ONE STEP AT A TIME!!!
Breathe in… breathe out… but breathe to yourself!
I want to take a quick minute and share some thoughts and ideas about the COVID-19 situation.
You will recall that a LARGE portion of my coupon class focuses on the importance of stocking up on the items you use every day, and making sure you have enough of those items to last about 3 months. Typically in the class I give financial examples as to why this might be important for helping you to withstand any sort of financial emergency that may arise, or to be able to set your prices by only shopping the sales. I have largely avoided using natural disasters or pandemics like COVID-19 as an example in that situation because for a lot of people those scenarios can really stir up feelings of panic and stress. That is NOT what I want for you!!
That being said, in MY mind, this situation is exactly what I was trying to help you prepare for! You just didn’t know it!
As your neighbors and co-workers are frantically grabbing toilet paper and cleaning products at the near-empty stores, those of you who took advantage and have been applying ALL the tips and tricks I shared in your coupon class are sitting back and watching the madness unfold. Why?! Because you should HAVE 3 months worth of EVERYTHING you family needs!!
To those who jumped in and joined the fun I’d like to say – CONGRATULATIONS!! You now can look at this pandemic with a different perspective and hopefully a lot less stress and worry. Your focus does NOT have to be on what you will feed your families for the next few weeks while the world shuts down around you. You do NOT have to fight people at the store over the everyday necessities. YOU ARE PREPARED FOR THIS!! YEAH!
If you did not take advantage of the newspaper offer during your class, don’t worry!! I have a few ideas that we ALL can use to help get through this crisis together…
One… step… at… a… time…
MAKE A PLAN
I posted a few months ago about meal planning. I even issued you a challenge to try and NOT go shopping for a few weeks. CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE and then start by cleaning out your pantries and refrigerators, and try and build some meals based on what you already have on hand. That was like a practice run :). If you missed the challenge the first time, do it now!
QUICK TIP – Organize meal ingredients and put them in plastic grocery bags. This will be a clear indicator to everyone that these items are not for random consumption. This might not effect all of you, but I am at home with 5 piranhas who are suffering from must-eat-it-all-itis.
If you do not have a lot of consumable items on hand, I suggest you go check out my friend Echo’s article over at Favorite Family Recipes (CLICK HERE). She has put together a VERY simple 14-day food storage/meal plan. These are likely items you already have and if you don’t have, hopefully you can run to the store and snag what you need.
GROCERY PICK UP!
During this time we are asked to avoid large groups. That means the grocery stores everyone! How silly to stand in line with 50 other people when we are supposed to be distancing ourselves! There are plenty of grocery stores who offer pick up services, and guess what?!?! They likely accept your coupons as well!! Check out their policies online before you order, and absolutely expect that it will take a few extra minutes for the cashiers to adjust your receipt with your coupons when you arrive. BUT, what a GREAT way to still get the items on your list while avoiding the crowds! Don’t forget to be super kind to your cashier/deliver person. Maybe tip them with a roll of TP or something since most of them are not allowed to take cash tips.
Take your safety one step further, and wipe down everything before you touch it and bring it in your home.
Haha – little play on words here, but it’s time to get stingy. Sit your family down and make sure they know that what you have on hand is NOT to be consumed in the next 2 days! Set some rules: only use 5 squares of TP, one packet of fruit snacks a day, be smart with laundry (don’t rewash clean clothes), DON’T use the water bottles until it becomes necessary, add beans and rice to your ground beef, things like that. We have to make everything STTTREEETTCHHHH for the next little while.
ENJOY THE MOMENT
Once your basic necessities are taken care of, you can focus on your well being and have a little fun! I know… what in the world? This is going to be scary for a lot of people, but try to find the silver lining in all of this! Here are a few tips to keep you healthy:
For your bodies – Panic and stress can also lead to sickness or exacerbate an already existing condition (that’s based on my M.O.M. M.D. not a real MD, just personal experience). So plan some fun activities for your family. Go for a hike. Have a dance party. Move your bodies. Stay healthy. Drink lots of water. Take a walk. Take lots of vitamins!!
For your mind – Try to stay positive! My good friend Carolyn, The Mobile Therapist, shared some ways to help overcome all the disappointment and heartbreak that can come from plans changing due to this virus. There are a lot of people who are truly saddened by sporting events, concerts, trips, etc being cancelled. And IT’S OK to address those feelings for a minute. But as Carolyn says, “You can’t stay there!” She issued a #silverliningchallenge for us to look for the positive in this situation. Make sure you follow her and follow my Instagram and Facebook pages (Live Life on Less), as I will be joining this challenge and helping to spread some positivity (is that a word?) over the next few weeks.
For your spirit – I don’t usually share a lot about my personal beliefs, but I just feel like someone needs to hear this. Please don’t let fear guide your thoughts and actions these next few weeks. I don’t believe that our Father in Heaven wants us to ever have fear. That’s not his way. He LOVES YOU! Take this time to reconnect with Him. Reconnect with your family. Reach out to others. You are NOT alone!!
EXTEND A HELPING HAND
Those of you who have plenty, please check in on your neighbors, friends, and families. Is there someone who has a need that you can fill and visa versa?? Now is the time we need to come together and care for one another. Who can you help? Reach out… see a need… fill a need.
I would love to get this community connected. Email, instant message me, whatever. I want to know what YOU are doing to keep yourselves going these next few weeks. I’ll share your ideas with everyone! Did you know I already have a Facebook Group set up?? I set it up to have a place where YOU could share deals, savings tips, etc. But I have not had the time to focus on growing that group. HEY… #silverlining !!! Pop over there, join, and we can start sharing and uplifting each other!!
I love you all and I hope you can find the JOY & PEACE in this crazy time.
If you have questions, please let me know. If you want to share stockpile recipes, let me know. If you have a fun way to stay sane with 5 kids at home… I NEED to know! 🙂
Stay Safe! Wash Your Hands!