South Africa’s nationwide coronavirus lockdown is well underway and while many people resorted to panic buying just before the lockdown began, emptying out supermarket shelves isn’t exactly the most sensible thing to do right now. While stockpiling isn’t the fairest way to go about your monthly grocery shop, it’s also not the most practical in terms of stretching your budget. You don’t want to be halfway through the lockdown and realise you’ve run out of money a long while before month-end.
Without succumbing to panic buying there are a few essential items you will need to stock up on (not stockpile) when you do manage to get to the shops. It is recommended that you visit the shops as little as possible and right now online shopping and home delivery is your best friend! Most people seem to be sticking to a once-a-week grocery shopping order to get the essentials they need for the week. Ordering your groceries and other lockdown essentials online is, of course, first prize for those who don’t want to venture out to often or come into contact with too many people.
Here are our suggestions for how to stock up sensibly for the rest of the lockdown and beyond should, we go into a lockdown extension:
The easiest and best place to start with your shopping list is the pantry. If you’re concerned about having back-up supplies in the event that you’re unable to get to the shops for a few days or are worried about food expiring before you have a chance to eat it, then non-perishable pantry items are key. Tinned foods such as tomatoes, beans, tuna, and soups and staples such as pasta, rice, pulses, spices and baking supplies are useful for lots of different dishes. For variety, pickled and fermented foods will also prove to be very helpful to have around as they keep for months (think gherkins, capers and kimchi).
You’ll also want to make sure you have enough tea bags and coffee on standby to last you a month as well as olive oil for cooking and dressings. Lastly, if you have the means, don’t forget to include a few luxuries in your shopping list too. Having a few bars of chocolate, jams, and biscuits on-hand will help you get through those days when you’re craving a treat.
Try not to stockpile or buy things you don’t ordinarily eat or use in your cupboards, that way if you have some tins or packets of pasta leftover when life goes back to normal it will get used up at some point anyway.
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Most fresh foods store well and are easy to freeze or keep in the fridge. Fresh items like meat, butter, milk, and bread are easy to freeze. if you’ve got the space in a deep freeze or your fridge has a larger freezer section, then it’s a good idea to buy a week, or more’s, worth of meat and milk to freeze to extend the time between grocery store runs or online shopping deliveries.
Fresh fruit (such as berries and tropical fruits) are easy to freeze and can be used in smoothies to keep your daily fruit intake up while fresh vegetables (such as green beans, carrots, and cauliflower) can also be frozen and boiled or grilled in the oven for dinner time. Stocking up on root vegetables, such as potatoes and onions, is also a great idea as these will keep for a long time in the pantry.
Eggs are another great source of fresh protein to have around the house, and they keep for a reasonably long time in the pantry before you need to find space for them in the fridge. Just ensure you keep an eye on the best-before date on the packaging.
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Bathroom and household
Food aside, there are also some household staples that you will need to stock up on. Stockpiling toilet paper is not necessary as, with most household goods, it will be freely available throughout the lockdown period. Buy enough toilet paper and kitchen towel for your household for the month and stop at that. You don’t want to clutter your home with loo roll for the next year. Don’t forget to include personal care items like toothpaste, mouthwash, face wash, skincare products, deodorant, and soap on your shopping list and keep a two-week supply on hand.
Buy your usual monthly supply of home cleaning products (such as washing powder, dishwashing liquid, cleaning agents, etc) and stock up again when you need rather than buying enough cleaning products to last you 6 months.
Other items, such as hand sanitiser or sanitising wipes, are also good to stock up on. A small bottle or two for each person in your household is ideal for the 3-week period. And, should you become sick you will want a few boxes of tissues around the house as well.
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It’s also a good idea to have some basic medicine on-hand should you or someone in your household become sick. Make sure you stock up on any chronic medication to limit visits to the pharmacy and while you’re at it consider buying a few medical basics to treat any flu-like symptoms you may experience. Think antihistamines, over-the-counter painkillers, flu tonics (such as Med-Lemon, Corenza-C, and the like), cough medicine, etc.
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Pet food and supplies:
If you have pets, don’t forget to keep a two-week supply of food and treats for your pets on-hand. If you run out, many stores are offering delivery services on pet food at this time so it’s best to make use of those services to avoid making yet another trip to the shops.
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Avoiding the shops during the lockdown? PriceCheck has got you covered! Find the best prices on all your lockdown essentials online with PriceCheck now.