Coronavirus stockpiling

2 March 2020
Last week, after listening to the ongoing updates about coronavirus, we decided to check our supplies and restock. No one knows what will happen in the coming days and months but one thing is certain, I don't want to go out into the community to get supplies if I don't have to, virus or no virus. So we checked our food stockpile and made a list of the medications and supplements we needed from the chemist.  It's all packed away in cupboards now and I feel secure knowing we can easily look after ourselves without having to go to the supermarket every week.

It's unusual for journalists to write about their own reactions to a current topic but here it is from The Guardian this week: It just seems sensible, the Australians stockpiling for the coronavirus



We've stockpiled groceries for the last couple of decades. We're not preppers in that we see a crisis around every corner or a particular catastrophic scenario in the future, however, in the past, it's saved us a lot of time and money. Now there is another reason to shop from our kitchen cupboard rather than the shop: the coronavirus. If the virus is worse than predicted or if the government advice tells us to stay at home during certain times, we won't have to rush out to stock up.


If you're already stockpiling for whatever reason, this is just a reminder to check your stockpile in the next couple of days and shop for what you need to cover you and your family for the period of time you think you need.  I want my stockpile to feed us for at least three months and it's at that level now.

I'm guessing we have enough meat in the freezer for a month, maybe 6 weeks, we have frozen and tinned fish too. We have plenty of eggs from the backyard as well as a variety of beans, lentils, chickpeas and pulses, all of which provide protein in a variety of delicious ways. I have plenty of bread flour so I'll continue to bake bread and we have a carton of one-litre lactose-free milk, A2 milk in the freezer and a couple of bags of milk powder. The things we'll go out for, possibly fortnightly, are fruit and vegetables but we'll get them from a market stall rather than the supermarket where there'll be many more people. I have frozen vegetables in the freezer too.


If you don't have a stockpile, there is still time to start a small one to get you through the current crisis.  Work out what food you enjoy that can be frozen or stored in a cupboard at home. If it's something dried or canned that you usually don't buy, make sure you know how to cook it.  Vegetarian and vegan sites have hundreds of recipes for beans, pulses, rice etc.

It does make sense to have extra food and medications at home to cover you if you need them.  Worst case scenario, the virus will run through the community during winter and you'll have enough food at home to feed everyone without to go out. Best case scenario, the virus is a fizzer and you'll have a cupboard full of food and you won't have to shop for groceries for a couple of months.  Win/win.


28 comments

  1. Good common sense advice. We feel pretty comfortable with what we have on hand. I just wrote out my menu for the month of March and could easily repeat the whole list for April without shopping.

    It is a peaceful feeling to be able to 'close the gate' as you say and enjoy projects at home. Sewing reading, cooking, baking, cleaning.... I have enough of all those things to keep me busy for the next few months!
    Thank you, Rhonda!
    Cheri

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  2. I have a stockpile enough for a month or so. I don’t enjoy shopping anyway. 😊

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  3. I reckon food wise we could manage a month at the moment. I am pretty happy with that.

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  4. We recently downsized to a much smaller home. Our kitchen and pantry area is about half what it was in our old house, so I wasn't keeping nearly as much on hand as I used to. I took stock yesterday and decided I just wasn't comfortable keeping only a weeks worth of meals and ingredients at home. I'm going to have to get creative with my storage!

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    1. We live in a very small home too and its amazing how creative you can get when you need to. The kickboards in our kitchen clip on and off so i store tins under the benches. I have baskets on the top of the wall cupbaords for stuff i don't need that often (until theres a tall person in the house!) and I bought tall narrow bookshelf that i put in the laundry to store anything else. I just wish i had room for a chest freezer...

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  5. I was trying to restock rice and oats, only to have them not ship with the co-op order :( In the next week I'm going to stock as much as we can afford, and I'll find room for the food throughout the house if needed. At Costco I'll stock basic medications that could end up in short supply (especially those we might need if we do catch the common cold or flu), along with some bulk foods. At Aldi I plan to get canned foods and salsa, and probably some frozen veg although my freezers are full right now. I'll fill in with toiletries. And we shouldn't forget our companion animals! I don't cook for our dogs, so I'm planning to get an extra month or two of food. Really, most of these things we try to stay stocked on anyway, but not so much medication or dog food, and we don't usually buy much frozen veg. Oh, we need more salt, too. Thanks for posting about this, it's really got me thinking about what we might need!

