Buying locally crafted items is good for both your community and the world!


I try to upcycle things when I can, I would rather make items into something new, than to throw it away. I enjoy upcycling old jeans into handbags and wool sweaters into cloth diaper covers. There are so many different things you can do, to not only save money, but to make the Earth a better place. Even simple things, like using toilet paper rolls in kids crafts, will help. It’s less in the trash, which is always a good thing.

If you aren’t crafty, you can still do the world a favor by buying locally made items or simply from a small, family run business, since they tend to be the work of someone who uses recycled materials in their items.

Whether you make the items yourself, or buy from someone who makes them, it’s a positive choice you are making for our future, and I commend you. Buying local also keeps money local, and provides jobs for your community.


There is a San Francisco based company called Rickshaw, who introduced the Zero handbag, which is “specially designed to optimize cutting and eliminate material waste,” so that they are using as much of the otherwise wasted material that they possibly can. I think this is brilliant (and a pretty spiffy looking bag too) and that more companies need to follow in their footsteps to help so many communities and families, with the taxes they bring in and the jobs they produce.

Buying items in a big chain store that were shipped in from overseas may have a lower price tag initially but the cost overall is much higher.  In my opinion the motto “Buy local, eat local” is a great mantra to adopt as your own as often as you can.   In the long run the quality and other benefits you trade for saving a buck or two just aren’t worth it. There are many reasons why local is better, here are just a few:

Better for the environment

When your food and goods travel less, not only are they fresher, but your carbon footprint is greatly reduced when there is no longer a need for shipping from warehouse to store,  factory emissions, and  less need for chemicals and additives to keep items fresher for longer periods of time.

Better for the community

When you buy local a portion of the money you spent remains in your community so it is constantly refueling local economy instead of being passed on to the bigger corporation.  You are supporting local jobs and entrepreneurship. Buying from local sellers creates relationships, builds friendships, and encourages community ties.  Get to know the owner of your local farm stand, or handcrafted soap stand. The food from that Mom and Pop restaurant on the corner just might be a hidden gem!

Better quality

Local items are often handmade-a lot of care and pride goes into the craft and that usually means a higher quality product. How many times have you been frustrated when the plastic product that you were able to get cheaper at the big box store fell apart? You had to buy it again and it really was no longer a great deal. In terms of locally grown food, its fresher, in season, tastes much better and locally farmed foods are GMO free.

Better for the sake of originality

Whether you are purchasing handmade clothing, soaps, home décor, or artwork you are assuring that your treasures are unique unlike the framed $9.99 photos at the local WalMart. Handmade has character, and originality you wont find anywhere else.

If you have a local flea or farmers market, craft fair, art show or open air market in your community that you haven’t yet visited give it a try and immerse yourself in the old world feel of community and unique handcrafted or handgrown items.

I also think that more people need to start their own business, come up with something you LOVE to do, and make a business out of it! Stop working for other people and start working for yourself. Let’s get back to the barter system when we can, not only to save money, but to be less reliant on the government. Rickshaw embodies this, being a small business that grew well. You can do anything you want, if you put your mind to it.

Willow Stevens

Willow is a mother of six who begins to feel the empty nest, with faer oldest child living with his long-time girlfriend in another state, and the next three begin their talks about jobs and the excitement of college and living alone. Willow started couponing in 2007 to save their family some money on the grocery budget. That's how Freetail Therapy was born, so that fae could share their knowledge of saving money with others. Though the site has become so much more since then, and now includes homeschooling and homesteading info, Willow still does it all on a budget and shares how. Willow enjoys snagging freebies, snuggling with their dog, Xander, drinking decaf coffee, gardening, cannabis and of course, their large frugal family.

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