My love affair with co-ops began when I opened my first account at one when I was 9. Later, I worked for that same credit union as a teller. As a young person who was distrustful of anything corporate and big, belonging to a credit union felt like a small way for me to stick it to the man.
Co-ops are pretty much the bomb—whether you do your banking at one or buy your groceries at one. Our local food Co-op is fantastic and as a family on a budget, they tend to be cheaper than Safeway and the other chain stores. My favorite part is competing with myself each week to see how much money I can spend on local products. Since it’s summertime, buying mostly local produce isn’t a problem. However, I do have to make choices when I buy other things, like bread or tea or even chocolate bars. Even if it costs a few cents extra, I purchase the local product. Buying local keeps money in the community and contributes to a healthier economy, which is vital in an area as small as the one I live in.
Check out this comparison from Yes! Magazine about the statistics of Co-ops:
To find a food co-op near you, try this site: Coop Directory Service.