Things I Bought on Quarantine

what i bought on quarantine

This is a blog about style, and essentially, about shopping. I haven't bought a lot of fashion lately and am working with what I own for the most part.  So I decided to write a post about what my family has bought while we have been sheltering at home. It's funny, when I started writing this post I felt like we hadn't bought a lot and it would be a little pat on the back, we're not buying willy nilly, be careful with your spending, buy what you need not to fill a void, yadda yadda.  But then the list below got longer and longer and I realized that while I didn't buy a lot of new fashion and beauty for me, the family has done a decent amount of purchasing.  So this is what we bought while on quarantine: 

We Bought Another Bidet

I mentioned I think in a Weekend Read that in January I purchased a bidet for me and my husband's bathroom.  I liked the idea of reducing the use of toilet paper, I also liked the idea of getting clean without a lot of wiping, which, maybe TMI, has caused me hemorrhoids. The bidet we got was on Amazon but I found the same exact one at Best Buy (in stock at the time of writing this) for around the same price (think we paid around $50).  I didn't install it, my husband did but he said it wasn't too complicated and didn't need fancy hardware.  This is not a fancy bidet, you can't warm the water and it's just the attachment, not the seat.  But gosh it's awesome.  We use far less toilet paper, it's great that time of the month, after intimacy, and any time you wish to feel cleaner without rough paper.  It cleans so well, you don't need toilet paper afterward, just a washcloth to blot.  So with toilet paper being worth more than gold, we ordered another bidet for the downstairs bathroom.  We haven't needed to buy toilet paper since February, and I haven't had hemorrhoids in months. Best money spent.

We Bought a Peloton

I already wrote about my experience buying a Peloton during the pandemic, but it's worth repeating because it has been such a gamechanger.  I was spending $400 a month on one gym and $21 a month on another so the $100 or so a month for the no-interest monthly payments and the cost of the app is actually a savings.  And what is cool about it is that the whole family uses.  While our daughter isn't super into it (it's something we make her ride in place of Phys. Ed at school), my husband and I love it and we love sharing it. 

Before we had our kid, we used to go to yoga together three times a week and had a tandem bike we'd sometimes ride on nice weekends.  But once we had a kid, I stopped working out not feeling like I had time or was in the right mindspace for it.  Karl began riding his road bike on a trainer as a way to let off steam after spending a day at home alone with an infant, and then a toddler, and he continued that daily routine. I started going to a gym at the end of 2017, but I focused on weight training, hating any cardio.  And now I really love the cardio aspect of the Peloton and love that my husband and I have a fitness “thing” we share.  We don't do the same classes, don't have the same favorite instructors, we don't compete with one another, but we both get that rush from it and it's fun to discuss it together.  Once SIP restrictions are lifted and we know things are safe… I am not sure what my plan will be regarding a gym.  But the Peloton will continue to be a thing that I love, and enjoy sharing with my family.

I Bought Activewear

Before we were told to shelter in place, I was going to the gym almost every weekday morning.  But because I was focusing on weight training, I could get away with old leggings that didn't fit as well as they used to, old t-shirts, and whatever sports bra was clean.  But in the past few weeks, I have been working out many weekday mornings in the living room with lighter weights and more movement, and then also using the Peloton where performance matters when it comes to what is worn.  I haven't bought a lot but what I have bought is:

  • A pair of leggings.  Most of my leggings are black, so I got a camo print and I like them and they were on sale during one of Nordstrom's COVID-inspired promotions.  They're no longer available, but they are the high-waist Live In Leggings without the pocket. I've always been a Large, but now I feel that maybe I need smaller in the waistband as they fit well from the hip down but not above.  I also wish they had a pocket.  To be honest, I wish I bought these from Athleta instead as Athleta leggings fit me amazingly well and these have a pocket.  
  • Another sports bra.  I got this one from Freya, which was also on sale at Nordstrom.  It's called the “Active” but once I got it and saw it and the label I realized it's the same bra I have in peach which is seen in this blog post.  Just like the peach one, I like it.  It is a bit tight on the band the first couple of times you wear it but it stretches out and molds to your body.  I think it's comfortable, supportive, gives me good shape, and I don't feel all jostled when I get out of the saddle on the Peloton or when I do jumps during my morning living room workouts.
  • A highlighter-yellow zipper hoodie.  I mentioned the hoodie in this Friday Sale Alert.  While I liked to Nordstrom where it was on sale, I got it at J. Crew since Nordstrom was sold out in most sizes. Reviews said it was great except for the lack of pockets.  With the length it was, I knew that if it did end up having pockets they wouldn't be useful enough to hold more than my fist when it's chilly outside and I'm waiting for Oscar to do his business so we can run back in.  Most of my pants have pockets, so it didn't dissuade me and I have to say I love it.  It's not heavy, it's a loop terry interior instead of fuzzy fleece so it's not linty and it doesn't cling when you put it on after a workout.  And the color is so delightful and looks great with my predominately black and white loungewear wardrobe.  For reference, I got in in XL because I wanted it loose and relaxed, but think the L would have also been comfy. I'm actually wearing it as I write this as I wear it after workouts but I also wear it during the day with joggers and t-shirts and even thrown over a pair of overalls.

