (oh wow, did I...12 hours out of the house, and I was wrecked when it was over)

Are you eating meatless today? (being Meatless Monday?) I almost am...but being a touch under the weather, that old standby chicken noodle soup slipped in there without my think ing that it was Meatless Monday. I think I'll have to do two meatless days next week to compensate (or perhaps during this week, too?).

I saw this article on finishing the leftovers via FB and decided to share it here. Who knew that tossing leftovers could waste so much? But it simply makes sense, if you're trying to watch your pennies, and do things more holistically, to cook from scratch and then eat it all (or freeze it) before it goes into the garbage...

My next plan is to carefully decide what to shop for and what to make, and try to use up my stash as carefully as I use up the food I buy and cook...

Monday, November 21, 2011

This Week in Consumerism...

This is perhaps the most conflicted week in American capitalism...Everyone knows and is preparing for, Black Friday - the day when retail is finally placed "in the black" for their sales revenue (at least that's what they hope!) and shoppers, reinforced by the previous day's glutonny, enter the marketplace to shop till they drop in a mad frenzy of trying to get the best deals for their holiday gift-buying orgy.

Perhaps you've noticed in years past, that I, an admitted retailer, have firmly supported "Buy Nothing Day" begun by Adbusters in the late 1990s to encourage people to pay attention to their behaviors surrounding consumption. Its adherants do not buy a thing for a single 24 hour period. And hopefully, after that day, they think a bit before separating themselves from their cash...

Then a couple of years ago, American Express began what I hope will become every bit as strong a tradition as Black Friday sales. The Saturday after Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday. Since small businesses are also typically local businesses, I'm all for everyone shopping small and shopping local, and then, critically - SHOP Handmade, Handcrafted items.

I can't say it much better than this blogger I came across over the weekend: the Thoughful Consumer. And I love the chalkboard admonition in the photo on that link!

Shop local, buy from your neighbors, if you can use public transportation to get there, do that. Keep the economy in your community growing in the right direction.

And let the big boxes watch from the sidelines (I wish!)

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Bank Transfer Day

Will you be participating? Changing out your big bank for a locally owned credit union? One that invests in the community you live in? Bringing your money local?

Bank Transfer Day is Nov. 5 and it might be a bit of short notice to try to do that on Saturday, but lots of credit unions are open then. Here are a couple of things to remember:
1. Your direct deposit of your paycheck needs to be transferred, so get proper documentation of your new account to your payroll department as quickly as you can so they can verify and be ready to deposit your next check.
2. If you have ANY direct deposits or deductions, it takes time to switch them. Don't close your old account right away.
3. Make sure everything you've charged at your old bank has cleared before you close that account.
4. But make sure you close the old account once everything has been transfered and cleared, because they often will charge you a monthly fee, not to mention fees for balance minimums not being met!

Credit Unions are terrific places to put your funds and support your local community. I made the switch several years ago. Then recently I started moving funds into accounts with a regional bank (one that's not "big" and has never received bailout funds, as well as being very conservative with their reserves levels).

The "Buy Local" movement makes just as much sense in the banking industry as it does for your other consumer habits.