Since most of us, based on geographic location, are restricted right now from eating out unless we carry out, it’s important to come up with easy meals to make Sometimes, that comes with limited resources available in the stores. Not only is going out discouraged, finding some ingredients at the store right now can be a challenge. Since shopping during the pandemic can be difficult, I hope this post provides helpful suggestions.
With that being said, if you are a great cook or you don’t cook at all, we can all make some simple meals, using common ingredients to make shopping and cooking easier.
On a positive note, a lot of shelved vegan foods are readily available because no one else knows how to use them than vegans. Although produce, where I live, is available, it certainly isn’t plentiful. So, shopping during the pandemic requires a little creativity and patience.
SUGGESTIONS FOR SHOPPING DURING THE PANDEMIC:
- Small stores, like Trader Joe’s, for instance, are only allowing a select number of people in the stores at one time, creating a line outside. If you want to go to Trader Joe’s, I suggest you go right before they open and get in line (6 feet behind others). Not only are the shelves stocked, but the early bird gets the worm.
- Medium-sized stores, like Sprouts, seems very well stocked in my area, at least. Again, I suggest going when they open, since they restock during closing time. Obviously, if the store has special designated senior-only hours, opening time reflects the time after seniors are done.
- Larger stores, like Kroger, Frys, and Whole Foods seem to be getting back to a more normal stock of food on shelves as well as produce. What I like about these stores is the distance between people. Frys in my area has someone at the door cleaning carts and giving them to people one at a time. Again, go early! And be prepared to wait outside, in the event, the stores in your area limits the number of people allowed in the store at a given time.
BE KIND AND ONLY BUY WHAT YOU NEED WHEN SHOPPING DURING THE PANDEMIC:
- Although I understand the feeling of needing to horde, don’t! From what I have seen in the stores, there is plenty of food to go around, and we need to buy only what we need, not what we think we have to have to survive an apocalypse.
KEEP IT CLEAN
- Bring your own hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes and wash your hand before you go to the store, as well as after you get home.
- Some people are leaving their non-perishable groceries out on a table for as long as possible prior to putting groceries away.
- Even though most of us use recyclable bags, during this time, it is recommended you DO NOT USE these bags.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY AND NOT WASTE FOOD
- Make a list of what you need based on what you are going to cook; this way you won’t buy food that will spoil, and you will not waste money.
- Use food apps and coupons. The Sprouts App, for instance, can save you a lot of money, provide digital coupons, and show you what is on sale before you shop.
- Frys (Kroger) also has an app, which allows you to use coupons, see sales, and get additional savings using digital coupons and gas. Kroger and Frys uses two different apps, even though they are owned by the same company.
- Whole Foods: you need Amazon Prime to use the Whole Foods App for discounts and coupons.
- Meijer also has an app for savings as well as discounts for using their credit card.
- Albertsons is another grocery chain, also owned with partners Safeway, which has a savings app as well.
- Target also has a savings app for customers as well as a credit card advantage.
SHOP ONLINE FOR FOOD TO BE DELIVERED TO YOUR HOUSE OR A LOVED ONE'S HOUSE
MOST MAJOR GROCERY STORES DELIVER!
My mom, for example, is 77 years old and lives in another state. Like many elderly people, she doesn’t use the internet. But, I can order food for her, online in Arizona, and have it delivered to her home in Michigan.
Most stores, regardless of the pandemic, can deliver on the same day! This, however, varies from state to state, so check before you assume. So, if you plan ahead, you can order groceries online and have them delivered to your own home, or for someone else.
Even though there is generally a minimum purchase requirement for delivery, it is important to remember if you plan ahead, the minimum is easy to reach. On another note, if you don’t want to have contact with the delivery person, leave a tip taped to the door in an envelope and ask the person to ring the doorbell when your groceries are delivered.
Another popular service available for shopping during the pandemic is a service called SHIPT. Similar to having a grocery store deliver to your home, Shipt has a team of shoppers who shop for you. Not only does Shipt do your shopping for you, but they also contact you throughout the process to make sure they fulfill your order.
Although it varies from area to area, some stores included in the Shipt deliveries for:
- Office Max
- Sur la Table
During the Corona Virus Pandemic, Shipt states it is taking the necessary precautions for customer safety:
Introducing early delivery: Our new early delivery option now appears when you place an order. A shopper can shop and deliver your order anytime between store opening hours and the end of your requested delivery window. This new option not only gives customers more choices but also helps improve shopper efficiency at a time when stores and schedules are busier than ever.
Introduced no-contact delivery: We’re enabling “social distancing” by implementing no-contact deliveries, or door drops-offs, in which shoppers will leave your order in a secure spot at your door. In fact, all deliveries will now default to “Leave my order at my door” on the Shipt app and website. Although we pride ourselves on friendly hand-off delivery, we want to provide you with your order in the safest way possible. Of course, we understand there may be special circumstances that can impact your delivery drop-off needs. In those instances, continue to communicate with your shopper directly through the app. Depending on individual circumstances, shoppers will have the option of whether to accept orders that require a physical hand-off.
CAN’T FIND CANNED BEANS? BUY DRIED! CAN'T FIND ITEMS AT THE STORE? ORDER ONLINE!
- Buy dried beans and lentils. Not only are they cheaper, they last longer, and they are still readily available, at least where I live.
- Order items you can’t get online. Although the news claims Amazon, for example, is weeks behind in deliveries, my experience in Arizona, that is not quite true for lentils, beans, canned foods, and many other food staples. Toilet paper, of course, is a completely different topic!
- Try to plan recipes using the same base foods to make your shopping easier.
- For example, when I go to the store, I focus on these items:
- Beans (canned or dried)
- Brown Rice
- Canned tomatoes
- Vegetable broth
- Raw nuts/seeds
- Tofu (extra-firm)
- Fresh Fruit (what is available)
- Fresh Vegetables (what is available)
- Flour (gluten-free or regular)
- Plant Milk
- Healthy vegan cereal
And, remember to keep away from processed vegan junk food. Once we are all back to the world, and life goes back to normal, you want to make sure you can still fit in your clothes, and the coronavirus has inadvertently caused a weight problem. 🙂
If you enjoyed this post, check out Staying Healthy and Fit During Isolation.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