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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
Getting creative since I'm trying not to go shopping. I've been using all those canned goods in the cabinets. Made some great chilie using two cans of black beans, three can of dice tomaotes, green chilies and of course sauteed onion and ground beef and if you have it some graded chesse on top. Fast and yummy!
Consider searching Google for "Five Star" recipes of anything you and your family like to eat. You will often get incredible recipes. I always recommend reading at least five of the reviews, too. This allows you to get additional ideas for making dishes most pleasing to your palette.
We made a large batch of Southwest chicken in our slow cooker and froze batches so we could make enough for 2 meals of enchiladas and 2 meals of SW chicken over rice with a salad. We plan for 2 weeks of meals and try to make large batches like the above recipie, lentil or black bean soup and roast with pink beans. Makes life less stressful
I really am not doing too much differently outside of having people shop for me. I have always shopped the store even though i have a list,for bargains that are not advertise. I stock up on things you can never have enough of when they are a bargain. I share with others when the supply is more than I need. I purchased a chest freezer 2 years ago and freeze items . First dividing them in small amounts. I make soups and stews and freeze in individual servings. Soooo, Now I just have to reach in my freezer or my storage closet and pretty much have everything i need for a quick but nutrious meal. I am eating less because I've discovered that I am moving less and don't want to gain any excess weight. I am an avid crossword and jigsaw puzzle person and have pulled out a 2000 piece puzzle that keeps me entertained. Some days when I want to not be consumed with the puzzle which is on my dining room table , I cover it with a table cloth so that I can get some thing I need to do done. I have also been reaching out to others for company via telephone and internet. I have heard from a lot of people that I haven't been in touch with for years. This is God's way of letting conect with people on a personal basis.
In an effort to reduce going out shopping, I am trying to make do with what I have and it leads to some interesting results. I had three boxes of cake mix that I had purchased for office party events (typically I would make cupcakes). Since I retired, the question was what would I do with these? I also have lots of pumpkin puree in my freezer that I prepared last autumn. I wondered if I could make pumpkin muffins using the puree and cake mix, so I did an internet search and was rewarded with a number of recipes using the two. I baked up a batch yesterday and they are really excellent using the puree, cake mix, and spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove). The oil and eggs are omitted, and since I have read people have trouble finding eggs this might be a way to bake without them if you have canned pumpkin. My hack is a bit healthier since much of the fat has been cut and no icing either. The muffins are a bit dry, but a spread of cream cheese on a halved muffin makes it delicious and somewhat like a carrot cake taste. When I run out of "typical" ingredients these days, instead of heading to the store I make a beeline to the internet for ideas. There is so much information out there that you can make meals using different ingredients that you might not have thought of.
Mentally I am trying to hold on. My daughter shops for me since I am disabled. We live together with her two kids and we are eating smaller portions and trying to eat more healthy. It is very hard being inside all the time, but it helps to watch movies and my daughter and her kids play games together. We also let the kids help as much as they want. They like to keep things up better becuase of fear of Cov-19.
Like many seniors I live alone. My interest and ability in cooking for myself are moderate and my menu usually leans toward leftovers. I do enjoy shopping for food and I miss that. So I've consciously swapped these 2 interest levels and decided to stop dreaming about shopping every few days and to begin enjoying the challenge of cooking up interesting - sometimes surprisingly tasty - meals from the somewhat random ingredients in my fridge and pantry. Mindset is half the battle. This approach has led to pasta with jarred sauce topped with an egg white omelet that is dusted with chili powder and filled with baby lettuce and spinach; shredded "everything vegetable in the fridge" mixed with mediterranian spices, shredded potato and an egg white, formed into patties and non-stick fried with a little salad dressing and an olive on top; a sandwich spread made of pureed frozen peas and carrots, a little garlic, lemon juice, and another olive on top. I feel a little like a kid playing with my food.
I do not consider myself a prepper, but after 27 years in law enforcement I learned Prior Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance & less Pain. That said, my wife and I have always had lots of extra stored away. Luckily we live in the country, so having chickens, a stocked pond helps. But we still go to the grocery store every other week. We have helped some in our family that lived day to day food wise. My siblings are," you told us a long time ago." LOL. We only had a few gas mask but wearing that in public would probably cause a panic. We did manage to order a few cloth mask with carbon filters. We are going more stir crazy. My wife started a group to cross stitch while everyone is on Skype. I have sharpened every knife in my collection. Broke down all my guns and cleaned. I fly two of my drones around the property. But we really miss being social with our family and friends. I honestly cannot wait until I can go sit in a restaurant!! Be safe everyone!!
Like you, I have always kept a full pantry and freezer. As you say, being prepared saves a lot of pain. I used to live in New England where half the year it was rain, ice or snow. If I had plenty of food stocked up I didn't have to deal with being soaked or frozen. Now I live in Arizona but have maintained the same habits and, in this emergency, it certainly helped. I bought TP just before this pandemic hit and I am still good for at least three weeks, so I am not freaking out the stores still are not well stocked. After 2 weeks I have finally run down my fresh food, but being able to avoid shopping for 2 weeks at a time is certainly helpful in avoiding others. Everyone should keep a pantry full if they can because you just never know.
