The coronavirus pandemic has greatly affected the health system and destabilized the global economy. Many governments across the world are trying to cushion their citizens against the harsh economic conditions, but it is not enough.
People have therefore been forced to adjust their lifestyle and save the little money left. RoGGKenya has compiled a list of what people are already doing during this difficult time and suggestions of what you can do. These ideas will not only save you money but also reduce movement hence reducing the spread of the coronavirus.
- Start a kitchen garden
Growing your own food is cheaper and healthy. During this period, many people are working from home and so there is enough time to take care of your garden. Space is a problem in urban areas so look for ways to maximize the little space available. You can plant short term vegetables and herbs in containers and buckets. These cab be placed in the balcony where they can get enough sunlight. Some people have also uprooted flowers in their flower beds and replaced them with edible plants.
- Harvest rain water
Some parts of Nairobi have been experiencing water shortage for many years. Residents of these areas have had to rely on water vendors and water bowsers. However, you can never be sure of the source of the water and how it is handled. Fetching water from community-pay-taps also exposes you to coronavirus because it is almost impossible to observe social distance. Kenya is currently experiencing long rains. Harvesting and storing rain water can therefore save you a lot of money. Boil the water before drinking.
- Buying milk from Automatic Milk Dispensers
Currently, the retail price of a packet of half liter milk in the supermarkets is between Ksh 45-60. Many supermarkets also have Automated Milk Dispensers where a liter of milk sells at Ksh 65. All you have to do is carry clear bottle. This saves you between Ksh 25 and Ksh 55 if you buy one liter. You save more if you have a larger family that consumes more milk.
- Prepare snacks at home
Schools were closed in order to control the spread of the coronavirus among children. This means they are all at home and may need snacks every now and then to keep them indoors. People are now making their own snacks which are cheaper and healthier. This also gives parents control over what their children consume.
- Sharing cost of school assignments
When schools in Kenya were closed, learning went on online especially for private schools. Teachers are sending assignments and reading materials which parents have to print. Some parents have more than one student and it is becoming expensive. Parents are now teaming up to share the cost of printing.
This is how it works. Printing at a cyber café is ksh 10 per page while photocopying is between Ksh 2 and Ksh 5. So if there are 10 pages to reproduce, two parents with children from the same school and class team up and print one set then photocopy and share the cost. At the end, they will both spend Ksh 60 instead of Ksh 100. Ksh 40 might not seem to be much but it can buy vegetables and feed a family. RoGGKenya reported on how effective the e-learning is.
- Making your reusable masks
Wearing a mask has become part of our daily life. In fact, in Kenya, it is now illegal to walk without one in public places. Unfortunately, they are expensive. For example, the single use surgical mask retails at Ksh 100 per piece. Many people are now making reusable masks for themselves and their families. It is however important to research on the recommended type of masks so that it serves its purpose. There are many designs and tutorials on how to make them on Youtube.
- Cancel gym membership
It is time to make priorities and reduce your expenses. Many of the exercises you do at the gym can be done at home with a bit of creativity. There are many online videos that one can watch and follow. You can also run around your compound or neighborhood. If you have a swimming pool then you can include swimming as a form of exercise.
- Swap toys
Children outgrow their toys and many parents are now planning to buy new toys. Instead of buying new ones, find a parent who you can swap with. While at it, make sure to follow guidelines that control the spread of the coronavirus. Make sure to sanitize them before taking them to your house and giving to your children.
- Learn new Skills
There are many things that we pay for because we have never been interested in knowing how to do them or we never had time to do them. Now is the time to learn. It can be baking, crocheting, plaiting, painting your house, plumbing etc.
- Service your car
Servicing your car can save you some money and reduce your interaction with other people. You can change your oil and may other things that are necessary.
- Wash your car
Washing your car can be satisfying .It is also a form of exercise. You can use this opportunity to declutter it while saving money. You can include your family and make it a family bonding event.