Well? It's probably a year later. Are you sticking to it?? Maybe now is the time to re-examine what you've been doing.
I just ran across an interesting commentary on the subject on the blueOregon blog. Check it out here.
I discovered it via the Solari Action Network email list. They're an AMAZING organization, or should I say Catherine Austin Fitts is an amazingly knowlegeable person. She's served as Assistant Secretary of Housing/Federal Housing Commissioner at HUD during the 1st Bush administration, and has an extensive professional background in the economics realm. So she knows what she's talking about (full details are here if you want to find out more.)
Anyway, if you think buying from the chains is actually SAVING you money, even in the smallest view of that single transaction, you may be surprised if you actually look into it. I compared prices on a handful of items from Safeway (that I actually EAT. Do YOU call what's generally at Safeway food?) with a local market just a block away at 30th St and Church, and I found that the local market was actually cheaper on these items. Try doing the same in your neighborhood!!
In the article linked above, there's discussion of office supplies that mentioned this: "'Our research has shown, time and time again, that most local independent office supply companies are substantially lower in overall cost to the consumer.'
'The pricing gap between the independent and the chains is so wide, and the consumer perceptions are so engrained that the chains have the lowest prices, that some independents have chosen to match the chain store prices using our services.'
Yes, you read that right. Some independent suppliers raised their prices by matching the national chains. National chains have successfully changed the perception of the consumer that they are the lowest price through advertising and price juggling. Clearly, local is better here."
But in any case, remember to really think about who you are supporting in your choice of who to buy your goods from. Maybe even think about exploring the option of barter! :)
More: Safeway loves George W. Bush