Tips for Restocking Your Supply After a Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic quickly exposed the absolute necessity and the seriousness of why everyone should have a stockpile of foods tucked away in our homes. Many Americans were caught completely off guard and had a difficult time last-minute shopping down empty grocery store aisles. Let’s talk about tips for restocking your supply after a pandemic. In case you missed this post, 30 Items You Need To Survive A Pandemic
Tips for Restocking Your Supply After a Pandemic
Whether it was trying to hunt down a package of toilet paper that was simply nowhere to be found, or hoping to buy our favorite loaf of bread, the pandemic left us with very few options. Even those of us who did have an emergency pantry that was for emergencies, we found areas that we could still improve on.
Preparing a healthy stockpile of food and supplies helps us limit our trips to the grocery store, which is a pretty big deal when you are trying to stay healthy during a virus that is spreading out of control. What happens to our families if we face a far worse emergency scenario in the future that shuts down all transportation of goods? Grocery stores will literally have to close their doors and turn you away. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared for emergencies such as these. Here are a number of tips for you to think about when restocking your supply after a pandemic.
Get Rid of What You Won’t Eat
When you were originally stockpiling cans and boxes of food in your pantry long before the pandemic ever hit, you may have thought that you’d eat certain foods that you don’t typically eat while trying to save a dime or two. Chances are, those same food items are still sitting there collecting dust following the pandemic. It may be time to throw them out and focus on buying foods that are more nutrient-filled, and ones that you eat all the time. You may want to consider donating these items to the local Food Bank and neighborhood emergency pantry, as long as the food hasn’t expired.
Focus on Non-perishable Foods
You never know when the next pandemic or disaster will come our way. It may be six months from now or three years down the road. That’s why it’s smart for you to focus on purchasing non-perishable foods that will last a long time in your pantry. Canned foods such as soups, vegetables, fruits, and meats will provide you with protein and other nutrients, and can last for several years. Other non-perishable food items that are filling include rice, pasta, dried beans, and grains.
Do you have other members in your family that you shouldn’t be forgetting? If you have a baby in the family it’s a good idea that you have several weeks’ worth of formula and baby food on hand. The same goes if you have a dog or a cat. It’s recommended that you have at least a two week supply of food in your emergency pantry for your entire family. Any more than that would be incredibly smart on your part.
Freeze and Store Large Portions of Food
Wouldn’t it be nice to have warm hearty meals following a disaster besides eating foods out of a can? Every time you put effort into making a delicious meal for your family, consider making larger portions that you can freeze and enjoy later on.
Just be sure that you place them in a sealable container or baggie that is air-tight and that you mark the date clearly so that you use it up in time. It also helps if you have a freezer ice chest so that you can store away larger amounts of food to last you longer.
Add to Your Water Supply
You may not have had to tap into your drinking water emergency supply during the pandemic, but it certainly made you realize just how fragile our living conditions could become very quickly. Even if you already have a two week supply of drinking water stashed away, it’s time that you look into adding to it and making sure that you also have methods to ensure that it’s drinkable. Here are several ways to add to your drinking water supply where at least one will work for you.
Also, think about replenishing other hydrating drinks such as Pedialyte and Gatorade. Both can come in handy when you use up a lot of energy through physical exercise or have a difficult time retaining liquids when you’re sick.
Restock Your Personal and Hygiene Items
People went absolutely bonkers during their visit to their local grocery store and were hoarding items as we’ve never seen before. This resulted in millions of Americans that had to go without. It’s not necessary for you to go out and hoard goods at the last minute. Just be sure that you have enough personal and hygiene items stashed away to last your family for several weeks or so. These are several key items that you don’t want to forget:
- Hand sanitizer (get the ones with higher alcohol content)
- Antibacterial soap
- Disinfectant wipes and cleaning supplies
- Dish soap and detergent
- Toilet paper
- Cat litter
- Feminine care products
Replenish Your Medicine Pantry
Being caught unprepared in the middle of a pandemic with your food supply is scary enough on its own. Think about how much worse it would be if someone in your family were to get sick and your doctor’s office had stopped seeing patients and medicine was harder to come by. Your typical everyday cold or flu could become life-threatening in a hurry. Now’s the time to replenish your medicine pantry to stay ahead of any future pandemic that could come our way.
