Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Dave King: You don’t have to pay a premium to shop locally

To the editor:

I made an observation recently that might be of interest to community members who don’t like big box stores, but shop at them to save money.

Most of us are aware that big box stores contribute to sprawl, threaten the vitality of downtowns and in some cases engage in lobbying against causes we care about, like health care for all and the environment. When I have a repair project and need supplies, I shop at my locally owned home center. More often than not, the store is quiet on the weekends when I go, and I wonder whether other people are shopping at the big-box store to save a few bucks.

I always assumed I was paying more at my local home center, but didn’t mind because I would prefer the money stay in the community, not get shipped to the Caymans, and I also want there to continue to be stores in town I can get to easily by the bus or by bike.

Recently, out of curiosity, I compared prices for 10 items between the home center and the big-box store. I was surprised to find the home center was not more expensive than the big-box store (actually about 15 percent less), not that a different result would have changed my shopping habits.

A few dollars here and there is worth knowing that my money is not bolstering the political clout of unscrupulous multinational corporations when it could be supporting the local economy.

Dave King

Amherst

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