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#keepitlocaler: Food + Drink


#keepitlocaler: Food + Drink

On one hand, the effort to #keepitlocaler in the food category is easy. I don’t think I need to convince a majority of people that local restaurants offer better food and more desirable dining experiences. The Oklahoma City restaurant scene is thriving and my April budget backs that up. April was rich with local food and drink:

Empire Slice House, Anchor Down, Marshall Brewery, Dos Bandidos, American Solare, Elemental Coffee, District House, The Mule, Saints, The Union, The Pump, The Pritchard.

However, there are a few areas in the food category where sometimes it’s easy to miss an opportunity. We’re not big on eating fast food, but sometimes that’s just what happens. We stick with Sonic and Braum’s as a local option for fast food. There are enough locations spread across the city to keep it convenient, and I honestly prefer the menu over any other fast food chains. I also really appreciate Sonic’s progressive leadership and community investment as a company and Braum’s market offerings for when you just need a few staples.

Our household has affinity for cheap beer (don’t worry, we love local beer too). It’d be easy to grab a six pack from any gas station or grocery store, but we prefer to pick it up from the corner store in our neighborhood, the S&S. My husband loves to walk down the block to visit with the store owner, Prince, and I love to have a place to grab a Kit Kat when I’m craving something sweet.

Right now, most liquor stores are local, but soon we’ll be able to purchase those items from the grocery store. I want to continue to support my favorite liquor store, Modern Liquor, because they are a familiar face and always give us great recommendations. They’ve even brought in labels we’ve requested. I don’t expect to get that kind of service from a grocery store.

On the other hand, groceries are the hardest part of my effort to #keepitlocaler. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love Aldi. Last summer, I tried to make the switch to a local grocery store but I just couldn’t make it work. Aldi is just a really great fit for us when it comes to budget and quality. However, we have been able to shift some of our grocery budget locally. For the past few months, we’ve been picking up local eggs from Upward Harvest. They’ve recently created a program which delivers local meat and produce to your door. In April, we enjoyed local bison, tilapia, greens, eggs, and herbs. We also pick up a few odds and ends from Crest when we can’t find what we need at Aldi. Braum’s Fresh Market is also a regular stop for odds and ends between grocery shopping.

At the end of the month, 67% of our food and drink budget was spent locally. I feel good about this, but I’d love to be able to expand our local shopping to include more locally grown, raised and made options in the future. Remember you can also #keepitlocaler by purchasing locally made food and drink. A few of our favorites include Anthem beer, Big Oak Kombucha, Towhead salsa, and various local honey jars and locally roasted coffee.

Food & Drink Notes

What does shopping more local mean for a millenial(ish) couple who are striving to have a more minimal lifestyle when it comes to material things?
Supporting local food and drink is a great way to value experiences and togetherness over “stuff.”

What is the feasibility of a commitment to shop local for those that do not have much flexibility or resources? For the single mom, the family living paycheck to paycheck, the person without access to reliable transportation?
The reality is, for our city’s most vulnerable, access to quality food is rarely a choice. Supporting local grocers such as Crest, Buy 4 Less and Supermercado Morelos is a great way to support local businesses that provide options and access to groceries for so many in our community.

Tweet your recommendations, tips, tricks or questions for Kristen to @kristenvails with hashtag #keepitlocalok or #keepitlocaler