Home Food How to Stock Your Pantry for Social Distancing (+ Recipes!)

How to Stock Your Pantry for Social Distancing (+ Recipes!)

With health officials advising social distancing to help slow the spread of Covid-19 and schools and offices closing for the next few weeks, having a well-stocked pantry and a plan for how to use it is a must. Here are our suggestions for what to stock and what to cook for the next few weeks.

The list below covers a lot of ground, but isn’t exhaustive. Don’t feel like you need to stock up on everything. If your family doesn’t ever really eat yogurt or frozen shrimp, no need to stock those items. Double up on the items that you DO eat regularly so you know you’ll have good food choices for the coming days and weeks.

Also, friends, let’s not add to the panic. Stock up on what you need for roughly two weeks, and leave the rest on the shelf for your neighbors. If you’re feeling generous, pick up some extra to give to shelters in your area.

Long-Lasting Fresh Foods

These items should keep for at least two weeks or more in your fridge or pantry. Also, remember that you can buy many fresh foods and freeze them for later, like berries and many vegetables, or turn them into freezer foods, like freezer burritos and casseroles.

  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Milk (check the expiration dates; now is the time to buy UHT milks and dairy)
  • Cheese (also freezes well!)
  • Butter (also freezes well!)
  • Tofu
  • Bread (also freezes well!)
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Hearty greens, like kale, collards, and spinach
  • Hard squashes, like acorn squash, spaghetti squash, and butternut squash
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Oranges

Dry Pantry Items

  • Canned beans and dried beans
  • Chicken stock
  • Tunafish and other canned fish
  • Pasta and rice noodles
  • Rice and other dry grains
  • Oatmeal
  • Canned and jarred vegetables, including diced tomatoes
  • Canned and jarred fruit
  • Dried fruits
  • Nuts
  • Jarred tomato sauce
  • Cans of soup
  • Peanut butter and other nut butters
  • Olive oil and other cooking oil

Freezer Foods

  • Meat and seafood: chicken, ground beef, sausage, fish, shrimp, pork chops and tenderloin, chuck roast
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Frozen fruit
  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Frozen pasta, like tortellini, ravioli, and dumplings
  • Other favorite frozen prepared foods (looking at you, ice cream)

Household Items

No need to go crazy stocking up on these items. Just make sure you have enough of these to last you roughly two weeks.

  • Laundry detergent
  • Dish soap
  • Hand soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Toilet paper
  • Pain relievers and fever medication
  • Pet food and other supplies
  • Bleach


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