Are you worried about a loved one far from home? Whether it’s aging parents living alone, a college student away from home for the first time, or adult children welcoming their first child, it’s tough not being there to hold a loved one’s hand through life’s tough moments.
However, while you might not be able to offer a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on, you can make a difference from a distance. You don’t need a big budget either. Here are five affordable ways you can support the people you love even from far away.
Get Dinner Delivered to Their Door for Less
Meal kits are great for convenience, but for the most part, they won’t slash your grocery bill. There are exceptions, however: EveryPlate has meals starting at $4.99 per serving and Dinnerly has options as low as $4.29. New customers can also take advantage of introductory deals from other brands. For convenience minus the high price tag of meal kits, look to grocery delivery. While a number of grocery stores are starting to offer delivery for a fee, Costco will deliver fresh food orders over $35 the same day for no additional fee. However, not every Costco offers this, so check to see if it’s available in your delivery zone.
Save Money on Home Delivery of Household Supplies
You can’t get everything at the grocery store. If your loved one relies on delivery to get meals, household supplies, or other everyday items, sign them up for Postmates Unlimited. For only $9.99 a month, Postmates Unlimited gives members free delivery on orders over a minimum amount, allowing them to avoid delivery fees that can range from $0.99 to $9.99.
Invest in Tracking Devices
If you’re concerned about your senior loved one wandering too far from home, or you want to keep an eye on their whereabouts from afar, consider investing in a tracking device. These gadgets come in a variety of different forms — from activity and location trackers to health monitoring systems — but all of them will give you a little peace of mind when you’re miles away. What’s more, if your loved one is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, their policy may cover the cost of one of these devices.
Hire an Affordable House Cleaner
Whether due to a busy schedule or an aching back, housekeeping can be a burden. Most people assume a cleaning service is out of budget, but hiring someone to clean your loved one’s home can be affordable if you do it right. Instead of hiring a cleaning company, which tends to be more expensive, hire a private house cleaner through a platform like Care.com. House cleaners make just over $16 an hour on average, although rates may vary where you live.
Keep in Touch with Free Video Chat Apps
While these are great ways to support long-distance loved ones, they can’t replace the sound of your voice! Make sure you’re also reaching out to your far-away family members to offer support and encouragement. Video chat apps let you connect face-to-face and many of the most popular apps are free, including Zoom and Skype.
Distance may keep you apart, but it shouldn’t stop you from helping out. Even on a budget, you can lend a hand to the people you love with affordable services like these.