5 tips for preparing your pantry for a pandemic lockdown

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Written By Tracey Markos

Don’t panic buy, pandemic plan. Shop smart, and stay sane, with a well-stocked pantry

The COVID-19 Pandemic continues to affect our everyday lives. How do you react when your Chief Medical Officer declares a lockdown? Are you the toilet paper hoarder who rushes to the supermarket? Or…Do you calmly look at your pantry, see that you could survive a month, then pour another glass of wine?

In the good old days, we went to the supermarket at the drop of a hat. Now that supermarket visit could be the ‘close contact’ everyone is craving but nobody can risk.

Let’s look at some basic strategies that will keep your family well-fed.

1. Pasta, rice and flour

Versatile and long-lasting, keep a stock of these, in all varieties. When the kids are home constantly, make a batch of muffins for morning tea. Make a double batch and freeze them! When you make your favourite recipes, make bulk and freeze portions. When COVID gets you down, make pasta. Everyone will feel better.

2. Tins and jars of everything last forever (well, almost)

From peeled tomatoes to simmer sauces and everything in between. A tin of corn, mixed beans, and peeled tomatoes and you have Nachos ready in five minutes (with corn chips and grated cheese). Baked beans are a healthy breakfast. When lockdown lethargy hits, you want easy but hearty. Simmer sauces have come a long way. Brown some meat, throw in a jar or two, and simmer away.

3. Meat doesn’t live in the pantry, but…

During a pandemic, shop wisely, and in bulk. Buying a kilo of mince is fine if there is one of you, but three kilos makes bolognese for months! Also ‘think versatility’. Mince can be meatballs, burgers, bolognese, Mexican, meatloaf, pasta bakes. Chicken can be burgers, curries, schnitzels, casseroles, stir-fries, etc. If you want steak, buy rump. A T-bone, although delicious, is hard work to slice for stroganoff or cube for a curry.

4. Dairy foods have lasting power

Buy cheese that’s versatile. A one kilogram block can be grated, sliced, or cubed, and stacks easily for storage. Grab your parmesan and your fetta, but not from the deli. Get the packaged varieties; they last longer. UHT milk is a godsend in these lockdown days. Buy plain Greek yoghurt. A large one! It can be used in sweet and savoury dishes. Everyone can add the frozen fruit of their choice, and it’s the healthier option. Easy.

5. Fresh fruit and vegetables are harder to maintain

Your big COVID-safe outing can be to stock up on these, and on fresh milk and bread. However, do not underestimate frozen fruit and vegetables. Frozen fruit can be used for smoothies, muffins, baked desserts such as puddings and pastries, or added to yoghurt. Frozen vegetables are great for pasta bakes, casseroles, pies and pastries. They are nutritionally sound and very convenient.

A well-stocked pantry will make life easier and minimise your shopping needs. Keeping you and your family safe in these trying times.

About Tracey Markos

Tracey runs her own Personal Concierge business. This pays the bills while she pursues her passion for writing. After years of keeping her words to herself, she is ready to share her thoughts, opinions and lifetime of experience with the world.