While I do want to support my local businesses sometimes I just do not want to pay $8.99 for good quality bread flour when I can get it for $3.75 on Vitacost. So what do you do?
There are many occasions where buying local saves me money. The local bakery near my work has mini Italian pastries for about $1 that will satisfy a sweet tooth quickly and my local ice cream shop charges only $2 for a half a pint of ice cream on a waffle cone. A local grocery store also has a member appreciation night where you get 10% your purchase. They also have good quality, local eggs for a reasonable price.
I mostly eat out at local places. We might go to Bread Co (A.K.A. Panera to the non-StL native) and my partner will go where ever the group goes for lunch on Friday. We have developed local restaurants that we love already, and still feel like there is so much left to try. I feel like my heart is with the local businesses.
Living in the Hudson Valley among many small townships, you meet the folks who own these places. You see them working in their own shop, you see them at local events, and at the grocery store or mechanic. Again, I feel as though my heart is with them.
However, my head is always thinking about my pocket book and wanting to buy a house one day. So the well rated dress with free shipping for $75 versus the $1000 dress in the Beacon boutique that looked good, but felt itchy all along the neckline was what I went for with our wedding. I have zero regrets. We were only slightly over budget because of a few last minute decor purchases (our wedding was about $3K).
I purchased most of the gifts locally, we used a local bakery for cupcakes, the venues were locally owned, etc. I am now feeling like it is just like with everything, its a balance. You can support local businesses, but never break the bank to do it. I just need to work on not feeling bad if it is not all local. Plus, you know most, if not all, of these local businesses are using Amazon.