In a matter of weeks or even days, we’ve all had to drastically adjust our lives. While these changes look different for everyone, there’s one thing that we’ve all had to figure out: grocery shopping! Whether confined at home or covering emergency and essential services, how we buy and what we buy must be adapted during a pandemic. Keep reading for expert advice for preparing for and executing your shopping:
PREPARE YOUR LIST
Doing so will cover your bases, avoid waste, reduce the time you spend in the store and cut down on future trips. This is not the time to wing it! To make an effective list:
- Inventory your fridge, freezer and pantry and jot down meals that you can prepare based on what you already have; add any missing items.
- Increase quantities of the essentials you normally buy, within reason, in case you need to remain in quarantine for two weeks.
- Add non-perishables like dried or canned beans, pasta and other grains and frozen produce. Don’t forget about oils, vinegars and dried herbs or spices.
- Consider reviewing your cookbooks and expanding your meal planning! Being confined and living at a slower pace is a great opportunity to try a new recipe. (Hint: our Homemade Energy Bites are a great place to start!) This will help you use your time positively and equip you with something new in your database when you return to normal life. Add the items you need for any new recipes!
- If you’re still going to work, list items you need for lunches and snacks; this is the time to pack your own lunch.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
- Schedule your shopping trip outside of peak hours, and note that many grocery stores have changed their hours during the pandemic; check online or by phoning ahead.
- Eat a protein-rich snack before you go to avoid impulse-buying and therefore spending more time in the store than you need to.
- Bring hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes with you. Wipe your cart or basket handles and clean your hands before and after shopping.
- Continue practicing physical distancing at the store and don’t touch your face while shopping.
- Consider buying local products to support the economy.
- Choose produce that lasts longer like pears, apples, clementines, cabbage, carrots, beets, squash and cauliflower.
- Opt for frozen avocado chunks instead of fresh ones — they defrost nicely and can be thrown into smoothies or salads, crushed up into guacamole or as a sandwich spread.
- Remember to check expiry dates on dairy products and consider plant-based milks, which are usually shelf-stable if unopened so you can actually keep them in your pantry.
- Opt for long-lasting protein sources like frozen edamame beans, bean-based pasta, firm or soft tofu, natural nut butters, plain nuts and seeds, eggs, frozen fish, poultry and lean red meat that can be frozen, and canned fish like tuna or sardines. Avoid breaded frozen products as well as processed meats like bacon, salami and other cold cuts.
When you get home, wash your hands with soap and water before putting your goods away.
Looking for a healthy snack? Try our healthy no-bake energy bites! Click here for the recipe.