I Bought During the Sephora Sale

I wasn't going to do the Sephora Spring Savings Event Sale, and then I was doing my makeup for one of my Tuesday 1pm ET Instagram Live sessions and realized I was down to the last drop of my Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter.  I love this stuff, you can wear alone or with other makeup and it makes you look all glowy and dewy and not at all sparkly or shimmery or holographic.  I think it also gives a bit of an airbrushed effect. So I bought another bottle (I wear 2/Light), a new pair of tweezers because mine ended up being in the tick/first aid kit and are all janky now, and some GrandeLASH because now that I'm not wearing makeup as often, I'd love to have longer lashes naturally and many have said this stuff really works.

I Bought Technology

This is the category of things I didn't want to buy, but was forced to buy.  The first thing was my phone.  I decided one day to be all cute and try to get video of myself on the Peloton and my hands were sweaty, my phone flew out of my hand and across the room, slamming to the ground.  It didn't crack the screen, but the phone keyboard wouldn't show, pages would scroll without me touching anything, and it was dunzo.  I lease my phone; being a necessary piece of equipment for my job I need it to work and be modern.  I was eligible for an upgrade so I traded in my phone for the iPhone 11Max and got a decent but not spendy case and some Gorilla glass for the screen to keep it protected.

I bought my Mac desktop at the beginning of 2016 and it has been good to me… until the past year.  With help from Apple and googling things I have been able to get it to limp along by having only on it the apps I truly need, and using my little 2018 MacBook for everything else.  And then mid-March my desktop decided no more and wouldn't even turn on.  My daughter was using it for online school; she has my husband's old photography business laptop but it won't connect to wireless, needs an ethernet cord, and crashes randomly (it's now the ROBLOX laptop). There was no way I could work and she could do school with one laptop between the two of us (my husband doesn't have a computer) and business-wise it made more sense for me to buy what I need for work than to buy a cheap Chromebook for my kid.  So I sucked it up and bought a MacBook Pro, a computer bigger and more powerful than my laptop and old desktop combined.  I am typing on it now and it makes me realize how much time and stress I went through to get photos edited with my old desktop and then transferred to my laptop to craft posts, and how I had to stop dabbling in video because I didn't have a computer that could support the software and the sizes of video files.  It was a big unexpected purchase, but one that has proven to be worth it.

I Bought Items to Organize Our Home

Actually, all I bought was some velvet flocked hangers once I did my closet cleanout and wanted consistent hangers.  I also ordered two gadgets to hang bikes on the walls since we store our family road bikes indoors.  And because I don't know where else to put this, I bought a grow bulb for our seedlings for the vegetable garden.  We put the bulb into a lamp we already owned. 

I Bought Art and Craft Supplies and Books

I needed to think of some ways to entertain a tween beyond anything with a screen.  At the beginning of March, I bought my daughter a few graphic novels she loves to offer as reward after finishing a chapter book.  They always motivate her and with the library not available, I wanted to be prepared with her “prizes.” I also bought pastels and a mixed-media pad of paper, a pack of embroidery floss, and since we already own fabric markers, I bought the family three of these t-shirts in which the proceeds go to Feeding America.  We've already made several friendship bracelets from the embroidery floss.  I may not seem crafty, but I can get spurts and have a pretty good selection of supplies and tools from over the years.  TBH, these purchases are likely going to be used more by me than she if I get a slow-down period!

I Bought My Kid Clothes

When my kid came down the stairs in pajamas she got for her birthday in January and her anklebones and part of her shins were sticking out from the hem, I knew I had to buy her some clothes to get through this time.  I got her a pair of Adidas slides to be her house shoes since they have more support than slippers and better for spring and summer.  I then headed over to Old Navy and got her some leggings, a hoodie, some underpinnings and socks, and a fun pair of joggers so it wasn't all utilitarian.  Thanks to Super Cash and various other promotions and having a Banana Republic card I only use when shopping Gap retailers that gives an auto 10% off purchases, the total was around $25.

I Bought Random Snacks

My husband, his wonderful, amazing, yet plant-based sober self, has crazy willpower and sees food as fuel.  My daughter and I, we like snacks.  And Karl would be surprised that when an order was placed for practical items there would often be a few random snacks added to the purchase.  And some of the best random snacks that I have bought over the past few weeks are:

  • Milano Cookies.  We all love these cookies, even Mr. Willpower.  I don't regret this purchase, even considering how many bags I bought that are stacked up in the pantry!
  • Unreal Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars.  These are like little vegan Mounds bars and they are ridiculously good.  And unlike other treats like BarkTHINS where I can eat an entire bag in one sitting, one or two of these are all you want because they're so dense. 
  • Sour Patch Kids. I got a box of the packs for valentines to put in plastic eggs for an Easter egg hunt.  Our kid isn't a huge candy lover, but she adores Sour Patch Kids and likes having one bag each day and the box gave us some leftover bags for me to snack on too!
  • GimMe Seaweed Snacks.  I think many people can relate to panic buying something back in early March; for me it was these snacks in the teriyaki flavor.  I had some crazy feeling that they would sell out and bought a bunch of them.  Good thing all three of us love them! 
  • Vegan Rob's Cheddar Puffs.  I hate most vegan cheese things, they do NOT taste like cheese and the smell of nutritional yeast is not a fave.  But these are freaking GOOD.
  • Annie's Vegan Mac and Cheese.  After toilet paper, this was one of the first things to be unavailable everywhere because kids LOVE this stuff.  And I got my hands on four boxes! 
  • Triscuits. I bought four boxes and it's one of the best decisions I've made in the past month.
  • Chao Cheese.  The only vegan cheese that is tasty enough to put on a Triscuit.  Seriously, this stuff is the shizz and we are out and I am so sad.  
  • Daiya Ice Cream Pops.  These are super good, the best vegan ice cream bars I have tried, but you have to be okay with a subtle coconut flavor.  

