Sunday, July 08, 2007

Buy American - Frugality Strategy?

With all the news about issues with food and products from China, I've been considering a "buy American" strategy, both to be more frugal and for product safety peace of mind. While I am appreciative of the standard of living improvements that have been created by "made in China" products, I am concerned about two things:

  1. Am I unnecessarily "living larger" and experiencing "lifestyle inflation" due to the cost of goods becoming much cheaper. This would be contrary to a buy only what I need strategy to which I subscribe. After all, a generation or two ago, people did quite well without cell phones, 52" plasma TVs, iPods, and SUVs.
  2. While I assumed US safety standards were being followed, recent product safety incidents with Chinese products have given me cause for concern. It's not worth saving a few dollars at the risk of personal health, which is irreplaceable.
While I think the rise of the Chinese economy is good, I think I will determine what it would take to buy only made in America. I am doing this partly for safety reasons (should I need to change), frugality reasons (maybe less to buy), and curiosity reasons (can it be done?). I am not doing this to boycott Chinese products or to make a statement. However, recent articles, such as US Family Tries To Live Without China, make me think it will be difficult to buy only American products.

Therefore, for the rest of this month, I will track my purchases, the origin of the product, and potential alternatives. For reference, I will only do this for my personal purchases and not the family purchases (e.g groceries, children's items) my spouse makes.

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

Photo Credit:, Michelle Kwajafa

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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