Are you looking for a budget-friendly coronavirus shopping list to help you and your family stay nourished for the next couple of weeks? As always, we’ve got you covered.
The sharp spike in coronavirus cases across Pakistan has caused widespread panic among the masses – and for the right reasons. In order to make sure you or someone you love doesn’t get affected by the potentially deadly disease that has shaken up the entire world, the health experts and government officials have directed people to stay indoors and avoid any physical contact with others.
Since the authorities continue to extend the lockdown in order to slow down the spread of COVID-19 in Pakistan, it is imperative to think ahead and make sure your pantry and fridge are fully stocked to ride out the virus and a potential home quarantine. Since grocery stores among some of the most crowded places, especially in the middle of such pandemics, you must avoid visiting it more than once to minimise the risk of being exposed to coronavirus and a host of other diseases.
Unfortunately, a lot of people have responded to the problem at hand by going into a panic mode and hoarding household supplies and groceries. However, panic buying is never a solution. In fact, by doing so, you might end up making things worse for someone else.
Therefore, in order to help you formulate a worthy game plan, we’ve compiled a coronavirus grocery list that will keep you and your family fed and satisfied for the next 15 to 20 days without anyone having to leave the house.
What’s the Best Time for Shopping during Coronavirus Outbreak?
Your first priority should be minimising exposure to coronavirus, and you can only do that by avoiding crowded places. Since grocery stores and supermarkets are among some of the most crowded places right now, you may want to plan your trip during the early morning hour. In fact, since most supermarkets have implemented social distancing policy, it’s recommended you reach the store a little before it opens so you don’t have to stand in long queues, waiting for your turn to enter the premises.
For this purpose, call your nearest superstore and inquire about their opening and closing timings. This will help you plan your trip and shop for groceries the smart way.
Coronavirus Shopping List: What to Buy?
Before you start making a coronavirus grocery list, take a few minutes to go through your kitchen cabinets or pantry. Make an inventory of all the grocery and household items you currently have in stock so you can figure out what else you need to buy and in what quantity. This way, you also won’t be inclined to clear out store shelves and spend money on things you don’t really need or already have enough of.
Below, we have categorised different food items and supplies in terms of their shelf life. After all, you need to make sure the edibles you purchase don’t go bad too quickly and can provide sustenance for days to come.
- Fresh produce
- Pantry staples
- Long-lasting perishables
- Canned goods
- Frozen items
- Toiletries and cleaning supplies
As per the expert advice for stocking, you should pay more attention to non-perishables or long-lasting perishables, but what ends up on your coronavirus grocery list largely depends on your and your family’s dietary habits. Therefore, you’ll have to adjust your budget accordingly.
Let’s discuss each of these essential quarantine items and supplies in detail.
Out of all the other items on this list, fresh produce has the shortest shelf life. Although fresh vegetables and fruits won’t last for a very long time, one shouldn’t avoid these items as their consumption has been linked to improved health. Not to mention, citrus fruits, broccoli and spinach are considered the top immune boosters, which means you must incorporate these into your diet for as long as you can to stay healthy.
In addition to that, hard vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, ginger, onions, cauliflowers, cabbages, carrots and broccoli can last a little longer than others, so it’s better to buy more of these. The same goes for apples, bananas and oranges. Just make sure to thoroughly wash them before eating and refrigerate them as needed. Also, only buy enough fresh produce to last you a few days. Otherwise, it will get spoilt and end up in the trash.
Pantry staples and Non-Perishables
Pantry staples are those basic ingredients that constitute a dominant portion of your diet, have a long shelf-life and are fairly inexpensive.
Here is a list of staples that you must add to your coronavirus shopping list.
- Dry fruit
- Mixed nuts
- Mixed seeds
- Granola bars
- Food supplements
- Cooking oil
- Tea/tea bags/ coffee
And most importantly,
- Drinking water
Once again, you must avoid panic buying. Instead of hoarding these essential quarantine items, just buy what your family usually consumes over a period of a month.
These are some of the long-lasting perishables that must be on your coronavirus shopping list.
