An Indian’s shopping guide during the coronavirus pandemic

An Indian's shopping guide during the coronavirusBCCL
  • Most people are either working from home or under voluntary self-isolation.
  • At a time like this, it’s important to make sure you have the right items at home to avoid multiple trips to the grocery store.
  • Here’s an Indian’s go-to guide for shopping during the coronavirus.
Around the world, people are rushing to their about-to-close supermarkets to stock up food and other supplies so that they don’t have to leave the house and risk getting infected. In India, the situation isn’t any different as the cases of coronavirus increase. Online grocery stores like BigBasket even had to delay a few deliveries due to the sudden influx of orders.

However, not everyone’s requirements are the same, and some may need to buy a little more than others. Mothers for example should also stock up on baby formula, diapers and baby food. Individuals with pets would probably want to invest in some canned goods and dry pet food.


Some like me stocked up on candles — in case there’s a random power cut — and batteries. Because I know I’m going to be watching a lot more TV and I don’t want my remote to die.

Whatever your requirements are, make sure you don’t get swayed from your goal as you shop. The aim is to buy healthy-nutritious food and only the essentials that will last for as long as possible.

In case you’re one of many that’s stuck working from home or a self-quarantine individual, here’s some coronavirus tips on what to buy:
{{}}

View As: One Page Slides

​When it comes to food, basic is good

​When it comes to food, basic is good

The first thing is to stock up on is essentials. Your rice, upma, poha, flours — like atta, maida, besan and dosa mix — dals, and salt. These make up the staple Indian diet and can outlast more of the other products on the market. Love them or hate them, soya chunks may also make it onto your list.

A good tip to give your diet has some flavour is to pick up your favorite masalas like turmeric (haldi), red chilli (laal mirch) and garam masala. You could also choose in pick up a packet or two of ginger-garlic paste and tomoto puree — between the two, you can recreate almost any gravy recipe.

However, not everyone’s a chef like Sanjiv Kapoor. If you’re a newbie in the kitchen, a packet of Kitchen King masala is the go-to quick fix to add flavour to any Indian recipe.

​Vegetables that will last you a while

​Vegetables that will last you a while

While lentils (dal) have their place, it is not uncommon to crave for a veggie dish every once in a while. Vegetables like onions, potatoes, and garlic will last quite a while — just make sure your quantities are at par with your consumption.

Broccoli and cauliflower are also hardy vegetables, provided you store them in your fridge. You can even stock up on rations like frozen corn and peas to add a little colour to your diet.

​Fruits are optional

​Fruits are optional

Fruits like apples, bananas, oranges and lemons, will last longer than others on the market. In case they start to go bad, you can always turn them into a smoothie. Store the drink in your freezer and consume at your convenience.

An alternative would be to stock up on dry fruit and nuts like cashews, peanuts, almonds and raisins. Not only will they last longer, but studies have shown that they best boost immunity.

​For the chai and coffee lovers

​For the chai and coffee lovers

Food as its place, but drinks are just as important. Regardless of whether you’re a tea (chai) or coffee lover, make sure you pick up one or two boxes of your favorite brand — depending on consumption.

Keep in mind that since you’re probably going to be bored at home, consumption is likely to increase from your daily average.

But that’s not all you need. It would also be wise to pick up powdered milk since fresh milk means going to the market on a daily basis. If your budget is a little more flexible, you could pick up creamer or a Tetra Pak carton of milk that will last longer than fresh milk.

And, what is chai without some biscuits? Most brands have bulk packing that lets you pick up plenty of packets on the cheap.

​Guilty pleasure

​Guilty pleasure

It’s not easy to keep yourself entertained during self-isolation, so when you’re out shopping, it’s okay to indulge in a few guilty pleasures. Even though your first instinct may be to head for the chocolate — which is also fine — it may be more economic to pick a jar of jam or a bottle of ketchup. Some can even keep Maggi as the feel good factor of their diet.

When you are indoors and staring through the window, some comfort food can only do you good.

​Safety first

​Safety first

Before you overindulge in the food department, make sure you’re stocked up on your first aid supplies. In case you’re already on prescribed medication, stock up on at least two weeks worth. This is especially important for individuals with chronic medical illnesses like lung disease, heart disease, blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes.

In addition to your own medication, make sure you have the required things to address the symptoms of coronavirus and coronavirus-like symptoms. According to doctors, seasonal flu is common as the weather changes and not every sneeze means that you’re infected.

Keep a thermometer, fever reducing medication, cough syrup, and glucose for rehydration at home to check on your symptoms so that you don’t have to head to the doctor unless you absolutely need to.

Other basics to always have at home are antiseptics like Dettol, baid-aids, cotton, pain relievers and anti-allergy medication.

​Hygiene supplies

​Hygiene supplies

Around the world, there’s a global shortage of toilet paper. In India, that isn’t the case. However, it may not be a bad idea to pick up a roll or two keep as a contingency plan in your bathroom.

More importantly make sure you’re stocked up on hand soap, toothpaste, shampoo and body soap for daily hygiene. Ladies, make sure you have enough tampons and pads for at least a month and couples, invest in some condoms.

In addition to your own hygiene, it’s also important to keep the house clean. Pick up disinfectants for the floor, surfaces that you use on a daily basis and washing powder. You don’t want to be running out of clean underwear in the middle of a crisis.


Add Comment()
Comments ()
X
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.