Things have been a little crazy here at the OFE household! Mr. FE has been busy working day and night to do everything he can to help his company withstand the economic downturn, and I’ve been adjusting to a new life of staying home in complete isolation. The only time I leave the house is when we need food or supplies, and I keep those trips to a minimum.
It’s crazy, I tell you!
Last April around this time we had spent a day exploring Keene, NH. I still remember the view from our road trip as one of the more scenic adventures. We walked around the small college town and ate pizza at a popular hangout, followed by some more sight seeing. Things may be different now, but it still feels good to reminisce…
The Pour House – Keene, NH.
Back to reality.
Mr. FE has escaped the first two rounds of layoffs, but as each day drags on with this pandemic we grow more and more nervous that he may be the next victim. Mr. FE loves his job and has a great amount of respect for the company he works for – he would be heartbroken if he lost it!
The fear of job loss is one of the main reasons why we’ve been working so hard to achieve financial independence over the years. We’ve learned some hard lessons in the past that the best time to prepare for a financial storm is when times are good, and the last decade has been phenomenal.
In brief, we paid off all of our debts with only our mortgage remaining. We maxed out our retirement funds, built a decent emergency fund, and added a few index funds along the way. We are in much better shape today to weather an economic storm than we were just a decade ago, but thanks to the pandemic, we will probably have to tack on a few extra years before we reach our ultimate end goal: financial freedom.
This is why I am pinching pennies more than ever before. Frugality is a must in times like these. I’m constantly reevaluating my spending habits when it comes to our food and household supplies, and seeing what we can do to reduce our expenses. Unfortunately, in our area options have been limited. Sometimes there is only one product on the shelf to choose from and if we need it, we buy it. The luxury of comparison shopping has disappeared.
One of the biggest areas of spending since the pandemic started has been our food expense. I was born with a pre-existing condition involving my lungs which puts me in the high risk category of Covid-19. It’s annoying because other than this issue, I’m a fairly healthy person. I’m not overweight, I eat clean keto, and I get plenty of fresh air and exercise living in beautiful New England.
A trip to Benson’s Park we took last April. If you look closely, there are clusters of baby turtles chillin’out on the log.
Lately, I’ve been avoiding the grocery store entirely and relying on delivery services which is SUPER DUPER EXPENSIVE! Between the inflated food prices, fees, and the tip which they definitely deserve – the cost of the groceries were outrageous! So I went back to the drawing board to evaluate our options.
Most of the grocery stores in our area either didn’t offer pickups, were booked solid, or used a pricy delivery service. So I settled on trying Walmart Grocery pickup which is in the next town over from us. It took five days before I scored a pickup window, but it was worth the wait.
Walmart was able to fulfill most of my order, make a few worthy substitutions like brussel sprouts in place of broccoli (We’ll eat anything green!), and happily, I was still able to score mostly organic or all-natural items. More importantly, it was completely contactless because I didn’t have to get out of the car!
I’m OVERJOYED at the fact that I found a way to shop and stay healthy during this pandemic. Plus, we saved a ton of money over using that SUPER DUPER EXPENSIVE grocery delivery service! Moving forward, this is definitely going to be our most frugal and safe option until life returns to normal, which we hope will be soon.
My Frugal Money Saving Idea!
I thought of an idea that might help everyone save a little cash. Walmart Grocery has a link on their site that says “Refer & get $10 off”. This isn’t a sales pitch, I promise. Just a way to pass the savings on to others during this trying economic time. We can call it “The Savings Circle”...Ha!
Here’s how I think The Savings Circle can help the blogging community. If you click on the link below when placing your very first Walmart Grocery pickup order, YOU get $10 off your first order, we get $10 off our next order. We both benefit!
Click link: “Refer & get $10 off”
Then, once you had your first Walmart Grocery pickup, you can share your own link from the site to your family and friends, so YOU get another $10 off your next order, and they get $10 off their first order. And hopefully, your family and friends will pass their link on to others and keep The Savings Circle rolling forward so we can all save money on groceries.
This is just an idea, so let me know your thoughts?
By the way, I’m NOT an affiliate to Walmart. I’m just trying to save ALL of us some money on groceries by using the strategy above.