Coronavirus Grocery List: How to Stock Up Your Pantry

Are you looking for a budget-friendly coronavirus shopping list to help you and your family stay nourished for the next couple of weeks? As always, we’ve got you covered. 

The recent spike in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases across Pakistan has caused widespread panic among the masses – and for the right reasons. In order to make sure you or someone you love doesn’t get affected by the disease that has shaken up the entire world, the health experts and government officials are advising people to stay indoors as much as possible and avoid any physical contact with others. 

In a situation like this, when schools have been shut down and employees have been told to work from home, one must think ahead and make sure their pantry and fridge are fully stocked to ride out the virus and a potential self-quarantine. Since grocery stores among some of the most crowded places, especially in the middle of such pandemics, you must avoid visiting it more than once to minimize the risk of being exposed to coronavirus and a host of other diseases.

Unfortunately, a lot of people have responded to the problem at hand by going into a panic mode and hoarding household supplies and groceries. However, panic buying is never a solution. In fact, by doing so, you might end up making things worse for someone else. 

Therefore, in order to help you formulate a worthy game plan, we’ve compiled a coronavirus grocery list that will keep you and your family fed and satisfied for the next 15 to 20 days without anyone having to leave the house.


Best Time for Shopping during Coronavirus Outbreak
If you have to visit a grocery store during this period, make sure to do so when it’s the least crowded

Your first priority should be minimizing exposure to coronavirus, and you can only do that by avoiding crowded places. Since grocery stores and supermarkets are among some of the most crowded places right now, you may want to plan your trip during the early morning hours or a little late at night. 

For this purpose, call your nearest superstore and inquire about their opening and closing timings. This will help you plan your trip and shop for groceries the smart way.


Before you start making a coronavirus grocery list, take a few minutes to go through your kitchen cabinets or pantry. Make an inventory of all the grocery and household items you currently have in stock so you can figure out what else you need to buy and in what quantity. This way, you also won’t be inclined to clear out store shelves and spend money on things you don’t really need or already have enough of. 

Below, we have categorized different food items and supplies in terms of their shelf life. After all, you need to make sure the edibles you purchase don’t go bad too quickly and can provide sustenance for days to come. 

  • Fresh produce
  • Pantry staples 
  • Long-lasting perishables
  • Canned goods
  • Frozen items
  • Snacks
  • Medicine
  • Toiletries and cleaning supplies 

As per the expert advice for stocking, you should pay more attention to non-perishables or long-lasting perishables, but what ends up on your coronavirus grocery list largely depends on your and your family’s dietary habits. Therefore, you’ll have to adjust your budget accordingly. 

Let’s discuss each of these essential quarantine items and supplies in detail.


coronavirus grocery list
Some fresh produce may last longer than a few days if stored properly

Out of all the other items on this list, fresh produce has the shortest shelf life. Although fresh vegetables and fruits won’t last for a very long time, one shouldn’t avoid these items as their consumption has been linked to improved health. Not to mention, citrus fruits, broccoli and spinach are considered the top immune boosters, which means you must incorporate these into your diet for as long as you can to stay healthy.  

In addition to that, hard vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, ginger, onions, cauliflowers, cabbages, carrots and broccoli can last a little longer than others, so it’s better to buy more of these. The same goes for apples, bananas and oranges. Just make sure to thoroughly wash them before eating and refrigerate them as needed. Also, only buy enough fresh produce to last you a few days. Otherwise, it will get spoilt and end up in the trash.


coronavirus shopping tips
Your pantry should be stocked with items such as rice, flour and legumes

Pantry staples are those basic ingredients that constitute a dominant portion of your diet, have a long shelf-life and are fairly inexpensive.

Here is a list of staples that you must add to your coronavirus shopping list. 

  • Rice
  • Flour
  • Legumes
  • Pasta
  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Dry fruit
  • Mixed nuts
  • Mixed seeds
  • Granola bars
  • Food supplements
  • Sugar 
  • Salt
  • Spices
  • Cooking oil
  • Tea/tea bags/ coffee

And most importantly,

  • Drinking water 

Once again, you must avoid panic buying. Instead of hoarding these essential quarantine items, just buy what your family usually consumes over a period of a month.


essential quarantine items for coronavirus in Pakistan
Stick to your grocery checklist and refrain from hoarding any food items

These are some of the long-lasting perishables that must be on your coronavirus shopping list. 

