The Wildest Things We’ve Bought During the Pandemic
Spending the (long) last few months in quarantine has made most of us go a little squirrely, and like many people, we found ourselves turning to new projects, retail therapy and other spends that came directly as a result of this unique time. These are the 11 wildest things we’ve spent our money on while stuck indoors.
Quarantine den decorWildest purchase: It’s not so much “wild” as it is a direct result of the pandemic. After spending so much time in our one-bedroom condo during quarantine, my husband and I felt the urge to redecorate our den. We bought a handmade coffee table made from reclaimed wood (by a local designer) and a rustic wooden bench that I plan to use to store and display items in my work-in-progress yoga nook.
Cost: It’s definitely more money than we’d typically spend in a short span of time, but we’d been talking about redecorating the den anyway. The pandemic just lit the fire we needed to actually act on it.
Buyers’ remorse: Absolutely not! It’s all gorgeous.
Would you have made this purchase in a non-Covid world? Eventually, yes. But we likely would have spread the purchases out a bit more.
Will you use this post-Covid? Yes, we’re not quite done, but at least the bigger décor pieces are done. – Laura G., assistant editor, Food Network Canada and HGTV Canada
SEE ALSO: What the Real Housewives have been doing in quarantine.
No-return negligiblesWildest purchase: Three pairs of mesh underwear made by a local designer that really don’t fit me very well.
Cost: $75, which is high for my budget. I also bought it the week that my husband lost his job and I think my emotional spending was high.
Buyers’ remorse: I immediately regretted it, then forgot about it for a month. When I emailed the local business asking if they were going to arrive, I didn’t get a response and just assumed that I had sent $75 out into the world, and I would never see the underwear. They showed up 2 months later, and they don’t fit. But, like, you can’t return underwear, so now I own them.
Would you have made this purchase in a non-Covid world? Probably not. I was feeling really anxious and was looking for a way to support a local business, but I didn’t need or really want the product. I impulse-bought them off of Instagram, which is something I rarely do.
Will you use this post-Covid? Naw. They are cute, but just not for me. – Jenny P., digital strategist
SEE ALSO: Underneath it all: 10 luxury lingerie brands with social purpose.
Mobile baristaWildest purchase: Bar cart + various cocktail tools (martini shaker, new glassware, etc)
Cost: Affordable. We didn’t go with the most high-end stuff to keep costs down.
Any buyers’ remorse: Not even a bit
Would you have made this purchase in a non-Covid world? Honestly…yes.
Will you use this post-Covid?100%
Additional comments: Making all your drinks at home/doing all your drinking at home really helps you see just how expensive it is to go out. I think investing in your home and making it cozy for entertaining guests is a great investment/alternative to going out and will likely help you save $$ in the future. – Madison G., social strategist, W Network, Slice
SEE ALSO: Go Here Meet Her: Cocktail Emporium.
Local brewsWildest purchase: My online spending habits have definitely ramped up since COVID started. Instead of spending my cash on after-hockey drinks and wings or tickets to (and beers for!) the Island, I’ve been stuck at home spending that money on things I’d normally never splurge on. A $60 environmentally-friendly mop, a fire extinguisher (after my quarantine BBQing got a little out of control) and lots and lots of beer delivery from local Toronto breweries — Left Field, Longslice, Rainhard, Kensington, to name a few.
Cost: The brewery purchases are definitely standard for my budget — plus there’s free delivery if you spend over a certain amount (usually $40 or $50).
Any buyers’ remorse: Heck no.
Will you use this post-Covid? Yes, but I likely would’ve went to the brewery/bar in person vs. having the beer delivered.
Additional comments: Yeah, it’s a pretty convenient way to get beer. And you don’t have to wait forever in that pesky LCBO lineup. – Jen F., editor, Food Network Canada
Apartment antsyWildest purchase: Signed a lease on a new condo.
Any buyers’ remorse: I haven’t moved yet… but so far, no!
Would you have made this purchase in a non-Covid world? Maybe not! But the declining rents definitely gave me a wandering eye for a new apartment. Also, since I’m working from home so much, I wanted a better space with a balcony. Side note: I’m having safety nets installed on the balcony in order to cat-proof it. So, really, my wildest purchase during the pandemic might in fact be a cat balcony.
Will you use this post-Covid? Most definitely! Moving sucks.
Additional comments: We need to see more cat balconies in this world. – Alex G., editor, Complex
SEE ALSO: Easy ways to affordably upgrade your rental apartment.
Vertical herb wallWildest purchase: A vertical garden wall for our condo balcony so we can grow our own fresh herbs.
Cost: Higher than expected, because lumber – it turns out – is expensive!
