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What tips can you share for grocery shopping and cooking while social distancing?

Social distancing and stay at home orders have affected the way we shop, cook and eat. What are some tips that you can share on how you have shifted these past weeks?  Are you buying more dry goods and less fresh fruits and vegetables?  Are you shopping online?  Share any tips about cooking or grocery shopping

AARPTeri
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When I go to the store, I bring and open up my immense golf umbrella.  DEFINITELY keeps people at bay!  And at home, it's just me & the Mrs....so no need to distance....except when we need some separation !! 

Newbie

I  shop for grocery once a week.I make a mental menu in my head .Then I make my grocery list .I buy fresh vegetables,and cook them as soon as I get home. You want to cut them in different shapes.That way it looks like different vegetables.First blanch in broiling water then toss in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking.Place in freezer  bags and take out what you need for later.

Contributor

I normally buy groceries every week but during this time I order my groceries from a local store & use curbside pickup as they don’t offer delivery. On items I can’t get from them I order them online & have them delivered.

  Most meals I cook are for more than 2 servings, so they put the extra in wide mouth quart jars & put in freezer for another day. When ready to use a jar from freezer, just take out & put in cool water, slowly warm water til hot, let thaw til it comes out of jar. Heat in pan. Enjoy!!!

Newbie

I  shop for grocery once a week.I make a mental menu in my head .Then I make my grocery list .I buy fresh vegetables,and cook them as soon as I get home. You want to cut them in different shapes.That way it looks like different vegetables.First blanch in broiling water then toss in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking.Place in freezer  bags and take out what you need for later.

Contributor

I grew up on a farm so we only went to town to buy groceries once a week, or less. I keep a grocery list on my fridge so I can write things on it as needed. I always keep an extra container of all spices, flour, sugar, etc. I always keep powdered milk on hand to use in cooking so I don't have to buy as much fresh milk. 

Contributor

Tuna goes a long way for my family.  I buy and keep canned tuna on my shelf at all times.  You can add a can of tuna to Mac and cheese, you can make tuna casserole, you can make tuna salad and put it in a tomato, you can make a tuna salad sandwich, you can mix lettuce miracle whip and a can of tuna for just a straight tuna salad, and my husband's favorite is tuna hash.  Fry up some cubed potatoes till brown, add a can of tuna, then melt velveeta over the top and mix. Always keep tuna in your pantry.

Contributor

  • I use leftover coffee instead of dumping it out now I poured into beans I am cooking or in baking goods I don't waste a drop of percolated coffee like I used to 2 weeks ago.
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Being at home has given me time to focus on diet changes. I was recently diagnosed as gluten intolerant. I dusted off my crockpot and began searching the Internet for gluten free crockpot recipes. I was delighted to find several that needed only a few ingredients. I make two or three times the quantity and freeze the extras. This experience has taught me that I had become way too reliant on fast food. I would encourage others to explore the multiple meal option for cooking.

 

 

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  I keep a list of items we need as the week goes on.  When my daughter calls and says she is going to the store, I give her my items and she delivers them to us.  Because of my compromised immune system, I can't go out.  I have been using what I have in the pantry and freezer to make meals.  Having frozen chicken on hand allows for creative meals.  Paired with frozen vegetables and rice I have been able stay healthy.

Contributor

If you live alone or with another person, sometimes you over order.  Instead of freezing everything, why not share with a neighbor or friend in the same neighborhood or complex?  Items can be left on the outside stoop or near the door for pick up or drop off.  No food waste and helping one another while social distancing.

Contributor

Basically, we stock up on favorite foods and a lot of frozen foods.  Also, in order to help out local restaurants, we've been ordering curbside take out and going through drive throughs quite a bit.  This way, we are doing our part to keep them in business.

Contributor

As Asian seniors we started #stayhome since Mach. We check what's in the Freezers, we have 2 refrigerators and a small freezer in Garage. There's 6 of us in the family. Found out we have frozen chickens, pork, beef, leftovers and stuff like frozen veggies, eggrolls, etc. We usually do grocery weekly for fresh veggies, fruits etc. 

We always have 2 50 lbs rice due to whatever calamity. Usually 2 24 pack Ramen. Lots of canned foods like Peas, Olices, Garbanzo beans, Red, brown, black beans, Tomato sauce, paste, whole tomatoes, etc.

Well, the food we have been eating for last 4 weeks; adobo, eggroll, Ramen soup with vfrozen veggies, spaghetti, fried dried fish, salted eggs with tomatoes and onions, Mongo bean stew, pork stew, fish stew, etc.

Guess we're ready for this lockdown since we prepared for Earthquake. 

We have a lot of bottled water, beer, wine, sodas, fruit juice.

Hope this help.

Stay safe evryone, follow protocol, wear mask.

Oh, the only one going out is our son to do groceries every 2weeks.

 

Contributor

We keep dehydrated food on hand for emergencies (think backpacking/camping food).  This has allowed us to supplement and stretch out the time between trips to the store.

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Since I had the time, I took all the provisions out of my pantry so I could clean and re-organize. As I did so, I checked the expiration dates on everything.  Anything that was within a few months of expiring I kept out to remind myself to use those items first. No wasted/forgotten products and a more organized and efficient pantry. A win-win!

Contributor

1).divide shopping list into aisle 1,2, 3 as in the store. Gets you out faster.

