Home and Living

Smart grocery shopping tips in time of social distancing

Who would’ve thought that our daily routines would be turned upside down because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Some are now experiencing a work from home set-up, others are self-quarantined, and most are now practicing social distancing.

Now as various communities around the world issue restrictions and closures due to the pandemic, it’s likely that everyone needs to spend most of their time at home.

While staying at home can be a good thing in keeping oneself safe from getting infected, there are instances where one has to leave their homes, like when you’re running low on your food stock and other essentials.

So in this time of the pandemic, make the most of your trip outdoors and come up with a plan.

Here are some pointers on how to buy and what to buy during the enhanced community quarantine.

Plan your trips to the grocery store

You would want to reduce the number of times that you have to leave your house to shop to avoid the possibility of infection. So the best thing to do is to plan ahead on your trips and to make a shopping list. As you prepare your grocery list, do a thorough inventory of your pantry and take note of what you have and don’t. Also, keep in mind to be flexible on substitutions if things aren’t in stock. If budget permits, try to buy food that can last up to two weeks.

Think of a menu

As take-outs and buying food in restaurants is now complicated, you are now left with no choice but to cook. What you can do is to develop a menu plan of dishes you intend to serve. Make sure that you are stocked with basic staples on hand like flour, sugar, oils, vinegar, and spices. As you’ll likely be grocery shopping less frequently and on a tighter budget, non-perishable goods and frozen food may need to make up a bigger portion of your list. Frozen meat or vegetable stock, and a variety of pasta and grains will go a long way to building healthy dinners.

Coming up with a menu is also a good way to practice your culinary skills, get your family members involved, and for you to explore other dishes and recipes.

Include home cleaning materials on your shopping list

Aside from buying hand soap and other toiletries that you might need to maintain proper hygiene, don’t forget to have household disinfectants on your list. You will need it when you disinfect your doorknobs, countertops and other high-touch surfaces as it is crucial in order to reduce the spread of viruses.

Avoid temptation

Stay clear of your favorite snacks. The combination of boredom and isolation is certainly cause for stress eating. Add that with a decrease in exercise from staying indoors and you have a recipe for trouble. While it’s good to have a stock of your favorite comfort food, like cookies and chips, just don’t try to go overboard. You might end up spending too much or find yourself gaining an extra pound by the time the ECQ is lifted.

Shop safely

It’s unclear how easily the coronavirus can be transmitted via contaminated surfaces, but scientists believe that it can stay for as long as nine days on metals, glass, and plastics. For this reason, play it safe. While grocery shopping, wipe the shopping cart handles with disinfectant wipes and maintain social distancing space of six feet from other people. If possible, don’t touch the grocery items that you intend to buy. When you get home, try to dispose of grocery bags at the door rather than bring them into the kitchen. Use disinfectant wipes or spray to sanitize containers.

The earlier, the better

Head to the grocery as early as possible in order to avoid the long lines, the confusion, and to better practice social distancing. Not to mention, you also get to accomplish your errand faster while reducing your exposure to crowded areas. /rcg

TAGS: 'enhanced community quarantine', grocery shopping tips
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