  • Pasteurized milk
  • Eggs
  • Regular salted/unsalted butter
  • Nut butter
  • Cheese
  • Honey
  • Rusk
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Powdered milk
  • Baby formula 


coronavirus shopping and stocking tips
Canned vegetables and beans are the must-have items for your pantry

Canned items can last decades and are perfect in cases of emergency. Whether you are simply unable to leave the house because of the COVID-19 outbreak or are in self-quarantine, having canned food in the pantry will ensure that you’re still consuming essential dietary fibres, minerals and vitamins to keep you healthy. 

Here is what must be included in your coronavirus shopping list to survive the next couple of weeks indoors.

  • Canned vegetables (low sodium)
  • Canned fruits (sugar-free)
  • Canned tomato puree
  • Canned beans
  • Canned fish
  • Canned soups
  • Canned chilli

One of the most important coronavirus shopping and stocking tips is to only buy food items that you will actually consume. If you are not a fan of canned fish or know for certain you won’t be eating it, avoid panic buying. It’s better to leave it on the store shelf for someone who would purchase it willingly.


shop for groceries the smart way during coronavirus outbreak
You need to shop for groceries the smart way during the outbreak

These are among the essential quarantine items. You can either buy these goods from the frozen section at your nearest supermarket or buy them fresh and store them in the freezer yourself. If you opt for the latter, make sure all of these items have been properly washed and dried off before being stored. 

  • Frozen beef
  • Frozen poultry
  • Seafood
  • Frozen vegetables

It’s better to stay away from processed frozen junk food widely available in stores these days. Instead, you should solely focus on food items that will help improve your immune system.


 expert advice for stocking food during covid-19
Treat yourself and your families with some snacks every now and then

If you have kids at home, it’s better to stock up on some treats as well. Since children usually have a weak immune system and must remain indoors to minimize their exposure to the disease, you can keep a secret stash of their favourite snacks and use it to reward them for their good behaviour or when they complete their chores.

  • Potato chips
  • Biscuits
  • Chocolates
  • Ready-to-mix cake boxes
  • Instant noodles
  • Popcorn


how to prepare for coronavirus
If you take any prescription medicine, make sure you have enough on hand to last an entire month

Yet another important coronavirus shopping and stocking tip includes buying your prescription medicine for at least the next 30 days. This is extremely vital for the elderly, pregnant women, and those struggling with any pre-existing conditions.

Apart from prescription medicine, you should also buy some over the counter painkillers, pills for acidity and stomach ache as well as cough syrup etc. If possible, buy a bottle or two of multi-vitamins as well.

You should also make sure your first aid kit is fully stocked for emergencies.


coronavirus prevention tips
It is extremely important to wash your hands frequently for those who want to remain healthy

If you ask an expert how to prepare for coronavirus, they’d likely tell you to wash your hands with warm water and soap after regular intervals. Therefore, you simply can’t forget to add toiletries and cleaning supplies to your coronavirus grocery list.

Here are some essential quarantine items that fall under this category:

  • Anti-bacterial handwash
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Soap or body wash
  • Toothpaste 
  • Anti-bacterial cleaning wipes
  • Antiseptic disinfectant liquid
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Tissue
  • Kitchen towels

You can also take a look at our cleaning tips to prevent coronavirus at home.


how to make a coronavirus shopping list
Limit your trips to the grocery store to minimize the risk of getting sick

Now that we’ve discussed this coronavirus shopping list in great detail, let’s take a look at some tips you must follow while stocking up on essential quarantine items. 

  • Wear a mask to the grocery shops and bring along a small bottle of sanitizer to clean your hands frequently
  • Stick to your grocery checklist and don’t buy unnecessary or unhealthy food items
  • Don’t take the entire family along to the grocery store. Make sure to leave the elderly and the kids at home
  • Avoid panic buying. Only buy enough food and supplies to last your family 20 to 30 days

If you are out of sanitizer and can’t find any at the store, don’t fret. Instead, you can follow our tips to make a hand sanitizer at home in a budget-friendly manner. Moreover, make sure to avoid these top grocery shopping mistakes that can affect your budget.

To learn more dealing with the outbreak of coronavirus in Pakistan, stay connected to My Blog, your best solution for all lifestyle and property-related problems. Meanwhile, if you or a family member shows symptoms of coronavirus, seek medical help immediately. Otherwise, you might end up risking the health of those around you.

For questions and queries, get in touch with me on Also, subscribe to my newsletter on the right to stay updated about the real estate, construction and lifestyle trends in Pakistan.

Kashif Qureshi
Salam! I am an i-National Marketeer, Business Developer & Realtor Pakistan with a great career history of 19 years. Having lived, studied and worked in multiple countries, I am multi-lingual and I welcome you to my website.

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