Publisher’s Letter: Broke or Not, Local is Better

A typical produce basket from the NOCO Virtual Farmers Market. Photo Courtesy of Candida Marques.

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By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

Last week, I wrote about being “broke.” I realize other people in the world have way less, sometimes earning less than a few bucks a day — or nothing at all.

Years ago, I witnessed poverty in Southern Mexico and Central America while on a few different trips to rural areas. I saw the shanty towns and the ways people in other parts of the world live. I have spent nights with homeless people in Colorado, reporting about how they survive — with nothing.

My kids and I are fortunate.

When I said “broke” in my last column, it was a relative term. People with lots more money than I have, say they are broke. And many more are saying it; now that prices are exponentially increasing on so many things.

For this edition, the North Forty News team focused on simple things, like prices for meat and bread. Jonson Kuhn went shopping. He compared those prices at three local grocery stores (a large nationally owned chain, a smaller regionally owned chain, and a small local market).

I have seen one particular national grocery chain less and less interested in providing any space in their store for North Forty News to distribute our newspaper. So, I don’t support them anymore. Even though I’m “broke,” I will spend a little more to help the local store (I then do things like bring my bags into the store to save the $.10 Fort Collins bag surcharge).

By the way, those locally-owned stores happily carry our newspaper.

Surprisingly, our unscientific self-research found that the locally owned and regionally-owned stores had lower prices. Exponentially in some cases.

I appreciate not having to yell at a self-checkout machine (when it doesn’t read the barcode or when one of my children puts their hand on the automated scale).

In the locally owned grocery stores, the lines are smaller. The prices aren’t much different, and as we found, even less.

I get the satisfaction by shopping local, knowing that what little money I have for groceries these days — stays local. And, if you’re fortunate enough not to be “broke” perhaps you might get satisfaction out of keeping your money in the local economy as much as you can.