I Bought Masks

Every time I felt the desire to buy some clothing or a random purchase, I went on Facebook or Instagram and found a small business that was making masks to keep their staff employed and/or to donate proceeds to a charity.  At the time of writing this, we have only received three of them.  When we receive more we plan to give them to friends and family who are without and have a few extra so we can wash between wears. Even once SIP restrictions are lifted, I think we'll continue to wear masks for certain situations. Some of the places where I bought bandanas or masks:

  • The 9:30 Club: This is where I saw my first all-ages show, where I've seen some of the most memorable shows.  Purchases for merch like these bandanas and gift cards (I also bought a gift card last month) go to the I.M.P. Family Fund to support employees of the club and other music venues in DC. I bought one of their bandanas, and while I was there, I also grabbed a new 9:30 t-shirt as mine no longer fits.  This bandana can be worn now as a no-sew mask but I know by how much we already wear bandanas that it will get a lot of use for years after this pandemic.
  • Ashley Nell Tipton: You may recognize her name as the winner of Season 16 of Project Runway, and the only plus size designer to do so.  I have since followed her on social media and when she shared she was selling masks immediately bought one.  I chose the “Color Chart Pattern” but she has so many cool different fabrics to choose from. FYI I ordered on April 7th and got it on the 18th. 
  • Route One Apparel: I have bought from Route One Apparel many times before, being proud of the great state where I have lived the majority of my life.  I wore one of their Maryland bandanas to the Women's March, the Families Belong Together march, and this blog post shows a Maryland flag golf umbrella I purchased from the company.  When I saw our governor, Larry Hogan, wearing a Maryland Strong face mask created by Route One Apparel, I headed to their site to get us one.  I ended up buying two masks and this Old Bay t-shirt because it's cute and I love Old Bay and I wanted to support a local business. Also Route One Apparel is donating one mask for every one sold.
  • The Kit NYC: I had planned to write a review of an order I made from The Kit, the clothing brand by Season 2 Project Runway finalist Daniel Vosovic.  The clothes really appealed to me but the pieces I got were not the fit, quality, or style I expected or felt I deserved for the price. And then all of this went down and the last thing I wanted to do was a negative review for a small business.  While the clothes weren't a good fit, I still loved his gorgeous colorful prints so when The Kit started selling face masks, I bought a pack.  They are $50 for a pack of five, all the same print so I will definitely be gifting four of these once they arrive! 
  • Inked Gaming: I'm not a gamer, but I know many are and when looking for a cute mask for my daughter, I came across this small business that has some of the most fun prints.  Hello a face mask with corgis on it! There are plenty of gaming-related prints but also prints that are pretty, funny, and cool
  • Stitch & Rivet: Stitch & Rivet is an American-made bag and leather goods company based in Washington DC.  Stitch & Rivet has gorgeous bags, wallets, and other small leather items that are handmade, and at this time they are selling a limited amount of face masks, listing what is available at 9pm ET on their website.  Stitch & Rivet will also let you sponsor a mask for $5. Stitch & Rivet in conjunction with The Art Island is buying fabric in-bulk, paying makers to make masks, and donating the masks to organizations in the DC region. Their initial goal of $1,250 is to purchase bulk fabric through Three Little Birds Sewing Studio in Hyattsville, Maryland, and make and distribute 250 masks. Makers will be provided with materials and paid for their time, keeping them working and helping to get masks in the hands of the most vulnerable in our community. If you are a skilled maker and would like to make a batch of masks, click here to learn how to be a part of this program.  I didn't buy any masks from Stitch & Rivet but I did sponsor a few masks for this initiative and buy a few cute stickers for my daughter's HydroFlask. 
  • Mixed Up Clothing: More than one reader and a Cali-based friend told me about Mixed-Up Clothing by Sonia Smith-Kang, a multiracial female founder based in Los Angeles, California.  Mixed Up Clothing offers CDC-compliant face masks with a pocket for an optional filter in sizes for adults and children.  For every mask purchased, Mixed Up Clothing will donate one to medical personnel, first responders, essential workers and/or vulnerable populations.  I placed my order on April 5th and received my masks on the 20th. 
  • Ripley Rader: Ripley Rader is an ethically-made clothing company based in Los Angeles with the clothing all made in America.  I have always admired the clothing, but have never fit into it. When looking for cute youth-sized face masks made by small US-based businesses I came across Ripley Rader, which is donating two masks for every one purchased. If you're looking for something more glam and sparkly, they have sequined face masks in a couple of different colors. Ripley Rader is also offering you the ability to sponsor masks that will go directly to hospitals
  • Daniel Patrick: While Karl is totally happy in his band t-shirt/REI/Patagonia/occasional item from Banana Republic wardrobe, he does follow men's fashion and have a few designers he likes.  So when I saw that Daniel Patrick had face masks, I ordered him one.  Daniel Patrick has face masks in a mix of colors and prints in adult and child sizes.
  • TeriChooseDesigns: We ordered five face masks (one for my mom and one for my sister as well as us) mid-March from an Etsy seller.  April 10th, our money was refunded and the seller said they could no longer fulfill our order.  I then ordered on April 12th three from this seller as it was a US-based seller that had adult and youth sizes and said same-day shipping.  They haven't arrived yet so I can't say as to what they look like or anything.

