Archive for the ‘My Buy American Story’ Category

What I LearnedFor the last three years I have been fully committed to buying American. That means barring certain circumstances when buying American is simply not possible, I have purchased nothing but goods made in the USA.

I started buying American as New Year’s resolution in 2010 and have been doing it ever since.  After doing a bit of research, here is the buy American program I chose to follow.

I must say, this experience has been extremely rewarding because I know every time I make a purchase I am doing my part to create jobs in America at a time so many are in need of work.

Here are three surprising things I learned in my experience buying American:

  1. Buying American Saves Money – I never would have believed it before I started buying American, but faithfully buying made in USA absolutely saves money.  Mind you, not every item is less expensive, because sometimes you do have to pay a bit of a premium, but on the whole I have saved money by buying American.  There are two main reasons for this.  First, buying American cuts down considerably on the purchases you make of things you don’t need.  You save money because you make fewer impulse purchases.  Second, buying American forces you to do more research on the things you do buy.  Once you’ve taken the time to research where to find a certain good that is American made, it’s a natural next step to find that same good for the best price possible.  I find better deals now than I ever did before I started buying American.
  2. Buying American Does Not Require Deprivation – I never would have believed this before either, but buying American does not leave you feeling deprived all the time.  Practically everything I buy is American made, and my experience has been so good that I have no plans to change that.  But the key to avoiding the feeling of deprivation is to allow for the purchase of a few imported goods when the right circumstances call for it.  The whole point of buying American is to use your buying power to support jobs here in America, but there is no need to refuse necessities – like cell phones for example – that simply cannot be found made in the USA.  The buy American program I follow allows for several key exceptions to the buy American rule.  Those exceptions make staying on a buy American program possible.  Going cold turkey won’t work.
  3. Buying American Becomes Easy to Do – In the first couple days of a strict buy American program, it can be difficult.  It’s similar to cutting out carbs or gluten from your diet for the first time (if you’ve ever tried that).  At first, it is a real shock.  But after a while, you get the hang of it.  At first, you go to stores and it seems like everything you plan on putting into your cart is imported and off-limits.  But after a little while, you cycle through all the regular items you have to buy frequently, and you just know which brands are made in USA and which aren’t.  I didn’t know at first, but I now know I buy certain batteries, sponges, socks, etc., all that are American made.  Once you’ve done the research the first time, which often requires nothing more than looking at the fine print on packages, buying American becomes simple.  Buying American doesn’t start out easy, but it definitely becomes easy before long.

Please consider joining our growing Buy American Movement.

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.


Read Full Post »

This is Mary, who has been buying American for three decades.

Here is a story about a woman, Mary, who has been buying American for the last 30 years.  I met Mary online when she commented on one of my postings.  I enjoyed her story so much I thought I would share it with you.  Here is Mary’s story, in her own words:

I am a 30-year-long consumer of made in U.S.A. products, so I pretty much took the Buy American Challenge three decades ago.  I don’t buy a pen unless it’s made in U.S.A.  I’m also an American manufacturer and the web person for a consumer directory of domestic products. As such, I whole-heartedly support buying American.

As a consumer and business owner, I consider not only the price of a product, but the cost to own that product.  I often spend less on domestic products than their imported counterparts.  I usually spend about the same on a domestic product as the import is priced.  Occasionally, I spend more for a domestic product than I would for an imported version. 

My buying habits were established before I ever took over the family business.  Many commercial products remain made in U.S.A. because business demands quality.  Businesses know that low quality products come with a higher cost to own.  The product will more often need repair, lack dependability, and soon require replacement. 

Somehow though, ordinary consumers have been sold the notion that they should disregard quality and value in favor of a supposedly “low price.”  It actually seems quite frivolous and somewhat extravagant to me to consider that some people spend their money repeatedly while I spend my money only once.  If business demands and receives made in U.S.A. products, there’s no reason for consumers not to make the same demand in the marketplace. 

Even though my home is filled with made in U.S.A. furniture, furnishings, appliances, apparel, etc., there are exceptions. There is Champagne from France in my home, a piece of Waterford crystal, and bananas come to mind.

Some of these items are what one would call “cheat items” on the Buy American Challenge.

For all my involvement and dedication to U.S. manufacturing, I most certainly support sound, fair and balanced trade of both raw materials and finished goods.

We have manufacturers that utilize raw materials found in other countries.  One such example is bamboo, which is manufactured in the U.S. into flooring and clothing. Our chocolate producers often use cocoa bean which is found in other countries.  As fussy as I am, I certainly don’t mind purchasing a U.S.-made chocolate made with foreign-grown cocoa beans.

Consumers also deserve choices and selection in the marketplace, especially fine products from foreign producers with an expertise.

The words “Made in U.S.A.” were always a source of pride to me but the word “imported” has changed significantly in my lifetime.

As a child in the 1960′s, just about everything was made in the U.S.A. It was actually something special and unusual, “fancy” even, when something was imported.  When a woman in the neighborhood purchased an imported set of china from England, word of the purchase spread throughout the neighborhood. “Oh, that china must be beautiful.” “I wonder how much it cost.” “Did her husband get a raise?”

Today, the word imported most often denotes junk. Unlike my childhood, the U.S. trades today not for the finest products from around the world, but for sub-standard products that realize the largest profit margins.

I have no doubt that anyone taking the Buy American Challenge will be forming a habit that will last their lifetime. I would not have continued to buy made in U.S.A. products for three decades without benefit. I’ve simply found no downside to all my purchases. I am a brand loyal shopper but that ceases whenever production moves abroad. This results in discovering new domestic brands which somehow exceed my expectations. There is nothing like a satisfied consumer – that’s me, for the past 30 years.

Thank you for sharing your story, Mary. 

If you have a buy American story to tell, please share it with us.  I hope this “My Buy American Story” can be a regular feature on this blog.

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: