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What Foods to Buy During a Quarantine

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Most of the world is adjusting to a new lifestyle, and many people are finding themselves in a predicament: having to cook for the first time, or having to plan EVERY SINGLE MEAL of the day for weeks for their whole family because takeout or going out to eat is not an option right now. 

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I’ll share with you what foods to buy so you always have fresh, nutritious foods at home to cook tasty, healthy meals.

We need to start with buying the right foods. Instead of panic-buying toilet paper or Vienna sausages (like my husband did before Hurricane Dorian last year lol), here is a grocery list of fruits and vegetables that last a long time so you can eat well while self-quarantining.

Please note, this is not a complete grocery list! You should also buy canned foods because those will last for years (and YES, should should buy toilet paper…. if you’re running out), but there are definitely lots of fresh fruits and veggies you can eat even if you’re avoiding going to the grocery stores regularly.

On top of that, many dairy items last a long time, and meat and fish can be frozen for weeks and months as well. So follow this as a guide and inspiration for grocery shopping!

Fresh and frozen vegetables

You don’t have to eat only mushy canned vegetables if you’re stocking up! There are so many fresh vegetables that are very nutritious and last for weeks when refrigerated. Frozen vegetables provide as much nutrition as fresh vegetables, so that is a good option as well.

Here are the fresh and frozen vegetables you can buy to get you through staying at home for weeks, please recipe ideas for how to use those vegetables:

Fresh and frozen fruit

  • Apples (they last a while and it’s nice to have something other than frozen fruit!)
  • Bananas (they don’t last that long, but hey – an excuse to bake banana muffins… or freeze bananas and make “nice” cream for a healthy treat, such as this matcha banana ice cream, or in this coffee breakfast smoothie)
  • Pineapple – eat some while it’s fresh and then freeze the rest
  • Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries that can also be eaten fresh for a few days and then washed and frozen 
  • Oranges – they last a while in the fridge or on the counter
  • Frozen fruit and berries (use frozen peaches in this grits with peaches recipe)

Canned goods

Here is what I always have in my pantry:

Also make sure to have canned chicken and canned fish. You can make an AMAZING 3-ingredient chicken salad or this spicy crunchy chicken salad from canned chicken.

Canned tuna is always great to have on hand as well – try it in this Mediterranean Couscous Tuna Bowl, which uses pretty much only pantry ingredients!

Dairy

You can’t stock up on fresh milk for too long, but you can still have dairy and dairy protein even if you’re avoiding grocery stores. Look for these items in stores:

Protein (meat, fish, eggs)

Eggs usually last a really long time in the fridge – look for a package with the furthest expiration date! And luckily, many meats and fish can be frozen without any negative effects on its texture. Obviously, don’t stock up on super fresh steak if you don’t want to freeze it, but chicken, shrimp and other seafood freezes and thaws really well. My fridge and freezer are always stocked with the following:

Grains and dried goods

Here are the grains and dried goods I rotate through at home regularly:

What is on YOUR list that is not mentioned here? Let me know in a comment below!

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