Future Shopping

I ran out of my favorite deodorant and dug into the back of the linen closet and found a half-used bottle of Ban and am using that.  My daughter ran out of her favorite body wash so she is enjoying going through all the travel-sized bottles I picked up from my business trips.  We went through the attic and tool shed and found a lot of things that will work for gardening so we don't need to buy supplies, at least right now.  While I didn't not shop during the past few weeks, priorities shifted and I hope to continue this trend for the many months to follow, creating a new habit.  Turning things into treats and presents, not mindlessly buying random things on Amazon or trying to make myself feel better or cuter with a sweater or a dress, my goal is to make this our new normal.  Have you seen your shopping habits shift in the past few weeks?

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  1. May 9, 2020 / 6:57 pm

    Now I want Milano cookies badly. We have not been buying snacks at a reasonable rate. All our goodies have to be baked first. This is a quarantine failure!

  2. Anne
    May 1, 2020 / 4:30 pm

    Thanks for the mask recommendations. I just got my order from Mixed Up Clothing and love them! Nicely made, with a pocket for filters. Really great fabric and long enough to cover my chin. It also has a nose bridge, which is great if you wear glasses.

  3. Deb
    April 27, 2020 / 5:10 pm

    This is a great topic. My item that I have been hunting while being at home is Merino wool active wear. I really wanted a hoodie, full-zip. Hot flashes make anything other than full-zip terrifying. I need to be able to adjust my coverage/temperature at a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, the one I wanted was sold out but I did manage to find one and am anxiously awaiting it’s arrival.

  4. Debbie
    April 26, 2020 / 8:03 am

    I bought a pair of Athleta Venice joggers at the end of February that have gotten so much use! Have resisted many purchases because I definitely like to try on and touch fabrics and am picky about fit / quality. Did order a zip front sports bra from Target pickup and some Old Navy shorts that haven’t shipped in more than 10 days since placing the order. Have made a few gift and Easter purchases from local stores offering discounts / free shipping or making front porch deliveries including a Marla Aaron jewelry splurge for myself. My husband and I have been cooking and eating at home which is uncommon for us. We’re ordering from local restaurants about 3x a week. Ordered some ADIDAS slides for myself this morning! We are buying a new home and moving soon so quarantine has been a great time to go through closets and drawers and clean out / get organized. Plus lots of walking!

  5. Erica
    April 25, 2020 / 6:16 pm

    My best buy during quarantine is a pair of joggers from Athleta. (The Chelsea Utility Jogger in navy.) The pockets are a bit weird (too low and too big) but they super flattering, cool/lightweight, and comfy. I want to wear them every single day!

    I already work from home all the time so I’m stocked on lounge wear and wasn’t planning to buy more, but was inspired by Alison’s post about having adopted joggers as a more versatile option. When I saw that post I wasn’t convinced…joggers?! But these are so good! All the comfort but nicer, no more changing out of leggings/sweats into jeans to run an errand. (I’m totally uptight about not wearing lounge clothes outside.) LOVE.

    In the beginning I was buying almost nothing aside from necessities to save money as well as wanting to reduce the strain on delivery systems. But I realized I’m spending so little overall that some money towards small businesses is a good thing for the economy since this isn’t letting up any time soon. So I’ve recently ordered some curly hair supplies from small makers as well as a few books to support indie authors (one written by a friend!) and bookstores. Thinking about what other things would make my life brighter while supporting someone who needs the income.

  6. Rachel
    April 25, 2020 / 5:50 pm

    I bought a fancy apron from Alder and Co!! I’ve been doing a ton of cooking and baking and I wanted the same one Carla from Bon Appetit wears in a lot of her videos. It’s 100% linen and light blue and I’m OBSESSED. makes me feel like a crunchy Julia Child.

  7. Jax
    April 25, 2020 / 2:27 am

    I feel like this is a good exercise — like a journal of purchases and one could add wants/needs as well.

    We’ve mainly bought food — stocked up lots of protein (not plant-based), as well as the hardy dried goods we’ve all bought — rice, beans, pasta, flour. But to match our stocking up on protein, we’ve bought a chest freezer, in case, we need to weather any coming vagaries in the food supply chain. It seems that we also got one of the last chest freezers available — we were not the only ones to think of it.

    And we’ve still splurged on takeout about once a week, just so we don’t get too sick of eating our own food and sandwiches, etc.

    My husband bought bread pans to bake a sandwich loaf and an Italian style loaf.

    Spending so much more time at home makes one want to do home improvements. We had installed several helpful Ikea LED light strips under our kitchen cabinets, but we are still missing a few key areas — over our sink area and also on both sides of the stove. So I made what would be considered a non-essential purchase at Ikea for delivery — added a few other items as well.

    I think Kim France/Girls of a Certain Age alerted me to a big Need Supply sale and I saw some nice-looking Yamazaki Home trash cans that have a lid (opening below for trash) so that they can be used as little side tables too. I thought they’d be great for trash but also to hold papers to be recycled. I like having one in my office and one in the living room (so I dump my magazines and incoming mail). So I got 3 on sale there.

