This year I decided to try something different with my Holiday shopping. Thanks to the great suggestion of Tasha Does Tulsa, (check her out, she is awesome) I thought I would try to buy as many of my gifts as I could from local Tulsa retailers. There are all kinds of stats on how much money stays in your community when you shop local compared to nationwide retailers. It is pretty fascinating stuff, 320% more money (45% of purchases instead of 14%) stays in the community when you shop local says Tasha. And I believe her. I mean, who wouldn’t? So I set off on a quest to do Tulsa a solid and keep my money here by shopping local. Except my one slip up when I bought something at Kohl’s the weekend after Thanksgiving because I forgot I was shopping local. I know, I know. My brain doesn’t always function properly, but that is another blog for another day.
I have not done a whole lot of shopping yet, and there is plenty of time until gifts must be given to search for great deals, but below are my experiences so far and my plans for shopping local. More to come as I get my shop on.
Gardner’s Used Books – I LOVE this place! If you don’t mind buying used books for people, this place is the place to be. Really, the majority of the books are in good enough condition you are hard pressed to tell they are used, especially the newer releases. I was able to pick up 6 books for 3 kids for $16. Talk about a great deal! I also got a couple for myself just for good measure.
Steve’s Sundries – Steve’s was new to me. Located on Harvard, just north of 31st, I had no clue it existed. If you are looking specifically for new books and/or magazines, Steve’s is the local source. It is a small shop, so the majority of their books they carry in paperback, but they can order anything your heart desires. The latest releases are carried in hardback form. The magazine selection was rather massive, I thought, even though I didn’t have time to peruse the offerings as I would have liked. All of the books are market priced, so while you are no better off shopping there, you are not any worse off, and Tulsa thanks you for your wise choice.
Ziegler’s Arts & Frames – I hear radio ads for Ziegler’s all the time, but I had never been there before. Due to my recent marriage and holiday budgeting, most people in the family are getting wedding photos for gifts, so Zeigler’s seemed like a great local option. And it is! They have a huge selection, all sizes, shapes, colors of frames you can imagine. Plus lots of fun home décor type stuff. It is really a very cool place. It just happens to not be a good place for my budget. Ouch. There were lots of things I wanted, but with my long list, I just couldn’t make it work. Even the sale items were out of my price range. (I should probably clarify that I am cheap even when I am not budgeting, so it is not very difficult to be out of my price range.)
Akin’s Natural Foods – I did not realize Akin’s was a Tulsa based store, but I Googled it in my quest for local shops. Akin’s doesn’t have quite the selection of Whole Foods, but it has all the same basic items. The tea selection is oh so fabulous, and for a tea lover like me, it was almost heaven. They also carry local Oklahoma cheeses like Hardesty Top Notch Cheddar which is more than oh so fabulous.
Reasor’s – Okay, so it is regional (based in Tahlequah), but close enough. Besides, it directly affects my family bottom line, so that is good enough for me. If you plan to bake, cook, make candies, or any of that fun stuff for gifts, Reasor’s has everything you need: Groceries. Nuff said.
Hobby Lobby – Okay, so it’s a little wider regional store (based in OKC) but still better than a national chain. Hobby Lobby has everything crafty a girl could want. And frames galore. My problem with Hobby Lobby is that just about everything you get there was made in China, so that takes a little bit away from shopping local. But it is a great last resort, and honestly it is great for a budget.