There are several ways you can save money and still shop locally. This not only benefits you (by finding unique goods and services not offered at larger chain stores) but it also greatly benefits the local community. Below are some ideas:
Be social media friendly.
Most small businesses are huge fans of social media because it does not cost them anything to advertise freely! Search for your favorite local hangouts online and give them a “like”. They may offer a Rainy Day Monday discount or offer giveaways to the first 25 customers in the store on a Saturday.
Do not be afraid to do some negotiating.
Locate the manager in your favorite small-town store and don’t be afraid to haggle. Just remember to be discreet and be friendly. Be aware that small shop prices may be higher due to limited numbers of goods that increase their costs above chain stores. You may be paying a little more, but you will probably have a product that is unlike anyone else’s!
Show up often…and buy.
Mom-and-pop shops love repeat business and a good word means a lot in small communities. If you make an effort to shop at the store repeatedly, they may let you in on first-time specials or give you notice when a sale is coming up! Refer friends and relatives and have them mention your name when they shop there too!
Use your smartphone, well... smart.
There are many apps that locate the little guys for you. If you are new in town and you are not sure where a great small restaurant or vintage clothing shop is located, check your phone for some cool spots. Use your GPS (and your brain) and you will make yourself and a small business owner very happy!