Grocery Shopping During COVID-19

Updated: Jun 27, 2020

This blog post is written by Olesya (Oleska) Prokopovych, a nutrition student volunteering at Nourish & Nurture

Having a hard time eating well lately? Have you lost track of how many bags of potato chips you’ve eaten in the last several months? Not long after the COVID-19 pandemic began sooner or later everyone was affected by it. Luckily, there is a lot of information circulating the internet about taking care of your finances, mental health, etc. However, besides face masks and toilet paper, grocery shopping isn’t as hot of a topic. This article will give you some helpful tips on how to shop smart during this pandemic.

To Deliver or not to Deliver?

There are many different approaches when it comes to grocery shopping. It could be done through delivery services, buying in bulk, or shopping the same way you always have (but please don’t do that!). If you are a high-risk individual, delivery services are probably your best bet. However, not everyone can afford those high prices. So, consider asking a friend or relative to pick up your groceries when they are doing their own shopping.

However, for most of us, we are fortunate enough to be able to do our own shopping. In this case, buying in bulk would probably be your best friend. Going to a store that sells in wholesale price will save you money as long as you buy strategically. This means buying the foods that you know you are going to eat and foods that are ingredients you cook with frequently. These can be grains such as rice, couscous, quinoa, and products such as pasta, legumes, etc. Checking for sale items won’t hurt either! How do you do these things you may ask? By making a good old fashioned grocery list. I know what you’re thinking—this is age-old advice that you’ve heard before and for one reason or another never got around to it. You should know that making a grocery list (and not shopping while you’re hungry!) can save you money and time. Considering the current circumstances, saving money is kind of a priority for many, and spending less time in the store means less risk of exposure. Additionally, using a grocery list will help you avoid impulse purchases such as junk food that you only start craving once you see it on that shelf looking so delicious. What were you doing in the cookie aisle when you needed bread? No one knows.

Safety First

Depending on where you live, there may be different requirements for you in terms of what to wear, physical distancing, etc. Please follow these suggestions and regulations. Even if you aren’t worried about getting sick, the issue is in getting others sick. Please be considerate. Make sure you touch as few items or surfaces as possible, don’t touch your face, and wash your hands frequently.

Try Mixing It Up

Picture this: you were hungry on your last grocery trip and ended up buying a bunch of chips. Now they’re sitting in your house begging you to eat them. You have no choice but to snack. This is very common and you shouldn’t be ashamed of it. However, it is avoidable. If you want to get the best nutrition during these times, it would help to do two things:

  1. Try to eat balanced meals that include all food groups - i.e. whole grains, protein, vegetables, fruits and fats.

  2. Don’t be hard on yourself. No one eats ‘perfectly’ until they redefine perfect to be realistic to them.

What are the challenges you have when it comes to grocery shopping during COVID-19?

Olesya (Oleska) is a 5th year student in the Nutrition and Food program at Ryerson University. Last year she realized she wishes to become a Registered Dietitian and has since been doing everything she can to gain experience and prepare herself for grad school applications in the near future. She has always loved food and cared very deeply for her health and well-being.

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