Everything you Need to Survive COVID-19: Shopping for the Essentials

COVID-19 Shopping Cart

Unless you live under a rock you already know that the coronavirus (COVID-19) has resulted in a global pandemic.  Many Americans are already working from home or have been temporarily laid off.  During this time of self and mandatory quarantine, it’s imperative to have some essential items in your home before you hunker down for the next few weeks.

The President of the United States has declared a National Emergency and 48 States have declared State of Emergencies due to the COVID-19.  There has been a bit of pandemonium over stocking up on what people think they will need, thus causing shortages of several items throughout the country.  Before you run out to the store and clear the shelves, make a list of the essential items to get you by during your quarantine.

Toilet Paper

If you’ve been to Costco, Amazon, or the grocery store lately, you may have noticed that toilet paper is pretty tough to find.  I went to Costco last week to buy my quarterly package of TP and found that their shelves were empty!  Typically, they have hundreds of packages, but not that day.  Seriously, people, there is no need to have a surplus of TP.  Unless you go through 36 mega rolls every two weeks, why not leave a package for someone who really needs it?


Hand Soap Kills COVID-19

In case you haven’t heard, you should be washing your hands for at least 20 seconds per session throughout the day, and most especially after you use the restroom!  Make sure that you pick up at least a few bottles or at the very least have a few bars of soap.  Some soap is better than no soap and it’s been proven that soap kills the COVID-19. 

If you’re looking for a hand sanitizer, chances are you won’t find any.  I’m surprised that the manufacturers haven’t beefed up production on this stuff.  Honestly, you really don’t need it as long as you have soap and water.

Dry and Canned Foods

It’s kind of important to have food in your home if you’re going to be quarantined for a few weeks.  Dry foods like crackers, chips, mac and cheese, and stuffing have a long shelf life and are great to have on hand.  The same goes for canned fruits and veggies.  Although, canned foods don’t taste as great as fresh veggies, again they have a longer shelf life and make for a quick and easy side dish.

Cleaning Supplies and Personal Hygiene

Just because you aren’t going anywhere for the next few weeks doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t shower and clean up around the house.  Make sure that you aren’t low on deodorant, body wash, and any other products that you typically use for your daily routine.  Also, make sure that you have enough dish soap and laundry detergent.  We sometimes overlook these things and are running out to get them at the last minute.  Don’t be the guy who turns his underwear inside out to try to stretch out another day of wearing the same pair.

Medicine and Wellness

Just because you are quarantined doesn’t mean that you won’t get sick.  There are always allergens in your home and there might even be some kind of virus hiding in your closet!  Make sure that you have the essentials like ibuprofen, Tylenol, Nyquil, and any other medicine that you might need in case you get sick. 

Make sure that you have enough vitamins too!  It’s good to take a daily multivitamin, vitamin D3, and C.  If you start to feel a tickle in your throat, pop a couple of vitamin C!  Also, make sure that you have all of your prescriptions filled.  Many stores and pharmacies are on shortened hours or may close for a couple of weeks, so it’s good to have everything filled. If you don’t have a first aid kit, you should pick one up with an extra box of band-aids.  It’s super annoying when you cut your finger and have to wear a paper towel taped to your finger.

Perishable Foods

When I was at Kroger the other day, the bread aisle was empty.  I understand that some people may buy a few extra loaves and freeze them, but chances are you won’t need a crazy amount of bread for your quarantine.  If you don’t have a deep freeze don’t go crazy buying meats and anything else that won’t typically last for more than a week in the fridge.  Remember to shop reasonably.  This won’t be the last time you’re at the grocery store.  Just get enough to cover you during your COVID-19 quarantine.

Frozen Foods

If you have the room in your freezer, pick up some frozen pizzas.  There’s a good chance that some of your local pizza joints won’t be delivering during a mandatory COVID-19 quarantine, and who wants to go through the torture of not having pizza for a few weeks?

Baby Stuff

If you have an infant or toddler at home, make sure your little one has enough formula, baby food, diapers, wipes, and some diaper rash ointment.  It’s a good idea to make sure that you have some children’s Motrin and Tylenol on hand too. 

Pet Stuff

Don’t neglect your goldfish, cat, or dog!  They need food and treats too!  Make sure that you have enough to get them through their quarantine too!  Ok, so maybe they are always quarantined, but you know what I mean.


Junk Food

We all have a craving once in a while for some chocolate, chips, and Little Debbie’s.  Make sure that you have your favorite junk food on hand!  Stock up on some pop too.  Even if you aren’t a big pop fan, it’s a nice caffeinated and refreshing treat.  Plus, it makes a great mixer for your cocktails!


Stock up on your pop and beer while you’re at the grocery store.  Maybe a case of Corona (not COVID-19) and a couple of limes would be appropriate?  But before you go home, make sure that you stop by your local liquor store.  Don’t run out of Crown Royal or your favorite bottle of bourbon.  Now’s the time to pick up a few extra bottles.  You might go a little stir crazy and a cocktail will help take the edge off.  Also, buy a couple of containers of almond milk.  If you get the kind that doesn’t need to be refrigerated, it has a super long shelf life (I bought Almond Breeze and it doesn’t expire until 2022) and is good to have on hand for cooking or cereal.  However, once it’s opened it’ll only be good for a couple of weeks.


Unless you live in an area that doesn’t have drinkable water out of the tap, then you might want to pick up a couple of cases of bottled water.  Otherwise, have faith in your city water, it’s just as good as the cheap bottled stuff.

Wrapping Up

Practice social distancing and take care of yourself and your family.  Make sure that you FaceTime your family and friends and try to stay connected.  Just because you’re locked up at home doesn’t mean that you can’t talk to anyone.  If you have elderly parents or grandparents make sure that they have everything they need to get through this quarantine too!

Having to stay in your home for a few weeks is going to be tough, so make sure that you have the essentials to get you through that time.  When you are stocking up, remember not to hoard.  Before you grab 96 rolls of TP, think about the other families in the store who might be on their last roll.  Stay safe and healthy and don’t forget to wash your hands!

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