These are several items that you should consider:
- Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen (aspirin)
- Antihistamines (allergy medicines)
- An extra 10 day supply for any prescriptions that you have
- Adhesive bandages
- Calamine lotion
- Face masks
This past pandemic has been a wake-up call for several of us in a number of areas in our lives. Hoarding is not the answer, and we should be more considerate of others. By everyone storing away food and supplies a little bit at a time we can prevent empty shelves from happening when things start to get worse.
If you’re looking into taking disasters and pandemics more seriously in the future, here are also several dehydrated food options that will provide you with weeks of nutrient-dense meals for you and your family, and they have years of shelf life. What tips for restocking your supply after a pandemic would you add to this list? May God bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Cutlery in Strainers Deposit photos_135489868_s-2019
35 thoughts on “Tips for Restocking Your Supply After a Pandemic”
I try to look ahead at things I need or things that I think might be in short supply later on. I start looking at Walmart in March or April for canning flats. I try to buy 2 boxes at a time, by canning season I have
a number of boxes saved up. Also I near a Amish community and they sell “rolls” of canning flats. You
can get 25 or 30 “boxes” in a roll. That is fine and a great way to buy them IF you figure it up and it’s cheaper to buy this way and not more costly. Also I buy a lot of my groceries there too. They are so much cheaper. Our local grocery store has been running a 10 pound roll of hamburger for $1.99 a
pound, believe me when it was 3 or 4 dollars a pound I grabbed one. I looked yesterday because it wasn’t on sale to see what the cost was. It’s down to $1.89 a pound. need to grab another. They will cout in into patties for me so it’s easier to freeze when I get home.
Hi June, oh I wish I lived near an Amish community! I haven’t bought any meat in about 4 months. If the prices do not come down we will become vegetarians! Don’t tell my husband! LOL! I still have several months of meat in the freezer but I refuse to pay what the stores are asking here. Stay safe, Linda
I bought the rolls of lids at Amish store too!! I keep in shoe boxes and no worries about 12 month shelf life like those on market today.
I also got the roll of ground beef at slaughter house @ 2.10 a lb…….several rolls, cut into 1lb packages, wrapped in foil, ziploked them and vacuum sealed…..
I get my crystallized ginger dirt cheap at the Amish store too.
We think a lot alike.
Hi Jay-Jay, great deals, great tips! Linda
I owe you and your readers a very large and grateful thank you. Our medications are set for six months going forward. Toiletries are set for up to one year. I have currently set up a 30-day meal rotation of meall entrées (Including encores, aka leftovers) for 6 months minimum. We eat breakfast and a late lunch /dinner daily . I have purchased but not included in my meal rotation tunafish, peanut butter and jam, cheese and crackers which are fill-ins or snacks. I do need to find 4 more meals, and purchase necessary items to be complete. Batteries, light bulbs, cleaning supplies are set. I will continue to use and rotate foods until the winter weather keeps me curled up with good books, warm fires and pumpkin scented candles. I feel safe and secure in our preparedness. Thank you again for your wisdom that has given me peace of mind.
Hi Chris, thank you for your kind words, we all help each other. It’s so nice when we feel secure in our homes with food, supplies, medications, snacks, and those candles!!! Being prepared for the unexpected is the way to go. Stay safe, Linda
Chris can I tell you about a meal I love and could eat every day that is so cheap and every item is long shelf life.
Saute onions/garlic chopped in olive oil. (can use dried onions and garlic)
add 1/2 can green peas and chopped canned ham (or use small cans from DG)
heat till nice and warm and add cooked pasta.This is a delicious meal and my calculations rate it costing about $1 for one person.
I usually have left overs.
All these ingredients are long shelf-life stable.
Hi Jay-Jay, now I want to make this meal! Thanks for the idea!! Linda
Takes about 20 minutes to prepare. easy peasy.
I keep those little $1 cans of ham from DG just for this instead of opening my canned 1 lb. hams.
I only cook for myself since husband has big lunch and usually late.