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  6. Your pantry looks great, Rhonda, you certainly won't starve! I have about a two year supply of grains and probably a one year supply of beans as well as bulk olive oil so we won't go hungry either. The vegetable garden is very productive with Summer veg and this is a miracle as only 2 months ago it was almost empty. Rain is incredible :-)

    Madeleine

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  7. Your pantry looks so organized and filled with delicious, healthy things. We did a lot of stocking up a few weeks ago, when the virus was first being talked about, because we just figured it was prudent. Now, here in Oregon, the first two cases have been diagnosed and some stores are having long lines and items like hand sanitizer and toilet paper are being cleaned out. It's good feeling to know we have enough of everything to get us through six weeks or so, just occasionally going out and "topping off" our supply list. And in the event of a quarantine, we are completely self-sufficient.

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  8. Because we had a big family of 7, I got into the habit of buying bulk and storing LOTS. Even though we are now only 3, I find it is cheaper to buy in bulk so, we bulk buy flour, sugar, tomato sauce, soy sauce, canned fruit - tomatoes, pineapple, peaches, spag and baked beans, tomato soup all bought by the case from SPC in Bayswater. We live in Tassie now but, whenever one of the kids come over, they fill up from SPC for us and bring it over. Bought by the case, the canned fruit and veg are about half price. Flour and sugar in 15kg bags are so much cheaper, flour is about $17 for 15kg and sugar $23 for 15kg. I store them in purpose bought slide top plastic rubbish bins, white and grey. White for plain flour and castor sugar and grey for SR flour and brown sugar. I also use a small flip top rubbish bin for up to 15kg bags of rice.
    This system has held us in good stead on a few occasions when money has been tight or as in last year, when roads were closed due to bushfires and then snow. We are 70klms from our nearest supermarket so, you don't just dash off to the shops. Now we do a big shop every 8 - 12 weeks and buy F&V roughly fortnightly or if someone has to go to town for something. We buy our meat in bulk from the abotoir and have a 700lt freezer that would have nearly months of meat and frozen veggies in it. Oh, we have a generator to power the house. Because we have a lot of snow here, we often have blackouts, the longest being 2.5 days so, the generator has been very useful. We're not 'preppers' either, I was raised with a siege mentality by my mum and dad who survived the depression.
    Better to be safe than sorry.
    Cheers
    Trudy

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  9. If you do need to grocery shop do it online then all you have to do is rush in, pick it up and leave. Some supermarkets even have cupboards outside their doors that you get your online shopping out of ( NZ)

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    1. Our top up shopping will be fruit and veg and I don't trust someone else to pick that for me. We'll go to the local market stall.

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  10. I hadn't really given this much thought Rhonda so thanks for posting about this subject. I will do a stocktake on the weekend and see where we are at.

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  11. I a a little worried about our food supplies at present. There is so much in the house but I am trying to get our supplies into order. We have plenty of yeast, flour, a small stock of milk. I worry about our medicines as the government allows four weeks supply. I spoke with my pharmacist about this yesterday. We have tank water but do not have much fresh bottled water.

    I plan to buy some water, oats, more milk and bleach this week.

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  12. I’ve never seen Costco as busy as it was this afternoon. And limits on things like toilet paper.

    But I got everything on my (short) list except white rice; we have plenty of brown rice so it’s not a problem. I do need to get rolled oats, and should just have room for them in the freezer.

    Then it’s just weekly fruit and veg shopping at the farmers market.

    Stay well.

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  13. Definitely sensible to ensure our homes have ample supplies for our families at ALL times.
    Also - the correct name for the virus that the World is currently dealing with / discussing, is Covid-19

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  14. Just a quick thought on toilet paper if it is already difficult to get where you live. You could swap to family cloth (i.e. reusable cloth squares) for number ones and save the loo rolls for the rest.