2) get there early. Seniors usually let in 6- 7 am

3) bring extra mask & gloves . I've ripped them several times

4) at home, leave bags on doorstep.wash hands. Use disinfectant wipes on cans& containers. Rinse off veg. & fruit. Throw out bags.

4) at home , put cans  in alphabetical order with earliest expiration dates first.

    Cooking. We use microwave often. Supposed to kill germs.

  Everyone should eat separately. Maybe converse by smart phone.

    I'm 78 with type a+ blood and 2 heart stents.I'm not buying green bananas

                  Sam Kleinberg 

Periodic Contributor

Curious...why no green bananas?

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For the first time today, I used Instacart instead of going shopping myself.  My husband and I both have conditions that put us more at risk so we would rather not go to the food store.  I put in a very large order to Costco and it was all delivered this morning.  I don't know why I never this before.  It's so much easier. 

 

When I usually shop, I end up browsing and I don't want to do that now.   When I go into a store now I have my list and I don't stray from it.  It helps me to get in and out faster.  I plan our meals but don't make anything so elaborate now.  Everything is very simple so that I don't have to look for additional items in the store only to find that they are out of stock.  I don't want to go to several stores to look for an item.  I also usually make enough for more than one meal.  We have the leftovers either for lunch or dinner.

Periodic Contributor

The shelter-in-place recommendations motivated me to try home delivery of groceries from my local Kroger store for the first time. What a blessing! And, like you, I'm now asking myself "why didn't I use this service before?" I can assure you, I will be using again and again. 

Conversationalist

1-vegetables: frozen and cans; purchased lots of onions and cabbage in one trip (both vegetables keep well and can be the start of many recipes)

- fruit: frozen and cans; purchased oranges and apples in one trip as they keep well and are very healthy

- pasta, rice grains, flour; all purchased before stay at home order as it was expected 

-canned and dry beans, lentils; all purchased before stay at home order as it was expected

2- I plan all my meals around these staples; adding a few greens from my yard

3- Making sour dough starter and baking bread: fun, inexpensive, healthy; fresh bread all the time!

-Sprouting lentils: 1/4 of a cup of brown lentils yields about 4 cups of sprouted lentils which I use raw in salads and sandwiches, stir fried, add to soups and stews. Sprouted lentils are very versatile, easily digested, full of vitamins and minerals, inexpensive, delicious and fun to sprout (it's like gardening in a jar!)

4- The freezer is my friend. I store several portions of soup or stews in the freezer for another week.

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Newbie

we are making large pots of foods...stews, soups, chicken recipies we can use as a main meal and using left overs in a variety of different other meals

 freezing it all for later use.. hopefully this can cut down on shopping time. We also have farm to car to help our local farmers ...order on line and pick it up

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My husband and I usually shop together and visit either Trader Joe's, Costco, Target, or Albertsons once per week.  Going midday has enabled us to avoid standing in longer lines vs. morning and late afternoon.  We cook a lot of breakfast foods for dinner - omelets, pancakes, avocado toast.  These don't take a lot of ingredients or preparation.

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Purchasing frozen meat and vegetables. Freezing milk and bread to use as needed. Also purchased dry milk that has extended expiration dates. This limits shopping trips and extends supplies.
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Reduction of exposure risk in the store by minimizing time in the store. Get in and out asap!  In the past, I sometimes made a list and would cruise most of the aisles picking those items up, others from memory while missing some and going back to that same aisle again? I don't shop as frequently as most of you, nor am I as organized normally. Also, now with many making aisles one way only I had to make a change. So, to become more efficient/organized and reduce my time in the store I asked my store for a layout showing items by aisle. Now I always make a list by aisle, shop by aisle in only the aisles I need to be in and get out asap. see attached.   dwlistCapture.JPGdwCapture.JPG

Periodic Contributor

Clean out the freezer. Throw away any food that is no longer good, or that you know you have no appetite for. Before putting food back in an organized fashion, make a list of what's there. 

Plan meals based on what you have on hand, using up the oldest food first.

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Insure that you don't touch items unless you are going to take that item with you.

Practice social distancing

And put on a mask when you are out and about

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Newbie

Our local grocer puts items on buy one get one.  We were able to get staples for our house and my parents.  It allowed us to see them every other day or so - at a distance and kept them from having to shop.  Bonus that we saved money.

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A good time to help others who are home bound and still maintain social distancing. Delivered plants from my Church for Easter to home bound Seniors. Just a knock on the door and leave the plant without contact. Also delivering food from local food pantry to help others. Phone calls of encouragement to others.  My son does our grocery shopping thus helping me to maintain the distancing required. He covers his nose and mouth and wears gloves to minimize any exposure.  He does our cooking and is wise shopper. 

Contributor

Our local Grocery store offers an  hour from 7-8 AM for shoppers 60 AND OVER, so we go then with a prepared grocery list for 2 weeks of items. Or if free pickup is offered we make a list online to pick up. The store clerk loads them in the back of our car-no contact.

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There are 3 of us in the house (myself, husband and teenage daughter), and we have started taking turns planning and preparing dinner.  That eases the burden of one person always having to plan and cook!  

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We stocked our freezer with frozen vegetables, butter, ground meat, chicken, roasts of all different cuts.  My objective is to use pantry items with freezer items for meal preparation in order to sustain until all items are depleted.  We only shop for basics. Best way to learn new recipes.

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