2022 May 24
Sri Lanka is currently facing one of the worst economic crises of our time. Our already dire situation is only going to get worse before it gets better. It is imperative that we, as a community, do our part to sustain ourselves. This article will talk about how to better manage your everyday essentials to maximise utility and value for money.
Keep in mind that we advise you NOT to panic buy and only take what’s necessary in a sustainable quantity for EVERYONE.
Take stock of what you already have available in your household. Categorise everything into groups i.e. perishables, grains, canned goods and frozen food. Your perishable items are what will need to be consumed first before their expiration. Take into account how well certain food items will last in your fridge with the current power outages plaguing the island and assess their categorisation accordingly.
Make sure to write down what you have, what you don’t have, what are essentials and what items you can live without. According to the curation of these lists, purchase your essential goods on your next grocery run. We advise you to start rationing as soon as possible and not wait for the last second so your family can grow accustomed to these changes beforehand.
When making these lists, also take into account who you’re rationing for – whether it is your children, parents, grandparents or your pets. Scientifically, there is a specific amount of calories each person can survive on, it may help to consider this when rationing to avoid overspending and running out of supplies faster than calculated, while maintaining proper nutrition.
We’re only human and we often give in to temptation. By reducing the trips you make to the store, you cut down on unnecessary spending and are forced to utilise the items you’ve purchased more efficiently.
We may also have to start being more conscious about some of our more unsustainable eating habits. Starting to incorporate more dry rations such as grains and less perishable products in your meals so that you don’t have to go to the grocers as often is an excellent way to conserve your perishable food items. These non-perishable products are also less expensive than perishable items and may end up saving you and your family some cash in the long run. Consuming less per meal (comfortably) is also a great and effective way to make better use of each meal. When we say cutting down, we mean unnecessary quantities. It’s important that you remain healthy and do not excessively cut down where you’re putting yourself in harm’s way.
Shortages of gas are island-wide and saving the gas you have is becoming incredibly important. We suggest investing in electrical burners, hot plates and rice cookers. Rice cookers are an excellent way to cook some dishes when there isn’t a power cut, to save some gas. Take a gander at our recipes to learn how to make Dhal Curry and Chicken Curry on the rice cooker. We can even go back to our roots and use a wood fire stove. Just make sure you have a space with a good ventilation system. Here’s how you can make Potato and Carrot Curry, Mango Curry, Kesel Muwa Curry and Tempered Mackerel on a wooden stove.
With shortages of fuel causing everybody to queue in lines for hours, conserving what little we have is imperative. A good way to save both money and fuel would be to increase the frequency of using public transport. Even when you do use your personal transport, turning off the A/C is a great way to lessen fuel expenditure. On this note, take into consideration that your Uber and PickMe drivers also need to conserve fuel and request them to switch off A/C on your trips.
Much like with water, we can change little things in our everyday life to save electricity. These changes include using natural light and ventilation more often, switching off unnecessary lights and fans and unplugging electrical appliances that aren’t in use.
With increased water bills, water has become a resource we must use frugally. To conserve water, make sure you do things like turning off taps properly when they aren’t in use, not taking excessively long showers, doing your laundry once a week, doing the dishes at once and fixing any leaky taps.
We all need to get our work done, especially when a lot of us work from home. Be informed of the different packages that your service provider can offer to select what best suits your requirements. It’s a great way to save both money and unnecessary data spent daily.
Washing your clothes all in one wash instead of washing your clothes frequently without a full load can save a lot of detergent or washing powder along with your electricity. Just make sure you don’t have any scheduled power cuts at the time you plan to do the laundry. This same method could be used to save dishwashing liquid or soap and other essential cleaning supplies as well.
Personal Care Items
When using facewash, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser and other self-care products, be mindful of the minimum amount you can use to get the job done.
Clothing may not seem like the most obvious option when it comes to managing your essential goods, but we all have a lot of clothes that we don’t wear. We advise you to try and repurpose them, or if they’re not your size to take them to your local tailor to get them adjusted. When buying clothing, focus on obtaining essentials that will give you more options for mixing and matching, instead of statement pieces.
Tough times are upon us and the future is scarily uncertain. However, you’re not alone, and we’re all one country facing it together. We hope the above list has given you some ideas on how to better manage your everyday essentials. If you think we overlooked something, do let us know in the comments.