Buying in bulk can save money in the long run, but the difference between buying in bulk and hoarding should be noted. It’s a good idea to have an extra month’s worth of toilet paper in the cupboard. Buying a year’s worth is a waste of money and space, and only causes shortages for others who need it. When buying in bulk, it is important to be considerate and think about what is good to buy a little extra, and what you need to just buy in your normal amounts.
When shopping for bulk food items, it’s a good idea to only buy food you actually enjoy eating. For example, if you like rice and beans, stocking up on them when the price is right is a good idea. If you’ve never cooked with dried beans, the pandemic may be a good time to start experimenting as you probably have time to cook. However, it’s a good idea to have a can or two in the cupboard as well.
Carefully monitor your canned goods as they come into the house. If you have cases of a particular vegetable, find recipes to help you use them up. After the shelter in place rules relax, monitor the cans in your cupboard to make sure nothing is out of date. Be ready to discard anything that is too old to consume.
Prepackaged Foods and Mixes
If you’re still working, it may be easier to fill your cupboards with prepackaged foods or box mixes. Again, it’s a good idea to remember that we will build a new normal at some point in the future. Keep an eye on expiration dates and strive to use up what’s stocked up in the cupboard.
Fresh Meat and Produce
Be ready to freeze fresh meat unless you’re going to cook it soon. Wash your fresh produce before eating as previous. If possible, purchase it pre-packaged instead of in bulk to lessen the number of people who’ve handled individual items.
The run on toilet paper is a good indicator that panic buying is a bad idea. Not only will your limited storage space be clogged up until you use up what you bought, but the most vulnerable members of our population won’t have access to the basic needs of life. If you feel the need to stock up, buy enough for the month and no more.
Pick up concentrated cleaners that will break down the lipid layer on viruses. A mild bleach solution will work, as will vinegar and water. Keep it simple and clean regularly. Be aware there’s no need to buy a wide variety of products.
If you generally buy a month’s worth, try to get a prescription for 90 days. This investment can limit the number of trips you have to take and may even reduce your expenses over time. Discuss any concerns with your doctor over the phone.
Having an extra bag or a few cans of dog food would be a good investment at this time. Store hours change. Additionally, try to avoid giving your pets too much human food while you dine. You may start habits that will be hard to break. Make sure to get your dogs outside for some fresh air and a good walk. Keep your body moving and maintain your strength.
The stress of the pandemic is pushing everyone’s buttons. Preserve relationships by taking a break from one another every now and again. Lay in a stock of wine, beer, or other adult beverages you enjoy while relaxing. Get a few cigars to help you celebrate the day life feels normal again. Don’t forget the chocolate.
Don’t feel you have to constantly be productive, declutter, super-clean your home or any other extreme improvements. Stress and uncertainty are exhausting. Be gentle with yourself.
The Covid-19 pandemic will be a defining experience for many people and may alter the course of an entire generation. Stocking up wisely for the long stretch may take more than one trip. Lay in a supply of what you need and avoid overloading on more than a month’s worth of any product.