The coronavirus pandemic has put a lot of us on shaky financial footing, and those of us who can still work aren’t immune to the economic downturn.
We’re all resilient, though. There are always ways to save money, and spending more time at home means more opportunities to cut back on unnecessary costs. If you’re looking at your budget and wondering where you can trim around the edges, consider some of these ideas:
Buy Food in Bulk and Plan Out Meals
Not always, but very often, buying in bulk is cheaper than buying smaller quantities. Now that you’re going out less and less, it makes sense to get the shopping done in one fell swoop and try to make your purchases last at least a month. Figure out what you use the most in your household and see if you can find those items in bulk.
Some people are afraid of letting food go to waste, but when you plan out and prep your meals, you’re far less likely to waste anything. You don’t have to plan out every single meal for every day, but you can sketch out a rough idea, like which days you’ll use meat or what type of dish you’ll make. Then you can start prepping and freezing ingredients or even full meals.
Another bonus that comes from meal prepping is that you’ll be less tempted to order out since you’ll have easy meals ready at home, which will save you even more money.
Review Your Monthly Memberships/Subscriptions
You might think that your streaming services are all vital now that you’re home all the time, but in fact you probably don’t make use of all of them and can whittle it down to just one or two. Don’t forget about those add-ons, which can easily turn a relatively cheap subscription into an unnecessary expense.
Aside from streaming services, what else do you pay for monthly that could be considered a want rather than a need? You might have makeup and beauty boxes, a gym membership, or other monthly subscriptions that aren’t useful right now. You can always start up again later, but for now, if you don’t need it, ditch it.
Avoid Impulse Buying
We’re bored, we have unlimited access to the Internet, and we want to shop. Resist at all costs! Household needs don’t count of course, but are you buying an excessive amount of snacks on Amazon, or buying “quarantine clothes” that you really don’t need? Now more than ever you might have the temptation to impulse buy, but remember that your needs are fewer these days. Unless it’s a household staple or the one thing that’s keeping you from going crazy in quarantine, it’s a want, not a need.
Use Less Energy
This one is tricky since you’re home more, but you can still be more efficient around the house. Keep all the lights off except the ones you need, don’t leave the TV on all day, and shut your computer down when you’re finished working. If you can, try to leave the thermostat on the setting you use when no one is home and adjust to whatever temperature that is.
Put All the Money You’ve Saved into a High-Yield Savings Account
As a last tip, assuming you don’t immediately need all the money you’ve saved with the previous tips, you can put it all in a high-yield savings account and watch those pennies turn into dollars! It might be $7 from a subscription, or it could be $100 from ordering out less. Whatever the amount, set it aside and let interest work its magic.
These tips don’t just apply to quarantine, either!
One day, the world will return to normal (whatever that may be), and by then you’ll have acquired new skills that you can use to save money well into the future! Take quarantine as a time to really pinch pennies and see how far you can stretch a dollar. Not only will it help you in the time being, but it'll come in handy for any other money-saving circumstance that may come your way.
Got any money savings tips you love? Share them with us in the comments!
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