We definitely do not advocate for panic-buying food and supplies right now (especially if you already have enough), as it starts to create a cycle of stocking, depletion and restocking in the supermarkets that is hard to break, as well as potentially leaving others in the community to miss out on important items that they may really need.
It is normal to feel a little shaken and panicked in an uncertain time like this, especially since none of us might have ever experienced something like this in our lifetime.
In times of extreme uncertainty when fear and feelings of anxiousness may be high, filling the fridge and pantry up with foods and supplies may be the only thing that we feel we can control. It gives us a sense of order and organisation, in a time when we might feel unprepared without a plan. Despite this though, panic-buying and spending lots of money on things you may not need is probably not the best solution. Read on for our tips on stocking your pantry, fridge and freezer the smart way…
- Remember that if you do want to buy a little extra, you only really need two week’s worth of food and supplies as that is how long you would be in quarantine for if you were exposed to COVID-19 (if you are choosing to self-isolate for longer or want to avoid lots of trips to the shops, then certain pantry staples that have a long shelf life will be your friend, read on for examples…).
- Take this extra time at home as an opportunity to give your pantry a big clear out. Before you hit the shops, take a look inside your pantry and evaluate what you have and what you might need. You might just find some hidden gems at the very back that you had forgotten about!
- A little extra supply of sturdy and reliable staples like dried beans, lentils and split peas, grains and frozen veggies can mean endless meal opportunities, with the use of different spices powders and mixes. If there are no frozen fruit or veggies left, you could buy some fresh ones and even freeze them yourself. Having a good supply of nutritious pantry goods that can be spread out for a variety of different meals will be more cost effective and will reduce the amount of shop visits you need to make.
- A few extra packages of pasta, rice and canned goods like beans, chickpeas, coconut milk and diced tomatoes.
- Fresh produce that have a longer shelf life –peppers, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, apples and citrus fruits all have quite a long shelf life and pack a lot of nutrition. Hardy root veggies like potatoes, turnips, beets and radishes can also keep for weeks in a cool, dark place in your pantry.
- Fermented or pickled vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi can add heaps of flavour and they immediately brighten up any dish, like a rice bowl or even just a sandwich. Dehydrated vegetables (especially dried shiitake mushrooms) to boost the immune system and add umami flavour to soups and broths. Freeze dried herbs for adding freshness, flavour and a pop of colour.
- Last but not least, a stash of hearty Wholesomeness meals in your freezer for those days when you don’t have much on hand, you’re in quarantine and can’t make it to the shops, or you just don’t feel like cooking!
Remember that if we all remain calm and mindful, purchase only what we need, try to help others and check on the elderly and vulnerable when we can, we can get through this together.