What I Spend In A Week As A 30 Year Old Millennial Living In Brussels During The COVID-19 Lockdown

March 16, 2020

Photo by Margaux @bonjourwhite

Thursday night the Belgian government decided to go into lock down, finally. I'd been worried about the spread of the corona virus for a while. Not only had I been struggling with a common cold for 2 weeks, which I then hesitantly had checked out by my GP, I have friends who live abroad, who were on holiday, I have a partner who is Italian and who's worried about his family and friends back home. I was surprised it took Belgium so long to tell people to stay home, close down schools, bars, restaurants and events. We've all seen the hoarding videos online of people bulk buying toilet paper, rice, pasta, milk and eggs. I have to say people weren't all that crazy where I live in Brussels. Even though we'd already done our weekly food shop we did spend some extra money on groceries, we've cancelled our plans for the next couple weeks and we're working from home.


Monday

After being a stay at home girlfriend for a long time I've finally registered as a job seeker, naturally I've been looking for some appropriate work attire to wear for job interviews etc. A beautiful blazer at H&M had caught my attention on their website already. When I strolled into one of their stores while running some errands I thought I'd check out which size would fit me best. I wasn't planning on buying it right there and then, also because I generally don't spend €40 on a blazer, but it suit me so well that I just couldn't put it back. I also had an appointment with a social worker that day to take some of the necessary steps for me to go back to work, this was cancelled because the lady was unwell. I'm not sure when we'll meet again now that offices are being closed down and face to face meetings aren't recommended. I didn't think much about it and just went about my day. I told my partner I saw our grocery store was doing a buy one get one free on tons of our favorite food items such as wine, tofu, pasta, beans and plant based milk. Mind you, no one was panic buying at this point, everything was still pretty much normal. We spent €60 and had a total of €20 worth of discounts. Even though we'd already spent money on groceries over the weekend, I'm really glad we did this extra food shop.

H&M shawl collar jacket €39.99
Groceries €61.38


Tuesday

We went to see the Van Eyck exhibition in Gent on Tuesday, it had been planned long in advance because this particular exhibition will never come back. I'm pretty sure all visits have been cancelled at this point, I remember saying to my sister that day that I thought it was weird that Belgium hadn't taken any action yet. I'm not one to be very impressed by any kind of paintings but this museum was beautiful and I really enjoyed the visit. I will say that I declined using an audio guide as I wasn't sure whether they were being sanitised or not. My partner and sister did the same. We went for a little drink afterwards and also got some Lebanese fast food. It was a great day.

Museum Ticket €25
Train ticket €16.60
Glass of wine €4
Lebanese food €20.50


Thursday

I went to my GP in the morning to finally figure out if I indeed just had a cold. I didn't have a fever or a cough so I was allowed to enter the waiting room and see the doctor. I explained my throat and ears had been aching for 2 weeks already. I got prescribed painkillers and an antibiotic nasal spray. After this visit I left to see my therapist. I'd cancelled and rescheduled the day before because I was feeling really nauseous on Wednesday. After my session I went straight to the pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions and rushed home to see Chloé, my cage free bunny. Because my rabbit is an only child (for now) I like to buy her toys and I saw that her favorite Happy Pet willow rings were on sale online so I purchased 3. The website I get them from used to have a limit of one per customer, now you can buy 3 at once, thank goodness. I also purchased a willow ball, because why not. Rabbit toys wasn't a purchase I had foreseen, but I'd rather have a happy bunny than a destructive bunny that chews my furniture during this stressful time. When the lock down was announced Thursday night I did panic a little and figured I should probably also order more hay. I'm currently having a hard time finding a pet store that actually sells good quality timothy hay so I ordered some on Bol, a Belgian equivalent of Amazon. So far all deliveries are still ongoing.

Happy Pet willow rings €17.25
Happy Pet willow ball €2.45
Timothy Hay €14.94
Doctor's visit €35
Antibiotics & painkillers €13.52
Salt water nasal spray €9.29


Friday

My online beauty lock down purchases were the absolute essentials: bacterial soap times 2, a back up of my foundation and a new concealer; Di Beauty is having a sale on Bourjois makeup so I made some great savings. I also got another konjac sponge for my skin care routine and an extra bottle of dry shampoo from the brand Colab. I highly recommend them, their products are awesome for your hair and very affordable when on offer. Last time I stocked up on 6 bottles when there was a buy one get one free, it happens at least once a month. One of the purchases I had planned on making after next month's payday was my makeup remover, given the situation I decided I'd just get it this week. It's a cleansing oil from Caudalie, it's not that expensive but not that cheap either. I have a passion for skin care so I spend a lot on all my products. This beauty haul was actually an online order that had gotten lost at the beginning of the week, after contacting customer service they'd found my parcel and told me I could go pick it up in the shop. I wasn't planning on going out this Friday, I had already cancelled plans to go to shopping in Antwerp because of the lockdown. I ended up going to pick up my parcel anyway because Belgium had started closing down everything. I didn't want it to be left waiting there and maybe get lost again.

Bourjois Healthy Skin foundation €12.74
Bourjois Healthy Skin concealer €8.99
Di Beauty konjac sponge €5.99
Sanytol disinfecting hand gel €7.58
Colab Paradise dry shampoo €4.99
Caudalie makeup removing cleansing oil €15.84


Saturday

Saturday mornings is when I usually go for coffee with a girlfriend, we try to see each other every week. Because of the lock down my friend suggested we have coffee over video chat. I was a bit doubtful at first and figured we'd just see each other anyway since we don't live that far apart but it turned out to be for the best, the video chat was a great idea! We have already scheduled another one for next Wednesday.

Homemade coffee €0,70


Sunday

I'm not gonna lie, I had been having nightmares about running out of toilet paper because of all the crazy videos I'd seen on social media of empty shelves so when my partner said he'd quickly run to the bakery I asked him to check if the supermarket had some. Their supply was limited but they did have toilet paper. He also bought some more oat milk, onions, white vinegar to clean and disinfect, nothing crazy. We're two people who are passionate about food so we kind of always have a lot of things at home anyway. We plan our meals to avoid food waste, we usually spend around €130 a week on food and hygiene products for a 2 person household. We used to spend a lot more so planning meals became essential to save and be conscious about the environment.

Groceries €40.22


These were my expenses for the week. In total I spent €356.97

I want to end this post by saying that if you can stay home please do. It's something very simple you can do to reduce the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus. We're all in this together. You might be a healthy person but those around you might not be. I think about my grandparents who are 85 years old, young family members and friends who either have suppressed immune systems or are battling some sort of illness. They might not be strong enough. It's in times like this that we should all remind ourselves that health is everything and that we have a responsibility. #stayhomebelgium

2 comments

  1. Such an interesting post, sweetie! Hope everything's okay with you and your little family ��

    Xoxo
    Shirley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much and likewise of course! Stay safe :* Xxx

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