Don’t Panic, Prepare: Shopping List

With all of this talk about possible quarantine during the Coronavirus pandemic, it has many of us parents a little on edge and understandably so. While most of us Floridians can Hurricane prep with our eyes closed from years of practice, we have never experienced something like this and it is hard to plan for something when we don’t know what to expect. We are all right there with you. 

The most important thing during this challenging time is not to panic. The best way to do that? Stay informed and plan to prepare. As at least half of the heads of our households, our children look to us to gauge the moods of a situation and even the youngest of children will feed off of your energy so try to keep calm as you navigate your family through this, our kids need us to be the calm voice of reason (even if our internal voices are racing with ‘what ifs’).  

I made my plan and did my shopping for my family this past Thursday. Going in with a clear plan was the best thing I did. It was easy while shopping to see people with 3 cartloads and begin to internally panic: Am I buying enough? Followed by someone with less in their cart and think: Do I have too much? Ultimately, I needed to remember that the number of people in their homes could be much more than my little family of 3 and maybe those with less already had more things at home. I had a plan. I stuck to it. Now, what should you do and buy to prepare for the possibility of a 2-4 week quarantine? 

  1. Check what you already have. Before you run to the store and load up on anything you can find, do a quick inventory of what you already have. You will probably find you have a lot more than you realize. Unlike a hurricane, we will not need to plan for losing power so many of our everyday items will be perfectly fine to help us through.
  2. Think about your daily routines. Some things might change based on availability but having an idea of what your family typically eats/uses in a 2-4 week time period is a great place to start. 
  3. Medications. If there are any important medications you are taking, make sure you have enough to get you through.
  4. Make your list. Be flexible with this as the stores have gotten a little crazy. (You may need to buy canned corn instead of green beans, etc) And be reasonable with this. Remember, the idea is to be prepared, not to hoard. Be realistic about what you will need and don’t go overboard. We are all in this together as a community so while you want to take care of your family, do not take more than you need as it could be at someone else’s expense.

So what did I buy? Here’s a list of items. I am not including quantities as that will vary based on your family’s needs and size. I opted to buy a wider variety of things in smaller quantities and tried to make sure to have a mix to maintain a balanced diet for my family. (Again, you may have some of these things. I did, but, I’m including here for a more complete list)

  • Paper/cleaning: We all know many of these things are hard to come by right now and hopefully already in your home. If not, I have some substitutes.
    • Toilet paper – this is the big one right? If you really are low on this remember you will be home. But some tissues could be a good back-up.
    • Paper towels – again you’re home, you can still use regular towels and wash them
    • Cleaning wipes/cleaner
    • Dish soap
    • Hand soap
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dried goods:
    • Cereal (my child could literally survive on Cheerios alone if it came down to it. He loves those)
    • Oatmeal
    • Pasta
    • Rice/Couscous
    • Taco kits
  • Produce: here I bought a mix of canned and frozen (only so much freezer space)
    • Canned corn/green beans
    • Mixed frozen vegetables
    • Fruit cups
    • Applesauce pouches
  • Protein:
    • Chicken
    • Ground beef
    • Steak
    • Pork
    • Eggs
    • Beans (canned)
  • Breads:
    • Bread
    • Bagels
  • Dairy:
    • Milk
    • Yogurt pouches
    • Butter
    • Cream cheese
  • Miscellaneous/Treats:
    • Pasta sauce
    • Peanut butter/jelly
    • Mac n cheese 
    • Ice cream bars
    • Cookie Dough
    • Mini Frozen pizzas
    • Snacks: Pita chips, goldfish, trail mix
    • Wine

While most of the miscellaneous/treats section isn’t on my normal shopping list, having some easy food and treats will come in handy. Plus, who doesn’t need an emergency roll of cookie dough? 

Hopefully, this list has helped you come up with a preparation shopping list and to approach the situation with a little bit of humor. With calm minds, we can all be prepared. 

Also, this would not be an effective Coronavirus post if I didn’t remind everyone to wash their hands!

Wishing all of you and your families stay healthy and safe during this difficult time.

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