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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
I use Instacart to order and have groceries delivered to my apartment in a Assisted Living facility. Before QVD19 all meals were taken in the Dining Room at Assisted Living. I do no cooking for my self and what I order are snacks & wine. I also order things I need and want through Amazon. Shopping on my Laptop sure beats going out to stores during this Stay At Home period.
During this time of coronavirus we need to be very careful. I shop at prince cooper and trust thecleanliness and butcher. So i have no qualms about any of this Covid-19 crap. They have a very nice selection but i tend to cook with either chicken, 85% lean ground beef, or they have good sales on other cuts at times; it really plays to look for deals and recipes
I try to go when stores are not busy, and also stores that have disinfectant wipes as you enter. I know the prices are higher but it is well worth it as we cannot find wipes or masks anywhere here in Michigan. Also, wear your gloves and masks, and watch out for the idiots without mask or gloves and not observing the 6 foot rule. They are out there!
When I go grocery shopping, I go up and down Isles that have less people. I say: Good morning, how's your day going and continue shopping.
Then I get in the shortest lines staying 6ft apart from the customers while waiting for My turn to check out.
I just went to the store yesterday. I plan my meals out according to what is on sale. I portion my chicken and hamburger out. Then I freeze each portion. I only buy produce that I can incorprate into different meals so that there is no waste. For instance I will use peppers in a stir fry then use the other half to top a homemade pizza. I cut boneless chicken breast in half, they cook faster, go farther. I also make chicken pieces for a quick chicken & vegetable pasta sometimes using leftover peppers, broccoli. Pasta is quick and inexpensive. No meat dinners are easy and so good. Those pre-made hamburger patties are really good after a few days of veggie dinners. Planning your menu out BEFORE you go to the store will save money and waste. I have only been going to the store about every eight days. WASHING MY HANDS BEFORE AND AFTER. ALWAYS WASH your produce and wipe off the packaged meat if not portioning them in different containers. Stay safe.
I try to stock up on what I know I'll need and have groceries delivered sometimes. When I go to the store I put neosporin in my nose just to coat the mucous membranes and I wear a mask and practice safe 6-10 ft distancing. I'm not shy about asking someone to move away from me. When I go into the store I always wipe the cart down and when I leave I use hand sanitizer and make sure I wipe down with alcohol any of my possessions such as glasses, phone etc...that I may have touched while I was in the store. I also wash cans and plastic items from the store with soap and water before using them.
We are buying in bulk basic items with our daughter and her children who live only a couple miles from us. We have extra storage and she drops by to pick up items on her way home from work as she needs them. We split the cost and have fewer trips to grocery store. From cereals, juice, water, paper goods, cleaners, etc.
1. We buy in bulk from Costco to save on price, time and trips. 2. We cook in large portions to freeze some meals and defrost to eat later in the month. 3. We exchange these meals with other neighbors of different ethncity to get a variety of foods and authentic taste.
Don't be afraid to ask people to give you some room if they act like they've been living in a cave for the last month and a half and have seen absolutely no news regarding the pandemic and choose to ignore social distancing, especially in checkout lines. Most of the time they apologize and back up. The one time I started to get some attitude, I used a little white lie and whispered to the offending party, "Ordinarily, I wouldn't mind, but I may still be contagious." Got plenty of room, then! (Although I pre-empted any further trouble by letting the cashier in on it when she was checking me out.)
I've been encouraging my grocery store to set up space for a small-ish number of goods, where customers order what they want at the counter. All the day's offerings are stacked behind the counter. This would be safer for employees, because customers do not walk behind the counter. They don't need to worry about catching the virus from customers spreading the virus in their work space. It would be safer for customers, too. And they could offer items that are more nutritious than what someone would find at a convenience store.
Today I saw there's a store in Palmetto, FL that opened a "drive-thru" that works like that. Every day they post 100 items that customers can buy at the drive-thru (first come, first-serve). Customers fill out their paper order form, hand it to the employee, and get their items within 5-8 minutes. It's different from regular pick-up, where an employee may spend a couple of minutes, just trying to find the right flavor, brand, or size of any item from soap to spices.
Customers could still go into the store or use delivery services or pick-up services. But for now, if a shopper only needs apples, aspirin and tissues, they could do it more safely.
I consider the no frills stores like Aldis much safer. The boxes are put on the shelf in bulk so much less touching happens all around. The cart issue seems to be questionable. I really wish this whole plastic ban could be put on hold for now. Those were the cleanest options for cashiers and consumers at this point.
When shopping for fresh fruit or veggies, choose those that are towards the back or underneath as they haven’t been handled as much.
Ideally, a paper grocery list is better but if you have the list on your phone. Place the phone in a baggie so it’s not contaminated while shopping. Take it out of the bag after shopping and sanitizing hands before using.
When shopping, do not pick up an item unless you are going to purchase it -- handle as few items as possible.
Do not use the "pen" to electronically sign for a credit card; either carry your own pen with you (a stylus from a tablet) or use a debit card (and of course wear gloves when entering your PIN).
Try to purchase items in packages which are easy to clean with sanitizer or bleach -- avoid cardboard or paper packaging whenever possible.
Don't think that frozen foods are virus free -- although freezing destroys many germs and viruses, corona virus have shown the ability to remain viable for a very long time in subfreezing temperatures.
Put your shopping list and payment card (or cash) in an easy-to-access place -- rummaging around in a purse carries the possibilty of moving virus particles from gloved hands into items in the purse.
What I am going to share may seem awkward, but given the fact COVID-19 for several hours, even days depending on the surface, you should consider washing with soap and water all articles which could have been exposed in the market place. Also, usually you may store the plastic bags, if provided, when shopping; now cosider disposing them in the trash as soon as emptied.
In my town, I make sure to wear a face covering, shop at non-peak hours, bring a list, map out my route in the store, and shop quickly, all while maintaining a safe physical distance. To maintain a distance from employees, I use the self-checkout aisle (but will return to a regular checkout lane once social distancing restrictions are lifted.) Although the card reader is covered in protective plastic, I wrap my sleeve around the pen before using it.
For cooking, make a thorough search of your fridge and freeezer before buying new food. Use up what you have on hand, and enjoy experimenting with new flavors and recipes. Use up leftovers before they go bad.
1. Do your shopping online. Two food stores in our area allow you to order your groceries online, select a day/time for pick-up, and pay with a credit card. There is usually a small fee for this service, but you probably save this much by buying sale items. When your pick-up time comes, you park in a special part of their lot and call the store on your phone. Someone will bring your groceries out and load them into your car - you don't have to go into the store! One tip, start your next shopping list online right away so that you can reserve a date/time. With the pandemic, many stores have been pushed out over a week for pick-ups. If you start a list now, you can make changes to it up to midnight before your pick-up day.
2. With the pandemic, we have much more time to cook at home. It's a good time to try some new recipes and make some things that you normally wouldn't have time for. I like the idea of cleaning out your freezer/pantry. Use up some of those items that have been sitting around for a long time. Anything that you don't use during the pandemic, consider donating it to the food pantry. If you are not going to use it, maybe someone else can.