Despite the initial panic over toilet paper (of all things!), the reality is that groceries and food tops most everyone’s shopping list during times of lock down. But what else do people buy? What else is selling like hot cakes apart from hand sanitizers, toilet paper and face masks?
We take a quick look at most sought after products during times of social distancing, movement control, stay at home order and lock down. Here is a list of things to consider buying or stocking up and staying safe at home.
Groceries and other Pantry Fillers
Most basic of all needs is food. Canned food, frozen food, bottled water, rice, flour and pasta are quick off the shelves. Most people are deliberately buying more to increase their stock pile at home and there are good reasons for this. Stocking up your pantry means fewer trips to the grocers or the supermarket, reducing the risk of exposure.
With restaurants and cafes closed, there is no option to eat out so we resort to cooking at home. It is simply logical then that the more essentials we have in the pantry the better prepared we are, to just ‘whip something up’.
There’s also the consideration that in a day, for an average family of four, a total of 36 portions of meals will need to be prepared. And this is just considering main meals, no tea times or coffee breaks.
This leads on to how to help your fresh food stay fresh for longer and how to store bulk-cooked food. We have tips on how to make your fruits and vegetables last longer and some of the best food jars to keep food warm for longer, negating the need to reheat. You could cook once a day with portion enough for both lunch and dinner.
So, where do you store all the food you bring home from the supermarket? Here is where an extra fridge freezer or chest freezer comes in handy. With more storage for fresh food and ready meals, it makes bulk shopping easier.
Now keep in mind, bulk shopping is not the same as panic buying. When you decide to buy in bulk, you are hopefully doing it with a view to limit the number of trips and visits you will need to make to the store.
On top of food storage considerations, many people are also looking at ways to help them prepare food more quickly and easily with kitchen appliances such as Thermomix, Soup Makers, Kitchen Mixers, Rice Cooker, Pressure Cooker and Food Processors.
- Thermomix and alternatives
- Slow cookers with timer and keep warm function
- KitchenAid Artisan and retro stand mixers
- Electric Pressure Cookers
- Soup Making Machines – affordable convenience
- Budget Multi-cookers – affordable luxury for every kitchen
To help with keeping the home clean and the usual spring jobs in the garden, robot vacuums and lawn mowers are also on many shopping lists. More on this in the home and garden section.
Gourmet Food and Takeaways
Although restaurants are shut due to social-distancing measures, there are still options to spoil yourself with gourmet ready meals, luxury microwave food and takeaways. Having to think about what to prepare for the next meal all the time is no fun.
Head down to the ready meal section in the supermarket to pick up your favourite pub food, Indian, Chinese or Italian ready meals. There are also ready-made, prepared ingredients in a pack that will let you cook at home. And, if you are feeling lazy, pick up the phone and call your local take out. You have a chance to rest your kitchen and support a local business at the same time.
Set-top boxes such as the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and other streaming devices are in greater demand. So are big screen TVs and sound systems whether they are wireless or multi-point surround systems. The lounge or living room will typically become the center of every home when the family gathers together to spend their time indoors.
- Great Home Theater Systems that Won’t Break the Bank
- Affordable Dolby Atmos AV receivers and budget 5 and 7 channel speakers
- 5 Best Party Speakers – wireless boomboxes to play your party tunes
Computers, Technology and Printers
With the kids and parents working from home, here is where laptops, desktops, mini PCs, smart displays and speakers will come in handy both for work and down time. To print worksheets and home assignments for younger children, consider a cheap way to print in colour using inkjet printers with refillable ink tanks or in black and white with budget mono laser printers.
You may also want to consider these compact and ultra compact home office ideas if you need dedicated work space for you or the kids to work at home.
RELATED: (Links to go our sister site, Colour My Learning)
- The Quick Guide: Which Printer Should I Get?
- Best Inkjet Printers with Refillable Ink Tanks – no more expensive ink cartridges
- Budget All-in-One Multifunction Wireless Monochrome Laser Printer
- Budget Mini PCs to Get Everyone Connected
Toys and Games
Board games and consoles are doing very well at times of lock down. Most board games, puzzles and video games are experiencing a surge in demand. Popular board games include Jenga, Connect 4 and Battleship. To really kill time, look for Monopoly, Cluedo, Pay Day, Dungeons and Dragons and Kids Against Maturity (Cards Against Humanity spin-off). Nintendo Switch, a family friendly game console with online multi-player capability, is facing stock shortage and had to ramp up its production to meet demands. Sales of computer games and software has also shot up.
