Shopping and Political/Religious beliefs

Christmas is over and a great time was had by all. The kids got everything they asked for (their Santa lists were short this year) and then some. H worked Christmas day, so the kids and I had a super chill afternoon and evening much like most of our regular evenings, which honestly made me happier than having to run around all over the place.

But rather than talk about Christmas and presents and such, I wanted to start a discussion about how we all make choices about where we do or don’t spend money based on a company or business owner’s political or religious leanings.

I generally try to do my best to shop at places that don’t actively discriminate against gay and lesbian families in their policies with their employees and advertising dollars. But this isn’t always feasible, especially on a limited budget. I take very seriously trying to spend money with companies that actively employee people with disabilities. When an organization actively campaigns against my family and people I care about, I do everything possible to remove said company from my money-spending repertoire.

Recently, a new craft store opened up about 20 miles from my house. Currently my choices include Mich.aels and Wal.Mart for yarn and crocheting/knitting supplies. Yes, we have a Local Yarn Shops (LYSs) in the same radius as the new craft store, but my budget does not allow for frequent shopping at places where small skeins of yarn are $5-$10 apiece. So when I heard that was coming to town, I was THRILLED. I couldn’t wait to drive out to check it out. Even though it’s about a 25 minute drive, I was getting so tired of the same old tired selection at Mich.aels I didn’t care anymore (plus, while Michaels has yarn, they are sorely lacking in the knitting needle/crochet hook selection).

My cousin came into town and I took a Friday off when she was here and off we went. HOLY COW that place is huge. And it has everything. If you have a crafting addiction you cannot go to this store, seriously it’s insane. I could have spent hours in there. I told H, “If anyone needs a random idea for me for Christmas, tell them I’d love a gift card to that place. And I got one. What’s even cooler is they have online shopping, so now that I’ve seen what their proprietary yarn is like, I have no problem buying it online and not having to drive out there.

And then, I discovered that the parent organization is a super conservative, religiously based company. A company that has actively campaigned against my family and donates to other organizations that do the same. Sigh.

How do you balance your belief systems with your spending habits? How do you reconcile meeting your families needs (food, clothing, etc…) with trying not to support organizations that promote or campaign against things that are important to you? Discuss.


3 thoughts on “Shopping and Political/Religious beliefs

  1. This is something that I think about a lot. And I don’t have an answer. It is really tough. When I worked for the City of L.A., I researched the heck out of Walm*rt as the city wanted to limit the amount of stores opening there so I learned about their shitty business practices and avoided them. Now, living in a very small town, we do go there and a brand new super store opened very close to our house so it is very convenient for many things. Also, we’ve been going to Sam’s Cl*b for prescriptions for years as it is very close to our house AND their customer service has been amazing, which has not been the case with other pharmacies where the wait is at least 60 minutes and I want to pull my hair out after being there. I knew that about H*bby L*bby and I won’t step foot in there but that’s pretty easy as I am not very crafty and we do have a Michael’s. The whole Target issue really stumps me but I don’t think their prices are all that amazing and I usually end up with a couple of things that I don’t need so we’ve generally tried to avoid it anyway in an effort to save money that way. Right now, I am upset with Am*zon’s business practices so I am avoiding them for now. I guess, for me, each case is different and I try to weigh the greater good, like how much I will really benefit from a purchase at a specific place and it hasn’t been easy.

  2. Sigh. I gave up on *excluding* businesses a long time ago. Even if the company doesn’t overtly push an agenda I disagree with, I know that there’s a good chance they are engaged in some sort of business practices I wouldn’t approve of, etc. I just shop where I want to, which includes eating at least once a week at the chicken place that’s closed on Sundays (the food is delish, the service is great, and the restaurants are clean) and never eating at the Mexican fast food place with the bell on the sign (food is okay, but service HONKS and cleanliness is hit or miss).

    Having said that, I do intentionally give my business to companies such as Walgreen’s and Publix Supermarkets that I know consistently provide opportunities for people with disabilities. I don’t think it’s any accident that my shopping experiences at these stores has always been pleasant – I believe their culture influences both their employment and customer service.

  3. We try our best to support local businesses when we can. We stayed out of Target for many months, but then let it slip back into our shopping world. Our town is small and sometimes the only option is Target or Walmart – and I don’t shop at Walmart unless it’s a last LAST resort. I just got an Amazon Prime account and have been loving it. Better prices, I stick to what I need (like ink for the printer) and get it in 2 days, free shipping. I love the ease of it and I think Amazon is a good gay friendly company? I can’t recall the last time I ate at Chick-Fil-A and don’t care to give them my $, no matter how nice they are or how yummy the chicken is. I’d rather give my $ to the local Mexican restaurant (and I have no idea their political stance) – I try to pick local vs. chain when it comes to eating? It’s hard at times and sometimes I fail, but I just keep trying and remind myself of the bigger picture.

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