Sunday, September 09, 2007

Finding Made In USA Products

In July, I wondered what my options were if I chose to Buy American for my products. I had intended to track my purchases for a month to determine if doing so was a possibility. I didn't track the purchases rigorously by writing them down. Here's what I recall about my purchases during July and August.

Toilet repair. In July, there appeared to be water leaking from underneath the toilet. From previous experience, I suspected that the wax ring seal needed to be replaced. Two of the parts for the repair, the wax ring and flange reinforcement, were made in the U.S. For the third part, I wanted to use brass bolts, and the thicker/sturdier ones were made in China.

Tools. While I have just about every tool needed for home repair, I recently need to purchase a screwdriver that was shaped like an allen wrench (or hex key wrench) to access a screw in a limited access region. The tool I found was made in China. It seems many tools are now produced in China.

Food. While my wife usually does the grocery shopping, in the past two months I did about 5 trips. In the fruit section, I noticed that strawberry, blue berry and raspberry packages now specifically say, "Grown in U.S.A." on them. However, many other foods, e.g. bread, sausages, and chips, show a U.S. address for the manufacturer, but do not specify if the product was made in the U.S. or if the components were from the U.S. While I did not purchase them, some packages of frozen vegetables showed the origin of the components, e.g. U.S. , China, Spain, Mexico, etc.

Deck maintenance products. We are currently doing routine maintenance on our outdoor deck by cleaning and resealing it. Virtually all the products were Made in the U.S.A. The Chlorox bleach, the Elmer's Epoxy Wood Repair, and the Olympic Maximum Semi-Transparent sealer were all made in the U.S. The Loctite Sumo glue was made in Germany. The Elmer's Bottled Wood Stabilizer was manfactured in Canada and packaged in the U.S. None of the products specifically mentioned the country of origin for the components used in manufacture.

While not rigorous, it appears non-durable home repair products are still mostly made in the U.S. Also, it appears a number of food products that are made in the U.S. can be found. However, it is not clear whether the components used in manufacture are also made in the U.S. On the other hand, durable products, such as tools, seem to be mostly made in China nowadays.

At this point, I don't plan to make any changes to my purchase decisions. However, I will continue to monitor location of manufacture.

For more on New Beginnings, check back every Sunday for the next segment.

Photo Credit:, Ray Forester
This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.
Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC
Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC


Anonymous said...

Super Saver, You might be interested in checking out a great on-line site dedicated to selling American-made products, From tools to baby clothes to pet supplies and gourmet foods, this site has thousands of US-made products manufactured by American companies.

SavingDiva said...

It's very socially responsible of you to notice where a product is purchased. To be honest, I only look at my produce and food products. I want both to be made/grown in the area that I'm from (not just the US).

Super Saver said...

@ Anonymous,

Thanks for the info on

@ Saving Diva,

Thanks for your comment. I've heard about but haven't investigated buying shares in a farming coop so that part of our food would be grown locally. Based on an NPR story, the coop food tends to be better tasting, because it is grown for taste instead of shelf longevity. Thanks for reminding me about the idea.

Anonymous said...

Proudly American! is more than a statement of national pride, it is a reassurance that companies and their products carrying the Proudly American symbol are of high quality, are socially responsible and are supporting the local economy.

The objective of the Proudly American campaign, introduced by business, and community organizations all across the United States of America, is to advocate and promote American companies, products, and services in an effort to stimulate the economy and job growth in the United States.