Due to pandemic concerns over COVID-19, panic shopping has ensued at megastores across the country. We have all seen pictures of lines colling around the parking lots with no end in sight. Customers stocked up on toilet paper, paper goods, bottled water, soups, and other food-related items. Items quickly sold out and many patrons left empty-handed.
While we like to encourage readers to shop before the events are in the news, sometimes life gets in the way and our budgets get tight. With the coronavirus making headlines everywhere, people are all of a sudden realizing that they may need to begin to prepare for a possible pandemic or a widespread outbreak in their area.
If you are one of those who wants to stock up on some preparedness items and want to beat the lines, check out these easy tips!
- Shop at the local grocery stores. The big megastores are convenient, but as we have seen over the weekend, they get bombarded quickly with panic buying. Shopping at your local supermarket may be a better bet. The smaller Mom and Pop stores may still have the items you need and can give you personalized responses and when they are restocking. Also, if you are looking for paper goods like toilet paper or paper towels or disinfectant, dish soap or cleaners consider going to your local Home Depot or Lowes store. They should have an untapped supply.
- Shop at night or first thing in the morning. Shopping during times when most people are home is a great way to beat the crowds and get what you need before everyone else has a chance to show up.
- Order online. Order your groceries from the convenience of your own home. No crowds, no panic. Just you clicking away! For a small fee, many stores have online buying options. If COVID-19 continues to spread this may be the new way to shop. It cuts down on social interaction and being in crowded places, keeps you away from dirty credit card machines and helps the stores keep up with demand.
- Shop at the Dollar Store. Don’t underestimate what you can find at the Dollar Store! We wrote an article on this a while back.
Below, are thirty prepper-related items you could easily find at your local Dollar Store or Dollar Tree. The listed items are supplies for one person, so if you have other family members to consider, multiply some of the supplies by the number of family members.
- Paper plates and plastic utensils
- Zip-loc storage bags
- Water (1 gallon per day)
- Salt and pepper
- Spices and condiments
- 2 jars of peanut butter
- 3 cans of juice per family member
- 7 cans per family member of canned vegetables and fruit
- 7 boxed dinners (macaroni and cheese, hamburger helper, etc.)
- 7 cans of meat per family member (tuna, salmon, chicken, Spam, etc.)
- 7 cans of soup or stew for each family member
- 3 non-perishable items such as saltine crackers, graham crackers, oatmeal, granola bars, pasta, etc.
- Hand-operated can opener
- Weatherproof tape
- Trash bags
- Cleaning sponges
- Crisco (can use as makeshift emergency candles, fire starters, etc.)
- First aid items such as antibiotic ointment, band-aids, gauze, elastic bandages, Tylenol
- Toilet paper and paper towels
- Feminine needs
- Cigarette lighters and/or matches
- Canning jars
You can also buy in bulk from online stores, such as Amazon. This is a great solution for those who really don’t want to go out in public at all. Toilet paper, for example, 80 rolls of toilet paper can be purchased for under $50 on Amazon. While items such as face masks have been selling out as the coronavirus ravages communities, you can still grab one periodically as they pop up. Hint: When you’re at Home Depot picking up your paper goods, peruse over the painting section of the store and see if they have any N95 or N100 disposable masks. You never know – you could get lucky!
Until we know more about what will happen with the coronavirus epidemic, panic shopping may be a more regular occurrence. Try these shopping tips and beat the crowds!