When it comes to shopping during the pandemic, there’s usually enough to go around if everybody only takes what they need. If you want to be responsible and stay well-fed, here are six tips to ensure your kitchen is stocked without buying into the panic:
1. Mix Up The Basics
Do get your basics like milk, bread, meat, and cheese as and when you are able to. In between, try these suggestions for mixing up your basic food items:
- Switch bread for gram flour pancakes or quick yeast-free flatbreads
- Switch meat for veggie or vegan versions, or pure vegetable dishes
- Try vegan cheese, nutritional yeast, or cashew blends instead of dairy cheese
- Try milk alternatives like oat, cashew, almond, or soya milk
2. Dried Foods Bring Great Returns
Dried food is an amazing way to spend less and get great returns. Chickpeas, for example, double in size when cooked. Most dried foods also provide flexibility in how you can use them. A tin of cooked peas may be easy, but a box of dried peas you can cook up to eat, or sprout to make tasty and nutritionally rich salad shoots.
Dried foods have a lot of versatility and flexibility, so it is worth filling your cupboards with them during these uncertain times.
3. Grow Your Own Food
Many people have already stocked up on home veggie patch essentials, leaving gardening supplies running short. Don’t worry, there are ways around this problem:
- Use glass, metal, or plastic items as pots.
- Though compost is great, any old soil will do to get those plants going.
- You can make fertilizers at home from all kinds of ingredients you already use, like teabags and bananas. Take a look at this Planterina episode to discover lots of natural plant fertilizer ingredients you probably already have.
- You don’t always need seeds. It’s easy to buy them, but you can also grow from all kinds of things you get from the supermarket, such as ginger root and tomato seeds.
- Look online for locals with free or cheap excess plants to share (just make sure to collect and exchange responsibly).
Once you realize how creative you can be with growing your own food, you’ll start to see exactly how free you are to provide yourself with the staples you need in life.
4. Be Adventurous
We can all get stuck in our ways with cooking. Thinking in terms of your usual eating habits can leave you seeing a bare cupboard when there’s probably a ton of potential there. If this sounds like you, then the internet is about to be your new best friend. Start hunting for delicious, cheap, and easy cooking ideas. You may not be able to go on any adventures at the moment, but at least your tastebuds can!
5. Support Local Businesses
To help local businesses during this time in which over 6 million people have already filed for unemployment, why not see if any of the following are open and available locally:
- Veggie and fruit box delivery
- Bakery, cheese, and meat delivery
- Local grocers
- Local farms with compost to sell
- Zero waste shops
Many of these small businesses are well stocked, so do consider them as an alternative to supermarket shopping.
6. Stretch Meals Out
To make what you have lasts longer, drop down to smaller portions of ‘luxury’ items while filling up on staples like rice and oats. Enjoy your treat foods last so you leave a good taste in your mouth.
Taking control of what you buy, grow, cook, and order will help you develop more responsible habits while ensuring your kitchen is always well-stocked.
*image credits: Source – Unsplash – Heather Mckean