Pandemic Shopping List: Essentials Items You Should Have at Home

Knowing what to buy can help you get through the crisis with less strain on your finances while ensuring that you and your family remain healthy.

Grocery shopping is not only an essential activity but also a favorite pastime for many. Before the pandemic, it’s a common sight to see long lines of carts with mountains of goods, some of which aren’t a necessity. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has changed the way people shop and what they prioritize when shopping.

Considering the financial struggles that the pandemic has caused on people’s livelihood, knowing what to buy can help you get through the crisis with less strain on your finances while ensuring that you and your family are healthy.

This pandemic shopping list will ensure that you purchase only the most essential as we await the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines that will finally put an end to the pandemic.

What Should Be in Your Shopping List?

Pandemic Shopping List: Essentials Items You Should Have at Home Infographic - Food and Grocery Items

Food and Other Grocery Items

Food and other grocery items make up the bulk of grocery shopping for many people. But what makes them particularly important during a crisis is that you need to have the right mix of what you usually serve during family meals and a contingency plan in case the crisis continues.

  1. Canned Goods

    Your emergency food supply should have canned goods because they can be stored in the food cabinet, won’t expire within the next two (2) years, and can be eaten straight from the can without cooking. Canned fish like tuna and salmon are some of the top sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for heart health.

  2. Pasta

    You can also store pasta for a long time if you keep it in a dry and tightly sealed container. Aside from being loaded with carbohydrates, pasta also pairs well with other food items such as salad, meat, and various sauces. Try exploring different kinds of pasta dishes and ingredients for more delicious meals.

  3. Eggs

    Eggs are useful in boosting immunity because they’re rich in essential nutrients like Vitamins D and E and zinc. Eggs are also a versatile ingredient that you can boil, make an omelet with, and bake pastries with, among other ways.

    Their shelf life is approximately five (5) to six (6) weeks when they’re refrigerated but may be edible for only seven (7) to ten (10) days when stored at room temperature.

  4. Rice

    Rice is a staple food item that many can’t live without because it supplies the daily energy that the body needs. It can be served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some even have in-between snacks eating leftover rice.

    Rice grains can be local or imported, and they come in several varieties, so what you buy will depend on your personal preference or budget.

  5. Condiments

    Coconut oil is one of the best sources of healthy cooking oils in the supermarket. For vinegar, you can choose from balsamic or the medicinal apple cider vinegar, which can also replace eggsa as a binder when baking vegan banana muffins or pancakes. These are touted for being super healthy and are easily available in grocery outlets.

  6. Bread

    Sometimes, you want to take a break from preparing or eating rice dishes. In such a case, you can whip up a sandwich using different kinds of bread. For ready-made bread, we recommend one made of whole wheat grain. Some even have raisins and sweet mung bean paste in them.

    These days, many people have taken the time to get into a hobby like baking their own bread. But even if you don’t have baking skills, you can make something a little more special out of bread by having a go at your homemade pizza. You can get ready crusts from the grocery’s frozen section in case you can’t make your own.

  7. Milk-water-coffe

    Milk is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients, making it a vital component of healthy eating. If you’re following a particular diet, you may opt for the kind with low saturated fat content. Powdered milk doesn’t easily spoil, and so does UHT (ultraheat treatment) milk. This means your milk can last for a long time even without storing it in the fridge.

    Water is a basic need for survival, so you should buy bottles or gallons of water from the grocery in case you run out of potable drinking water.

    If caffeine is your usual perk-me-up drink, then you need to have a steady supply of your favorite coffee beans or instant mix. Don’t forget to get a pack of sugar if you want it on the sweet side.

  8. Meat and seafood

    Meat requires storage in the freezer to last longer. To avoid spoilage of leftovers, consider buying airtight, reusable food containers, which also help you better organize meals in your freezer.

    When buying meat, aim for a combination of pork, beef, chicken, fish, and various types of seafood. Request the staff from the meat and poultry section to do the necessary cleaning, peeling, or slicing of your chosen meat products.

  9. Fruits

    It’s common knowledge that fruits are healthy, so they’re a necessary grocery item. You can get them fresh, canned, or frozen. Whichever you choose, you can eat them fresh, as an ingredient of a dish, or make smoothies out of apples, cantaloupes, oranges, and so on.

