I boycott businesses that have come out publicly to be distinctly anti-American, or anti-freedom. If they voice those opinions, then they've lost this American's business, and I imagine I'm not alone in this self-imposed boycott. I can always find a similar retailer with similar goods that isn't politically naive.
At a point though, it begins to feel impossible. What do you do when it seems the majority of large companies you shop at have decided they no longer support the Bill of Rights?
Particularly, what do you do when your grocer decides such? I mean, you have to eat! So, what do you do? If you don't agree with your grocer politically, are you pretty much just screwed?
I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I've come to several conclusions that work.
1) Grow your own food
This is the low hanging fruit here (no pun intended). If you don't like what your grocer is doing, growing your own food is the first, and most visible choice that you can turn to. Odds are if you're reading my work, you have more of a self-reliance mindset.
Growing your own food is not only one of the first things that you can do to improve your independence, but it'll provide you with plenty of healthy, organic food that is not only locally sourced, but cheap as well.
I've kept very accurate tabs on all the money I've put into my gardens every year, as well as all of the produce that has come out of my gardens every year. Even despite the cost of tools, lumber (I use raised beds), seeds, and soil, I always come out ahead by the end of the season when I look at how much grocery money my gardens have saved me.
Everything I grow is completely organic. No sprays or fertilizers of any kind (other than homemade compost). I record every egg, every chicken, every tomato, and every pound of lettuce that I get. I've gone to the grocery store to learn what the price would be of a gallon of organic greens, a dozen free range eggs, and a pound of raw honey. Last year, I grew a little over $1100 worth of food.
That's a dramatic amount of money, that required maybe 5 hours of work a week. And I don't even consider it work either. It's just fun physical activity that I get to tool around with at the end of a hectic work day.
Now imagine the punch to the pocketbook that could be achieved if everybody out there removed $1100/year from Big Grocer's hands. I totally understand that not everybody has the space or ability to work a garden, but even if you grew a few potted tomato plants, a potted herb garden, or whatever else, that's still a sizable fist of money that you're keeping from your grocer.
You wanna learn more about gardening?
I highly recommend reading these books...
Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew amzn.to/2ZZxqH2
Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway amzn.to/2O26VJD
The Resilient Farm and Homestead by Ben Falk amzn.to/2Lwo8ZX
2) Start utilizing local farmer markets
There's a number of reasons I like farmer's markets. The food you'll find there is local, meaning you're helping your local economy, eating food that most likely wasn't spray painted to look pretty after being trucked cross country, and the food probably wasn't grown overseas somewhere (there's potential health reasons there) .
Most likely you visit your Big Grocer once a week. Thankfully, farmer's markets are often open once a week (typically Saturdays) as well. So as far as number of visits, there really isn't any disadvantage there other than the forced time frame. Is there as large of a variety of foods to choose from at your local farmer's market compared to BG? By no means, but that'll cause one of two things: you'll eat healthier; or you'll still drastically diminish the amount of your cash that flows into BG's pockets. Most likely it'll be both.
Farmers rock. You can often score major deals at farmer's markets when you buy in bulk. Buy a bushel of corn, and odds are the farmer will financially thank you (in the way of a discount) for not making him have to take that bushel back home at the end of the day.
What do you do with a bushel of corn? Well, that brings me to my next point, which I'll tackle in a future post.
In the meantime, if you'd like to find a farmer's market near you, I highly recommend using one of these sites (particularly if your search engine isn't showing anything):
Writer. News junkie. Personal Trainer. Farmer.