    Clothing-wise, I bought 2 of your comfort wireless bras from Soma. Unfortunately, they are not true to *my* size — I think they’re a size too tight and the cups are a size too big. Also, the bands are curling up (probably because they’re too tight). Not sure what I can do besides trying for another size combination, since I have already worn both bras. I will email Soma to check.
    I loved my 1 pair of James Perse soft drape twill pants so much for home life that I checked if Nordstrom Rack had more. They did! So I got 2 more pairs. Feels like a good investment — they are great quality and so comfortable. Even now, I’m tempted to get another pair, but even at the discounted $80, they’re still too expensive to stock much more up on. Here’s the link, in case, anyone’s interested:
    And I got some different tops (all perfect for home lounging/WFH) from Old Navy including a cute Breton striped style sweatshirt-y top and a very soft light oatmeal terry sweatshirt (not too thick for California), plus 1 pair of leggings (unfortunately, not the softness I hoped for) and another pair that worked much better. I had some ON cash to spend after renewing my kid’s wardrobe, so it only cost me about $30 altogether. I would normally return those leggings, but they cost $7 and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to go to the store. Maybe mail.

    I also got a shredder! I’d been wanting one for a while, as I’ve been taking my stuff to FedEx Kinko’s to shred. But that’s not cheap. I was able to pay for most of it with a gift card from the holidays, so hurray!

    Oh and I stocked up on wash rag-type cloths, kitchen towels, and also got some cute patterned napkins from Anthropologie. I should’ve done this aeons ago, but the kitchen towels and TP shortage made us get much more green with our paper usage. So I stocked up on all these things to really cut down on our paper waste.

    I’ve been wanting a new mattress and also a new bed frame (just want a modern low platform style after many years of using an arts & crafts style bed) for a couple years, but holding off for a bit longer. I may see if there’s a mattress topper that we can use in the meantime to help out.

    I don’t think there’s anything else I need/want, but I trust myself to always think of something new.

    • Jax
      April 25, 2020 / 2:51 am

      Just remembered — I started missing wearing shoes other than the flip flop-style Crocs (comfy sole) I normally wear at home. Was thinking of getting a pair of thin canvas, thin-sole, low-profile shoes like comfy ballet flats, Chinese Mary Janes, or Toms shoes for puttering around at home. I don’t want memory foam or fleece slippers as my feet get hot.

      And also wanting a thin cotton cardigan (all my cardigans are medium to very thick) to throw over but wouldn’t overheat in during spring into our chillier summer (SF).

    • Sarah
      April 25, 2020 / 7:02 pm

      You probably did get one of the last chests available; they are currently back ordered until fall. Not all manufacturers make chest freezers (Bosch does not, for example).

      Frigidaire/Electrolux/their brand offshoots and several other manufacturers make their chest freezers in China. Those lines got shut down during China’s pandemic and reps won’t give retailers good info on when they plan to re-open them; shipping appliances from China is also problematic on a good day (more damage, higher fail rate) and especially hard right now.

      Amanda/Maytag/Whirlpool make all of their chest freezers in one of two factories in the U.S. But they shut one factory down to try to protect their workers. They kept one factory open but converted its manufacturing line to ONLY produce refrigerators because people need refrigerators—freezers are a luxury item. People are even more likely right now to need to replace a refrigerator if theirs breaks—most of the replacement parts for refrigerators 5+ years old come from factories in China normally. Production and shipping are both interrupted, so if your refrigerator breaks and the people tell you they can’t get the part—they really can’t get the part. Understand when they tell you you need to buy a new one.

  8. Karen
    April 25, 2020 / 12:46 am

    We’ve been quarantined for over six weeks and I have continued to shop, but my purchases have changed as time progresses. Fearful of food shortages, I initially signed up for meat and veggie shipments (one of our daughters is a vegetarian) and have kept them going so far. Our teenagers really struggled the first two weeks, so I bought all sorts of stuff to entertain them (LEGO, tie-dye kits, movies) and we were influenced by your post to get a Peleton to replace the kids’ Cycle Bar trips (shipment was delayed, but they have used it every day since delivery). Lately, I have purchased clothing (some really good sales) and jewelry from small designers that I want to support. Our oldest is a senior this year and we had to postpone a big Spring Break trip and she is missing out on quite a few traditions, so I have also been making small gift purchases for her.

    Thanks for the mask suggestions. I have been using a surgical mask from my mother (she is fighting cancer) To take care of chores outside of the home, but it looks like masks will be part of our immediate future.

    Take care everyone

    • Jax
      April 25, 2020 / 2:29 am

      We also got a direct-from-ranch butcher’s box and started and continued getting a great organic produce box from local farmers.

  9. Book Goddess
    April 24, 2020 / 9:43 pm

    Four T-shirts from Universal Standard because they are soft and feel good and they had a sale. A really nice memory foam car seat to pad my desk chair while working from home. Nice pens. Blue Apron for a little meal variety. Curel for my hands. Masks from Etsy.

  10. Julia
    April 24, 2020 / 6:10 pm

    I’ve been on the fence about the bidet, mainly because I’m not sure I could stand cold water. Am I being silly? I live in an old house with old plumbing, so a version with hot water isn’t an option. Alison, how is the cold water experience for you?

  11. Lindsay
    April 24, 2020 / 5:59 pm

    Reading this post makes me want to buy some Milano cookies. I remember when you had a sponsored post with them and you said people were so mad about you selling out. I remember reading that post and totally loving it, because who doesn’t love Milanos??? I never understood why people were so mad. Maybe they were just jealous and wished they were getting paid to snack on some yummy cookies. 😛 Anyway, tangent aside, I haven’t purchased anything other than food and some socks for my husband using a Nordstrom gift card when Nordstrom was offering 25% off everything. I have been a little tempted here and there but for the most part, this has made me realize I have everything I need and then some. My husband and I are still employed, luckily, but we just bought a house in a different city. Taking on a mortgage and trying to relocate during a pandemic has made me want to hoard every cent!

