Where we live there are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus. Still, it’s only a matter of time. It’s rural, so while we aren’t seeing shortages on the scale that those in larger cities have been seeing, we know it is coming. With that in mind, I went out yesterday and did some extra grocery shopping. I do not want to contribute to the panic buying, but I did think it was prudent to purchase some extras of things in case we were quarantined for any reason. I typically plan for two to four weeks when we make a big grocery run, since it’s almost an hour to the stores with the best prices/certain foods we can’t get elsewhere. So, since we might get quarantined for two weeks, and since my kids “stair-step” when they get sick, and then an adult follows behind, I figured we should be prepared for four to six weeks, just in case. With the food allergies, we can’t just open a can of this or a packet of that (usually) and feed everyone cheaply. Sigh. I so wish we could be ready with some cans of soup and top ramen. But! We do have similar substitutes! And I’m sharing our preparations to hopefully help some of you.
Here’s what I purchased yesterday.
Most came from Kroger (Meijer’s in some places) which is cheapest for meat and has a few items we can’t get anywhere else in our area. The rice came from the Asian Supermarket in the same town as Kroger. I recommend grabbing one of those from an Asian or Latino supermarket if you have the option. It is cheaper and if you eat a lot of rice, well, you’ll be set for a few months anyway. The sweet potatoes and red potatoes came from a discount farmer’s market sort of place. *We didn’t buy anything we don’t already eat, just in larger quantities.
• 50 lbs rice
• 10 lbs russet potatoes
• 12 lbs sweet potatoes
• 5 lbs red potatoes
• 2 lbs carrots
• 3 lbs oranges *we already had 3 lbs but we go through them quick, and, a source of Vitamin C!
• 3 bags frozen spinach *goes in soups and curries
• 2 salad kits *these are for Mr. & Mrs. Norseman’s lunches. Each one lasts us a week. We add meat.
• 3 bags green frozen beans
• 2 large bags of frozen broccoli
• 8 lbs ground beef
• 24 lbs chicken thighs (8 lbs were boneless)
• Canned peaches
• Canned pears
• Canned mushrooms
• 2 jars kalamata olives *great source of healthy fats, which help you feel full
• GF tamari sauce *we have one, grabbed an extra
• 3 cans coconut milk *for curries & soups; all they had
• 2 jars coconut oil *we were out, so I grabbed one for now and one extra
• 1 loaf GF bread *I don’t make our own right now, so this is a “luxury” item, and an extra. I think they will run out of the brand we can use quickly and it likely won’t be a restocking priority. I can make our own when/if that happens, but for now it’s one less thing to have to do.
Things I will be buying this weekend.
I forgot some things and we had already ordered a whole hog from the farm we get them from. We save a little of the grocery money each month in order to purchase the hog.
• 1 whole hog, butchered ~135 lbs of pork
• 4 bags of salmon
• 2-4 quarts of oat milk *again, we can make our own if need be. I have about 10 lbs of GF oats at home. We typically buy 6 quarts at a time so this is not stocking up, just a regular purchase.
• Orange juice
• Sunbutter – sunflower butter
• Jelly or Jam
• 7 lbs of non-gmo soybeans *this is a maybe, and would be used to make soy milk and soy yogurt. We’ve concluded that soy, in whole-food preparations, is okay for our family. If you want to see what the latest research says about soy, here’s a very helpful article from WebMD.
Things we already had on hand
We buy or bought these in bulk, because we live in the country or because it is cheaper to buy on sale so we bought extra.
• GF ramen – we buy this brand, and we buy the large pack when budget room allows
• ~ 20 lbs Pork belly – this is uncured bacon and so delicious.
• 4 flank steaks – Kroger had some marked down last month, so I bought as many as the budget allowed
• Canned beans
• Canned tomatoes
• Minced garlic (in a big jar in the fridge)
• Pork broth – I made a giant batch this week with pork bones from the last hog. Had to make way in the freezer and, well, it works out. I’ll freeze most of it.
• GF Rolled Oats – I buy this 12 lbs at a time from either Walmart or Kroger, whoever has it.
• Peanut-free nuts (almonds, cashews & pecans)
• Coconut (3 lbs)
• GF flours – I buy Anthony’s from Amazon.
• Olive oil
• Sea salt
• Other spices
• Almond butter – we buy Zinke’s off of Amazon. It is peanut and other-nut free.
When I considered what to stock up on, I considered storage/freezer space, what we already use/eat, and foods that are inexpensive while providing high caloric/nutrient value. I think it is okay to prioritize full bellies over maximum nutrient value for a short time, though. We supplement with multivitamins and we have probiotics if we need to help the gut flora along a little bit. Our food will likely be a bit repetitive and boring for a few weeks, but we will be fed and taken care of.
Here’s a few non-food items that would be good to have on hand, depending on your needs.
• Diapers – we already buy in bulk and have enough for about 3 weeks. We can speed up potty-training if we run out, ha!
• Wipes – we buy in bulk and have enough for a month. If we run out, I’ll use some washcloths.
• Formula – not something we need, but something you may need.
• Medications – we have enough antihistamine on hand and in our emergency meds bags. We also have an extra set of epi-pens. I grabbed one extra package of Benadryl chewable tablets just in case. Those go in our emergency med bags that are carried with us everywhere.
• Toilet paper – I grabbed one extra package in case I can’t go to the store in the next month. If we run out, we will use washcloths and cut up old t-shirts.
• Paper Towels – we don’t need these, but we have a puppy that is being very stubborn about house-breaking. We were about to be out so I grabbed a package one size larger than normal in case I can’t go to the store for a month. If we run out, we have plenty of rags we can use.
• Laundry detergent – I have plenty so I’m not worried about it. If you are running low, probably you should grab some!
• Cheap towels or bar-type towels – grab a couple for use as wipes/tp/paper towels if you don’t have anything else on hand.
• Bleach-based cleaner – we have Clorox spray and wipes, and a container of bleach. I do not clean with bleach unless I need to sanitize, so these have lasted us awhile. I won’t be buying any so that others who need it have access to it.
• Dog Food – I actually need to get some soon, for the puppy. We also buy this in bulk so we’ve got plenty for the older dog.
• Dishwasher detergent – again, I’m about to be out, but I’m only going to buy the amount I normally would. I have a bulk thing of dish soap so if I need to, I’ll just hand wash everything and save a few tabs for anything that needs serious sanitation.
• Toiletries – honestly, I don’t see us going through anything so fast that we need to stock up. I only bought toothpaste this week since we were out. We have plenty of hand soap already.
That’s it! I hope that helps you think of anything you may need.
After I get some schoolwork done, I’ll come back and share a list of recipes & basic foods that I will use for our meal plan and/or prep ahead just in case. Some will be shared on Instagram, too. Hopefully this will help you, too!