You may think you’re racking up all sorts of savings when you make a trip out of town to stock up on things you need.
Groceries, household items and other products and services may seem cheaper at a big box store located 60+ miles away, but have you stopped to calculate what you’re spending to drive to your savings?
The average cost of time for a Valley County resident to drive to Grand Island is $20.70, plus you waste 2.3 hours sitting in the car. Add that to an average cost of $12.65 for fuel to get there and back and a total of $33.35 just disappeared from your bank account so you could drive to your savings. When you drive to Kearney to shop, you spend $37.47 to drive to your savings.
You can of course alleviate your drive time and fuel costs by ordering the things you need online and in today’s world, free and next day shipping are luxuries consumers have come to enjoy. You may be eliminating your costs and adding a certain level of convenience by shopping this way but there is still a cost in doing so.
An opportunity cost for the grocery stores, retailers, pharmacies, boutiques, hardware stores and other business in your hometown. The local businesses that are owned by your neighbors. The businesses that employ your family and friends and donate to your son’s t-ball team or your daughter’s 4-H club.
When you’re adding items to your shopping list, first check to see if you can find that item locally. If you can’t, ask a local business owner if they special order new items based on customer requests. Many of them will! Plus, when you shop at local businesses, you will surely have a customer service experience that is second to none compared the experience you get at a big box store.
When you put your money where your house is, you’re not only saving your own hard-earned dollars, you are investing in a business owners’ dream, creating job security for local employees and contributing to the greater good of your community.