Monday, October 24, 2011

Buy with a Conscience or Buy Cheap?

This past weekend my shopping habits can be summed up in one word: conflicting.

On Saturday we attended the Tennessee Food & Wine Festival held at the Knoxville Convention Center. At first glance, this looks very much like the Food Show annually sponsored by Food City. However, the ticket price was $10 versus $6, and for an additional $10, one could sample wine. Additionally, it was anticipated that attendees purchase products. It was a much smaller crowd, and the pace was slower. Also, as the crowds grew, the lines did not form neatly as they did at the Food City Show. That is when I realized that most of these people were not food show veterans as I am!

This festival was sponsored by the State of Tennessee Department of Agriculture and benefited the culinary program at UT. All vendors were from Tennessee.

It was great fun! A multitude of wine samplings! We like dry whites, and we found some nice ones.

The foods were interesting; and after sampling, we came back through and purchased quite a few for Christmas gifts. And that is when it hit me. I would NEVER have paid the prices for these products for my own consumption as a part of my normal grocery shopping. Purchasing for gifts puts this experience in a category by itself.

But I WAS doing the right thing. I AM supporting my fellow Tennesseans who are working hard to make a living selling jams, popcorn from Tennessee-grown corn, cookies, beef, oh, yes and wine.

Sort of a home-grown variation of free trade, right?

My awareness of buying with a conscience was increasingly heightened when we later drove over to Happy Holler. We did not do a good job of time management, and the Hollerpalooza was over; but we popped into Three Rivers Market. I noted a bottle of tonic water for more than $6. (My husband is a big G&T fan -- $1.50 is our average purchase price). Again, we succumbed to convenience and purchased some wheatberry salad at $5.99 a pound.

(Please note: the blog Couponing in Critical Times routinely posts "deals" at Three Rivers.)

Yet the next day I got into my couponing mode with absolute disregard of product origin. Included in my bargain buying was the national brand coffee that I bought for probably 2/3 the regular price after special pricing and coupon. It had "mountain grown" on the label, but the only location I could see noted was the business address in Ohio. I scored well buying deoderant for $.75 after special and coupon, but I imagine that my "creation care" friends might have trouble with some of the ingredients.

Bottom line: my conscience does not consistently work into my buying. Please excuse me, Mother Earth.

No comments:

Post a Comment