  12. Jennifer
    April 24, 2020 / 5:32 pm

    Our most ridiculous Pandemic Purchase was…a digital piano. Ridiculous b/c no one is taking lessons at our house (I played for 12+ years and my daughter wants to learn) but not so ridiculous b/c this is a great time to learn!

    Thank you for the cloth mask leads!

  13. Jennifer M
    April 24, 2020 / 3:40 pm

    I’ve bought a few things, like a rower (similar to your Peloton purchase – since we’re not spending on gym memberships it was basically a wash and was planned for a purchase later this year anyway), some books, scrapbook supplies that were on the list for purchase prior to the SIP starting, and a STARS subscription to have some extra viewing options. Where I’ve been struggling is clothing – I’ve spent the last 15ish months working out regularly and had just reached the point (again) where very few things in my closet were fitting. I was trying to limp through the end of winter and start of spring here in the midwest with what I had on hand, and then planned to buy replacements (or have jeans/pants tailored) as warm weather items showed up in stores. I don’t really know what size I am currently, so ordering is challenging, but I’ve found 2 pairs of shorts and a pair of white jeans, so hopefully I can get by until stores open again and I can try things on. We’ve been incredibly lucky in that I worked from home already, and my husband was able to transition to working from home early on. He’s going to have a bit of a paycut starting next month, but we’ll be fine, and his job isn’t in any serious danger, and I’m very thankful for that.

  14. Lee
    April 24, 2020 / 2:20 pm

    I must admit, I’m taking advantage of all these great sales & the free shipping. In early March, I had ordered a few clothing items that I’ve since returned because they were for work & are just not needed these days. What I’ve held onto, however, are some better t-shirts, a fun retro cotton track jacket that is perfect for wearing at home, some white sneakers, a True & Co. wireless bra, and I’ve got some shorts & Soma pj’s coming in soon. I’m trying my best to get shorts for my 14-year-old, who has grown 5-6 inches in the past year. Old Navy is usually my go-to for his shorts but shipping has been delayed. Thank goodness we can’t really go anywhere—he is making do with the athletic shorts & pants he can still wear. We’ve also purchased things we need around the house for projects, but my best purchase is new dishes. Mine were so chipped & beat up. Williams Sonoma had a good sale, plus free shipping so I had new dishes before the end of March. They are getting lots of use these days!

  15. joannawnyc
    April 24, 2020 / 1:26 pm

    I bought a bra (Nordstrom), a pair of comfy fleece lined trousers (it’s been a chilly spring here in the Hudson Valley), a new jacket for my son (both from Uniqlo), a turquoise tee from J Crew, a final sale experiment from Athleta which is not quite comfy enough for work at home wear, a pair of Skechers D’lite memory foam sneaker slides for house shoes, replacing Birkenstocks because I need something with a bit of a heel (6pm via Amazon) and I ordered a hoodie and leggings with pockets from Old Navy’s big sale which will apparently never arrive. Since I have always subscribed to the “secret pajamas” theory of work clothes I am mostly pretty comfy in terms of what I already own. Contemplating a small Sephora purchase.

  16. Michaelle
    April 24, 2020 / 12:53 pm

    I bought two pairs of super soft sweatpants at the beginning of this(we started sheltering on 3/16), I want to find shorts of similar material now. I wasted money ordering what were supposed to be cotton but were a foam/sponge material masks from amazon. I was unable to return due to the company being removed (with good reason) . Bought my daughter several items from the Sephora sale, and am considering a large thrive causmetics skin care purchase for myself. Overall we are saving money on groceries, and have eaten at home 100% since this began. We have also been discussing renovating or possibly moving when this is over. Our home worked well for previous life, but with everyone home there are space issues. So that will be a huge expenditure one way or another.

  17. Trystan
    April 24, 2020 / 12:42 pm

    I track my spending & noticed that during the 1st month of SIP, aside from regular house bills, all I bought was food! I had zero transportation or entertainment costs & I hadn’t done any “fun” shopping. So this month, I let myself buy a few things for home decorating projects/repairs & some casual wear clothes since I’m not wearing any of my dressy office clothes. Oh & more books — I have a zillion books, but you can never have too many, esp. from indie stores 🙂

  18. Gillian Whitcombe
    April 24, 2020 / 11:52 am

    Confession time: I’ve bought at least $600 worth of fabric, and $100 worth of skincare and makeup! That self care will keep me happily sewing for weeks and give me a fabulous new wardrobe to enjoy. And I seem to be the only one whose skin is WORSE when I don’t wear makeup on the daily, because makeup forces me to properly cleanse!

    • April 24, 2020 / 12:11 pm

      I caught myself thinking I didn’t have to properly wash my face at night since I didn’t have on makeup and my face started looking so craggy. You are not alone with that!

    • Karen
      April 24, 2020 / 12:23 pm

      I bought at least that much fabric too! I have a new granddaughter and couldn’t resist all the Liberty of London prints! The quest room bed is stacked high with projects because my sewing room is full!

      • Jenny
        April 24, 2020 / 2:22 pm

        That is my favorite typo/Freudian slip ever “quest room”! YES! The little-used bedroom in my apartment is something of a “quest room” — a staging spot for all my works in progress.

        • ErinG
          April 24, 2020 / 2:40 pm


  19. B.A.
    April 24, 2020 / 11:48 am

    I’ll admit I’m using online shopping to have something to look forward to. But I am trying to make sure I do need and/or that it’s something I had wanted before this started. I have a question about the mascara…do you still use the Thrive tubing mascara? I’ve been interested in it for awhile and thought I might pull the trigger now that Thrive is offering 20% off.

