Hey everyone. Wow, most of you are wondering, just like me, what is going on and what all this mean with the Corona Virus? I wish I had all the answers. There are so many unanswered questions and so many things we all feel we need to be doing. Well, I want to help you in one of these areas…your food and household provisions supply for an extended period of time. So, I did stock up on groceries a few weeks ago thanks to my amazing husband who is always “Mr. Safety and Mr. Prepared”. I can thank the military for that and just the incredible man he is. Anyway, I want to help you to figure out your Grocery List for Stocking Your Pantry and Fridge based on what I did. I will not even begin taking credit for a lot of this helpful information. I remember many years ago at one our military assignments, meeting many neighbors and friends who were members of the Mormon Church. They, on a regular basis, had a stockpile of food and other provisions on hand for times like these. I have to admit, I did not totally embrace the practice at the time, but now, as many of us feel, it is a good idea to have a few extra non-perishable groceries and other household supplies on hand if needed. This is the helpful grocery list that I ended up using for my Emergency Grocery List. Click to pull up the list as a guideline. This list covers pretty much everything. One tip I have is to stick to a list of foods you know you will use. It is easy to get distracted and buy things that just end up staying in the pantry. But, if you do end up with a surplus of groceries or items you do not use, consider sharing them with neighbors or donating them to your local Food Bank. Take a walk through your daily schedule as you make the list…each meal you eat, including snacks. Then go through your daily routine so you do not forget items like toiletries, cosmetics, medicines, cleaners and laundry care, and of course, do not forget your pets.
So, here we go. First of all, I want to share some suggestions from my list of groceries, should me/we be quarantined to our home due to the virus or because we feel it is best for us to not venture out into crowded areas. This list will be for foods, given the fact that you have electricity and ample storage. The list is slightly different for situations like natural disasters where you lose electricity and/or water supply. Of course, many of us want to stock up on foods that are healthy and wonder, “What do I do if I can’t get out to the store to get fresh fruits and vegetables?” That was MY question. I hope through some of my suggestions, I can help you with some substitutions and ideas you may not have thought of. I also have a post that I shared the year Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. You can check that out also.
I especially want to emphasize that this Grocery List for Stocking Your Pantry and Fridge, in no way is meant to encourage hoarding of supplies or instill any sort of panic. I just want to share some suggestions and to help those that may need to purchase a few extra items in case they are not able to get out of their home. The best suggestion I can give is to first and foremost, help each other out. If you have extra groceries and household items, be willing to donate them or help out a family member, friend or neighbor. This is how we are all going to be able to work through this or any difficult time.
Grocery List for Stocking Your Pantry and Fridge
So, what I did was to first look in my pantry, fridge and freezer and figure out all of the food I already had on hand. I know, when we need to get out to the grocery store fast, this may not be an option. After you do a quick list, take the time to go back and see what all you have on hand.
Produce–If we are at home for a while and can not get out to get fresh produce, here are some options.
- Frozen vegetables and fruits are best
- Canned vegetables and fruits are a great option. Canned peas, carrots, beans, asparagus, potatoes, green beans, corn, tomatoes, squash, beets, pimentos, garlic, etc. There are loads of really good pickled and marinated vegetables too like beans, carrots, okra, artichokes, peppers, and brussels sprouts
- Canned and dried fruits like pineapple, peaches, cherries, apricots, pears, tropical fruits and mandarin oranges
Baked goods other grain items–You can purchase lots of bread and other baked goods and freeze them.
- Bread, pitas, flatbread, tortillas and other basic breads
- Crackers, muffins and breakfast bars
- Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, and other cereals
- Cookies and other sweet treats. Although I prefer making these homemade, if you choose to buy prepackaged items, look for those that are made with whole grains.
Meats and Proteins–Go ahead and purchase meats that you can and freeze and use at a later date. Again try to use up what you already have in the freezer first, then the most recently purchased.
- Canned tuna and salmon
- Canned chicken and turkey
- Beef and Turkey Jerky
- Spam and other canned meats (Did you know there is a Turkey Spam out there?)
- Beans and other legumes, peanut butter and nuts
Dairy products–This one is a little more tricky, although as long as we all have electricity, we can stock up on these. Just be mindful of the expiration dates.
- Milk, soy and nut milk, and coffee creamer. There are some varieties that do not have to be refrigerated
- Cheese, yogurt, sour cream, butter and cottage cheese. Blocks of cheese can be frozen also for use at a later date. Easier to shred too.
- Snacking cheeses like string cheese, Babybel, Laughing Cow wedges
Other Pantry Items
- Flour, sugar, yeast, baking soda and other baking items
- Coffee, tea, fruit and vegetable juices, and other beverages.
- Soups, ramen, pasta, and rice
- Condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, bbq sauce, relish, garlic, vinegar and refrigerated herbs
- Laundry and Cleaning Supplies, dish soap and dishwasher liquid, sponges, and cleaning cloths
- Cosmetics–toothpaste and brushes, shampoo, soap, body wash, lotion, contact solution, skin care, cotton balls and swabs
- First aid supplies
- Prescription and over the counter medications
- Paper goods like paper towels, napkins, plates, kleenex, and of course TOILET PAPER. I know it has been crazy for some finding this coveted item. But, think about it. We don’t even have newspapers lying around the house anymore as a substitute. This is one item I would not want to run out of!
- Propane, charcoal, lighters (more so for situations where you lose electricity)
Here are my added tips for your Comfort, Safety and Knowledge…
- If you have time, check the expiration dates of the items you already have in your pantry and refrigerator and freezer.
- With the weather getting warm, do not store any perishable items in the garage, shed or car. I know this is common sense, but we often do not realize how warm these locations can get in a short amount of time.
- I stored my items in 3 large plastic storage bins with latches. I separated my groceries by canned goods, snacks and condiments, dry goods and household items. I stored them in a closet in the house. This was a win-win. I had to clean out a closet to store the items! We are using up what we have in the fridge first and then restocking as needed.
- To avoid crowded grocery stores, consider shopping at your local Dollar Store, Pharmacy or privately owned market.
- Consider using a Drive Up Grocery Pick Up like Walmart or your local grocery store if it is available.
- Shop at your local Farmer’s Markets
- Join a CSA (Community Shared or Supported Agriculture). When you sign up for a CSA, you are purchasing a share of a local farm’s produce. Most give you the option to choose a share that works for you, depending on the size of your family. Some give you the option to choose what is in your share, but many give you what is in season and/or in surplus.
I hope I have helped you a little with some of my tips. If you will be spending some extra time at home, try to make the most of it. I am making a list of all the projects I want to work on, books I want to read, and new things I can learn online. And of course, a little binge-watching.
As for cooking, this is the perfect time to organize your pantry, fridge and freezer, explore new recipes and have fun making healthy, homemade food for you and your family. Time to make new memories in your kitchen. Stay safe and healthy. Look out for each other. Try to think of all the positive that can come out of this. Lots of love and prayers coming to you from The Memorable Kitchen.