You are stuck at home for most of the time to protect yourself. Even though food delivery services like skip the dishes and uber-eats are still available for you, it can be a bit expensive.
You can do shopping online, but many items won’t be delivered as fast as you want.
And maybe you want to save money as much as you can, especially when you’re not sure when banks around the world open again.
Because you are asked to stay at home at home, you will have so much time for yourself to do some projects you never thought you’d work on. Cooking or baking can be an option for many.
You can save money by cooking at home too. You’ll end up getting more food than you usually do anyways if you want to do grocery shopping less frequently.
Here are 5 tips for grocery shopping during COVID-19 pandemics.
- Don’t panic buy! Only get what you need!
Maybe you’ll see someone with their shopping carts FULL of everything. You’ll be scared that there will be no food.
Don’t worry; there is enough food for EVERYONE! Canadian grocery chains are working very hard every day to stock as many items as possible every day.
If some items you are looking for are sold out, add to your shopping list and look for them next time.
Don’t get more items than you can carry; many of you may not want to use buses or skytrain, and you will choose to walk. Uber and taxi can be very expensive too.
Also, drink more water instead of pop. You can drink tap water in Vancouver. You don’t need to buy bottled water. You can boil water with a pot and/or use a water filter to have clean water.
- Allow extra time for shopping.
In order to maintain social distancing, you might be asked to wait outside of the store. Fewer cashiers are open than usual to protect workers.
The lineup can be very long, depending on when and where you go shopping.
Please be patient and always stand or walk 2 meters or 6 feet away from others. You may want to bring your gloves, mask or hand sanitizer if you are worried.
If you want to avoid the crowd, try going to the store in the morning or in the evening on weekdays. Weekends are usually busy.
Also, try not to go to the store before the opening time. Many stores dedicate the first hour for those like seniors who need more assistance.
- Make a shopping list before you go for shopping. Try buying items that last longer.
You may want to do grocery shopping less frequently than you usually do. It’ll be disappointing if you got everything you need except for that one toothpaste… I’ve been there, and it sucks.
So before you go for shopping, make a list of everything that you need, and items that are going to run out soon. Make sure to check everywhere in your place, not just your fridge.
Many grocery stores do sell soaps, shampoos, plates, stationary and even weights as well, so you can put more items on your to-buy list and get them at once.
When you find the following items, get them: canned items, frozen items, eggs, soup stocks, noodles, rice, flour, meat or fish (if you eat them), spices, tofu, citrus fruits like oranges, root vegetables like potatoes and carrots etc.
You may notice that these items are sold out faster than usual. But it’s important that you do not buy way too many of those items, and follow rules set by your grocery store. Most stores allow you to get only 2 packages of flour, eggs, canned food etc.
Here are some examples of food items you can freeze: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/freezing-food-freezer-defrosting-how-long-which-foods-cooking-a8530971.html
Snacks last longer as well, but they are not as healthy as your home-cooked meals, and will take too much space in your shopping bag.
- Do grocery shopping for people around you if and when you can.
When you go to the grocery store, ask your roommates or neighbours what they need from the store, and you can do shopping for them. You can all go shopping together as well.
If you have a car, you can be the saviour for a lot of people.
You can help your friends more by getting more than they can; you can get a huge bag of rice or huge bottle of milk that your friends cannot carry on foot.
Get everything they need and deliver their items to their houses. It’ll also be a good reunion moment for you.
Remember to maintain social distancing!
Help each other by not going to grocery stores frequently that way. Be a good friend
- Bring reusable shopping bags.
Plastic bags are great, but it can be difficult to carry items with. It can tear apart easily.
Get some reusable grocery bags or carts if you can. Grocery bags are usually less than $3, and straps are long enough for you to carry it on your shoulder.
You can save 5 cents per plastic bag if you bring your own. You can do something good for your environment that way too.
One Note: put your shopping bags in your pockets until check-out because you are not allowed to use your bags to put your grocery items. You can only use the grocery basket or cart from the store to do your shopping.
By Asuka Sugiyama