I have two kids, and being a single mom, it is tough. The father is in a different state, and while he sends support, it is not enough. I still have to spend on these two since their dad can only do so much. Finances are much more difficult now that there is a pandemic. In March, businesses shut down and closed because of virus fear. How can people eat and pay for their bills without work?
This is where my idea came into the picture and how I was able to feed my two boys, pay for half my mortgage and car even during the lockdown.
- For food, we went full-on organic and natural. It is a great thing that I had this backyard filled with veggies and fruits. I didn’t have to buy them from the market, and it was significant savings for me. We also had a talk, my boys and I. I told them that we had to cut on other non-essential purchases like juice, cookies, cakes, junk foods, and take out. We agreed that there would be three meals each day and one afternoon snack. They could also eat fruits from the trees as I had apple and oranges. Lemons too. The snack will also be healthy like whole wheat bread with peanut and milk. It was sacrifice time for all of us but very much in a healthy way.
- I became an online seller and sold some stuff that we did not need. My bags came out, and so did my shoes. I also took the old clothes of the boys and sold them a dollar for three pieces. Some of the things that cramped our tiny house also went. All in all, the old things we had, I sold through the online garage sale for almost $200. That is enough grocery money for us to last at most a month.
- Since my boss had to close down his business, I had no work. No work means I have no salary, and that just won’t do for me. I have two big mouths to feed, and so, I needed to be resourceful. My boys eat a lot, and it is a good thing that they are fond of greenies and fruits as well. But they eat a lot of rice as well, red rice or brown rice which is good. It is expensive, but I will not trade it for the white kind. How was I resourceful? I used coupons in grocery, and of course, I also had to earn from home. What I did was cooked my mom’s Lasagna recipe and marketed it. Each week, I had an order of at least twenty trays. This pandemic has made people, with work and money, eat more. But they didn’t want to cook. And so, I did the cooking for them.
I was blessed with hands that know how to cook. Some would even ask me if I could bake because they wanted cake and other pastries. But no, I could not bake goodies. I can only bake Lasagna. My mom’s Lasagna. In a way, the Lasagna kept us afloat, and I could not thank my mom any more than I have already for teaching me to do that.
During this time of the pandemic, we get to realize many things in our lives. I saw how people could become resilient and adjust to the changing tides. I also saw that money can go away in a snap. One business partner of my boss had to declare bankruptcy. They were rich, I thought, and that surprised me so much. It just means that even if we have money, we should not just go around spending it like there will always be more. We need to save up and limit extravagant expenses.
I know it may seem weird, but I enjoyed the lockdown. Seriously, I did. I had spent valuable time with my kids, and one of them shows promise in making the Lasagna. It means I can pass it down, like how my mom passed it on to me and how my grandmother gave it to her, and so on.
One tip for surviving the lockdown – be grateful that you are alive, cherish your family, and deal with what you have, and accept it.