  10. Vegetables

    Just like fruits, veggies are a powerhouse of nutrients, although you have to be careful about buying veggies that may go to waste if you have a family of picky eaters. Here are some ideas to try to make vegetables more appealing at the dining table:
    • Canned Shiitake mushrooms are great for pasta recipes like carbonara.
    • Bottled kimchi contains good bacteria and goes well with bacon cuts for a Korean BBQ food adventure.
    • Cabbages, carrots, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers can be grilled to make them more flavorful.


Pandemic Shopping List: Essentials Items You Should Have at Home - Hygiene Supplies

Hygiene Supplies

Personal hygiene is the first step in controlling the spread of the virus. As such, proper and frequent hand washing combined with other personal care habits should be part of your daily routine. Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, stocking up on these personal hygiene products is a must.

  1. Hand soap or liquid soap

    When you touch contaminated objects or surfaces, germs stick to your hands. Washing them with soap and water is an effective way of removing dirt, bacteria, and viruses. Make sure to scrub for at least 20 seconds, primarily upon coming home from an errand, ahead of preparing food, and before meals.

  2. Shampoo

    Even if you’re staying home most of the time during a pandemic, your hair will still accumulate dirt, oil, and other foreign particles. Use shampoo regularly to clean and maintain your locks, so you can proudly flex your crowning glory anytime.

  3. Toothpaste and mouthwash

    Dental care is another vital component of good personal hygiene. Your dentist will thank you if you follow daily brushing in the morning, after meals, and before going to bed in the evening. For extra oral care, follow it up with mouthwash.

  4. Alcohol or hand sanitizer

    If you’re outdoors and soap and water are not available, you can disinfect your hands with alcohol or a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always have them with you in handy, easy-to-carry dispensers.

  5. Toilet paper

    If you can’t imagine living a day without toilet paper or disinfecting wipes, you should include them in your shopping cart. Just don’t overdo it by hoarding several packs during your grocery run.

  6. Feminine hygiene products

    Groceries and supermarkets sell a wide variety of feminine wash, sanitary pads, and panty liners, so better grab your favorite products here in case they’re not available at neighborhood stores near you.


Pandemic Shopping List: Essentials Items You Should Have at Home Infographic - Medical Supplies

Medical Supplies

At the moment, COVID-19 is the most serious health condition people are dealing with. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about other ailments that may affect your household. Always check and replenish your medicine cabinet with these essential medical supplies.

  1. Prescription medicines

    When you’re on maintenance medication, you need to ensure that you have an adequate supply of your prescription drugs, even if quarantine periods get extended. Ideally, keep a month’s supply of your needed medication.

  2. OTC medicines

    Paracetamol, decongestants, antihistamines, antacids, and the like are also necessary in dealing with common illnesses at home without having to see a healthcare professional. Just like with prescription medicines, an advanced supply of these medicines good for 30 days should be enough.

  3. Multivitamins

    A regular dose of multivitamins or supplements offers health benefits like boosting your immune system, supplying antioxidants to your body, and filling nutritional gaps in your diet. Your vitamin requirements may differ if you’re older, pregnant, or breastfeeding, so check with your doctor first.

  4. Thermometer

    Fever is a common indicator of an illness, so you need to have a thermometer ready to monitor your body temperature. A digital thermometer is effective and convenient to use, so that can be one of your top options.

  5. Face masks

    As part of the COVID-19 health protocols, wearing of face masks is mandatory in public places. This makes them one of the essential items that run out fast, especially if you use them frequently. You can usually find the disposable type in the grocery, but you may also consider wearing reusable cloth masks with filter pockets. Just make sure to wash them daily with soap and water.

  6. Hot compress bag and ice bag

    Sitting for long periods while working or studying from home can result in body pain, making a hot compress bag and ice bag handy as they help relieve discomfort. If there’s swelling, you can apply a cold pack. For muscle pain or stiffness, you can use heat therapy to improve blood circulation.

  7. Wound care products

    Getting blisters, wounds, and scratches can happen anytime, even at home, so it’s best to be prepared with adhesive bandages, gauze pads, antiseptics, and cotton balls for first-aid treatment.

Grocery Shopping: Focus on the Essentials

The COVID-19 crisis has put everyone on a tighter budget than before, with some carrying heavier loads than others. Shop for your essential groceries in the safety of your home on GoRobinsons and Southstar Drug via the Robinsons Rewards app. This loyalty program also helps you save on cash by earning points each time you shop. May we all stay healthy and safe through this tough time.

The Robinsons Rewards app is available via Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Huawei App Gallery. Registration is FREE!