Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sign Up For Challenge

I don't know if it's my computer, my connection, or Blogger being wonky, but sometimes I can see the comments on my challenge post and sometimes I can't.

Just to make things easier, if you're interested in joining, but haven't been able to comment, please leave a comment on this post :).

We'll start on October 1 and end October 31, and then we'll run out to the mall and shop 'til we drop.

No, just kidding ... because that would, kind of, be defeating the purpose of the exercise, wouldn't it?

On Sundays we'll do a confessional. Participants can either post their efforts in the comments here, or do a confessional on their blogs, and let us all know it's there in the comments so that we can provide supportive feedback :).

And don't forget the drawing ...

... I may have to offer some different books, though. Right, Kate? *grin*


  1. I'll give it a go. I can't make Hubby participate, but I won't cheat by making him pick things up for me at the big box stores either. We are lucky to be near a college town so we do have a lot of local stores.

  2. Glad to have you onboard, Christy ;).

  3. I think this is a fabulous idea, buuuuut I will have to get back to you on whether or not I can participate. My problem is that there are NO "Mom and Pop" grocery stores in my city, they're all national chains. We do have a great farmers' market, but they don't sell toilet paper you know?

    So for now, I don't see how I can play by the rules, but I WILL play along as much as I can. It'll help me really get to know what's available in my community....

  4. Irma - sign up! Misery loves company, don't ya know?

    ... I mean, er, we'll all support each other through the torture ... er, challenge.

    I understand what you're saying though. I just found out that my back-up "Mom and Pop" grocery is actually an IGA, which is a chain store, and so, for the purposes of this challenge, I can not shop there. Ugh!

    Toilet paper, dog food ... the list of things I might end up doing without is getting longer. I just hope my dogs don't eat me ;).

  5. Hmmm...Our local IGA is locally owned and they contract for the IGA food; ike many local hardware stores are locally owned but they buy their merchandise from a company like "True Value" that get a bulk purchasing deal.

    My husband's grandparents owned a five and dime back in the sixties. One of the reasons that they closed the store was that they could not shop around for merchandise and get the best price without joining a "True Value" sorta deal. They felt trapped in that sorta deal because most of their suppliers were bought up by the larger company.

  6. Hi Wendy, I am willing to try the challenge. It will be very difficult, because big box has already taken up alot of our town. For example, prescription drugs. I had to leave my beloved local drug store when I lost my health insurance to go to Wally world for the $4.00 deal. Now that I have full coverage I want to go back to my beloved Kennebunk Village Pharmacy. My fear is they will soon close due to Big Box Pharmacy moving in. But I except this challenge, to help me make better choices when needing to make my purchases. Now, my local grocery store is indenpending own, but supplied by a chain, I can't shop there?? My other option is supplied by Shur-ok. Can I shop there? If not, whens a good time to come by and shop your cupboards??:)

  7. I don't have a blog, but I am going to join the challenge.

  8. Hi, Tammy ;). I'm glad you're going to try it. It'll be fun.

    As for places to shop, there is a "small, locally-owned" place to buy groceries near you ... well, two (or three if you count the one with two locations twice ;). There's New Morning Natural Foods, and there's Trans Market in Biddeford. If you want to come a little further north, there's also Lois' in Scarborough.

    And for some things, you can head over to Giles' market :). They have apples ;), but they have a lot of other stuff, too, including things like spices and honey. They might even have some other fresh produce. It's been a while since I was there. Also in Scarborough is Flaherty's Farm store.

    But my cupboards are always open to you :). Feel free to stop by anytime ... if you give me an hour's notice, I'll even bake you a fresh loaf of bread ;).

    Fleecenik: Same here with the hardware stores. My absolute "favorite" small hardware store is actually an Ace. Bummer! I can see a lot of us being very selective of the things we buy in October *grin*.

    Your grandparents' experience is actually part of the spirit behind the challenge. Deus Ex Machina was pointing out that there are some stores that are nationally known, but they are ALL "locally owned" franchises. Some well-known stores, like Subway, have no corporate headquarters. The thing is, they are limited in what they can sell by the contract they signed to get that brand name, which means when supply lines are interrupted, they won't be able to offer their "product."

    Welcome to the madness, Miss Muffet ;).

  9. What about mom and pop chains? That aren't *quite* what I would call a franchise.

    Shop Rite (I did a little research here...) although found in multiple states in the mid-Atlantic is described as follows: "At ShopRite, generations of families have served generations of their customers’ families. Although they have grown from the small "Mom and Pop" stores of the 1940’s, most ShopRite stores are still family owned and operated businesses – many with second, third, or even fourth generations involved." They are unified under the Wakefern name to volume buy their products to distribute at their individual stores. Does that make them "evil" like Walmart because of the supplying issues you describe in the comment above? I mean is it a horrible thing if they had to "go electric" and join the co-op of stores lest they be put out of business by their competitors? Hmm.....

    I mean obviously in what I'm reading they're painting a rosy picture. But it's one of community and people coming together to survive. Isn't that a big message you promote on here? Maybe there's more to the SR Co-Operative I'm not seeing though.

    I thought of you today as I was tuning into my favorite lunchtime radio show. They were interviewing the author of this book: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0802716059/wnycorg-20 (yeah an Amazon link!)

    I tuned in 1/2 way thru the interview so I'm curious to listen to the author a bit more.

  10. Here's the thing, if ShopRite signs a contract with a particular "distributor" for the products they sell, then they are a chain - just like Subway. The local Mom and Pop store down the road from me is an IGA. They sell ShurFine products, and they are limited in what they can sell in their store by what the "chain" will allow. Same is true of the Ace hardware store down the road.

    The challenge, for the month, is to look for "truly" local establishments - ones that don't bow to a corporate entity at all, either because they are an integral part (like Wal-Mart stores) or because they contract with a particular distributor for their products (like the IGA). There are very few of them, to be sure, but for just this one month, those will be the places where I shop.

    That books sounds really good. I might order a couple of copies (from the local Independent bookstore ;) and offer it in the drawing ;).

    So, hey, are you joining us, Bezzie :)?