With B.C. in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Richmond family has come up with savvy saving strategies to free up at least $10,000 to cope in these difficult financial times.
Canada's unemployment rate fell to 8.9 per cent in October as Canada’s labour market added another 84,000 jobs, but these gains were partially dampened by a loss of jobs in accommodation and food services, according to Statistics Canada.
With more people looking for creative ways to free up extra cash, Richmondite David Shao, who lives with his wife and two kids, managed to save more than $10,000 over the past eight months by consistently cooking at home and growing vegetables indoors.
Shao said the first thing he did following the first lockdown was cut the premiums on his car insurance as the couple shifted to working from home. Then he bought 12 bags of rice, dozens of cans of food and stuffed his freezer with meat.
"A vacuum sealer can save you lots of money if you put it to good use. I used it to freeze meats," said Shao. So when the price of meat fluctuates, which he says it has during the pandemic, he doesn’t have to worry.
Shao and his wife also cut back on restaurant food.
"We used to dine out and spend at least $100 on a meal every weekend, but now we only spend a few dollars on one meal since we all hunker down at home."
However, even his new-found frugality can’t stop him from ordering take-out a couple of times a month, as his son loves sushi.
Besides saving more on meals, Shao also suggests people grow an indoor hydroponic garden, which can provide year-round fresh vegetables, herbs and certain fruits.
"You don't need to be a rocket scientist to grow a hydroponic garden. I've subscribed to some YouTube channels to learn how to use proper nutrients and light to grow vegetables at home."
His at-home garden doesn’t yield enough produce to sustain a family of four, but it still cuts down on his grocery bill substantially.
And the last thing on the family’s financial chopping block is his wife’s “addiction” to shopping for the latest fashion trends. Since they aren’t going out much anyway, purchasing the latest styles is on hold for now.
"It also saved us a lot of money," said Shao.