      • B.A.
        April 24, 2020 / 12:24 pm

        Great, thanks for letting me know!

  20. Another Alison
    April 24, 2020 / 11:19 am

    I think my subconscious has been more anxious than I admit. Soothing it has manifested in more online shopping than typical for me. Some of it was justified by supporting local/small business. Some of it was related to (and justified by) my renewed commitment to eating better and exercising – i.e. books on WFPB diet, exercise bands, virtual training, etc. Some of it has just been me taking advantage of specials I see online from some favorite stores, especially since I am online more than I typically am.

    Lastly, I have been recently dealing with a round of night sweats/hot flashes and at your recommendation I bought some Soma Cool nights pajamas – which have definitely helped! (thanks!) They have subsided, but my mom said that for her at least they seemed to come and go for ~2 years so I don’t think I am out of the woods yet… 🙁

    • Jacqueline
      May 4, 2020 / 11:27 am

      I started hot flashes and night sweats when I was 51. I am 72 now and still have night sweats although the hot flashes have tapered off. My doctor said some unlucky women will never make it out of the woods.

  21. Ruth
    April 24, 2020 / 11:13 am

    Any input re: Zella Live in Leggings vs. Zella Studio Lite would be appreciated and with pocket or without. At 5’0, the full-length leggings were too long, so am looking at the crop or 7/8. I also like Athleta’s Salutation Stash. Other than that, I bought a ponte blazer from Old Navy (came in petite) and am trying a pair of white jeans from BR (usually stick to black jeans.) Trying to cut down on shopping though, both to save money and because I feel guilty every time I throw out a plastic shipping package.

  22. phlbird
    April 24, 2020 / 11:01 am

    I swear by Grande Lash! I hope it works well for you as it has really worked for me (one of the only beauty products I am loyal to!). I wear glasses so I know it works because my eyelashes never hit my lenses and now (without mascara) they do!
    FWIW – I usually can find the best deal for it at Ulta (not sure if you shop there often, but I feel like the points add up quickly and can be applied for actual $$ off a purchase. I’ll wait until I get a 20% off coupon (to be used on “prestige” brands) and then use my saved up points to help off set the cost. Just a thought for future. Ulta also sometimes will have the serum as a “hot deal” and can be a considerable % off). I love this stuff – I hope it works for you!

  23. Allison
    April 24, 2020 / 10:51 am

    So here’s a small quarantine problem: I’ve run out of shampoo, and wasn’t happy with how the kind I was using had been working, so I’d like to try a new brand. But I’m very sensitive to scents and without being able to sniff the merchandise, I can’t figure out what I like. I read a ton of reviews and bought one that lots of people commented smells great, but I hate it! Any ideas?

    • Heidi
      April 24, 2020 / 3:26 pm

      The Kristin Ess brand at Target has an unscented shampoo. It’s not great, but it’s not horrible, either. I had to buy it because I have a friend going through chemo and she’s super sensitive right now.

      If you have curly hair, Jessicurl has all products in unscented versions. I’m trying to keep my hair products to <$1/ounce. (It's arbitrary and I go over more often than not–it's dismaying!) Good luck, I'm like you in that I can have scented products but they have to be right for me.

      • Erica
        April 25, 2020 / 7:24 pm

        Jessicurl is getting a fair amount of my curly product spend due to the unscented option! I never found Redken to be unpleasant or heavy in scent.

        I’m really sensitive to smells and allergic to lots of botanicals, which makes skin/hair care all kinds of challenging.

    • Tracie
      April 25, 2020 / 7:46 pm

      I use a few varieties of J Beverly Hills. They all smell different, but I like them all and they leave no lasting fragrance in my hair. I buy at a salon but they are online also. I don’t have curly hair, but I’ve used Fragile, Everyday, Solutions and Masque and like them all.

  24. Krista
    April 24, 2020 / 10:33 am

    I bought some joggers and bras. As the “chorus Mom” my wardrobe has lots of jeans and they’re not as practical or comfortable at home all day. The bras are non-wired and replaced others that are no longer supportive. During a Nordstrom sale I picked up some headbands because I’m going to be hiding my roots for a while. I replaced my house Crocs with house Birkenstock’s. The Crocs have become stretched out and ill fitting. And a hair scarf and kimono. Light weight kimonos are perfect for Florida AC. All of these items are purchases I would make anyway. I’d already decided to let my gray come in after graduation.

    I did a major closet purge and realized I need a nice tote. Something I can toss my laptop and water bottle in along with wallet and lipstick for days out. I’ve been using a cheap “free with purchase” bag entirely too long . I’d been stalking a beautiful leather tote in our local Top Buttons (if you’re not familiar, look them up. They do really great things for young women). When that tote went on sale half price, I snatched it up. It’s so pretty.

    We’ve been blessed that my husband is working through this. While we are cooking at home, we do splurge a little. We get food out from our favorite locally owned places on weekends. Pick up to go beer from our hometown craft brewery and to go cocktail kits from our favorite downtown speakeasy. We shop at the grocery store headquartered here. Many of my Chorus kids work in these places. I know where that money is going. It’s made us more aware of our spending. I’m determined to keep this up as much as I can.

