Life has been difficult to manage under lockdown. The pandemic has taken the world by storm and people are finding it difficult to deal with being at home. Hence, many have taken up different hobbies to keep their spirits high. One of these activities that most people have enjoyed has been cooking. However, that too has presented its challenges, the primary one being lack of ingredients. Going to the store frequently should strictly be avoided. But when you do, you should plan your meals. At least for the next couple of weeks. You should also think about long term storage in case things go further down the hill. So here are a few tips and tricks that you should consider before taking the risk to go grocery shopping and make the most out of your trip amid the crisis.
Stock up the pantry: Let’s start with an extreme. What do you do if there is a nationwide complete lockdown and you can’t get groceries anymore? Let’s hope and pray that it doesn’t happen, but if and before it does, we suggest you shop smart and stock up your pantry with the following products that will last you through a long period of lockdown.
- Canned Lentils, Beans, and Peas: These protein-rich ingredients can be the star of any dish and have a shelf life of 1-2 years. Perfect for long lockdown periods.
- Canned Vegetables: Canned tomatoes, green beans, and corn have a shelf life of 2-5 years. Just make sure that they don’t have any salt.
- Dried and Canned Fruits: Canned fruits can last you about 1-2 years, which helps you get that sweet deliciousness even during the most difficult of times.
- Nuts, Seeds, and Nut Butters: Depending on the particular nut or seed, they usually have a very long shelf life. Even nut butter will last you about a year.
- Dried Spices and Herbs: Spices and herbs are an essential part of your cooking experience. Fortunately, their dried alternatives also come with a long shelf life. So you should add them to your grocery list.
- Frozen Foods: Frozen fruits like berries and cherries are frozen for a reason. They also have a long shelf life. That’s also the case for frozen vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
Planning your meals: Try to finish all those things you already have in your pantry or your fridge before you go out again to buy groceries. This is the best way to avoid making an unnecessary trip. Got something in your pantry that’s about to expire? Cook a recipe using those ingredients. Have some leftovers from dinner? Chop them up and use them in sandwiches, salads, or soups and enjoy.
Manage your stock: Just buying long-lasting products is not important, you should also learn how to make them last that long. For guidelines, the packaging of the products mentions how to best store the specific product. Store onions and potatoes separately in a dry and dark area where they can get enough air. Keep bananas away from all your other fruits. You can also research how to store some of the other products that don’t come with the guidelines.
Making grocery shopping convenient: Plan your meals for at least a couple of weeks and list down everything you’d need to prepare it. That’s your grocery shopping list. Make sure the list is organized in such a way that you have all the items classified into groups together. That makes it easier for you to browse and pick up everything from the list without walking back to the same section of the store. You should also follow the list as your guideline on how you’d explore the store. That too will help you save time and get it done quickly. What makes it even more convenient is that you only need to go to specific sections of the store and just pick up everything you’ve listed. This ensures that you don’t waste much time outside and get things done quickly. But do remember that going out grocery shopping should always be the last resort.
These tips will help you shop at the grocery store quickly and in an efficient manner. But it goes without saying, taking precautions while stepping out is of the utmost importance. Try to avoid it as much as possible. But if you do leave the house, make sure you wear a mask and take all the precautionary measures your government has asked you to take. At other times, stay home, stay safe, keep experimenting in the kitchen, and enjoy a world of flavors.