For some reason I missed this recipe at the time. In my defense (and Lord knows I need one) I can be easily distracted. But I do thank you JayJay, because I made it today, and my husband loves it!!! Please stay safe everyone
I’m always in stock-up mode. Raised by parents who never planned and we went hungry often. I always check my supplies before heading out and have a running shopping list. That takes the stress away.
Hi Paula, I love hearing you keep checking your supplies. It truly takes the stress away. I can’t imagine not having food for my kids, it’s sad but you learned from it. You rose above it, good job! Stay safe, Linda
Thank you so much. I showed this to my husband and he thinks it will be great. I want to use it with angel hair pasta but he says it would work good with egg noodles too. We already have extra pasta, virgin olive oil and frozen diced onions so we are more than half way there.
Hi Chris, I was thinking the same thing, I always have frozen diced onions. I want to try this recipe from Jay-Jay! Linda
I found some holes in my preps and have finally filled them. Now I keep adding to my preps but I also keep a running grocery list. I am on my way to get groceries today – senior day at many shops.
Hi Leanne, I love senior days!! Linda
This is such great information. I think it’s so important that we realize a pandemic isn’t always a once in a lifetime thing. The way the world looks in 2020, it looks like emergencies and disasters can become a regular thing.
Hi Jess, I have to agree with you about emergencies and disasters becoming a regular thing! Stay safe, Linda
Chris, a favorite shelf stable recipe that was my go to for lazy cooking days as well as camping and hiking (before I had to go to a carb free diet) was:
(1) Package of Knorr Pasta Sides (any flavor of your choice)
(1) 10oz can of Chicken (I would buy the Wal-Mart brand since it is not only cheaper but you get a tad bit
more plus it has a pull tab lid, buy the 4 pack of their chicken for it is sometimes a bit cheaper)
(1) Jar of Kraft style of Parm
(1) * Optional Bone Broth or Bouillon
Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning, and Garlic powder to taste.
1. Pour Pasta Sides pack into large microwave safe bowl.
2. Add water or broth until it is almost covered and mix well.
3. Dump entire can of chicken on top liquid and all – but don’t mix.
4. Sprinkle dry parm on top of chicken – enough to completely cover it. (this will nicely crust the chicken
once cooked, kinda like crusted parm chicken)
5. Microwave on high for 7 1/2 minutes (or if camping boil for a complete 4 minutes)
6. Take bowl out of microwave and mix well and add some more parm if desired and serve (serves 2 ppl)
2. Add seasonings and mix dry contents together.
Hi Ravenna, this sounds fabulous! Thanks for sharing these ideas using Knorr’s Pasta Sides! I love new recipes! Linda
Thanks, Ravenna–am always looking for easy tasty dish.
Am I the only one with a 3 inch thick library of meals and ignore because I am not into casseroles/oven dishes that take 2 hours?? I did that for 45 years and now—I like good meals, but don’t like so much time invested…..unless it Thanksgiving!!!
No, you are not. Not only do I still have a 3 inch thick binder of casseroles/oven dishes, but I found myself from there adding (2) 3inch binders of “dump n go” slow cooker and instant pot recipes, => (1) 3 inch binder of diy dehydrator recipes/meals/”trail recipes”, => (1) 2 inch binder of carnivore diet recipes (due to newly being diagnosed with an auto immune disease I had to go this route in order to try to be med free, and it’s working so far) and on top of all that I have all my moms and grandmothers recipes (one of which comes from all completly shelf stable canned goods.) And if that isn’t enough everyone of the Churches recipe books from our church and my grandmothers Church from the last 40 odd years.
I admit I may have a recipe problem.
I think we will love this, and all I need to buy is the caneed chicken and bullion. Would this work with the knorr rice sides too or left over take out chicken??
Thank you so much.
Hi Chris, now we’ll all be getting Knorr Pasta and Rice Sides! I use leftover take out chicken in so many recipes! Love new ideas! Linda
Chris, I am sure it would, don’t see why not. I have used leftover chicken from a roasted chicken that I cooked and it worked out fine.
