As we continue to adjust to the effects of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, we are all working towards adapting to this new ‘normal’. Parents are learning how to educate their children at home and are creating innovative ways to keep them entertained and educated. People are implementing remote work routines into their daily schedules. Businesses are implementing new practices to accommodate their customers in this new way of living.
Though the world is changing around us, we all still need to make trips to the grocery store to keep our family fed. While we are all trying to limit our trips to the grocery store, it can be hard to plan for everything you’ll need in days or weeks to come. Below, we’ve outlined some ways to maximize your grocery trips while limiting your trips.
Create a Flexible Shopping List
Grocery shopping during these uncertain times can sometimes be frustrating as many essential items are sold out or deliveries are delayed. We understand the struggle of not being able to locate certain items on your shopping list.
We recommend creating a flexible shopping list before heading to the grocery store. Try breaking down the items you need into categories instead of specific items. For example, creating categories such as ‘fruits for snacking’ or ‘protein for dinner’, you will be able to remember what types of groceries you need. Then, once in the grocery store, you have more options in the event that a specific item is no longer in stock. This will help ensure that you have what you need to make delicious meals for your family.
Look for Simple Recipes
Another way to simplify grocery shopping is to plan for simple recipes. Try looking for meals that use less than 5 ingredients. These minimalist recipes require fewer ingredients, which means less to find in the grocery store. Plus, they simplify your time in the kitchen so you can spend more time with your loved ones.
Extend the Shelf Life of Your Favorite Foods
To get the most out of your grocery trip, plan on freezing or storing items in a way to extend their shelf life. This process will help keep your household well-stocked until your next trip to the grocery store.
You can take advantage of your freezer during these times because almost all fruits and vegetables can maintain their delicious taste and nutrients when they are frozen properly. Plus, frozen produce can last for months and is easy to cook with!
However, freezing produce isn’t always as simple as placing them in the freezer. Most fruits and vegetables need to be blanched with specifications per item. Be sure to research how to efficiently blanch your chosen produce items!
If you baked some delicious homemade bread and don’t want it to expire before you can enjoy it, no need to worry. Freezing bread is easy and a great way to extend its shelf life. We recommend that you slice bread or portion out the pieces (bagel slice, cut pieces of coffee cake) as this will make thawing simple!
Wrap the bread in plastic wrap and place it in a storage bag, making sure to remove as much air as possible. Frozen bread can last for up to a month in the freezer. When you are ready for a slice of bread, all you have to do is unwrap it and let it thaw or place it right in the toaster!
Freezing meat is a great way to reduce the amount of times you need to make a trip to the grocery store. If you are freezing meat, make sure that all of the air is out when you are packaging the pieces. The tighter the package, the more fresh the meat will be when you thaw it.
To thaw meat, we recommend placing the packaged piece in the fridge for about 24 hours. Thawing meat on a countertop can cause irregularities in the meat as well as the outside being more susceptible to bacteria.
Support Local Businesses
Gainesville is home to some of our most beloved local businesses and vendors. At Ward’s, we partner with many local vendors who are continuing to supply us with their products during this time. You can support local businesses by picking up locally made products right here at Ward’s! Additionally, make the extra effort to check what your local favorite is doing to accommodate for these uncertain times. Many small businesses are shifting to creative take-out menus and are offering pickup or delivery services. Now more than ever we need to show our community love and support!
Grocery Shopping at Ward’s Supermarket
Despite the changing times, one thing that will stay consistent is our universal need for grocery stores. We have stuck together through tough times before and continue to feel the support of our community now. We are open and are operating under our usual hours. For any more questions on how we are working through COVID-19, please check out our FAQ page.