06 Mar

Preparing for Isolation: Tips & A Shopping List

I’ll be honest here. I’ve been betwixt and between about writing this shopping list. I don’t want anybody to think I’m jumping on a bandwagon because I’m not. It’s no secret that I maintain about a month’s worth of supplies in the house (okay it’s more). My supply levels are not a ‘prepper’ thing or even a ‘money saving’ thing. It’s simply that it was not too long ago that I didn’t have the buffer of a full store cupboard; when times were tough financially and I had to seriously plan out every meal.

Being so open about my kitchen stores has led to a few requests from people on social media looking for an idea of where to start in case they do end up having to shut the front door to the world for at least a fortnight and go into isolation. I’m not suggesting you stockpile. Please don’t actually; please check and see what you have in your store cupboards before you go to the supermarket. Only buy what you need as otherwise you may end up with food waste and a rake of stuff that you might not need in the future.

Do be careful about calculating what you need to eat. It’s natural to want to comfort eat when you’re confined indoors, but your exercise levels will be far lower unless you have exercise equipment in the house that you’re going to use everyday.

I’ve deliberately included food here that is easy to prepare and cook just in case you do come down with the virus and aren’t feeling great. Cooking an epic slap up meal is the last thing you’re going to to want to do. If you generally eat more convenience food or would like to make your shop this way then go right ahead. I’ve not included alcohol; I figure most people have it in some form in their house if they really want it or will add it to the list.

After the (non exhaustive) shopping list below you’ll find other tips on how to survive if you’re not able to leave the house.

Fridge

  • Apples (in a paper bag)
  • Carrots (in a paper bag)
  • Broccoli (if plastic wrapped leave it that way it’ll keep for longer)
  • Peppers (in a paper bag)
  • Tomatoes (yes I know they shouldn’t be stored in the fridge normally but this will preserve them for longer)
  • Cheese (1 block, see also freezer)
  • Butter (1 block, see also freezer)
  • Yoghurt (see also freezer)
  • Milk (see also freezer)
  • Salad leaves (held loosely in a paper bag)
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Turnip
  • Parsnip
  • Cabbage
  • Beetroot

Freezer

  • Oven chips
  • Pizza
  • Milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt can all be frozen to make them last longer than 2 weeks so fit them into your freezer if you can. We go through about 6L of milk a week for reference
  • Meat/protein of choice – I’d suggest sausages, chicken breasts, minced beef, chops, all items that are easy to cook
  • Sweetcorn
  • Peas
  • Greenbeans
  • Sliced pans (just take out a slice or two at a time)

Store Cupboard

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • Baked Beans
  • Passata
  • Tomato puree
  • Tinned chickpeas/blackbeans/beans of your choice
  • Potatoes (keep in a cool dry place in a paper bag away from sunlight)
  • Onions (store in the same manner as potatoes)
  • Porridge Oats
  • Wheat Biscuits
  • Sugar
  • Plain Flour
  • Eggs (about 2 dozen but as many as you think you’ll need, store them in the fridge to make them last longer if you have to)
  • Nuts
  • Crisps
  • Popcorn
  • Dried Fruit
  • Seeds
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Honey
  • Stock Cubes
  • Paprika
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cooking Oil
  • Vinegar
  • Chocolate
  • Jellies
  • Tea
  • Coffee

Other essential items

  • Soap
  • Toilet Paper
  • Petfood
  • Surface cleaning spray
  • Bleach
  • Paracetamol/Ibruprofen (in liquid form if you need it for children)
  • Dioralyte or Zero tabs for rehydrating when ill
  • Washing detergent
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo/Showergel etc

Other tips

2 weeks or more is an incredibly long time to be shut off from the world. There’s a lot to think about if you want to be prepared.

  • Make sure your prescriptions are up to date, filled, and that you have at least 2 weeks in stock in your house. Speak to your pharmacist if you are unsure about what you might need.
  • If you pay your utilities using a pay-as-you-go meter make sure your card is topped up and that you have access to a way to add credit if you need to without leaving the house.
  • It’s mad the things you don’t think about needing when it’s so convenient to nip out and grab them; do you have enough batteries/plasters/nappies/sanitary towels?
  • Get a free library card (if you haven’t already) and get yourself set up with BorrowBox on your smartphone and/or tablets. You can borrow ebooks and audiobooks from the comfort of your home for free. I guarantee you will go nuts if you watch TV all day.
  • Organise your friends and family to facetime/call you at intervals during the day. Think about playing games online with one another to keep in touch face-to-face (without touching faces that’s a no-no).
  • Have a routine for emptying the bins out to the wheely bins then sanitising as you go out and back.
  • Have a plan for deliveries coming to the door that you may have to sign for.
  • If you have kids board games will come in handy along with learning a new skill, maybe origami or knitting.