I emailed the nutritionist from the cancer clinic where I have gone and she said foods that would boost my immunity such as yogurt, onions, garlic, kale, brocolli, beans , grains berries and citrus, Some of these would make a wonderful stirfry which I did with chicken. I also have made a smoothie with yogurt, ensure powder, fresh berries and a splash of milk. I have a variety of meats and grains and pastas on hand as well as soups and beans. So my shopping trip is to buy things to complete a meal with one of these items. Also I go to the mark downs a lot. One store I shop at has produce marked down to $1.00 a bag and you can get a good deal on things like apples, oranges, potatoes, etc. And I download coupons and clip coupons so that helps a lot.
Good morning family. This is James Myers. I just want to first say that I hope that you are all using this downtime to get in tune with yourself as far as meditation and some real-time with your family at this time. Now I want to share some tips on what you can do with your leftover meals. If you have any leftovers like beans, rice, farro, you could too use those to make a veggie bowl. If you have the basic veggies in your fridge, I suggest that you saute them in extra virgin oil and garlic or and herb butter. then take your leftovers and mix them into your veggies and then you will have a veggie bowl. Thank you and I hope that this will help you to get rid of some of those items leftover that you have no idea what to do with. Love peace and power.
- Left Overs
I wanted to be able to make quick easy meals every night so we bought family packs of meat and chicken/pork for next 2-3 weeks and divided it into enough for each night then can be frozen. Easy to defrost and cook right amount without wasting with simple side dishes! It actually saved us a lot of money and only had to go to the grocery store about once every 2 weeks! And we have been able to social distance and stay home more!
I do the same with the meat products; buy bigger quantities, separate enough for two, freeze. I have went to more froze vegetables for less sodium, but I have also went back to more canned as well to be sure there is less human handling. I use dried beans; lentils as well. I have went to a lot of pre-packaged quick fixes where I used to cook from scratch to cut down on bacteria and loss. When the virus hit our only real concern was milk, eggs, and bread because of my meal planning of late.
I love bananas and stocked up on them since I was trying to eliminate my visits to the grocery store. Well of course they started to brown faster than I could eat them, (I don't like to eat them in that condition), so I figured I had a few choices...put the bananas in my morning smoothie or make Banana Bread. I did both but was proud of myself for making the Banana Bread. I'm not a baker and never made it before. The end result was so delicious. I found it relaxing and exciting!
- Going Bananas
FYI: you can buy two bunches of bananas, one to eat within a week and one bunch that are still partially green and put those in the refrigerator. The peels may darken but they’ll stay fresh and not ripen as quickly. (Chiquita Banana from the old days was wrong!) Freezing them makes them gooey when you thaw them, but you can still use them in banana muffins or bread.
Oh Yummy!! What a great idea! I think I am going to try to make some banana bread as well. Pinterest is a great place to look for new recipes if you ever want to try something new! Have a great evening and may God bless you!
We find ways to save money and deal with shortages. As an example, I noticed a $1 store had my favorite pretzels . . . and the freshness expiration date was months out. I bought a few bags to keep on hand.
I have had to think outside the box. With the flour shortage of late, it means amending menu plans . . . and thinking ahead to make sure special occasions are covered. My family has also been regularly trying new meals, and using leftovers wisely. For example, we made steaks the other night (a luxury). I then made Beef with Broccoli the next night. We froze the extra steak remaining and we are set to make salads with the addition of beef! Yum!
Today I will make large batches of spaghetti sauce and taco meat to be frozen in freezer bags in individual portions for heat up for later meals. This saves time and money since meat can be purchased in bulk cheaper as well as the other ingredients. Cooking for one is a hassle, but if you bite the bullet one day, you enjoy the results for weeks to come.
Hopefully you can get chicken and eggs as both of those have so many ways to be used. Leftover chicken makes great pot pie, buffalo casserole and you can just google your ingredients and find oodles of recipes. Trying new recipes is so much fun. And sharing them on social media. Also this is a great time to diet:)
My husband and I are empty nesters. I love cooking casseroles but they are too much for just the two of us. I portion them into 2 serving sizes and freeze them. I also label them with cooking instructions in case I get sick my husband will know how to heat them up.
Echoing what others have said, mainly be creative with either what is already in the freezer or cupboard! For me, using online ingredient searches are invaluable tools for ideas as well. If I don't have all the ingredients necessary, substitutions aren't necessarily a bad thing. Be flexible!
When I do get out to store (about 1x/week) I try purchase food that can have mutiple uses. For example: chuck roast (for pot roast, stew, even chili), asparagus (omelettes, stir-fry, sauteed and added to pasta).
Made savory oatmeal, pumpkin pasta sauce, used juice from canned pineapple to marinate fish.
We will get through this!
Stay safe and well.
I decide on a 6 day recipe of what I am going to cook and then go shopping once a week. One thing I get every week is the fish they have left over from the day before. It is still very fresh. I get salmon, cod...Then I make sure we eat it the first day of the week. I make it different ways so it doesn't get boring.
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