- Stay Connected: 12 Games to Play for Your Next Virtual Game Night (at Colour My Learning)
- 10 Giant Outdoor Games for Endless Fun
- How to Choose the Best Games Console – Which one should I get?
Books, Magazines and Audio-books
All types of reading material especially those that are electronic format, have been doing particularly well in lock down. With the extra free time, and fewer work demands on most people, more are turning to fiction or other forms of reading material.
Parents have been turning to e-books for their children too. Making e-books for children more popular than ever before.
Bicycles and Exercise Gear
In some countries, going out is a complete no-no. However, in the UK, its citizens are allowed out once a day for exercise and for many of them, this means cycling.
Cycling was seeing a new re-birth and was starting to be seen as trendy and with the prices of electric bikes coming down in to a more affordable range, more and more people began to give up their cars. With better weather, few cars and overall traffic on the road, cycling has become a great option for outdoor exercise.
Also popular are different home-use gym equipment such as rowing machines and cycling machines.
Of course, you do not need equipment to keep fit and healthy. Recreational activity and games work well too. Products that are flying off the shelves under these categories include table tennis and pool table.
- The Best Exercise Routines To Do At Home Without Equipment
- How You Can Walk to Better Health in 10 Minutes
Disinfectant as well as kitchen, bathroom and toilet cleaning supplies has also seen an increase in sales. It comes as no surprise that staying safe also means keeping clean. With more time spent at home, you will be looking at frequent cleaning. An alternative to shop bought cleaning solution is to make your own at home.
Check out tips and tricks to make your own DIY organic and safe household cleaning solutions. Here you will find how to make your own dish washing liquid, drain cleaner and de-clogger, window cleaner laundry detergent and more.
Medical Supplies and Health Supplements
Medical supplies such as medical face masks, nitrile gloves, hand sanitizers and digital thermometers are much in demand as everyone is working to stay physically safe with less direct contact. Many are stocking up on prescriptions, where they can and general medicine for cold and flu in order to minimise the need to go out.
Alternative medications and vitamins, such as Echinacea, vitamin C, vitamin D has also been popular among people looking to boost their immunity.
Personal care products such as shampoo, body wash and hand soap are easy to stock up on as they generally have long shelf life and no known expiry date. Other popular personal hygiene items include feminine products, diapers, toilet paper, hair trimmer and clippers.
Security Cameras & Video Door Bell
As the general advice is to socially distance, being able to see who is at the front door without needing to open the door is very helpful. Skip the wiring and professional installation with battery powered wireless security cameras that you can mount on your own. These cameras can be set up in minutes with up to 2 years battery life. Choose between indoor and outdoor variety and where there is WiFi, you can monitor who is at the door.
- Do I Need a Video Doorbell and How to Choose One
- Top 8 Best Smart Video Doorbells for Your Front Door: remote intercom, face recognition & more
Patio, Lawn and Garden
Grow-your-own has become a real motivator to get people out in to their garden and to make the most of any growing space that they have. Seeds and compost has been high on many people’s gardening list as the weather warms up.
With garden centres in the UK reopening before any other industry it bodes well for people who are spending their new found additional time growing and tending to their garden. Even without a garden space it is still possible to grow vegetables. This can be in raised beds or in small hydroponic kits which make for very efficient growing.
Sensibly stocking up on food and essential items to reduce the number of trips you need to make helps keep you and your family safe. Activities to keep occupied whether through reading, family board games night or virtual meet ups help keep spirits high and continue to maintain and enhance connections with family and friends despite needing to be socially distant.
Living through a pandemic is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. No matter how difficult it may seem on a day-to-day basis there is light at the end of the tunnel. Take one day at a time, be kind and gentle to yourself and all those around you.
We leave you with some recent thoughts:
- 11 Gentle Things You Can Try at Home to Fill Your Time
- Staying Calm, Keeping Sane – How to Not be Overwhelmed