Linda, I hate to say it but I used to cook some meals at home that was originally “trail/camping” meals just because they were fast, easy, and completely shelf stable. I guess that just goes to show how those two hobbies/activities can spill over into prepping. That particular recipe was created on trail and was my favorite. Another very popular recipe among hikers is the famous “Raman Bomb” it would be worth looking it up for the many variations that it has.
Hi Ravenna, I totally agree with you on your trail/camping, and prepping are so similar. Linda
Here is my Grandmothers recipe for Brunswick Stew completely from shelf stable canned goods. I can honestly say that this recipe of hers is older than me, I remember my Dad and uncle saying that when they were growing up she made this stew with jars that she and my Grandfather canned themselves, she just adapted it throughout the year to the following. I hope ya’ll enjoy it as much as my family and I have over the years.
Neva’s Brunswick Stew
10 oz can Pork in BBQ sauce
10 oz can Beef in BBQ sauce
14.75 oz can cream style corn
15.25 oz can sweet golden corn
9.75 oz can white chicken breast
14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes or totmatoe sauce or tomatoes paste with 4oz of water or stock added.
Just dump everything in sauce pan and heat while stirring/mixing everything together well.
Hi Ravenna, squeal, I LOVE this!! Thank you! I want to try this ASAP! Thank you for sharing! Linda
Let me know how it went. I love sharing old recipes with others that has had such special meaning to me and my family, for they are meant to be shared. This was the stew that my grandmother would give to any of us if we were sick instead of chicken noodle soup. The best thing about it apart from the sentimental memories is that it is also slow cooker, microwave, and stove top friendly – can’t get much easier than that! Don’t know if it matters but she used the Vietti brand of BBQ beef and pork but only because it was the only brand that her local Piggly Wiggly carried.
Hi Ravenna, I will look for those brands. We have limited grocery stores where I live. I love anything that can be “thrown together” in a pinch and for any meal of the day. Thank you, Linda
Linda, I can say that any brand you find works well as do home canned items as well. Here is another dump and go recipe for ya.
Meaty Potato Stew
(1) 28 oz can of beans (I use baked beans but any will do)
2 -4 Potatoes cubed
12 – 16 oz Smoked Sausage cut up in 1/2 inch coins
1 LB of Stew Meat
BBQ sauce to your liking
1/4 cup of stock or broth
Dump all ingredients into crock pot and mix together on low for 8 hrs
Hi Ravenna, I love these recipes! You are amazing, we can stretch any meal! Linda
Thank you Linda.
Linda, another well-thought-out article!
Emergencies and disasters occur. Not on an ‘if’ basis. The questions are when they will occur; what are they are, i e. weather such as fire, hurricane, tornado, blizzard, contaminated water for whatever reason, power outage, epidemic/pandemic, major crop failures; how long they last; and what the long-term effects are. The more well-prepared we are, the better we can weather the storms which will come. Disruptions of supply chains can and will occur. We have had that graphically illustrated with hand sanitizer and wipes. Part of that issue is that a lot of those products were made in China. Their cargo ships were not allowed in Port here in the United States because of the coronavirus,. Many of their manufacturing plants were closed for some time due to the virus. Supply chains also are disrupted when violence and domestic terrorism erupt and are not immediately quelled. Truckers and companies will bypass dangerous areas.
My suggestion regarding prescription medications is to have on hand three to six months of maintenance medications and medications you use on a frequent or regular basis. Many of our medications are made in China.
It has taken 7 months for my local Walmarts to have isopropyl alcohol last overnight since people went crazy panic buying. They still cannot keep it in stock. I do not say that to create more panic buying, but rather to make us think about what we need and want and purchasing it a bit at a time as Linda recommends.
So many good comments and ideas and recipes which sound good!
Great community – thanks for being supportive!
Linda, thank you for continuing on your mission!
Hi Teddy, I always love your comments because they are wise and are truly commonsense. If we are prepared we will not be worried when a disaster hits. We will know we have water and food for our needs. But, it does take some effort. But so does standing in line to get water and food if you are not prepared. We depend way too much on China to make supplies, medications, etc. we all need. I hope people had a wake-up call that will last because it’s not over yet. Stay well, and stay safe, Linda