What is one of the best ways you can support and give back to your community? Shop Local! You may already be a die-hard shop local connoisseur, or you may be at the opposite end of the spectrum, believing that big box retailers are the cheapest and easiest way to go. Easy, yes. Cheaper, yes. More than likely the items you are purchasing are “cheaper” as well. The great thing about shopping local, you are not only keeping your tax dollars in your community but you are also getting unique, one of kind, better quality products. You can easily go get a low-priced bottle of olive oil, or you can go get a good priced bottle of olive oil made in your town and presented to you based on your taste, your choice. You can go hit up a chain store to receive a less than satisfying cup of ice cream or you can have a new experience by walking into an Art Gallery and also walking out with a scoop of freshly made ice cream, I had to put that example in there ;). Personally, My favorite way to shop local is by visiting our local clothing boutiques, I know that I will find something that suits my style, and more than likely I am not going to run into five different women on the way out wearing the exact same thing. Lodi is coming around to making our community, one that can keep up with the shop local theme. Down town in particular has everything from cheese stores to jewelry shops, and in the summer has our amazing Farmers Market, where you can purchase all the fresh fruits and veggies you need to get through the season. If you don’t buy into the shop local society, can you buy into shopping smarter? It is as easy as that, even if it is just one main purchase you get from a local shop instead of big named retailer, then you are still doing your part.