Small Town Shopping

We had our first snow over the weekend. I’m still in shock over it. But I guess I just have to look back on those 4 full months of no snow and appreciate them. (sarcasm font) Which also means that I can start this blog post with “as the holidays approach….” please consider where you are shopping.

This entire post is fueled by Side Dish (not sponsored by, I just bought myself lunch there).

This bruschetta wrap is one of my favorite items from Side Dish, the sausage tarragon soup was necessary since it was 32 degrees outside!

Prairie Bay is my go-to restaurant if I’m over in Brainerd. They have an extensive menu where everyone can find something they like. Side Dish is their food truck venture which has come to the Riverwood Hospital in Aitkin 3 times in the past few months. Its such a great treat to get good food, at a decent price out of a trendy food truck in our 1 stoplight town.

While I was enjoying this lunch, I got to thinking about small town business and shopping.

I know cash can be a pain to get, and I hate ATM fees. But did you know that the credit card fees for stores are outrageous? Those perks that you get (miles, points, whatever) from using your card end up coming out of the businesses pocket. I will be the first person to use a my credit card at Target. But if I’m shopping local, I try to use cash. It means that the business gets their full sale from the purchase, instead of giving up on average 3% of each sale to a credit company. And while 3% may sound small, it adds up fast!

I’m definitely not perfect about this, and I do purchase plenty of things outside of Aitkin, however when it comes to gifts, I have found plenty of great options in the stores in town!

Do you try to shop local? Do you remember to use cash?



  1. I love shopping local – I feel lucky to have access to such a vibrant community of small businesses in St. Paul. A few of my favorites are, The Golden Fig, and Bin Win Bar (naturally 🙂

  2. YES! Shopping local is super important to my husband and I. And we also try to be really good about using cash 🙂 Good reminder!

    Your lunch looked amazing!

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