So during my latest shopping trip to Target for diapers and such, I got lured over to the beauty section. One of my fave brands is Essie, because the little bottles are justsocute and the colors are gorgeous. I came across a color called “Merino Cool” (ok.  My friend Melissa tipped me off to it and I went out looking for it. Notgonnalie). Anyways, it’s such a fun fall color, and so neutral. Looks like it’ll go with anything. Oh, it’s from last season? Well! Didn’t anyone tell you that I love to knit? How can I NOT buy a nail polish named after one of my favorite wool fibers?

 

I flipped the bottle over, praying it wasn’t made in China. Guess what? Essie nail polish is made right here in the US! Go buy yourself a bottle. Treat your toes (or nails if you aren’t a biter like me) to some colorful, fall-inspired economic stimulation-girly style.

Ok, so I understand that buying EVERYTHING American can be difficult. While it’s an ideal goal, some of us don’t have the wallet or the know-how to do that. So, I’m presenting you with a challenge. Change 1 purchase this week. Switch from Tropicana or Hannaford/Shaws brand orange juice to Florida’s Natural. The price is competitive. It tastes just as good, and it’s 100% sourced in the US. If each of us do this, it can create a big impact on the American economy.

 

Do you have any other ideas about one thing we could switch over to buying that is 100% made in the US?

Ugh! So sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been buying American a lot and I know I need to post it to you guys- things have just been crazy with R starting preschool and trying to keep up on housework. Iwontaddtherearefruitfliesinmycar. Not sure why. ANYWAYS, I’ve been finding that it’s not as difficult to buy American as I previously thought!

When I was wandering around Rite Aid the other day on a diaper run, I came across this really nice hand soap and lotion by J.R. Watkins. The lotion retails for 8.99 and the soap retails for about 5.99. But who wants to spend 15$ on hand soap and lotion for the house? Notme. If you were to go to Rite Aid this week, however, and you have a rewards card (free) you can get a bottle of each for 3$ total. Each bottle also has a 1.00$ off coupon on it, which makes your grand spending total .50 per item! Plus, it’s made in the US and for those of you who are earth conscious:  Ammonia Free, Animal Testing Free, Anxiety Free, Guilt Free, Bleach Free, Phosphate Free, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free. 🙂

 

Another tip on buying US: Just because something has an American business address on it doesn’t mean it’s made and/or sourced here. There should be a small bold label on it that says “MADE IN USA” or something similar. “Manufactured for” “Made Exclusively for” and similar mean it’s not American. Tropicana Orange Juice shocked me when I looked on their label and saw that some of the oranges are from South Africa, whereas Florida’s Natural (same price, competitive taste) are sourced completely in Florida. What have you been buying and finding from our country?

I wrote all the names on slips of paper, folded them up, put them in a RedSox Hat (of course)…and had Ms. Rebekah pick a name. The winner is Katy K , who wrote :

I will be working on buying more food from the US, starting with my usual grocery sources (Jewel, TJ’s, farmer’s market, Costco) and looking for alternatives elsewhere if I can’t find them.

I noticed recently that most of the grocery store tomatoes were from Canada!

Congrats, Katy! Send me an e-mail at Aliciakplummer@yahoo.com and let me know if you want the fingerless mittens or the yarn as is!

And keep checking back for our next giveaway!

Each Wednesday, I’m going to bring you an American company that’s super-local to my area. Most likely, you’ll have something similar in your area too. To see the biggest impact on your economy, buying “wicked local” is one of the best ways to do it. When I do spotlight these places, I’ll try to focus in on ones that are super affordable-equal to or less than the general going price in our area. (But, I can’t make any promises)…

Ok, so you’d really like to buy local but don’t want to break the bank. Igetthat. The supermarket flyer offers enticing sales on things and it’s so convenient. Well, to follow up on my farm stand post, we’re going Blueberry Picking.

Blueberry picking, like going to the farmer’s market, is a great family adventure. We took the girls a few Sundays back to Crabtree’s in Sebago and had a blast. Our oldest loved running up and down the rows of blueberry bushes (and clearly more ended up in her mouth than her pail!). It’s going to be a repeat trip, I just know it.  I’d definitely reccomend going in early morning, or on a cooler day because the blueberry fields can get really hot. The sun was beating down on us! The little tin pails used to collect the berries are super cute and make satisfying ‘plink’ noises when you drop the berries in.

 

Now that I’ve told you everything you already know about why you should go pick blueberries, let me give you a more monetary motivation: savings. In more ways than one. Our local Bridgton Hannaford sells blueberries (in season prices) at 7.97 per pound, or 10.64 per pound if you want to go organic. It gets more expensive in the winter. Yikes! On the other hand, if you pick your own at Crabtree in Sebago, you get your berries at…wait for it…1.95 per pound.

 Let’s say that freezing blueberries for winter is something you’d like to do and you want two pounds to freeze (that’s enough to nicely fill a one gallon ziploc bag. Here’s how it’d break down:

  • Hannaford Regular: 15.94
  • Hannaford Organic: 21.28
  • Crabtree PYO: 3.90

In other words, you could buy about 4 pounds of blueberries you pick yourself versus one pound at the store (and that’s the non-organic price!)

Wanna tie in the lesson with your kids? Read these!

  1. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McClosky
  2. Blueberry Mouse by Alice Low
  3. Blueberry Pie Elf by Jane Thayer
  4. Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman
  5. Jamberry by Bruce Degen

Blueberry season is ending soon, so head on up to Crabtree’s and pick some berries to freeze for winter so you can enjoy them all year long. They go great in pancakes, pies, smoothies, jams, and I have a delicious blueberry scone recipe compliments of Angie that I’ll share with you tomorrow!

http://www.crabcoll.com/blueberry/homepage.html