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3 Things I’ve Splurged on During Quarantine

Grocery Delivery

It never crossed my mind before the pandemic to have groceries delivered. We’re two adults in our early thirties with no kids and pretty flexible schedules. In fact, we enjoyed going to the grocery store. It was our thing.

When March hit, my anxiety about going into public spaces went through the roof. We didn’t need to go out. I was already used to doing a huge once-a-month Costco run. We’d also do smaller, weekly trips to Winco and the natural foods store to pick up the things we couldn’t get at Costco.

So we gave Instacart a try and haven’t looked back. We still maintain our Costco membership and shop via sameday.costco.com (run by Instacart). It’s also far cheaper than ordering from Costco through Instacart’s platform.

And, as before, we continue to do smaller orders every week or two to pick up the things Costco doesn’t carry. Things like cilantro, wine, vegan ice cream, random types of beans — you get the picture.

In July, I spent $99 on a year of Instacart Express. This was a great move as it eliminates the delivery fee and lowers the service fee on every order.

I’ve started socking away an extra $7.62 per month to pay for next year’s yearly subscription cost. You know — just in case we’re still in this pickle next year.

I make sure to tip our grocery delivery folks between 15%-20%. It’s an expense I’m happy to pay since we’ve shifted entirely to eating at home.

Kobo Reader

In pre-COVID life, I cherished my weekend trips to the library. My partner worked on Sundays, so I’d take that day to recharge.

I would fill a reusable mug with herbal tea or coffee, grab a tote bag, and head out to the most magical place in the world. I’d spend an hour or so rifling through shelves, grabbing more books than I could possibly read. I’d flip through crafting manuals and how-to guides, feeling the thrill of possibility between the covers.

When I lost that, I felt like I’d lost a part of my soul. I kept rooting through my bookshelves hoping for something new and novel to appear. But every week, it was the same old stuff. And buying books I know I’m only going to read once isn’t my jam.

I’d gifted my partner’s mom my e-reader a few years ago and hadn’t gotten around to replacing it. I hadn’t needed to.

Finally, I bit the bullet and splurged on a Kobo Libra H2O in July. I even bought a cute case for it.

My Kobo e-reader inside its folding origami case.

That first week, I blew through 2 books in a reading frenzy. It hooks up via Overdrive to my library, so I can still browse for books online and sync them to my device. 10/10 would recommend a Kobo Reader for any reading enthusiast.

High-Quality Crafting Supplies

Since the pandemic started, I’ve also started doing more crafting. When I was working in the office, the combination of being around people and commuting used to completely drain my energy.

Now, despite being tired at the end of the work day, I have slightly more energy to pursue random hobbies.

  • Making earrings, magnets, and sculptures out of polymer clay
  • Creating designs for an Etsy store I started this year

Creating designs means I’ve had to pay for a monthly subscription to Adobe Illustrator. I’ll be honest — I battle with this line item every month.

I’m always trying to cut subscription costs. I’ll go through phases of cancelling my go-to streaming services and signing up for free trials of others. So to commit to a monthly subscription of Illustrator is a huge deal for me.

I’ve tried going without or using open source programs like Gimp. However, it’s the industry standard for a reason. Learning how to use it to create fun and interesting designs has been so therapeutic.

In addition, my foray into the world of polymer clay has required a good chunk of up-front investment. Between acrylic paints, sculpting tools, jewelry-making supplies and hardware, and various types of Sculpey clays, I’ve probably spent over a hundred dollars on crafting with clay. But it’s been a wonderful hobby for my boyfriend and I to work on together while we enjoy music or silly reality TV in the background.

Three polymer clay crafts I've made: the bust of a cartoonish white dog, black metal-inspired earrings, and glow-in-the-dark magnets (an alien, a Gameboy, and a ghost).

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