Shop Small Day 276: The Year in Review

The question I’m most often asked… are you running out to Target on January 1st? ┬áProbably not. Although I missed the convenience of running in for a gallon of milk, I really don’t think there were any big chain stores I truly missed this year. I certainly didn’t miss long lines, heavy traffic, or credit card fraud schemes.

When I started this challenge January 1st, everyone told me I was going to spend a ton more money. I commonly heard that “Shopping Small” is way too expensive. Thankfully I’m sort of neurotic about tracking my expenses, so it was easy to tell where my dollars went.

I mentioned in an earlier post the huge difference I saved not shopping at Target. Granted, last year’s Target receipts included some groceries, a few gifts, as well as some clothes.

So, I totalled what I spent in 6 categories: non-Target (vitamins, toilet paper, toothpaste, etc.), groceries, clothes, dining out, gifts, and general shopping (cup of coffee, dog food, and non-essentials). Did I spend more? Yes. About $200/month more. Is that enought to say shopping small is too expensive? I don’t think so.

You wouldn’t think a year would make that much of a difference in how much my kids eat or increase in clothing costs, but it did. Would it have increased this much regardless of where we shopped, maybe.

I feel like this year we definitely focused on quality over quantity- and I don’t think that’s a bad lesson for any of us.

imageI feel good about the gifts I gave this year. I met some amazing store owners, and found some incredible shops. Maybe I should live in a smaller town, but I really liked shopping in stores where they knew my name.

What’s in store for 2014? Is this challenge over? Nope.

I’m floored by the responses I’ve received from readers. I’m amazed at the number of requests I’ve had to visit favorite shops. And, I still have a number of shop owners who’ve asked me to visit their own stores. Not to mention, I haven’t hit 365 yet.

So keep your requests coming, I’m trying to visit all of your suggestions.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you my 5 favorite small shops I found in 2013.

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2014 photo credit

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