Frugal Living Tips During COVID 19
With times changing now more than ever and things being so uncertain many people are learning to stretch their pennies into dollars. This is something I am pretty used to and honestly prefer to be a bit more on the frugal side of things in most situations, but many people have never been placed in a situation like this, until now.
Many people are learning new techniques for budgeting or financial planning. I am super thankful that there are online calculators for this. Calculator.me has a great Family Budget Planning Calculator that allows us to really dig deep into our finances to know exactly how much money we need to survive in this “new normal” that we are all learning to handle.
Personally for me the biggest change since the COVID 19 pandemic is having to budget more for groceries because we are not able to find our normal brands in the small town that we live in where there is literally only 1 grocery store. I have learned to bend a bit on brand choices, but often this means spending more. Here are some other tips that have helped us during the pandemic:
- Buy in Bulk- We have been visiting a Mennonite store locally and buying our baking/cooking basics in bulk. I bring them home and package in air tight containers to make sure that we are stocked for awhile, especially on things like flour and rice that have been utterly difficult to find right now.
- Meat- We are meat eaters. Did you know there are calculators to estimate the costs of meat? We buy our meat in shares, meaning to buy the animal, it is fed locally and taken to slaughter at a trusted location and we split the meat with family. This is the most frugal way that we have found to handle the meat situation, especially beef. We often eat steak for $3.50 per pound. Yes, you read that right a T-bone for $3.50.
- Veggies- We go to the local farmer’s market now that things are coming into season here. This method allows me the freshest choices but also the ability to buy in somewhat of a bulk content to freeze and can things and also fruit for jelly/jam. This may cost a bit up front, but divided into the amount that we get and how long it lasts we find that it pays off in the end.
- Travel- Obviously we aren’t traveling this year but we still have to budget for gas as my husband is still working. Gas is at its cheapest right now that I have seen in ages. We are saving no matter where he has to go based on the average cost over the last several years.
- Take Out- This is the first time since leaving my parents that a restaurant will deliver to where we live. This is a blessing and sometimes a curse too, but I budget for 1 takeout meal per week to be delivered to our home. My kids love it and honestly it saves me an evening of cooking. We budget in for a tip, too.
- Personal Care- This is something I really struggled with at first. As many of you know in my spare time I sell Avon, so I have started to color my own hair and I even did a quarantine hair trim. While this has proven to be one of the hardest parts of the pandemic for me, I have survived.
No matter how you are riding out the pandemic, please stay safe. We offer our thoughts to the essential workers who are still out there killing it every single day.