Now we know we’ll be on lockdown for another three weeks, and assuming you don’t want to order pizza or Thai food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, what’s the best way to stock up on essentials?
Take inventory of what you already have
Before you rush out to Aldi and start raiding the shelves for anything you can get your hands on, take a deep breath, and take stock. Make a list of the stuff you already have stashed away, then head to the shops to get whatever else you need that will get you through a couple of weeks.
Plan meals with common ingredients
Sit down for 10 minutes or so and plan out a weekly meal plan that favours meals with similar ingredients. Consider meals built around rice, pasta, legumes and other long-shelf-life ingredients, enhanced with protein and vegetables, and then mix up what you pair with it.
The freezer is your friend
The biggest downside to grocery shopping less frequently is the limited shelf life of fresh fruit and veg. Apples, oranges and pears will last the longest, as will root vegetables like onions, potatoes, squash and carrots. For everything else, it’s time to cruise the frozen food aisle. You can also portion and freeze any fresh fruit and veg you have to make it last longer, or even go for tinned options too.
Skip the non-essentials
We’ve all recently seen panicked shoppers loading a month’s supply of toilet paper a few weeks ago, but thankfully things have calmed down a bit. The thing is, you don’t need to excessively bulk buy items that would usually last you a few weeks anyway, so avoid over-buying things you don’t need and will just take up room at home.
Get some hand soap
We’ve seen people practically bathing in hand sanitiser, but rather than wasting money on loads of personal hygiene products all you really need is some antibacterial hand soap. It’s just as effective and will save you money – just make sure you leave some for other people and stick to a bottle or two to get you through the next few weeks.
Invest in a good tin opener
Yes you heard us right – if you’re going to be using up your store cupboard essentials then you’ll want the right tools for the job! Get a good tin opener to make your life easier, and stock up on some tupperware (preferably glass ones that are environmentally friendly!) so you’re ready to store all the meals you whip up.
Grow a herb garden
Whether that’s in your back yard or on your bedroom window ledge, pick up some potted herb plants to add some freshness to your store cupboard cooking. Give them some sunlight, water and a little TLC and you’ll have an ongoing supply that’ll last you way beyond your quarantine period.