Quarantining during the COVID-19 outbreak has its fair share of downsides. Among them, one of the things we dread has been food shopping. We are always telling our clients that the secret to success is PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. But what happens if the grocery store shelves have something else in mind? We put together a few tips and tricks to help you survive the grocery store trips and continue on your path to success (and get you as excited to shop as Courtney is in this picture).
1. Continue to make a plan for the week. Break down each meal and snack you plan to eat and then make a grocery store list from there. Rather than your list being the end-all-be-all, consider highlighting the foods that perhaps could be more flexible. For example, for one dinner you plan chicken, baked potatoes and zucchini. What ingredient in that meal could be changed if the grocery store happens to be out of it? Star the items on your list that could be more flexible and provide alternates. See below for our sample picture.
2. Stock up on (don’t hoard) items that are non-perishable to limit your exposure time. A variety of canned or frozen fruits and vegetables, lentil or chickpea pastas, brown rice, beans, nut butters, oats, and eggs have a pretty decent shelf life. You could even buy a loaf or two extra of bread and store in the freezer. Load up so you can focus only on produce and meats at your next trip to the store.
3. Get creative and use staple items frequently available in a variety of ways. Beans are a perfect example. With a long shelf life, they’re easy to stock up on and likely available on the grocery store shelves. Beans are a great source of protein and fiber and can be added to numerous meals.
A couple of examples:
– Make a turkey chili one night and stir in a cup of beans for more fiber and protein
– Add some beans to a soup to make it a complete meal
– Make a taco salad and add black beans and corn
– Make a vegetarian burrito bowl with black beans
4. You might find the produce, meat and egg sections at the grocery store to be sparse occasionally. Consider reaching out to your local farmer or farm stand. Many farmers participate in community Supported Agriculture (CSA) which connects the farmer to the consumers. Not only would you be supporting a small business but you may also have your pick of fresh meats and produce that are unavailable at the grocery store.