Our daily lives have been disrupted. People are working from home, unable to go to the store, or have lost their job.
For those of us that are able to continue living our lives, relatively normal, with some minor inconveniences, we need to adjust.
We need to take advantage of the 21st-century technology available to us. This could be anything from grocery shopping apps, social media, or the apps of your favorite stores.
In this article, we’re going to dive into some of the tools and hacks you can use to help get through this period of quarantine and social distancing.
Grocery Shopping Hacks
There are several hacks you can use to make your trips to the grocery store more efficient and effective.
- Get what you need and get out. You HAVE to make a list and you NEED to stick to that list. This isn’t the time to browse or look for sales (more on that in a minute), buy the items on your list and leave.
- Plan your route – If there’s a particular store you frequently visit, use that store’s app to plan your route. Personally, I go to Walmart for almost everything. The first thing I do is make my list. Then I go onto the app and start searching for the items on my list. The location marked as “your store” will pinpoint which department, aisle, and shelf position for your item.
- Buy in bulk – with items that won’t go bad or if the time in which you need to use it by is several months or years in the future, buy it in bulk. Be careful, however. It is important to do the math. Figure out the “per unit” price and make sure buying in bulk is an economically beneficial decision.
- Look up recipes ahead of time that require only a few/minimal ingredients. Ideally, you’ll want to find recipes that require few ingredients that can also make a healthy amount of food. That way you have leftovers. The way I like to think about it is how much does each meal cost?
- That brings me to my next point…buy foods you can freeze, or make meals that you can freeze. This gives you food that you can use down the road and also gives you something easy to eat if you’re tired or aren’t feeling well.
- One more quick one – Use your knuckles and/or elbows when possible. We all want to stay healthy and avoid passing Covid onto others. Where it makes sense, try not to use your hands.
Grocery Shopping Apps
There are possibly hundreds of grocery shopping apps available, but in doing my research, I found five apps that I thought were extremely useful.
- Flipp – Matches coupons from your favorite brands with the weekly flyer from your favorite store.
- MealBoard – Manages your recipes, grocery list, and it also keeps track of what you do or don’t have in your pantry.
- Grocery Pal – Browse sales and coupons from the stores you frequent, and seamlessly add sale items to your grocery list.
- Out of milk – Lets you know what’s in your pantry and what you need to add to your shopping list.
- Big Oven – Kind of like a social network for groceries and recipes. Find out what your connections are buying to get inspiration for recipes. You can also type in the ingredients you do have and find some recipes you can make with those ingredients
Working from home
It’s no doubt that we are extremely fortunate to be able to work from home. With all of the technology available, a considerable amount of the workforce is able to tap in from a remote location and still get their stuff done.
As lucky as we may be, working from home comes with its own unique challenges. Here are some hacks for those working from home.
- Get dressed like you’re going to work – this is something that’ll help you psychologically. It’ll trick your brain into thinking you’re going to work. This helps you frame your mindset for work.
- Designate a work-space in your home – a psychological trick as well as a means to an end. You can’t work in front of the TV. You need a space where you can actually be productive.
- Keep a strict schedule (if you can) – Now this isn’t possible for everyone, especially if you have little kids at home that need constant attention. Just do your best. Lean on your family members to watch the kiddos for a little while so you can get some work done. Also, please remember to take breaks. Check-in with friends and colleagues. Try to make your day as normal as possible.
- Communicate everything – Almost to a fault. Send emails and texts. Make phone calls about anything and everything. We’re so familiar with communicating in person that we don’t realize how much we actually say.
My favorite part of this post. Writing about the human condition and how in times of crisis we always put our differences aside to help our neighbor.
During this pandemic, do what you can to help your fellow humans. Offer to pool resources together. Share recipes. Have a rotation of who goes to the grocery store.
If you have an elderly neighbor or family member, do everything you can to help them. Go to the store for them. Send letters to loved ones. Send letters to folks in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
We’re not all scientists, healthcare professionals, retail employees, or other essential professions that are keeping the wheels turning, so we have to do our part in some form or fashion. Be nice.