    Madeleine

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  15. Money is very tight at the moment, but I am hoping to have food for a week stored away. Almost there. With three children at 3 different schools, a daughter working as a Nurse and a husband who travels and meets many people in his job, it is not easy stay clear of the virus, but I am hoping. Take care, blessings, Pam

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  16. I was just thinking about this topic the other day. It is time for me to replenish my stockpile. The citrus trees are covered with fruit, so that is comforting. Up at the mountain cabin we are on a well. We have received a fantastic amount of snow this year, so that's a relief. Our co op gets us fabulous fresh produce from the local farmers. We don't have to go to the shops. I will get more evaporated milk for coffee, tuna, butter, and baking staples, though. Thanks for the reminder, Rhonda.

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  17. My daughter will be moving back home in the near future. She is vegetarian, so I am trying to increase my stock of non-meat items. Harder than you would think as she is not much of a bean (pulse?) eater! But I am working through it. In addition to food, we are thinking about supply chains. So much is manufactured overseas, including our prescription medicines (!!) That is a worry because our health care plan limits us to a 90 supply at a time, and depending where we are at in the 90 day cycle, it could be a problem. I know 90 days seems like a long time, but I can re-order only when I have about a week left, and what if there's a backlog of orders at that time? I should note that we actually have a really good plan through my husband's employer, but even so...

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  18. I read a post of instagram regarding this and the negative effects of it. People on low incomes will not be able to do this and if there are shortages in shops and prices increase as a result this is a double whammy on them. Shortages in medicines will be even worse if people have weeks supplies at home. However in the Uk (well Scotland at least) you can only buy a little of paracetemol etc at any one time which would mean multiple trips to the supermarket/chemist.

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    1. I have read this blog a long time and Rhonda has several posts that discuss the importance of picking up an item or two over a period of time so you have what you need and don't drain resources when other people need them. I agree that it will be tough for people on low incomes if everyone stocks up at once. We finally decided to get prepared for cyclone season and now we're less strain on the shops/supply.

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  19. We are stockpiling here Rhonda. Unfortunately though we are copping a lot of criticism about it. But at least I know that I wont have to go out, or if we need to be quarantined we have enough supplies. It doesn't hurt to be prepared. Rather that than be caught unprepared. Like you say if nothing happens we will still use what we have bought and wont need to shop for a while.

    It is not panic, it is common sense in my opinion :)

    Take care,
    xTania

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  20. Just wanted to say thanks to your teaching we usually have a useful stockpile so rampant shopping not needed. I will need to stock up on some fresh fruit etc for our long weekend visitors,so hpofully could manage ok in quarantine.

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  21. Here was told to stock up on hand sanitizer and throat lozenges.
    I'm stocking up too. Hubby had to go to emergency and people just cough without covering their mouth...awful.
    Thanks for your list!!

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  22. I have checked my pantry/storecupboard recently and am confident that we have enough supplies for at least 3 months. This is not because I have rushed out and stocked up madly but simply because that is the level of supplies that I have.
    It does work because a few years ago when I was extremely busy at work I did not shop for 9 weeks (apart from milk, cheese and fresh fruit and vegetables) with no significant issues.
    The other thing to consider is prescriptions. I have enough medications but my scripts expire in the next month so I went to the GP this week to get new ones as I don't want to be trying to doing that in a month's time when the virus may have spread exponentially. A doctor's waiting room would be the last place I want to be , not to mention the fact that doctors will likely have many more pressing demands on their time.
    As I said in my own blog post on the subject the other day, "Preparation is not panicking, it is commonsense to take responsibility for your own well-being."

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  23. I think it is perfectly reasonable to stock up on essentials, but it does seem that some people are taking it to extremes. I have seen a post on FB from a friend in Australia who needed to buy a normal amount of toilet paper today and couldn't find any. Panic buying leaves some people with nothing while others have far more than they need. There should be enough for everyone, if everyone is sensible.

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  24. I have been stockpiling since my son was little. Mostly because he was formula fed and I always worried how I would feed him if the shops closed or a bushfire hit. Now I do it as im a single parent and if I lose my job I need to ensure we can both eat. I am always shocked when people say they shop for food daily and have none in the house, what a silly thing to do! I have been blogging on my own stock pile and ways to support yourself in money and food at my own blog.

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  25. I am lucky in that I have a good well stocked larder, being a person who stocks up on things I use regualarly when I see a good deal. But some people have just gone over the top and getting greedy. Hard times ahead for all.

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