If you’re the type of person who A) forgets her wallet and B) likes crowd funding, you need to sign up for Credibles. It’s an investment-like service that lets you loan money to local food business in return for store credit.
Here’s how it works: Download the app (for iOS and Android) or go to the Credibles website and search for a local restaurant, bakery, pub, butcher or what have you, then choose how much you want to pay up front via credit card. Lend $25 to a cheese shop and you’ve got $25 to spend on cheddar whenever you’d like--think of it as a delicious gift card that you buy for yourself.
When you’re ready to redeem, just tell the cashier you’re paying with Credibles and give your name. The store has a Credibles Business app that keeps track of its patrons, and purchases are automatically deducted.
Some businesses throw in cool perks when you contribute more, like a cooking class or an of-the-month membership. Credibles is working with more than a hundred food vendors across the country, so you can take stock in everything from artisanal gelato in Berkeley to farm-fresh eggs in Brooklyn.