One big thing I take into consideration when I am going to purchase something (regardless if I am looking for a great price or just wanting to find the best quality for my buck), I consider shopping local. Big box stores and chains (like Best Buy, TGI Friday's, etc.) lose what local owner have - they are right where we are. When I shop local, I give back to my city. The money I give a local merchant stays here -and I have found they provide the best services. Some of my favorite places to eat are locally owned right here in my own city.
One of my favorite venues in my city is coming up the weekend - called Arts in the Park. It is where local people bring their crafts, art, and homemade goods to one of the local parks, Byrd Park. It is free to attend and parking is also free. The people there are locals that live in my city and surrounding counties and they bring their items to the park for purchase. Some of my favorite pieces of jewelry and art work are from this event. It happens every year- during the Spring- and is one of the busiest times of year for my city. I am excited to share that one of my dear friends Lisa, known at The Pumkin Lady, will be there selling her items from her Spinbob Studios collections. I cannot wait to see her and support all these great artists!
If you are in the Richmond, VA area and are looking for great, local merchants to support, please check out this link for more! And, if you so happen to be in Richmond, VA this weekend, check out Arts in the Park!