Money Saving Tips During a Pandemic: Coronavirus Lockdown
The coronavirus is bad. While this article is being written, there are already more than 4500 cases with 19 deaths in Australia alone. It is the global pandemic that a lot of us never saw coming! The lockdowns caused by the desire to eliminate the virus by stopping it from spreading, although for a good cause, is a big problem for a lot of us.
Many people have stopped earning, but the bills are still coming. On top of that, *whispers* we still have to feed ourselves, right?
Here are some money saving tips to help you manage your funds smartly during the pandemic.
Condition Your Mindset
A good mindset triggers good action. Why do you want to save money? Do you have to pay for your bills? Have you just realized that life is short and suddenly you want to travel the world after the pandemic? Did it take a pandemic for you to finally realize how broke you are because of your terrible spending habits (because same)?
Think about the things that you want to achieve and then constantly remind yourself how big the role of saving money is in making that happen.
Start Cooking Your Own Meals
A lot of us rely on dining out or having our food delivered on a daily basis. It’s expensive AND unhealthy. If you’re a terrible cook or you just never had the time to practice cooking, use the time you have during the lockdown to learn how to cook simple meals that won’t break the bank.
Tasty by Buzzfeed (tasty.co) and Kitchen Stories (kitchenstories.com) are good sources of recipes ranging from 3-ingredient meals to homemade gourmet. They have aesthetically pleasing step-by-step videos that helps make cooking easy and fun! Plus, they allow people to comment on their recipes so you would have a good idea on which meals would be best to try and how to cook them in an even better way.
If you have a limited budget for groceries, or if grocery stores are running out of supplies, that’s okay. Supercook (supercook.com) is a recipe search engine that shows you recipes according to the available ingredients that you have at home. If your fridge is the literal definition of empty, who knows, it might show you a way to cook air or something. The possibilities are endless.
These are just some of the apps that we have tried and has helped us tremendously, but if they don’t work for you, there are literally hundreds of other websites that may help you improve your cooking, so don’t give up.
Entertain Yourself with Free Stuff Online
A good way to save money is to entertain yourself with free stuff. Entertaining yourself will be pretty hard during a lockdown if you’re tight on a budget or if you’re trying to save for important things. Sadly, online streaming subscriptions, which are most people’s source of entertainment, can be quite pricy. Good thing, there are free ways to distract yourself before dying out of boredom though.
Listen to free Online Books / audiobooks
Companies like Scribd, which is a subscription based online library, are giving out free 30-day trials specially to help keep people inside their homes during the pandemic. Take advantage of those free trials while you can! You can also get a 30-day trial with audible and listen to an audiobook.
Listen to Podcasts
If you own an Apple device, Podcasts is a free application that you can use to listen to, well, podcasts. If you don’t, Spotify is also a great way to access them. Podcasts are usually very informative so you would be doing yourself a huge favor by listening to them if you still aren’t. If you are on Android check out Google Podcasts on the play store to listen to podcasts.
Take a tour of Virtual Museums
There are also virtual museum tours available online! Here’s a list with links of some of the most popular ones https://www.familiesmagazine.com.au/museum-virtual-tours/
Get some new skills
There are a ton of free online learning websites. Some of them such as Khan Academy has been free for a very long time and runs on a non-profit basis. edx is another site with free courses from Harvard, IT and Berkeley. There are also a lot of places to learn some IT skills such as Udemy and Coursera.
Play some old games
If you are a frugal gamer, I am sure you have been collecting a lot of steam games when they have gone on sale. This is a good time to pick a few essential games from the library and finish them.
Uninstall Online Shopping Apps
Out of sight, out of mind! When a lot of us are really bored and don’t really find our brains functioning enough to watch a new tv series or read a book, we tend to do the worst thing for our budgets—impulsively buying stuff online that we don’t really need. Uninstall your online shopping apps to avoid scrolling through them when you have nothing to do. Go pick up that book or something, Samantha!
If you’re stubborn and can’t stay out of online shopping sites though, let those items in your cart sit there for a week before checking out. This way, you’ll figure out which items you really want or need.
Start Selling Things You No Longer Use
Marie Kondo the sh*t out of your room and get rid of stuff that no longer gives you joy by selling them online. It’s simple, and by doing this, you’re decluttering and earning at the same time. That’s a few dollars more to your savings! This will also occupy you and keep your mind off of stuff that can make you spend money. Best way to sell things are Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace.
Take Advantage of Coupons
If you really need to buy something though, whether it’s furniture or electronics, using coupons and looking for discounts is the best path to take. Services like DealStar (dealstar.com.au) is the perfect way to find deals that will help you buy things at the lowest prices!
Wash Your Hands and Stay at Home
Last but not the least, making sure that you’re avoiding expensive medication and hospital bills is the greatest way you can save your money at a time like this. Stay safe!
What is Dealstar.com.au
Dealstar is a community of people to share money saving ideas, bargains and coupons and collectively help each other save money. Australia is getting more expensive and its getting harder to save a buck. Our mission is to help you do that, by finding the best online bargains, the cheapest deals, the best frugal tips and the best service providers.