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Why can’t I find products made in the USA?

Updated on September 10, 2015
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Erin Shelby is passionate about living a lifestyle that aims for financial freedom. She writes about personal finance and other topics.


If you’ve thought about why it’s important to buy items made in the USA, you may be wondering how you can start choosing American-made items over imported ones. It can be frustrating to discover that items made in foreign countries dominate American shelves. What can you do to help the American economy as you shop for the things you need if there is nothing made in the USA available to purchase? Consider these alternatives when items made in America are nowhere to be found.

Grow Your Own Food

If you haven’t been reading food labels or watching the news, you may be shocked to know that foods, spices and vegetables that could seemingly be provided from American farms aren’t. If you’re shopping for food and you can’t find a version of what you need that was made in America, consider starting that seed in your garden as the next planting season arrives. If you don’t already have a garden, you can start one. Great items for new gardeners to start planting are basil and tomatoes.

Buy Locally

Even if you have your own garden, unless you’re Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, you probably won’t have enough space to plant seeds for every fruit or vegetable you desire. Buying from locally-owned businesses and markets is another solution when food made in America isn’t available. This principle doesn’t just apply to food, but to clothing and household items. Even if the style of clothing you’re looking for can’t be found in a made-in-America version, buying from a business that’s owned by local people rather than a worldwide company, so someone here in America is guaranteed to benefit.

Buy Secondhand

Would you be embarrassed to be caught in a secondhand store? Put your pride aside for a moment and consider these shops do for the American economy. Not only do they provide jobs, but many of these stores fund great causes like cancer research or drug and alcohol rehabilitation. As a shopper, you can take advantage of discount deals and put your money into the American economy. Members of older generations might also notice that some items like cast-iron cookware – though it’s been given away to a thrift store – still can be used in the years to come because it was made well, unlike the lesser-quality merchandise in stores today.

Shop Online

This is the exact opposite of the advice to buy locally, but if your only locally-owned businesses are upscale boutiques – and you’re on a dollar store budget – then shopping online can be a great way to patronize American businesses without breaking the bank. If you’re searching a website for products, carefully review the products presented. Oftentimes, a search for “Made in the USA” will yield results that are not so.

Do It Yourself

In previous, simpler times, people didn’t buy as much and did more things themselves. Is there something you can learn to do that would lessen the amount of products you’re buying? Learning to make your own laundry detergent and learning to cook from scratch are ways you can empower yourself to rely a little less on foreign production and more on yourself.

Which idea do you see yourself trying?

See results

© 2013 erinshelby


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    • erinshelby profile image

      erinshelby 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks for stopping by, moonlake.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      All great ideas enjoyed your hub. Voted up.