Money-saving ideas for families during COVID-19

Two parents playing with their babiesImage: Two parents playing with their babies

In a Nutshell

You and your family can save money while sheltered in place by taking a virtual trip, trying out a new recipe and learning free games to play at home. Just don’t forget to carve out time to focus on your mental and physical health.
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Amid the global pandemic, families have been faced with a multitude of physical, emotional and financial challenges.

Quarantining at home and social distancing when it’s necessary to go out are new experiences for most people, but it’s possible to face these challenges with a positive outlook. If you’re staying at home as much as possible, you may find it easier to forgo some of your normal expenses. You may also find that you have extra time to forge deeper connections with your family and loved ones. Here are some ideas to help you and your family save money while doing your part to stop the pandemic’s spread.

Take a virtual trip at home

It may not be possible to hop in the car to visit local attractions or fly to a new vacation destination, but virtual travel is a great option for sightseeing from the couch. Virtual travel and tours are possible with just a computer or mobile device and an internet connection. You can check out near and distant attractions in lots of different states and countries, and even visit some of the world’s best museums, planetariums and zoos. 

Try a new recipe or learn how to cook

With many restaurants observing shelter-in-place rules and limiting in-house and outdoor dining, now is a good time to practice some cooking of your own. Make meal preparation a family activity. Everyone can get involved with choosing recipes, making shopping lists and prepping new dishes. You can also enjoy expanding your palates by trying recipes from around the world.

Have fun at home with the kids

When you spend the entire day at home, you’re bound to get a little stir-crazy at times. This is especially true if you have kids. As much as possible, try to maintain a regular routine throughout your day, including work, school, meals, chores, outdoor time and games. Mix it up with new and interesting activities that make the most of being stuck at home.

Play games at home during quarantine

Playing games is a great way to spend time with family. Old-fashioned board games never go out of style, and you might even explore some board games you’ve never played before. You can also play games with friends via video-chat platforms such as Zoom.

Drop everything and read

Reading can be a solo or family activity. Encourage kids to spend time each day reading. Many libraries offer patrons the ability to check out electronic copies of books to read on their mobile devices, so you can pick up a new book even when the library isn’t open. Spend time reading aloud as a family every day.

Find free classes to take online

Many schools and websites offer free courses online. Make it a goal to learn a new skill or even a new language during your quarantine time by taking an online course. You might even take a class with other family members.

How to stay fit and healthy at home during quarantine

You may not be able to hit the gym, but you should still try to exercise regularly. Go for socially distanced walks or runs every day (where possible) so you get exercise and fresh air. You can also stream workout videos online or, if you invest in some dumbbells, strength-train from the comfort of your home.

How to take care of your mental health during quarantine

Being isolated can take a toll on your mental and emotional health. Insofar as it’s possible, try to make sure you’re sleeping enough, exercising, eating well and taking time for self-care during the pandemic. If you begin to feel depressed or anxious, reach out to your physician or care provider for help.