Small Business Saturday - will you have to spend more buying local?

How to cut your costs on Small Business Saturday

Town centre view, Towcester town, Northamptonshire County, England; Britain; UK

It's a widely-held belief that smaller retailers are always more expensive than the big chains.

But the organisers of Small Business Saturday want to bust that myth this weekend. More than 20,000 businesses and local authorities will be taking part by offering discounts, free parking and more.

Meanwhile, American Express cardholders will be given a £5 credit on their statement for every £10 they spend at a participating retailer - not just on Saturday, but until December 18.

"There's nothing quite like the feeling of finding a hidden gem in a small shop; not only do you experience the joy of buying something unique, there's also the satisfaction that you're supporting a local business," says the company.

"Local shops give where we live a sense of identity and community and contribute billions to our economy."

Cardholders can register for the offer here.

Customers returning to the corner shop

A survey from Small Business Week earlier this year found that two thirds of people feel that local businesses add value to their community, and nine out of ten say they are good value.

And shopping locally is often much cheaper than you'd think - not least because you won't have to pay for a bus ticket or parking.

The unexpectedly cheap shops that beat supermarkets for basics

Research earlier this year found that British shoppers are increasingly shopping little and often at smaller, local stores, rather than relying on a big weekly shop. And buying only what you need at the time can make for a huge reduction in waste.

Local shops often have high-quality produce for the same price as supermarket standards: many offer locally-grown or organic fruit and vegetables, for example, for less than refrigerated imports.

What time of day does your supermarket cut prices?

"In most cases, local is cheaper, even with the supermarket's buying power, because on average farmers only get 9p in every £1 spent on food in the supermarket," explains Big Barn, which campaigns for local retailers.

"In simple terms, if a farmer can sell direct at 50p rather than 9p, he will be getting five times more and be giving consumers a 50% discount compared to supermarket prices."

Shopping: when spending more isn't always better

Shopping: when spending more isn't always better