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If there’s one positive takeaway you can learn during the current global outbreak of COVID-19, it’s to know how to be prepared. While it’s important to stay calm instead of panic-buying or hoarding household goods, if you’re practicing social distancing and are working from home right now, there’s pantry and fridge items that are essential to have on-hand.
Per the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s advice, you should have at least two weeks’ worth of supplies, which means it’s a good idea to stock up on a mix of essential food items, medicine, and cleaning supplies. In case there is a severe outbreak in your community, the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention has a complete plan on household preparedness.
In the event that you won’t be able to leave your home to shop for groceries and other essential items, you’ll want to shop for items to keep in your fridge and pantry that will last — i.e. dry goods such as pasta and rice, hardy fruits and vegetables and canned goods and protein that can be frozen. If you stock up on basics now, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have everything you’ll need for for at least two weeks worth of meals.
Or if you have access to grocery delivery services in your area, sites like Fresh Direct, Instacart, Peapod, Foodkick, or Hungryroot are all helpful alternatives to have items delivered directly to you.
While this list isn’t an exhaustive one (you can certainly shop for your favorite items) and will depend on what’s still in stock online or at your local store, this is a basic guide to keep in mind when shopping for essentials to stockpile.
- Boxed pasta
- Tomato paste
- Pasta sauce
- Canned fish (tuna or salmon)
- Canned vegetables (carrots, peas, diced tomatoes, green beans)
- Canned fruit in water
- Applesauce and other fruit purees
- Boxed macaroni and cheese
- Black beans
- Chicken broth for homemade soups
- Granola bars
- Bread (can preserve in freezer and toast to eat)
- White or brown rice
- Cold cereal
- Shelf-stable silken tofu
- Peanut or other nut butter
- Shelf-stable boxes of milk (dairy or non-dairy varieties)
- Meat to freeze (chicken breasts, shrimp, ground turkey)
- Frozen fruit
- Frozen vegetables
- Frozen pizzas and other pre-made meals
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut or spaghetti squash
- Whole mushrooms
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Dried apricots
- Trail mix
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