A different kind of update – my Low Buy March

 

chair with book shelves
One of the best places to spent time when at home (all the time): my reading nook.

Well, that escalated quickly … Who would’ve thought on March 1 that we end the month cooped up in our homes because of a global pandemic?
Shops closed on March 16, with only grocery stores, drugstores, pharmacies, and certain other shops and suppliers of vital importance remaining open. Until then I actually spent more than enough money, but for a good reason – our anniversary. I also panic-bought books – my Jessica Fletcher Murder, She wrote shame fics, to be more precise. But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

A reason to celebrate – our anniversary

Wonderguy and I celebrated our 5th anniversary in early March. Reason enough to spend some money on my favorite man. We usually agree on only getting a small gift for each other – a book and a little surprise – on our special day. This year we started out with a limit of 20 Euros, with Wonderguy gradually raising it to 50 Euros over several days. You know this feeling when you agree with someone on a certain monetary limit concerning gifts and they start raising it so you feel pressured to exceed this sum otherwise you are a letdown? Anyways, I did my best to find some nice but also useful things as well as a good book. And finding the right book for Wonderguy is a challenge of its own because he is a refined reader and we don’t necessarily share the same literary interests. But thanks to sheer luck and a bit of patience I found a beautiful Japanese novel. To my relief, he’s already read it and found it quite interesting and good.

Apart from my anniversary spending, some washi tape, and a book stand for reading and editing papers and books, I fared pretty well. Until lockdown hit home.

Panic buying for beginners

When the situation started building up, I was sick at home and Wonderguy did most of our shopping. While I wondered why he suddenly started buying several packages of rice and noodles, I didn’t fully realize in which direction we’re heading until he told me that whole aisles at the supermarket were literally empty and toilet paper had become a rare commodity. With lockdown around the corner, it became clear to us that we had to adjust our shopping habits a bit since we usually go to the supermarket two (me) to five (Wonderguy) times in a week. Since this would not be feasible when ordered to stay at home to protect ourselves and others, we had to level up our organizational skills.

Shopping for groceries and toiletries once a week is, of course, doable – but also more expensive, at least at first glance. What we usually spend at the supermarket over a week now became obvious with just one trip to the shops. Believe me when I tell you, I was taken aback with how much money two people with no culinary demands whatsoever, no kids, and no expensive allergies could spend just on food. It took me some time to finally realize that this was probably less than what we usually spend on groceries when out shopping two to five times a week. Therefore, I decided this could be a good time to observe WHAT we actually need in a week and get a better feeling for what we spend our money on in the food department. In the end, there might be some potential so save a Euro or two when using a well-organized shopping list instead of intuition and (a lack of) memory. Moreover, this is not only a matter of money but also sustainability. Shop responsible – all/most of the time, even at the supermarket.

Except for anniversary gifts – and Murder, She Wrote books of course …

All my Jessicas …

Being sick the week before lockdown, I didn’t initially understand what was really going on until Wonderguy started buying cat food and groceries in bulk. Realizing that the world as we know it might come to a halt for at least a time, I suddenly felt the strong urge to surround myself with all the familiar coziness I can get, including books. This meant I had to get those Murder, She Wrote books I hadn’t ordered until now. When searching for it on Amazon I realized that a) my book budget for March would only allow me a certain number of Jessicas, and b) that her ‘co-author’ Donald Bain had died and she had a new ‘collaborator.’ Reading some reviews on Amazon and Goodreads I’m already dreading the moment I have to switch from Bain’s to Land’s Murder, She Wrote books. I can only hope I like it because frankly, what would I do without Jessica? Wonderguy suggested I should start rereading my old Jessicas, but … but, well yes, but that’s not the same when knowing (fearing?!) that your favorite cozy mystery series, your very own chicken soup for the soul, is butchered by someone who doesn’t respect the utmost absurdity of Cabot Cove being the most murderous place to live on this planet and Jessica being the only one who can save us all …

Long story short, I spent my book budget on cozy mysteries, I spent a decent amount of money on my most favorite person on the planet, and I (we) spend way too much money on groceries. Otherwise, it was a slow and quiet month, apart from all the outside noise. Since I assume April will be another lockdown month I’ll hopefully save some money – provided that I learn to handle my groceries a bit better. And I actually should do both because my company introduced short time due to the Corona crisis which means that I won’t get my full pay for several months. So a bit more on the side would be great.

Hope you’re all safe and healthy! Take care of yourself and others, stay inside and keep going (though not literally unless your profession or special circumstance demand it) 🙂

P. S.: I’m sorry – it took me five days to finish this post because I feel a bit downish right now … Hope this will get better soon and I’ll be back to writing more regularly.

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