  25. ErinG
    April 24, 2020 / 10:08 am

    We moved to this new house, new state, etc., last summer. It has a big yard so we work out there anytime the weather is good. There is even a small greenhouse, stocked with tools and planters left by the previous owner. Jackpot! We had been renters for years prior to this move and were never into gardening… we even contemplated tearing down the greenhouse. Soooo glad we didn’t. Currently we are growing tomatoes, red and green peppers and green beans, marigolds, sunflowers, and a butterfly/ hummingbird garden mix. All we had to buy was some potting soil!
    I did purchase a new pair of overalls, and shorts overalls (gap) for myself bc they are so convenient for yard work!

  26. Jenny
    April 24, 2020 / 9:58 am

    Thank you for this honest post. There is so much judgment around how other people spend money, and I appreciate your frankness about what choices you make. I’ve done quite a lot of shopping. I’m going through some huge life transitions and thinking about how I want to show up in the world, even if the world is just what I can see on a Zoom call. I’m re-balancing my closet to reflect where I’m heading in life, and it feels good to do that. And once some of my life transitions are completed (new job, especially) and life opens up, I’m definitely getting a Peloton.

  27. L H Carter
    April 24, 2020 / 9:52 am

    Request for a future post: I’d like to read about your gardening efforts. Thank you.

  28. Kim O'Neill
    April 24, 2020 / 9:17 am

    @Alison, how do you use the Flawless Filter? As a highlighter, all over, or…?

    • April 24, 2020 / 9:19 am

      I swipe it along my cheekbones, then under my brows, down my nose, and anything leftover on the applicator goes on my cupid’s bow and then I blend with my fingers. I wear it alone or under foundation/tinted moisturizer.

  29. Melissa
    April 24, 2020 / 9:16 am

    My husband had been unemployed from the beginning of the year, and only started working again after we were in quarantine. So we had really limited our spending to little more than groceries and personal hygiene, school fundraising and birthday gifts. We weren’t even buying take-out.
    But last week I decided to make a couple of non-necessary purchases. I was eager to find some non-digital amusements. I ordered an origami book & paper for my daughter and I (she’s 11) the latest book in a series my son actually reads (he’s 13) 2 copies of books I’ve read in the past but want to own (The World’s Shortest Stories by Steve Moss (highly recommend – 55 words each!) and The Medical Detectives by Berton Roueche. I also bought a couple of outdoor things – a kite that looks like an octopus an a pocket blanket (waterproof, lightweight & fits in a pouch for picnics.) I hope that we will have a reason to use it.

    • April 24, 2020 / 9:24 am

      These sound like great buys and I hope they bring you and your family lots of joy and screen-time fun! And I have one of those pocket blankets and it is awesome; I know you’ll use it soon and love it!

    • Book Goddess
      April 24, 2020 / 9:30 pm

      Oh wow, I read everything I could find by Berton Roueche some years ago. I was thinking about him the other day because of epidemiology being a big subject right now. Thinking of ordering that book!

  30. Susan
    April 24, 2020 / 9:10 am

    We have been saving money, probably due to not driving anywhere and all those little trips to the store that add up. But we too have been doing a bit more online shopping than anticipated. I usually work in an office and the most casual I get is jeans, which was just not comfortable for working at home, so I bought some joggers and leggings for me. Both kids have outgrown their warm weather clothes, so I bought for them. And with four of us trying to work or do school at the same time, I have been working out of our bedroom, which has long been neglected. So I have been making home improvement type purchases for the bedroom/master bath.

    • April 24, 2020 / 9:23 am

      I think our next purchase is a new medicine cabinet for the bathroom, so I hear you on fixing the neglected parts of the home!

      • Susan
        April 24, 2020 / 9:29 am

        A new medicine cabinet or two is on our list as well!

  31. M Sampson
    April 24, 2020 / 8:36 am

    Straining during bowel movements is what causes hemorrhoids. The cure is a very high fiber bran cereal. This is what my doctor told me and it works! Fiber One is great and has low sugar. The other option is fiber pills. I prefer the cereal.

    • April 24, 2020 / 9:20 am

      I’ve learned that’s not the only thing that causes hemorrhoids, though that is the most common reason! Thank you for these suggestions!

  32. Ruth Slavid
    April 24, 2020 / 8:29 am

    I haven’t bought any clothes at all. In fact, I bought a nightshirt and a dressing gown before lockdown, and that is all I have bought this year. Oh, and a bra, because one of my two favourites collapsed on day one of lockdown. The underwire slid out and I thought about mending it and then decided at four years old, it has done its duty. Otherwise, two books, some art materials (which I don’t seem to be using), a few garden plants and a loofah. And that is it, apart from food. I used to do quite a lot of clothes shopping online, so in theory I could continue, but what’s the point?

    • April 24, 2020 / 9:22 am

      I think a lot have that idea, not seeing a point or knowing an endpoint when such items can be worn again. It’s definitely a weird time, not seeing a true light at the end of the tunnel. <3

  33. April 24, 2020 / 8:16 am

    I’m still buying clothes that I don’t need and have no place to wear. Boredom is a killer for me and I succumb to recreational online shopping to alleviate it – I know I shouldn’t, but I tell myself that with everything else we’ve had to give up, and all the stressors of this awful time, I “deserve” a treat and shouldn’t be too hard on myself. Yes, I would like to curb that impulse and be more deliberate about what I buy, it’s something to work on – but with gentleness and forgiveness toward myself when I fail.

    • April 24, 2020 / 9:21 am

      I can totally relate Cate, and at a time like this we’re doing a lot of things to self-soothe and end boredom and IMO none are bad unless they cause true harm to ourselves or another. <3

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