COVID-19 Update: Here's A List Of Things To Buy When You're Grocery Shopping For A Quarantine

COVID-19 Update: Here's A List Of Things To Buy When You're Grocery Shopping For  A Quarantine

Africa is yet to be hit hard by the coronavirus, but there's nothing wrong with being ready, just in case.

In Africa, the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus is on a steady increase. In the past fortnight, Nigeria has had forty-four known cases of infection. The Italian Medical Chief has died, Abba Kyari, Nigeria’s Chief of Staff, Bala Mohammed, Bauchi State Governor and so have many others, with new cases springing up at alarming rates. In America, a celebrated actor and his wife have been quarantined. Schools are also being shut down. And experts say there is more to come.  The World Health Organisation recently classified COVID-19 a pandemic and said everyone should prepare for a lockdown. Part of this preparation involves grocery shopping for a quarantine.  Lagos State Governor, Babjide Sanwo-Olu, announced yesterday that non-essential market places will be shut down from tomorrow, Thursday, 26th March 2020.  This means you should be thinking about shopping and food preservation.

As Italy imposes a nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus, other countries may soon have to follow suit. That’s why you should be thinking seriously about shopping for a quarantine. Have a look at these practical tips on buying and preserving food.

How To Plan Grocery Shopping For A Quarantine

grocery shopping

Source: Shutterstock

Take an inventory of your pantry.

What do you currently have, and how much of it do you have? If it’s an essential member of the pantry, you want to be sure you have enough to last your family for a fortnight, or a month. Before you go on a buying spree, take inventory. Once you have gauged how long the contents of your freezer and pantry will last, you’ll know what you need and in what quantity. Then you can begin buying.

You’ll need regular foodstuff: rice, beans, yams, plantains, cereals and oats. They are your go-to meal builders, and they are not easily perishable. When buying plantains, it’s best to buy a bunch of unripe ones. They are nutritious and healthy, and they will last longer as they ripen.

Create a 2-week meal plan
grocry shopping for a quarantine


A smart thing to do is ensure that all the meals in your meal plan have common ingredients. That way, a huge pot of stew, for instance, can go with bread or yams at breakfast; can accompany eba and okro for lunch, and rice for dinner. And yes, soups are a must-have for your freezer. If you have bowls of soups and stews chilling in your freezer, all you need do is boil something appropriate to accompany it, and food is served. Here’s an example of a nutritious Nigerian meal plan for your family. Don’t forget to enhance your meals with protein and vegetables. Coronavirus or not, we’re eating healthy.
Another smart thing to do is when making a meal, you could make enough to last for 3 meals, and freeze the excess for another day. This way, you’ve cut short cooking time for the next meal. If you do this often enough, you’ll see that there’s always something to heat up from the freezer to make a nice meal that your family will enjoy eating.

When grocery shopping for a quarantine, your freezer is your bestie. But so is the sun.

grocery shopping for a quarantine

Notice how the previous tips allude to your freezer? Well, it will save you a lot of storage stress. For instance, fruits and vegetables that are very perishable will last long in the freezer. Imagine freezing ugwu (pumpkin leaves) long enough to cook several soups over a month. And did you know you could freeze your liquid milk to preserve it? But it is probably better to buy powdered milk in this situation.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Not everybody owns a freezer. And sometimes, there’s no electricity for so long that you might as well forget that you have a freezer. But didn’t they say Mother Nature is kind? Because the sun is there to preserve your meat, fish and leafy vegetables for you. Dried meat and fish last as long as dried ugwu. It’s time to take advantage of all that blazing solar energy before the rains begin their daily visits.

Smoking is one of the best ways to preserve meat and fish. Although it takes time, using it will definitely make your meat and fish last longer.

Other Useful Tips To Survive A Quarantine


  • Stock up on movies and books
  • If you’re working, work from home as much as you can
  • Avoid crowded places, like churches, mosques, and the markets
  • Don’t forget to stock up lots and lots of water
  • Invest in canned food
  • Buy enough hygienic products like tissue, soap, hand sanitizers, etc
  • If you’re on medication, be sure you get a 30-day prescription supply
  • Have a fully functional first aid kit
  • Get your fitness in
  • Clean your home

A quarantine is not the second coming, and society will not experience a complete and utter breakdown. Electricity, gas and cellphones will still work. There’s no need to hoard food, fuel and cash. Just keep your wits about you, make a plan and do your sensible grocery shopping for a quarantine. And don’t eat the whole box of granola bars in one sitting.

HuffPost  WashingtonPost

Also read: The World Health Organisation Calls On Countries To Prepare For A Coronavirus Pandemic

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