If there was ever a time to support local businesses, now would be it. And I have no doubt many of us have been doing what we can by ordering takeaway from our local restaurants or buying from online Australian stores.

But the difficulty many face with supporting local is having the income to do so and for a lot of families, it’s a really tight request to ask.

The impacts of COVID-19 have rippled across so many industries which has resulted in less income. And less income means having little margin to spend elsewhere.

But it doesn’t have to cost a lot to support local. Often it’s a change in thinking that can result in benefits for everyone.

I wanted to share some practical ways we have supported local businesses or have had local businesses bless us because someone in our family has bought local.

While some businesses have had to ‘pivot’ during this time, I think consumer behavior also needs to pivot to support local businesses. It doesn’t mean buying out every weekend (but hey if you have the budget to do so, go ahead!) It means intentionally spending money you do have with businesses who appreciate the sale.

local dessert

Order takeaway dessert

Takeaway can make a major dent to the family budget. It’s easy to spend ¼ of your family weekly grocery budget — sometimes more — on a dinner from a local takeaway.

So why not do a takeaway dessert instead?

We made up this dessert platter from ordering the dessert menu from Oporto. It came to around $30. It resulted in a date night in the lounge room, and dessert was devoured while watching Netflix.

Buy picnic supplies at your destination

In Queensland, restrictions have eased somewhat where a local drive and picnic in the park is possible. Public barbeques can’t be used though, so you may have to rethink a cook-up.

local bakery

What we’ve done instead is pack bottles of water, plates and cutlery, and bought our food at our destination.

At Mount Tambourine we bought from the local bakery, and we did the same at Samford Village by purchasing savoury and sweet delights to eat on our picnic.

Packing a picnic can certainly save money. But purchasing food at our destination not only saved time with preparation, it allowed us to enjoy food local to the area. It’s an easy was to support a local business while at your destination.

Let the kids spend their pocket money at a local shop

The only time I’ve headed to the shops has been to purchase groceries or new clothes to fit growing bodies.local shop

On the weekend when we headed to Samford and Cedar Creek, we stopped into the The House of Requirement — a shop dedicated to Harry Potter. The girls got to choose one item and spend their pocket money.

Our kids weren’t saving for anything special, so this was a treat to actually be in a shop. Why not buy upcoming birthday gifts when perusing local shops?

Support local pop-up stalls

Some food stalls have had to think on their feet with ways to bring in an income when all festivals and large crowd events have been cancelled.

If you see a local food stall or solo market store while driving for work or doing essential errands, why not stop and support?

Share about the location on your social media to make others aware of the store too.

It’s been a treat having the Dagwood Dog stall up the road from us.

local pop-up stall

Organise a grazing platter or cake delivery from a local caterer

Most caterers have been impacted substantially this year. Why not offer support by purchasing a cake or grazing platter for a special occasion?

We received these delightful cupcakes from JoJo’s Treat House for our wedding anniversary.

local delivery

Book a Tradie and outsource your property headaches

Is there a job you’ve been meaning to call an electrician to fix or a plumber to check?
Whatever has been on your ‘must do’ list, outsource it to a tradie.

local tradie

Now is the ideal time to book in a service or inspection for any appliances in your home. These maintenance checks can prevent bigger problems down the track. Some jobs to consider booking are

  • Termite inspection
  • Get carpets professionally cleaned
  • Hot water unit inspection
  • Heater serviced
  • Aircon serviced in time for summer
  • Upgrade smoke alarms and detectors in property

These bookings can cost a couple of hundred dollars (sometimes more, depending on what else needs to be fixed!). Spacing out the jobs throughout the year can make it affordable.

These are just some of the ways we’ve supported local. Our spending has decreased due to being at home in isolation, so we have been able to spend locally where we can.

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Originally published at The Plumbette.
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels.

About the Author: Rebecca Senyard

Rebecca Senyard is a plumber by day and stylist by night, but these days she changes more nappies than washers. She is a happily married mum to three young daughters whom she styles on a regular basis. Rebecca is not only an award-winning plumber, she also writes an award-winning blog called The Plumbette, where she shares her life experiences as a plumber and mother. Rebecca also blogs at Styled by Bec, believing a girl can be both practical and stylish.

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