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Coronavirus! What You Should Stock Up On
With the pandemic looming over our households, everyone in the world is currently reeling. Everyone wants to stock up on food and items that are essential to our day-to-day. As many have noticed when going to the store, there is a shortage of certain products.
I want to assure you: According to retailers and manufacturers, there is no shortage of food and supplies in our country. Panic buying has led to distribution issues. Executives with toilet paper manufacturers have publicly commented that they are simply pre-selling what will get consumed in the months ahead and they have plenty of stock that will continue to get to retailers – especially as people realize they have far more than they need and forego future months of buying.
Stores have had to not only adjust their hours to compensate and meet the demands but also ensure cleanliness and disinfection. Many of us don’t want to think of getting the virus, but it’s always better to be prepared. Here is a list of what you should stock up on.
Aside from essentials like medicines, baby products, and pet supplies, here are the essentials to focus on:
Canned goods: these last much longer than fresh fruit and produce
- Tomato sauce: can add different vegetables and seasoning to create a different taste
- Tomato soup: can be paired with grilled cheese, or eat alone
- Tuna: can be used with crackers, salad, casserole, or sandwich
- Black bean: high in fiber, can be used in tacos or chili
- Soup: this can be used for comfort
Frozen food: can be used when needed and kept frozen
- Frozen fruit: this can be used as-is, or add to oatmeal as a topper
- Frozen vegetables: can be used in soup, as a side, or cooked in with the food
- If you have meat or produce, freeze before the expiration date
Refrigerator food: expiration is normally less than that of canned food
- Milk: this is extremely versatile; it can be used with breakfast and a base for sauces.
- Meat and produce: typically the main course – can be paired with frozen vegetables
- Eggs: protein, can be used to make several dishes (omelets, egg salad, or boiled egg in salad)
Dry food: most will last for months
- Potato: starch can be used as a side, good for 2 to 3 months
- Rice: universal staple, as long as it stays dry can be good for months
- Oats: can be used as snack or breakfast, or in baking
- Pasta: can be paired with the tomato sauce, can be good for months
- Crackers: can be used with tuna, a snack, as a thickener, or in lieu of bread crumbs
- Oil: essential for cooking or baking
- Seasoning: is used to enhance flavors of the food
- Towels: make sure to hang up after use to dry to eliminate having to do a lot of laundry
- Hand soap: this is essential when there is a pandemic, buy the refill bottles
- Toilet paper: there has been a major shortage. Shop online and buy yourself a bidet attachment for your toilet. There are even travel bidets available.
- Toothpaste: even if you’re home, you should keep up your routine of dental hygiene
- Bar Soap
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Fabric Softener
- Bleach: dilute to use as a disinfectant
- Dish soap
- Trash bags
- Freezer/storage bags
- Dishwashing soap: this will vary if you use it for handwashing
- Paper towel
- Gloves: this will help save your skin from harsh chemicals
- All-purpose cleaner: essential to battle the pandemic. Look for products with bleach: Lysol and Clorox
- Keep up with cleaning. Vacuum, dust, disinfect, clean out closets/garage
Stores open for the elderly
- Target offers the first hour of each Wednesday to the elderly and those with predisposed illness
- Walmart will offer the first hour of each Tuesday to those over 60 (March 24 -April 28)
- Meijer stores and pharmacies will provide dedicated shopping times from 7-8 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors and those with chronic health conditions.
- SpartanNash Stores are available for seniors, pregnant women, and anyone immunocompromised Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 am.
- Stop and Shop will open from 6:00-7:30 am for those over 60 years old with a dedicated entrance
- Giant 6:00-7:00 every day for those 60+ and high-risk customers
- Albertsons (Safeway, Acme, & Vons) offers the first 2 hours on Tuesday and Thursdays including elderly, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems
- Whole Foods offers the first hour of every day to elderly shoppers
- Dollar General offers the first hour of every day to elderly shoppers
- Southeastern Grocers (BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket, and Winn-Dixie) will open 8:00-9:00am Monday through Friday for seniors and high-risk customers
- Publix will open 7:00-8:00 am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for those 65+. Pharmacies will also open at 7:00am
We all are in the same boat, but if we follow the guidelines of social distancing and disinfect, we can minimize the impact. With this list, you will be set to stay in your home. Use your products as sparingly as possible.
If you can meal prep for a week’s worth of meals one day each week, then you won’t have to cook too much. For those that are older, have weak immune systems, or have predisposed illnesses, please don’t take unnecessary risks.
Being isolated can be lonely or boring, but that is temporary. Doing things online, using online apps like facetime and Skype to get that human connection, or even streaming your favorite shows with loved ones can help us keep our sanity in these trying times.