Our (good, local) pet shop can be counted on to have all sizes crickets, flighted and flightless hydei and melanogaster, supers, waxies, mealies, nightcrawlers (for the frog and salamander) and hornworms, so I go there. I know it would be more economical to breed and/or order online in bulk, but this is Easy.
I used to buy crickets, superworms and waxworms at my local shop and just order silkworms,hornworms,butterworms and roaches online. The local shop would charge $40 for 1000 crickets but I found on the internet I can get 1000 for $20 shipped so now I buy all my feeders online. My local shop misses me, I bought more feeders than anyone in town, LOL!
I used to always buy local and have quite a few places to choose from. But many of the crickets would die relativly soon after purchase. Worms always lasted longer but only choices are supers, mealies, and wax worms. So I did my first internet purchase of crickets, butters and pheonix worms. Only my beardie liked the pheonix, but the crickets were top notch and still living. Very happy with the butters too. I will buy online and only use the stores when I need to.
I have one shop with a couple of outlets that I use. I know the quality of the feeders and they are really helpful people. I use them for locusts, crix, supers, mealies and waxies, but I can only get Phoenix worms and silkies online, so I do a mixture of both local store and internet!
I only ordered live food on internet for the first time last week and they still haven't arrived (he told me they would get ore in on Wednesday and send them out as soon as they get them, which hopefully will be tommorow).
Everything else so far I've bought from my local shop. It's a very good shop and I like to support it. They give very nice boxes with the food (better than the other shops around here anyway) and charge less than some websites for small-medium quantities of crickets and locusts. I can only really get Crickets, Locusts, Meal Worms and Wax Worms in the local shops. I could probably get cockroaches (and maybe fruit flies) but i'm not allowed them in this house.
I would like to breed my own locusts as they have turned into my principle staple food source, due to my guy going off crickets. I'm also going to have a go at breeding Zophobas Morio as I've got 250 grams on order (the guy on the phone said it's approxomately 1 gram per worm). Going to put 100 into my initial breeding efforts. I imagine they will need to mature/grow a bit first. House Flies are also on the same order so will have to see what comes of them.
I feel a bit bad as I bought the last 3 boxes of locusts from my local exotic pet shop today when another guy had been waiting longer than me, just hadn't got as far as asking for locusts. In hingsight, I should have been nice and offered him one of the boxes of locusts but I was a bit worried my locust supply would run out while I was away for 4 days next week (I have a chameleon sitter) and I was also a bit embaressed by this. The lady in the shop offered him cockroaches and stick insects so hopefully he got something.
I never buy crickets from our local pet stores. The shops don't carry anything else. I am always paranoid they sell bad quality bugs. So I order my crickets from ghanns cricket farms, then breed them. I order my dubias and breed them as well.
I buy my crickets from the local pet store for 3 reasons,
1) The crickets are visable and cages kept clean
2) The owner feeds his Veild Chameleons the exact same crickets
3) I'm helping a small local buisness