Covid-19 and the circuit breaker period have drastically altered all our spending habits. We save huge on transportation and dining out if we no longer commute to the office or lunch out. Restricted movement and shuttered shops also mean little retail therapy.

Shopping has shifted online now that we are holed up at home. To settle our meals, those who WFH now buy groceries or order meal delivery online. But with delivery charges kicking in and tempting deals on shopping sites, staying home does not necessarily mean more savings!

Here are three areas where you can shop smart and save more:

1. Groceries, take-out and delivery

If staying home has unleashed your inner chef and you’ve been cooking up a storm, you’ve probably seen your grocery bills shoot up. To keep food costs down, make a weekly meal plan. It’ll compel you to work out ways to use up ingredients over several meals, reducing food wastage. Consider buying cheaper (but no less nutritious) options like frozen food or house brands. Having a plan also keeps you from straying and falling prey to sinful snacks and tidbits.

Too busy to cook? If food delivery apps are your best friends these days, look out for promo codes you can use to shave a few dollars off the bill or check out Hawkers United-Dabao on Facebook, a community initiative to widen your meal options. Alternatively, just order more for lunch and keep a portion in the fridge for dinner.

2. Plans and subscription

Always promising yourself to look for a better subscription plan for your mobile phone, credit cards or cable TV? Now’s the time! Use free pockets of downtime at home to start comparison shopping for better deals or options. This might also be a good time to review biggies like insurance plans, investment portfolios and car or mortgage loans. After all, our financial needs change as we go through different seasons in our life.

3. DIY home hacks

There’re so many little hacks that we can use at home to save money – you just need to get creative! Kids bored with their toys? With a bit of imagination, empty mini cereal or tissue boxes can turn into a toy town; or make a bowling game out of used plastic bottles and a wadded-up ball of newspaper.

Old glass containers can be used to keep herbs fresh for cooking, or make your own cleaning solutions with baking soda, toothpaste or vinegar. Just Google for DIY home hacks and discover clever ways to make use of everyday household items, all without spending a cent!