- Pasteurised milk
- Regular salted/unsalted butter
- Nut butter
- Breakfast cereals
- Powdered milk
- Baby formula
Canned items can last decades and are perfect in cases of emergency. Whether you are simply unable to leave the house because of the COVID-19 outbreak or are in self-quarantine, having canned food in the pantry will ensure that you’re still consuming essential dietary fibres, minerals and vitamins to keep you healthy.
Here is what must be included in your coronavirus shopping list to survive the next couple of weeks indoors.
- Canned vegetables (low sodium)
- Canned fruits (sugar-free)
- Canned tomato puree
- Canned beans
- Canned fish
- Canned soups
- Canned chilli
One of the most important coronavirus shopping and stocking tips is to only buy food items that you will actually consume. If you are not a fan of canned fish or know for certain you won’t be eating it, avoid panic buying. It’s better to leave it on the store shelf for someone who would purchase it willingly.
These are among the essential quarantine items. You can either buy these goods from the frozen section at your nearest supermarket or buy them fresh and store them in the freezer yourself. If you opt for the latter, make sure all of these items have been properly washed and dried off before being stored.
- Frozen beef
- Frozen poultry
- Frozen vegetables
It’s better to stay away from processed frozen junk food widely available in stores these days. Instead, you should solely focus on food items that will help improve your immune system.
If you have kids at home, it’s better to stock up on some treats as well. Since children usually have a weak immune system and must remain indoors to minimise their exposure to the disease, you can keep a secret stash of their favourite snacks and use it to reward them for their good behaviour or when they complete their chores.
- Potato chips
- Ready-to-mix cake boxes
- Instant noodles
Yet another important coronavirus shopping and stocking tip includes buying your prescription medicine for at least the next 30 days. This is extremely vital for the elderly, pregnant women, and those struggling with any pre-existing conditions.
Apart from prescription medicine, you should also buy some over the counter painkillers, pills for acidity and stomach ache as well as cough syrup etc. If possible, buy a bottle or two of multi-vitamins as well.
You should also make sure your first aid kit is fully stocked for emergencies.
In case you are having trouble finding your medicines, you can contact one of these online pharmacies offering home delivery service in Karachi.
Toiletries and cleaning supplies
If you ask an expert how to prepare for coronavirus, they’d likely tell you to wash your hands with warm water and soap after regular intervals. Therefore, you simply can’t forget to add toiletries and cleaning supplies to your coronavirus grocery list.
Here are some essential quarantine items that fall under this category:
- Anti-bacterial handwash
- Hand sanitiser
- Soap or body wash
- Anti-bacterial/ disinfecting cleaning wipes
- Antiseptic disinfectant liquid
- Laundry detergent
- Dishwashing soap
- Kitchen towels
You can also take a look at our cleaning tips to prevent coronavirus at home. In addition to that, our guide on how to make cleaning and disinfecting wipes at home might also help you out.
Coronavirus Shopping Tips
Now that we’ve discussed the coronavirus grocery list in great detail, let’s take a look at some shopping safety tips you must follow while stocking up on essential quarantine items.
- Wear a mask to the grocery shops and bring along a small bottle of sanitiser to clean your hands frequently
- Stick to your grocery checklist and don’t buy unnecessary or unhealthy food items
- Don’t take the entire family along to the grocery store. Make sure to leave the elderly and the kids at home
- Avoid panic buying. Only buy enough food and supplies to last your family 20 to 30 days
If you are out of sanitiser and can’t find any at the store, don’t fret. Instead, you can follow our tips to make a hand sanitiser at home in a budget-friendly manner. Moreover, make sure to avoid these top grocery shopping mistakes that can affect your budget.
To learn more dealing with the outbreak of coronavirus in Pakistan and how the disease has affected our daily lives, stay connected to Zameen Blog, your best solution for all lifestyle and property-related problems. Meanwhile, if you or a family member shows symptoms of coronavirus, seek medical help immediately by calling the state helpline at 1166. Also, here is a list of hospitals and labs conducting COVID-19 tests in Pakistan.
Please remember if you don’t take any precautionary measures against coronavirus, you might end up risking the health of those around you as well.
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