grocery store prep amidst COVID-19

Let’s talk pantry staple items and what you should be grabbing at the grocery store if you do an order or a run.

  • Canned goods (soups, sauces like spaghetti or pesto, even pizza sauce, canned vegetables and beans)
  • Dried pasta (+ butter + cheese) – I say this because if things got really bad, you can live on buttered noodles – these are also very affordable and can be less than $1/pound.  Get a variety to switch it up and eat with spaghetti or pesto sauce
  • Rice – again, a little goes a long way and it’s a great value – you can season this up or buy seasoned as well
  • Bread – for sandwiches/toast/grilled cheese
  • Tortillas (they freeze well)
  • Nuts (they also freeze well and are a good source of protein)
  • Extra virgin olive oil – too cook with or put on pasta

Other pantry items to consider:

  • Fruit cups or canned fruit
  • Applesauce
  • Snacks like cheesy crackers, pretzels, chips, veggie straws, raisins, graham crackers
  • Mac n cheese (just because it’s Mac n cheese)
  • Granola bars
  • Potatoes (can put in refrigerator to keep better longer)
  • Beef/chicken/vegetable bouillon – super affordable way to make a stock for soups
  • Peanut butter

Refrigerator items:

  • Cheese (if it’s sold out in shredded or deli slices, get the block of it.  You can slice or shred it yourself and it’s actually more delicious/fresh that way and you can freeze)
  • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries – to preserve these, rinse and freeze on wax paper then save in freezer bags.  To keep fresh, toss in 1/3 cup white vinegar + 2/3 cup water, let sit for a few minutes, then rinse in a strainer and let dry for a bit and put in an airtight container).
  • Organic milk – it stays better LONGER (and tastes better) – if you can find it.
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Juice (orange/apple/white grape is good for tummy aches)
  • Cream cheese (lasts a long time) and sour cream
  • Carrots and celery last a long time
  • Pepperoni
  • Bacon/breakfast sausage (this is scarce though, right now)
  • Lunch meat
  • Jelly

Freezer items:

  • Ground beef
  • Chicken
  • Ground turkey
  • Salmon/shrimp
  • Frozen pizza
  • Frozen potatoes/hash browns
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Frozen meals

Additional items like soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, toothpaste, and medicine should all be considered, as well.

Also, while watching the news this morning, I heard that we are being encouraged to only buy enough food for a week at a time, so I guess keep that in mind while shopping.  (Case in point, people stocked up on infant’s Tylenol and I ordered some last week and the order couldn’t be fulfilled and now it’s unavailable pretty much everywhere and I have a 3 month old with a fever 🥵).

Good luck to you all out there – I hope this list, albeit a bit comprehensive, is helpful as a guideline at least.  Feel free to leave a comment on this post or message me directly on instagram @littlethingsbytess for any help or questions!

with love



PS – below are a few pictures of our pantry … figured I’d show the pantry we built when we remodeled this house while I’m in here posting.  I’ll talk about that later though!  I don’t want these pics to be misleading – we have all of our snacks (chips, crackers, toddler snack stuff) in the pantry cabinet in our kitchen.  Don’t think for a moment that we don’t eat all that crap too ;).

xo, tess


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