AS Coronavirus continues to spread across the UK, the government is asking people who may have come in contact with the virus to self-isolate for two weeks.
This involves spending a fortnight without seeing anyone or leaving the house, which means you may need supplies to get you through.
It’s not just people who have travelled abroad who are being isolated.
Whenever someone tests positive for coronavirus, authorities try to track down everyone they’ve been in contact with and are asking them to self-isolate.
You can follow the spread of the virus and hear about any new government updates on our live blog.
Do I need to stockpile?
Of course, you don’t have to prep now, if you suddenly find yourself being asked to self-isolate, there are plenty of other options.
The government is advising that it’s okay to have friends or family drop off supplies, and there’s always the possibility of getting shopping delivered.
Although with Ocado warning of delays, you may have to get by for a few days without your online shopping.
For people with plenty of cash, takeaways are also an option, though services may be busier than usual.
Ratula Chakraborty, retail expert at Norwich Business School, UEA said: “Online grocery retailers are already seeing booming sales with the consequence that households are having to wait longer for their deliveries.
“This will trend will accelerate if the epidemic spreads and consumers shy away from visiting stores in larger numbers.”
Even though it’s possible to get by without a stockpile, plenty of people may find it reassuring to have two week’s worth of essentials in case they’re put in isolation.
Money-conscious families may also wish to plan so they can avoid delivery fees and takeout costs.
Francesca Henry, owner of the Money Fox blog said: “I think a stockpile is a good idea.
“That doesn’t mean going crazy with the amounts, but thinking about what would happen if you weren’t able to leave the house (due to infection) or if everything is going to be running out or low in the shops.”
And Naomi Willis from SkintDad.co.uk adds that it’s always worth maintaining a small store of supplies, whether you’re worried about coronavirus or not.
She says: “Say there is flooding or a snowstorm, and you can’t leave the house, or there is a problem getting paid or benefits are unexpectedly stopped, and you cannot afford to buy food.
“Having a bit of extra food in the house can give you some meals to fall back on while things blow over.”
Fortunately, if you do want to prep, then it’s easy to set aside two week’s worth of food, that will see you through your isolation.
In fact, you may find that you’ve already got a lot of things already in your freezer or cupboards so you won’t need to get much.
Here’s our top tips:
Food stockpile checklist
Money blogger Skint Dad has put together a checklist of things you might want to include in your coronavirus stockpile.
- Pasta – high in carbs and stores well. Can be used in loads of different meals
- Rice – high in carbs and stores well. Can be used in loads of different meals
- Lentils – nutritious, easy to cook and a good source of protein
- Pulses – nutritious, easy to cook and a good source of protein
- Cereal/oats – avoid ones with processed sugars
- Beans – a good source of protein
- Canned meat
- Canned fish
- Canned veg – fulls of vitamins. Keep the liquid for stocks
- Canned fruits – get your vitamins.
- Dried fruits – last for ages and keep your fruit intake up
- Powdered milk – it may not taste great on it’s own but is good for oats.
- Soups – can be used as the base for other dishes
- Baking goods to make bread
- Nuts – for protein and fats
- Coffee and tea
- Herbs and spices – to help flavour foods
- Sweets – not just for a treat, good for a quick bit of energy.
- Bottled water – it’ll be clean
- Anything specific for kids under two years old, if you have kids
- Pet supplies, if you have pets
What needs to go in your stockpile? – food
The most obvious thing to stock up on is food.
You’ll want to be able to create nutritional and tasty meals and you’d probably rather not keep eating the same things day after day.
Obvious things to include are staples such as pasta and rice, but you’ll also want flavourings and spices, vegetables and good sources of protein.
Long-life sauces can also be a good way to keep things interesting if you’re on lockdown.
Long shelf-life is key here. There’s no point stocking up on fresh meat, fruit or vegetables that will go off before you need them.
Henry says: “Good things to include in a two-week stockpile would be items that you can pop in the freezer, and any tinned or canned goods.
Willis said: “It’s a good idea to get foods that have a long shelf life, like pasta, rice, beans and pulses, and tinned fruit, vegetables, meats and fish.
“Long-life milk would be fine for your porridge in the morning and is great for tea, and I think it’s a good idea to have some basic ingredients to make bread.
“Biscuits and sweets are also a nice treat.”
What needs to go in your stockpile? – household items
It’s also worth making sure you have some household essentials set aside.
After all, while you could live without any toilet roll, you’d probably rather not have to.
Other obvious things to consider are medicines, bathroom essentials, and laundry products.
Think about things you personally may not wish to run out of, for instance contact lenses, toothpaste or shampoo.
Here’s a list of obvious items to include:
Household essentials stockpile checklist
HERE’S some of the things you’re likely to need for a two-week quarantine
- soap/ handwash
- shower gel
- tampons and sanitary towels
- toilet roll
- washing detergent
- basic medicines – headaches, cold and flu, hayfever, coughs, plus any essentials you take regularly
- bin bags
- bleach, surface cleaner and other cleaning products
- cling film and / or foil
- nappies, baby wipes and other baby essentials
How to stockpile and save money
Don’t panic – make a plan
Rushing out and panic buying will cost you money and you’ll probably end up with a lot of waste and an ineffective stockpile.
The best place to start is with a proper plan.
Start with a meal plan based on the freezer and store cupboard goods you already have – and work out what you would need to add.
Look at recipes from dried foods so you’re not just buying random ingredients with no meals in mind.
Do some basic calculations, how much shaving foam do you get through in two weeks? What about loo rolls?
Willis says: “Before you think about shopping, why not see what you’ve got in the back of your cupboard and at the bottom of your freezer. Chances are, there are enough store cupboard basics to make a few meals.”
Henry added: “Do a household inventory too and look at what you may need.
“There’s no need to buy loads and loads of it – work out how much you would use in a two week period and go from that.
“The best thing to do is to not panic. It’s unlikely that the country will grind to a halt, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be prepared for your own piece of mind.”
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Spread the cost
Unless you’ve got cash to spare you aren’t going to want to buy everything at once.
Once you’ve got your plan, add a few extra tins onto each shop.
Start with the most essential – then move on to nice-to-haves like wine or chocolate.
It’s also worth cooking extra portions of things you’re eating anyway and putting them in the freezer if you have space.
Job lots of meals like bolognese, pasta sauces, meatballs, soups etc can add variety.
You can also stock up on frozen vegetables for extra vitamins.
Willis said: “To help spread the costs, pick up a few extra tins of food or supplies each week.
“There is no need to panic or bulk buy. Store cupboard staples come with best before dates, but it’s still worthwhile rotating and using up things now and again to make sure everything is fresh.”
Only buy what you’d have anyway
There’s no point buying powdered egg for a two-week quarantine, so stick to things you’d use normally.
That way, if you end up not needing your stockpile you won’t have wasted your money.
Make sure you rotate your stock, using things from your pile in day to day recipes and replacing them, so supplies don’t go out of date.
This will mean you’re prepared beyond coronavirus too, so whether it’s a benefit delay, snow dump or getting the flu you’ll never have to go without food.
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Source: Thanks https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/11095369/coronavirus-stockpile-guide/