Daily life lessons from the pandemic (or how I learnt to stop worrying and love saving time and effort)

To say that 2020 was an unusual year would perhaps be the understatement of the century. Ever since our state went into shutdown in March 2019, we (my family and I) were forced to make some major changes into our daily and weekly routines. Some lessons that I learnt and are worth sharing are below.

  1. Buy a robotic vacuum cleaner. After much thought, we pulled the trigger on this one. The daily cleaning from 3 work-from-homers was simply too much. Our initial thought was to go for the default iRobot Roombas, but following a suggestion from a family friend and some Youtube+Amazon research, we decided to buy a Roborock S6 Pure instead. The primary motivation for this was that it has an inbuilt mop and there is no recurring cost as is the case for Roombas. Everyday, at 6 am this little magician wakes up and cleans the entire floor while the entire family is still fast asleep!
  2. Switch to online grocery delivery. In our case, we went with Peapod, and at some point were switched over to Stop & Shop’s own grocery delivery service. After trying them for a few weeks, we decided to sign up for their annual fixed-rate subscription ($55 I think) which removes the $6.95 delivery fee for Tuesday and Thursday deliveries provided we order at least $100 worth of groceries (which we do anyway). We also order intermittently from Whole Foods which has a $35 minimum for free delivery for Amazon Prime members. I have to say, I have not missed Trader Joe’s since I last visited their store in person in (checks notes) March of 2019.
  3. Use the dishwasher. Yes, this one could be categorized as ‘duh’. Out of sheer habit, I have always washed dishes manually, and even though we have a dishwasher in our house it has remained unused. And we had a few of the special detergent cakes lying around too waiting to be used. So changing to the dishwasher not only saved time everyday, but also helped use up the detergent. Side benefit: I learnt about how dishwashers work.
  4. Pitas, naans, and other breads can be stored frozen. Maybe this is common knowledge, but certainly no one in my family was aware of this. We learnt this trick from a note on the pita packaging. And to thaw, all it takes is 1:00 minutes of heating in the microwave to recover the warm, fresh-smelling bread!

(This post is a work in progress. More lessons coming soon.)