This might help you/it might not. If you have any suggestions or tips to add to this blogpost please comment below so that everybody can benefit. To those who asked me for this in blogpost format I hope that this answers your questions!

Are you worrying about keeping your kids occupied? Here’s my list of free online resources.

17 Dec

The Big Christmas Food Shop

If, like me, you’ve got that slightly rising panicked feeling about Christmas Dinner and what the last shop before Christmas Day will cost, stop now and have a little read of Day 17 of my Christmas With Caitríona series.

Read More

09 Jan

Why I’m Planning Christmas In January 2015

Did I make you feel a bit stressed? If so I apologise, that’s the last thing on my mind. In fact I’m hoping that you might even take a little bit of inspiration from my premature Christmas madness in January 2015.

I realise that many people only put their decorations away in the past week. My tree finally went back to the attic on Tuesday and the outdoors lights have been switched off. They will get put away as soon as my hubby gets a chance to get out on the ladder and remove them. It’s probably not such a good idea if I go climbing about the place after hurting my back before Christmas.

As soon as the 1st of January passed though I started planning for Christmas 2015. That was the point at which decorations went below half price in the supermarket and I used a small amount of money I’d set aside to pick up some new decorations for next December. They didn’t even make it to the tree. I promise. I also picked up rolls of wrapping paper on discount. Again, they stay in the cellophane and go straight to the attic.

From a spending point of view, that’s pretty much me done until October so don’t worry I won’t be harping on about Christmas for the rest of the year! Read More

11 Aug

What The Heck Am I Doing?

I thought to myself on Tuesday last week. I was sitting on the floor surrounded by bags of clothes. The boys were using the clothes as slides. There was a double bed mattress on the landing and so many black sacks of clothes for charity shops that I couldn’t get from the door in my office to the window.

I started off last week with a goal of cleaning up the house. Then I realised that I couldn’t get away with a quick lick of a duster, swish of the vacuum cleaner and a spritz of lemon oil. Once I began to make a dent in the washbasket I discovered that I had nowhere to put my clean clothes. I do have plenty of storage space upstairs, just it was all full. Read More

01 May

What Will I Do When Things Get Better?

People keep on asking me what will I do when things start getting better. Will we have more money to spend on groceries?  I don’t think we will. Read More

09 Apr

It’s Not A Dream

I originally wrote this blogpost at the end of 2013 and it’s worth revisiting now as tomorrow I officially launch my first cookbook, “Wholesome”. Read More

30 Jan

Batch Cooking

The key to having your meals planned for the week ahead is organisation. That is why I prepare a pile of veg over the weekend and get batch cooking.  Don’t be under any illusions now, I’m no food preparation machine, but it is so easy to lash a dinner together during the week when I’ve put the time in at the weekend.

It goes a bit like this:  Read More

07 Dec

What Motivates Me

Given the time of the year, I’ve come over a little more reflective than normal. Yesterday I recorded a podcast titled “What Motivates Me”. Sometimes recording audio is a good way to explain myself. Read More

03 Oct

Oh So Quiet

You may have noticed it’s oh so quiet here in the Wholesome household. Normally I post new blog updates at least twice a week. There’s always a recipe to be found or tips. At the moment though, I’m lucky if I manage to make it through the day with the same number of children I started with. Read More

12 Aug

Things I’m Loving This Week

Not a review, not sponsored, not requested. In fact I’m going to try not to mention any brands where possible.  There are certain things I’m loving this week that may give you a clue into the mayhem I live in. Read More

31 Jul

Allotment Tales

Our allotment tales are born of long hot days and long hot nights. Even on the stillest day there is a gentle balmy breeze wafting across the site from the sea. Read More

29 May

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

You’re forgiven for thinking I’m talking about the quiz show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”. I’m not. I’m of course referring to that wonderful song from “High Society” that runs through my head everytime I see a lottery ticket. Read More

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