Any buyers’ remorse: No, although it did block a bit of the morning light that used to seep through the tempered glass divider that was there before. We’re loving it, and it gives us our own secret garden to tend to even at the top of a busy, noisy condo building. We’ll see if that changes when the colder months come, but I doubt it.
Would you have made this purchase in a non-Covid world? Unlikely. We were in the thicks of house hunting and were looking to have a proper veggie and herb garden before COVID hit.
Will you use this post-Covid? Yeah, for sure. We love using fresh herbs in our cooking and cocktails. - Dragana K., assistant editor, Slice, History and Shaw Connect
Doubling up on groceriesWildest purchase: While I haven’t intentionally purchased anything too insane yet, I had an extremely cringe-worthy moment when I accidentally ordered the same haul of groceries (like, a mega week’s worth) twice. Yep, I doubled down, not realizing one order had already been processed before making the exact same order a second time.
Cost: I mean, it was twice as much as we typically spend on groceries per week, haha.
Buyers’ remorse: Yes, I still *face palm* myself, but luckily no food was wasted: we froze and baked what we could, and sent extra produce (read: lettuce, carrots, cucumbers etc.) to our neighbours that we knew we couldn’t eat in time as a family of two.
Would you have made this purchase in a non-Covid world? No, because the Covid world has introduced me to the land of online grocery shopping. It’s fair to say I never would have mistakenly doubled up on goods while strolling down the aisles in person (at least, I sure hope not!).
Will you use this post-Covid? Yes! I’ve since learned from my mistakes, and still prefer ordering online right now. I try to support local as best I can: ordering groceries from local shops, restaurants and even online farmers’ markets! I’ll also opt for curbside pickup when available. – Britt D., digital strategist, Food Network Canada and HGTV Canada
Cat condoWildest purchase: A cat condo for my balcony so my cat Buffy can enjoy the sunshine without falling to her death.
Cost: High (for me) - $220
Any buyers’ remorse: Best decision I ever made.
Would you have made this purchase in a non-Covid world? Probably. I’m that cat lady.
Will you use this post-Covid? Yes, I am thinking about installing a tunnel system that feeds into my apartment through the window. (Again, cat lady.) – Alexa K., social media manager
SEE ALSO: 12 signs your cat secretly hates you.
Moving on upWildest purchase: A condo
Cost: High - definitely the biggest purchase of my life.
Any buyers’ remorse: Nope! The week before quarantine started, my roommate told me she was moving out and I wanted to be able to live solo for the first time. I’m really happy to be a homeowner under 30!
Would you have made this purchase in a non-Covid world? Honestly, I doubt it. The prices and competition hadn’t allowed me into the market. I got very lucky with timing.
Will you use this post-Covid? Definitely. I’ve got the 25-year mortgage to prove it! – Lydia H., producer, Food Network Canada
SEE ALSO: 12 signs your cat secretly hates you.
Sweet toothWildest purchase: A chocolate bar at a local convenience store.
Cost: Low budget
Any buyers’ remorse: Yes, I felt guilty for going into a store and having a transaction during the lockdown. I made sure to throw out the wrapper and receipt as soon as I finished so there would be no evidence.
Would you have made this purchase in a non-Covid world? Likely.
Will you use this post-Covid? Hopefully, I will have healthier choices but I will probably buy chocolate bars until the very end.
Additional comments: After so long going without a treat I let my passion take over and went into a local store to buy a chocolate bar. It wasn’t essential but I really needed some comfort food. It sounds very mundane now but at the height of the pandemic we were all being so careful that even that added stop at a convenience store felt extravagant. – Frank P., producer, HGTV Canada
Bad Beagle goodbyesWildest purchase: A little dark: I got my late fur-son, Clark Kent, the super bad beagle cremated — got the finest urn available.
Cost: The geriatric beagle deteriorated so quickly — so there were a lot of surprise costs for vets. And if you have an animal, you'll know this can get expensive.
Any buyers’ remorse: This was the first time I ever got anyone cremated and I'm glad I get to keep something of his perfect earthly existence.
Would you have made this purchase in a non-Covid world? Absolutely. I still can't believe the lil guy didn't make it out of this pandemic with me.
Will you use this post-Covid? Wherever I end up, there will be a place for Clark. He may have shed his mortal coil, but he is my home and my whole heart.
Additional comments: I couldn't live in his retirement home anymore — so the even wilder purchase was the new lease I signed in an attempt for a fresh start without my lil guy. (I'll love you forever, Clark.) – Chloe T., editor, Slice
SEE ALSO: 9 times I thought my dog was warning me about my partner (and what he really meant).