Coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced most of the world into hiding, either by choice or under Government sanction. This has meant lots of us are required to work, entertain and exercise from home for the foreseeable future. In the UK, we are currently allowed one outing of exercise a day (run, walk or cycle alone or with household members) and a shop up for basic necessities “as infrequently as possible”. Most of us are left with a lot of time on their hands to entertain ourselves or to suffer from cabin fever.
If you’re anything like me, this time has left you with questions. The major one for me is how can I stay at home and not waste all my money on takeaways and buying things I don’t need online? Well below are some ideas for cheap things to do indoors from UK leading bloggers and myself (Will @ greatdealsmadeeasy.com).
Listen to Audiobooks for free
Listening to audiobooks can be a great way to whizz through a new book whilst cleaning or exercising (or to drown out the sound of family members). If you want a great deal, check out Audible’s free month trial – the world’s largest producer of downloadable audiobooks by Amazon. You can listen to one of the latest top 10 audiobooks, plus access all the leading podcasts for free (if you don’t enjoy audiobooks, you can cancel the membership for free, before it goes up to £7.99/month, which is still cheaper than a physical book). Get the Audible 30-day free trial and also read the Great Deals Made Easy review on Audible.
Lisa from Living Thrifty highlights that most local library services use a service called Borrow box which gives you access to completely free audiobooks and ebooks, just sign up with your library card (my local library is currently allowing people to sign up for cards over the internet). BBC also has some great free podcasts.
Learn a new language online
During this quarantine why not utilise your extra time by learning a new language online. Many sites allow students to find online native tutors for 1-2-1 lessons. There are so many languages available you can learn anything from Arabic to Zulu. Francesa from the money fox also recommends the free app Duolingo for learning on your own (will include link). But, my favourite online language sites are iTalki and Lingoci. Both are affordable ways of learning a new language. (In my opinion, they offer the best free/low-cost Spanish lessons online “muy bien”).
iTalki has over 20 languages available and has been around since 2007. Attend lessons on their own online video platform and start with a cheap 30 minutes chemistry lesson, costing around $4 (£3). Then if you enjoy the lesson, you can sign up for more, from as low at $5 per hour. When you purchase $20 (£15.33) or more iTalki credits we’ll both get $10 (£7.72) iTalki Credits for free. Need some extra cash? Try teaching English online with iTalki.
Lingoci is a simple and innovative platform that has Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish language teachers. All the lessons are done via Skype and the great thing is you can get a free trial for 30 minutes on Lingoci to see if you like the lesson and teacher Prices start from £13.90 per 1-2-1 lesson for Spanish, and £15.90 for other languages (French, German, Italian, Japanese and Dutch). It is certainly cheaper than your typical face-to-face lessons. Please mention WILL2020 when you start your first paid lesson.
Try a free online workout
Fancy a free workout? Then clear a space from in front of your TV or laptop lay out a towel and get online. There is a currently a free live YouTube indoor work out with Joe Wickes. He is an engaging Essex guy who caters well for the family and at a decent pace. For a harder pace, try the Fitness Blender page.
Have a small gym budget? You can buy cheap weight sets on Amazon from £10. There are lots of cheap exercise equipment on Amazon. Collette from cashbackcollette.co.uk and her fiancé go out jogging together and have turned their living room into a workout space. They bought some cheap exercise equipment online. However, they also partake in bodyweight workouts that include “things like push-ups, sit-ups and jumping jacks” these can be done without any equipment. How? By using household items like cans for weights and a chair for Tricep dips.
Join up to Disney Plus for a free trial
This one is for the kids and your inner child! I personally like ‘Honey I shrunk the kids’ and ‘Little Mermaid’, but please don’t judge me for the last one. Cora from Frugal Expert recommends to Subscribe to Disney+. It’s a new service in the UK and is available to subscribe to on either a monthly (£5.99pm) or yearly basis (£59.99 a year). It doesn’t just include free Disney films, but also lots of content from National Geographic, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. You can currently trial Disney Plus for a whole month to see how you and the family enjoy it.
Learn to code for free
As computers are becoming an intrinsic part of any business, learning to code could be an invaluable use of your time. Plus, it is free to learn. Jo from youngfunandthrifty.com recommends the free coding site Code academy – learn skills such as Python, Java and C++.
Cheap date night ideas indoors
If you are staying in with your partner, consider home date nights. Blogger Emma Drew explains that “shifting her partner’s mindset from talking about work, running the house etc to ‘us time’ is really important”. Her date night activities include cooking together (Ready, Steady, Cook style), watching films, playing board/card games, listening to music and just connecting differently.
If you are in a relationship but separated by the quarantine, consider online board games and watch the same TV shows whilst face-timing. Jo from Young fun and thrifty recommends organising a Netflix Party feature to watch films with friends and family in other locations, at the same time.
If you are single, consider having online video dates over Facetime or Whatsapp (it also save yourself that commuting time and meet in person post quarantine, if you click ).
Cooking indoors on the cheap
This is a key time to improve your cooking skills with all the restaurants closed. Naomi from Skint Chef recommends to take inspiration from Ready, Steady, Cook and grab a few random ingredients from your cupboard. Be inventive and get the kids involved – make something different for dinner. You could equally discover a new family favourite or a “lets never try that again” dish, but have fun while you do it!
Faith from Much More With Less takes the minimalist approach with food shopping, “shop from the contents of your shelves and cupboards first”. You’ll be surprised at what you have in your kitchen to help make some tasty meals.
To get cheaper and faster internet speed (£15.90 per month with the Post Office) consider changing your Broadband deal. Check out a review of a supermarket App Shopmium with a free tub of ice cream on joining. You can have fun in-store with your kids or partner whilst finding free or discounted food. Please read some interesting Great Deals Made Easy Reviews.
If you have any tips please share them. Please help get this article viral (in a good sense).