Made In America Challenge Update

Happy Friday to you everyone!  I just wanted to give you an update to my Made In America Challenge that I posted a month back.  I told you I would give you a run down on what I discovered while attempting to source “Made in America” products while on every shopping adventure!

Overall thought for the challenge:  HARD, HARD, HARD!    Why do we make it so hard to locate and buy things from our own country???

Pricing thoughts for the challenge:  When I did find products  in the grocery store that were made in America the cost difference between them and their international counterparts were minimal.  Extremely minimal.  Like a couple of cents to about $0.50 cents difference.  I know every penny saved can add up through out the year however I also value the idea of buying local.  Wether that means locally from the farmers market or locally like in our OWN COUNTRY!  So I will do it.

Questions I asked about Buying American:  While browsing the noodle aisle at Wal-Mart I actually stumbled across a manager who happened to be walking through and he did the cordial “Are you finding everything OK, Mam?” line to me all the while not even really slowing his stride, fully expecting me to say “I am, thanks!”  When I took that opportunity to ask “Actually I am looking for only American Made products? Can you help me?”

HA!  Asking “Can you help me?” is like the most ridiculous question in a Wal-Mart.  Even though their vests say they can help, most workers can’t or won’t or dont’ even want to.    You can imagine the look on his face being similar to that of a member of the Jersey Shore show when asked if they practice safe sex.  Yeah, that look!

He didn’t even really know what to say to me so I broke his deer in headlights while stuttering “umm…” spell by saying that I would prefer to buy American Made products but that I am finding very hard to do so.  I then asked why they can’t show us consumers which of their products are in fact made in America.  He blabbered on about he just gets what “THE BUYERS” send him and that they aren’t allowed to emphasize that because I guess other non american made products get jealous?  Whatever, he was not helpful at all.

Many things were hard even to find where they were made and others were made somewhere else but packaged in USA, like below.

Then some were very clear where they were made!

Ideas for buying American Made:

  1. Etsy.  Etsy is a great source for handmade goods.  You can also search your city or search for products only made in USA.  All the components might not be made in America but I’m starting with baby steps here!
  2. Farmers Markets.  You know those delicious goodies are local.   For me, they were cheaper than the grocery stores anyway and quality was SO MUCH BETTER!
  3. Make it yourself!  Wether it be upcycling things for new uses or a new piece of furniture…make it yourself!  My girl Ana White has a plan for about any piece of furniture you can think of.  Right now, her and her family are building her mother and mother in love a house.  Yep, all themselves, up in Alaska!
  4. If you are looking to hire help, hire local companies
  5. If you are looking to purchase something online, do a quick google search to see if anyone local sells the same item or similar.
  6. Here are some great websites also. Made in, American Made Products Directory  Made in America Resource Guide, Made in America  The web was far more helpful than the Wal-Mart manager!

So moral of my challenge.  It was a challenge, but I will continue to give good effort to continuing on.  I am thinking of it as recycling…at first it took a bit for the idea to catch on and become a natural habit and look at it now, everyone does it!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone and thanks again for reading my ramblings!  I appreciate it!

Don’t forget to enter the Mixed Bag Designs Giveaway going on {HERE}

 And That’s What Che Said…

Made in America Challenge!

I recently stumbled across a chain forward email speaking about a piece Diane Sawyer did on the amount of household items we have that are made in other countries and showcases the fractional increase in cost if we would have in fact purchased all the same items that were made in the USA. It also talks about how that extra money you spent for made in America products actually HELPS America.

Anyway, I couldn’t find the said forward again in my email but figured I could find something about it online and sure enough I just had to search “Diane Sawyer Made in America” and up popped this search result.  Bingo!  The email had a few more hard statistics but I am sure if I searched a bit longer I could find those exact numbers but really, this article is all I needed.

I realized I am totally late to the game for the “Made in America Monthly Challenge” going on August 5th through September 5th (probably because I was busy making watermelon crap for the past 2 weeks!)  So…I am going to start today!!! (for the record, I have been out of town for 7 days and my husband only bought zero groceries, so when I returned there was nothing to eat in this house! Grrrrrrr….)  Starting on my grocery trip this morning I am going to make a point to buy American made products from August 16th through September 16th and make a few notes on my challenge and share them in a month!  I am willing to give it a try.  I am always up for a challenge!

I invite you to join my monthly challenge!!! Add a comment below telling me you are joining the “Che Says Made in America Monthly Challenge” and either subscribe to my blog or send me an email with your email address so in a month I will have a recap post and we can all share our findings. Was it difficult to find American Made products where you shop? How much did the “American Made Effort” effect your budget?  Will you continue on with this endeavor?   Those are the kinds of things I am going to report back to you all on.  I am curious as to how much I am already buying that is Made in USA or how much I am not?

I figure it’s kind of a little experiment but one that will help our fine country, two birds, one stone.  I love multi-tasking!  I hope you will join me and let me know how it goes for you!