With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeping us inside except for essential travel, it is important to keep shopping trips to a minimum.
In order to make sure our family is staying protected and doing our part, I have changed our shopping habits.
Pre-pandemic I was accustomed to meal planning and grocery shopping once a week.
Since we are now living in a different world, I have decided to adjust how I am meal planning and shopping. These new plans have been developed to make sure our family is staying home and protected.
Tips for Grocery Shopping During COVID-19
1. Keep an Inventory of Food Items
This might seem extreme, but keeping track of what items we HAVE in the house and what we NEED.
These sheets are helpful in planning our meals each week as well. I use our current food inventory as a starting point for our meal plan.
Related: Food Inventory Sheets Printable
By using what we have on hand first, we minimize food waste and decrease our overall food budget.
Once we know what we have and what we need, I am able to build our shopping list to include only what we need.
2. Create a 2 week Meal Plan
With the goal being to stay home, I have moved from planning meals for only one week out to a minimum of two weeks.
I like to take some time and create a list of 4 breakfast options, 4-6 lunch options, and 12-14 dinner meals that will last us 2 weeks.
Related: Meal Planning Printable
To maximize our food budget and minimize food waste, I always “shop” our pantry first by utilizing the food inventory to know what we have on hand already and build my meals from there.
Though some of our nights will likely be leftovers, I enjoy having options in case our family just isn’t in the mood for what was planned.
3. Keep Handy Supplies for 4-6 Back-up Meals
In the event that you or someone in your family were to contract the virus, you would be expected to isolate for a minimum of 2 weeks.
Because of this, I highly recommend keeping supplies on hand to prepare 4-6 meals should you be unable to leave the house for several days.
In our home, these are meals we would normally consume anyhow. Additionally, the ingredients for these meals have a long shelf/freezer life. Examples include pasta, chili, soups, cereals, oatmeal, etc.
4. Make a List of Weekly “Essentials”
Every household has food items that are staples in their homes outside of planned meals.
In our house this includes several produce items, snacks for kiddos, bread, milk, and eggs.
These are items you will need to add to your shopping list no matter what your meal plan for the week(s) is.
5. Create a Comprehensive Shopping List
Because we won’t have the luxury of making quick trips to the store, I want to make sure we get everything when we do venture out.
I like to take the list of meals I have planned for the week and check my inventory sheets to see what I need to fulfill those meals.
My shopping list will consist of anything we are missing but need to create our planned meals for the 2 week period as well as our essential items.
6. Utilize Online Ordering & Pick-up Services when Possible
To keep distance and minimize contact with others, I like to use the Kroger pick-up service. Currently, in our area, pick-up dates are scheduled a minimum of one week out so I make sure to have a date saved as soon as possible and edit my online cart as I complete my meal planning.
There are many other online options including Meijer, Amazon Fresh, and most other stores through InstaCart
Grocery shopping during quarantine may feel like an uphill battle, but by following these tips you can minimize the stress and maximize the results all while keeping you and your family safe.
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