With the country being steadily vaccinated and the Covid-19 health statistics continuing to head in the right direction, optimism is growing that the end of lockdown is approaching and we may indeed have normality restored this summer.
That is bound to have an impact on people’s shopping habits, as the understandable temptation to spend on comfort food, warm clothes and home entertainment during the grim winter of lockdown will give way to buying for some more outdoor, active and sociable purposes.
So if you are looking for cheap household products online, these are the kind of bargains you should be looking for over the coming months:
Food and Drink
There are a couple of ways you may want to go with food. If the last few months have brought a lot of comfort eating and weight gain - as is not unusual in winter anyway - you might want to look at buying in more fruit and veg, pasta and spices.
After all, with the resumption of team sports and the prospect of at least being able to hit UK beaches this summer, this could be a good time to get in trim.
On the other hand, the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions means more socialising. Starting with the potential reintroduction of the Rule of Six in May and continuing with the lifting of all restrictions in June, this means there is likely to be far more interaction than usual.
Whether its heading out to the park for a picnic, getting your friends round or having those long awaited family reunions, you could be buying a lot of party food and drink, whether you are hosting or visiting.
Since there is likely to be such a lot of social events, it’s a great idea to pick up bargains because otherwise you could end up with a hefty party budget. Besides that, nobody is going to be worried about gourmet food or vintage wines at a party when the prevailing mood is simply going to be joy at seeing people again.
Spring is often a time to get to work on making the home and garden look better, but 2021 will bring extra reasons for doing so.
In any year, this could be a great time to bring in some new houseplants, furnishings, repaint the walls or add some nice new features. But this year could be a particularly good one to do it in precisely because of the prospect of being able to welcome guests back into your home again before too long.
Places to pay particular attention to include your living room, which will need a good clean and perhaps be helped by a few scented candles to diffuse persistent odours you are used to but guests will notice.
Kitchen wear should be another area to consider, as your kitchen will not just be a busy place as you prepare food for guests, but will invariably get crowded as that great party tradition of ‘the kitchen group’ re-emerges.
We’ve already mentioned how buying a bit of healthier food can help you get in shape, no doubt helped by the fact you can now exercise with a friend and egg each other on as you go for a jog or return to tennis courts and golf courses.
However, ladies may also want to do a bit of cosmetic work too. After months where almost nobody has seen you except in Zoom meetings, some make-up and skincare products will be in order.
It’s also worth remembering to stock up on some minor medication as well such as Paracetamol and aspirin. This is always handy, but you should definitely have some spare when you get your Covid jab, as a headache and mild fever may arise as a side-effect for a day or two.
Looking after your money
Whatever your plans as the country gradually comes out of lockdown, shopping for bargains is a very wise thing to do as the economy remains uncertain.
On the one hand, unemployment is higher than before the crisis and many more may lose their jobs before normality returns, despite the furlough scheme.
At the same time, optimists like Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane have predicted a bounce-back, caused by those people who have maintained their income in lockdown but have had fewer chances to spend their money using this accumulated extra cash to go on a spending spree.
However, the Bank itself recently said the economic outlook is “unusually uncertain”, which means that while we may all have more things to spend money on, it will be wise not to overdo it.