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Discussion Starter #1
~So I know this is something a lot of us in the USA try to do. It can be very overwhelming trying to research every single thing we buy all at once. So how about a specific spending area to focus on at a time?
In my case, I have birthdays for my three kids coming up. I'd like to have less than 25% of what we give them to be money we sent out of the US. Anyone who has ever bought toys for children should understand how challenging this is going to be!
So here are my challenge guidelines:

1. Items should preferably be made in the USA
2. Items can be manufactured elsewhere if I purchase the item secondhand
3. Homemade items count as USA made even if the materials came from elsewhere

Information sharing is welcome but please don't post a ton of links to companies or product lists. Let's make this thread about our personal choices and research.
For instance, if you come across towels in Walmart with Made in USA tags, please post the store and exact brand name here. But don't post a link to another site that lists 50 manufacturer's of USA towels.
Pictures are very welcome!
So who's with me?~
 

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Discussion Starter #2
~Ok, so I have a few items on baby's gift ideas list. One of those items is Melissa and Doug puzzles. M&D is a company I love. Their products are safe and sturdy and made in the US. I'm trying to get a double whammy by buying some used. ;) ~
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Note: MADE is a key word. Many items will say "assembled" in the USA.
~I hadn't thought about that one. Well, if it's assembled here isn't it still supporting American workers? Just not to the extent that "Made" does.
I think 'assembled' should still count as a USA purchase.~
 

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Good point.
Just thought of something else. A few years back, I was in need of a new Carhartt jacket. At the time, I thought ALL Carhartts were made in the USA... wrong! Only a select few are.
And upon further reading, some coats are mainly made in Mexico, except for maybe a pocket. The unfinished product is sent to the US, have a pocket sewn on, JUST so they can say Made in the USA.
So, things are not always as they seem.
 

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Not all Melissa and Doug items are made in the USA. When everyone was fearful of China made toys Mellisa and Doug was on the watch list.

But if you find them second hand that fits your rules and your budget.

Good luck

PS I love there puzzles and their wooden doll houses.

I think this made int he USA challenge is going to be hard. It will be interesting to see how it goes and how I do at it. I will definitely be checking.

I saw a car in a parking lot that had an label on it that said assembled in America and labeled with city the plant was in. I thought that was cool.
 

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I'm in! I like your 3 criteria as well! This will be challenging, but I'm up for it.
 
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Oh I'M IN! Even when we go to the Grocery Store I make sure it's from the US not Chili or Mexico etc etc.... KEEP THE JOBS HERE
 
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Discussion Starter #9
~So Imagine was right! Despite all the blurbs on their site about being an American manufacturing company, my shopping trip last night proved otherwise. Item after item from Melissa Doug was stamped "Made in China". Urg!! When I bought M&D for my now 6 and 8 year olds they were made here. :(
I still love their products so I bought some used on Ebay.
I also picked up a Cars 2 item for dd. That's going to be her birthday theme. Is anything from Disney NOT made in China? :angry: So far:

Items purchased Made in the USA: 0
Items purchase secondhand: 3
Items homemade: 0
Items from foreign manufacturers: 1 ~
 

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Discussion Starter #10
~I just received the new car seat for the baby. It's an Evenflo Tribute and it was stamped "Made in USA"! The fabric pieces were made in China but the base and assembly happened here. Awesome! And it was less than $50! ~
 

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Discussion Starter #11
~I read an article yesterday about how little Americans actually spend on Made-in-China products. FRBSF Economic Letter: The U.S. Content of “Made in China” (2011-25, 8/8/2011)
This article ignores the fact that we buy imported products from many other countries but it has some interesting points. I believe the article grossly underestimates how much people spend as well.
2% of an average household's spending times the number of households in the US adds up to over $130 billion dollars in Chinese goods. That's a huge number! I think we could put at least half a million people in our country to work with the money we're sending to China.
I just quickly walked around my house and found 20 things that we brought in over the last year. Of the 20, 13 were made in China, 1 had components made in China and components made in the US, 1 was made in India, 1 made in Germany, 1 made in Canada. 3 items were unmarked so those may have been made in the US. The retail value of those items that I know to be foreign made was about $500 so according to the article, half of that money stayed here in the US and half went out of the country.
This is by no means all that's come into the house this year and I paid less than $250 for all 20 items since a few were gifts or secondhand and I had coupons/sale items. New on sale or with coupons, it's the US stores that takes the financial hit. They still have to pay for the items they import. So the items I brought in kept very little money in the US at all.
I'm not going to obsess about everything I buy and how I shop sales and use coupons just yet. Right now I'm still focusing on just the gifts. But I did find the article and my little experiment interesting.~
 

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I was able to find vitamin e cream that was made in the usa! Now i will always buy this brand (fruit of the earth)
 
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Discussion Starter #14
I bought New Balance sneakers yesterday. $20 off and added a $10 coupon so got them for $31.01 and saved $31.02, LOL. My old ones had been glued together about 4 times. They needed to go. but I was waiting for a deal.
~I was so frustrated trying to get NB sneakers a couple of years ago. Almost all of them(at Kohl's) were no longer made in the USA. :( ~
 

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I'm going to give this a go! The only things besides foods and pet food I really needs in the next 6 weeks are pants and sweatshirts for ds 2 and a b day gift for mil.
 

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I want to support jobs in America and always look for things made in America. This is a good thread and one that we should able to go back to refer.
Yesterday, I bought canning jars...sticker said, "made in the USA. We support jobs in the USA"
I like that!!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
~One of the baby's birthday presents arrived. I can't believe she'll be one in a couple of weeks. :thud: Anyway, her big present is an activity table from Step 2. Made in the USA!
Items purchased Made in the USA: 1
Items purchase secondhand: 3
Items homemade: 0
Items from foreign manufacturers: 1~
 

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I flipped over my anti persperant and it said made in the USA

Degree body responsive anti persperant mine was shower fresh scent
 

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Discussion Starter #20
~So the baby's birthday was Monday. We assembled our own 'ball pit' from a thrift store suitcase and play balls from Toys R Us. We were delighted to find that the "Sizzlin' Cool" brand of play balls were made in the US!
So of the 7 gifts we gave her, 6 were made in the US or purchased secondhand(85%). So I did better than my goal. :sun:
Items purchased Made in the USA: 2
Items purchase secondhand: 4
Items homemade: 0
Items from foreign manufacturers: 2~
 
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