Thanks to COVID-19 we’ve seen a dramatic change in our daily routine in an attempt to ward off the virus, which is now just beginning to circulate around Mr. FE’s work space. We knew this was a strong possibility given the fact that Mr. FE is considered an essential employee, and also the main reason why we decided that I should relocate to another floor in our home and live separate lives for the foreseeable future.
I do miss seeing Mr. FE, and I didn’t expect to feel lonely so soon, but I know it’s time to suck it up and put my big girl pants on because we’re all in this together – hence the hashtag #AloneTogether I’ve seen roaming around Twitter. I realize that the most important thing at the end of the day is keeping ourselves healthy as well as stopping the spread to others. A very worthy cause if I do say so myself!
This entire ordeal has also had an impact on our ability to stay frugal. Here are 11 frugal fails caused by the Coronavirus.
- Digital thermometer which in hindsight we probably should have owned already regardless. Our previous thermometer was one of those old mercury ones – enough said. We should have replaced our ancient relic ages ago, but it is an expense we incurred as a result of the pandemic nonetheless.
- Tylenol to reduce our fevers if we become sick. Neither one of us has had a fever in almost two decades, plus we prefer to avoid consuming over-the-counter products with manufactured ingredients. But we made an exception here in case we become ill.
- Paper towels because we NEVER use paper towels for anything in our house. Over the years we’ve been using dish towels or rags to pick up spills because it’s both cheaper and better for the environment. But in order to keep our hands sanitized we decided to pick some up.
- Paper napkins are a rarity in our house. We’ve trained ourselves not to need paper napkins by using this simple strategy: taking smaller bites. The only time we invest in paper napkins is when we are having a cookout, which is not often now that most of our family and friends are spread out across the country.
- Commercial cleaning products and disinfectants because we feared my homemade cleaners wouldn’t be strong enough to kill this virus on our household surfaces. I’ve had nightmares of little alien virus people running across my kitchen counter!
- Bottled water delivery was a must for us because the store shelves were empty and we couldn’t find water anywhere. Unfortunately, we were already using bottled water for a while because our municipal water currently contains a higher than normal amount of the chemical Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)*, which is a known health hazard. We used to pick up the generic brand bottled water from Costco at $2.99 per 40 count. Now we pay $4.99 for a 24 count and also pay a $6.95 delivery charge for the delivery. NOT frugal, I tell you!
A picture of the Aberjona River which became nationally known for its role in the movie “A Civil Action” released in 1998. The movie starred actors John Travolta and Robert Duvall. To visit the post, click here.
- Shelf stable food because we don’t know how long this pandemic will last. We normally buy fresh meat and produce, but we decided to grab some canned goods like tuna and salmon, and some of Mr. FE’s favorite’s like red beans and rice and mac n cheese.
- Higher utility bills because we are running the water constantly to wash our hands, run the dishwater, and do extra loads of laundry. To make matters worse, we used to rely on cold water only washes to keep our energy costs down, but we’ve been using a lot of hot water to help kill the virus.
- Grocery and prescription delivery from InstaCart. I try to keep this to a minimum but every now and then I need a refill on items like eggs, coffee creamer, or my prescription medicine. I’ve never used a delivery service before, but we are in a different time and I find the delivery fee plus tip worth the expense. I always ask the shoppers to drop the order off on my front door step se we can avoid human contact.
- Netflix and Disney Plus streaming because not being able to engage in social activities has been a HUGE adjustment for both of us! It’s nice to be able to escape network TV and all of the horrible news and get lost in a documentary, movie, be able binge watch all 5 seasons of Schitt’s Creek . So far Mr. FE and I have been highly entertained by The Mandalorian on Disney. He also like watching the superhero movies. I’ve been watching corny Gilmore Girls reruns on Netflix.
- Lastly, hand soap which we are flying through at record pace because it’s one of the only defensive tools that we have against COVID-19. We have never gone through soap this fast before!
How has COVID-19 effected your spending habits?
*Information about Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfluorooctanoic_acid