Friday, August 14, 2009


I just got home from Wal-Mart. I know what you’re thinking… “What’s so important that she feels the need to blog about it???” It was a rather uneventful trip, but I shopped a little differently this time.

My friend and I were talking about the importance of buying US made products. We were doing searches online for things that are made in the USA, and came across some really nice stuff.

Well, of course, reality set in and I realized that eventually I’m going to have to decide if I’m willing to spend my time and money actually buying only American made products. This means no more impulsive toy purchases for the kids since most of the things they like are made in China. This means no more flippant purchases of beauty care products.

Here are a few things that I found.

First of all, the Wal-Mart “off-brand” (great value) seems to be mostly made in the USA. Everything I purchased in that brand was, I can’t vouch for things I didn’t buy.

I was looking for some cheap toys to add to my “toy store.” The toy store is an incentive thing I’m doing for the kids this year. If they do well in school they earn gold coins (I bought them before I decided to go all out American from oriental trading). At the end of the month they can use the coins to buy toys and candy from my store. I read somewhere that the Slinky brand was still made in the USA. I found some windmill spinners from “Slinky” that were $1 a piece and they said in bold print “Made in the USA.”

I also found some cardboard puzzles that were very inexpensive from “Briar Patch.” Made in the USA.

I had some trouble with some of the hair and body care items. They mostly said “distributed by…” I’ll have to do some research on those. I did, however find that Herbal Essences are definitely made in the USA. I also found some off brand spray-on sun block, “Ocean Potion.”

Have you ever tried that “Malt’O’Meal” cereal that comes in a big bag… you guessed it… it’s American made.

Of course, things like fresh produce and the gallon of milk I bought aren’t labeled “Made in the USA.” I would hope they were grown here… surely the Chinese haven’t discovered ways of producing and shipping those things cheaper than we can.

Now, lest you be concerned about my possible racial prejudice against the Chinese, this simply isn’t the case. Some of my dearest friends are Chinese. The main reason for this sudden shift in personal policy is simple. 1) I realize we’re in a recession and millions of American’s have lost or are in danger of losing their jobs. I prefer to support American companies right now so that I can help out even if it’s just one drop in a very big bucket. 2) Certain countries (like China) are currently governed in a way that I do not want to support. While I certainly wouldn’t have a problem buying things from, let’s say, Great Britain, or Germany, I do not wish to buy them from places like Cuba or China. And finally, 3) I want to start teaching my children the value of cheap vs. quality stuff.

Oh and one more thing. If you don’t want to do this, or if you don’t think you can, I’m not trying to make anyone feel guilty. God provides differently for each person, and He grows each of us in a different way. It makes us all unique and adds a different dimension to the world, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I will say, though that a lot of the grocery type items I found that were made in the USA were much cheaper than popular name brand items.

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