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Putting Together a Pandemic-Proof Pantry

It is undeniable that the pandemic has taken a toll on our stress levels. The quarantines and the other new normal protocols have forced many of us to be on a constant fight or flight response. 

Hoarding is not a new scene to us. During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw multiple news articles and videos showing people stocking up on household essentials in preparation for lockdowns. The situation was new to most of us, after all, and barely anyone had any background on how to prepare for a pandemic.

But as the months progressed, it’s becoming clear that there is no need to panic and hoard. There are supplies sufficient for everyone, and essential items remain to be accessible. Then again, in order to minimize one’s exposure to the virus, it is highly recommended to limit trips outside the home. For example, what used to be weekly grocery trips need to be reduced to monthly or bi-monthly trips. This means that you have to take account of what your family needs for a prolonged period of time.

In this case, it is wise to know what to write in your grocery list and what to keep stock of at home to avoid emergency trips to the store. Here is a list of food items and essentials to include in your next grocery trip for your pandemic-proof pantry.

(We also have a list of pandemic essentials here if you are looking for  both food and non-food supplies.)

1. Grains

  • Rice
  • Pasta 
  • Flour
  • Healthier grains like quinoa and adlai
  • Oats and dry cereal

2. Cooking Essentials

  • Cooking oil
  • Herbs and spices
  • Condiments like mayonnaise and ketchup
  • Canned or boxed broth
  • Sauces and seasonings

3. Proteins

  • Chicken breasts
  • Lean pork and lean beef
  • Ground turkey, ground pork, and ground beef
  • Fish
  • Tofu
  • Eggs
  • Canned tuna or salmon

4. Dairy

  • Hard cheese
  • Shelf-stable milk
  • Yogurt
  • Yogurt drink

5. Fruits and Vegetables

  • Apples and oranges
  • Onions, garlic, celery, carrots, potatoes, broccoli
  • Canned fruits in syrup
  • Dried fruits
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned tomatoes or tomato sauce

6. Snacks

  • Fruit bars, protein bars, and cereal bars
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Nuts and trail mixes (you can DIY)
  • Popcorn
  • Chocolate

7. Instant Meals

  • Instant ramen
  • Microwavable rice
  • Frozen meals
  • Frozen pizza
  • Boxed mac and cheese
  • Bread (for freezing)

8. Liquids

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Popsicles
  • Juices
  • Sports drinks

For more supplies that you need to have ample stock of at home, please refer to our list here. Again, there is no need to hoard. Observe how much you use in a month, take note of the quantity and just add a tiny bit more, and you will be good for the coming weeks.

Featured image by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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