The Champagne Life on a DIY Budget Since 2007

Keep it Local with Austin Passbook

austin passbook 2015 gordoughs

You guys know that I’m a “localist”: a big community supporter and advocate of spending money at local, independently owned businesses over big corporate chains whenever possible, wherever in the world you might be living or traveling, and a proud member of the Local First movement. Why buy local? Because on average, money spent at a local independent business keeps much more of that money circulating in the local economy, versus spending it with a national chain: for one, a study right here in Austin, TX found that $100 spent at a local bookstore generated $45 of local economic activity, while the same $100 spent at Borders only put $13 back into the local economy.

Nobody wants to see their taxes go up, and almost everyone — especially current Austinites — could use a break on their property taxes these days, but communities always need steady ways to pay for important things like safety and infrastructure, parks and recreation, public transportation, and the like, which we also all enjoy. What if we all could just shift our shopping by choosing a local small business versus a big box store for the exact same expenses, and we could defray a lot of that cost? Easy, right?

Austin Passbook 2015 Gordough's Donuts

That’s just one of the major reasons — aside from saving money on getting out and being social! — that Austin Passbook is like 12 of my favorite things in one: buy one, get one free (BOGO) deals to get out & explore ATX with a friend, whether you live here or just want to have one hell of a vacation, at primarily local, independently owned businesses, AND for each sale, Austin Passbook gives 5% back to HAAM — health insurance for local musicians, who keep Austin a vibrant creative hub and make it such a cool place to be.

BOGO deals include must-do things (for both tourists AND locals) like food trucks (gluten-free options like Burro Cheese Kitchen!), juice bars, kayaking, bike rentals…and best of all, IMHO, a BOGO deal for my current addiction, City Surf Fitness. $20 gets you all that & a bag of chips. Literally. Buy now at & use this week through October 1st, 2015.

If you aren’t already, follow me and Shoestring on Instagram to see where we’re saving by using our Passbook out in the wild, weird, awesome world that is ATX.

Photos by Chelsea Laine Francis