Shopping for food at the moment is harder than getting in line for the Next sales, much harder. If you’ve never been in the queue for the Next sale, then you won’t get this reference but I suspect a lot of people will know what I mean.
With the queues of people outside Next at 5am, just trying to get themselves a bargain, we’ve now found ourselves in this position with just normal groceries! If you’re like me, you’ve been to your local supermarket and you’ve tried to find pasta, you’ve tried to find rice, you’ve tried to find eggs and you’ve tried to find chicken breasts, all to no avail.
Here are my top seven ways that you can make the most of what you can actually find in today’s supermarkets.
It’s not the end of the world if you can’t find things like chicken breasts and pasta. Other sources of these foods will do. If you can’t find chicken breast, but you know that you want to be eating protein with each meal, can you find something like turkey mince or pork loin steaks? Try full joints of meat or frozen cuts of chicken, frozen cuts of fish. All of these alternatives will do, they will help you survive over time.
Similarly, with pasta and rice, you don’t need to have the sources of carbohydrates in your life. Can you find frozen potatoes? can you find frozen vegetables? can you find cans of carbohydrates that you haven’t tried before? My girlfriend and I have ended up with a few cans of spelt, which is something I’ve never had before, but it looks just like rice, so I’m pretty sure it’s going to be very similar.
Don’t be too hung up on the familiar. If you can’t eat your normal diet, using other sources of protein and carbohydrates will be fine.
The next tip is that knowing things like protein powder are your friends during these times. Protein powder is the cheapest source of protein, it lasts for a long time and it tastes pretty good. It can be mixed with most things. It is one of the highest quality protein sources you can get and if you’re a vegan, just buy a vegan blend as this is going to be key in keeping your protein intake up during a time like this.
Scour the reduced section in the shops, my girlfriend and I were lucky enough to find plenty of salmon, hake and fish pie mixtures in the reduced section of Morrison’s. Go ahead and go to your reduced section, find what you can and then get it straight in the freezer when you get home. This will stop you from being someone who needs to stockpile for more than a couple weeks at a time. I know there are plenty of people who are having to self isolate for up to 12 weeks, so finding things that you can freeze is definitely key in these times as well.
I mentioned in Tip one about buying full joints of meat. If you are unable to get things like sandwich meat and other daily essentials. My girlfriend and I picked up a big joint of pork, a big joint of beef, and we’ve just frozen them. One of them I put in the slow cooker for eight hours on low. From that we have now got a supply of very tender, delicious meat that just pulls apart. We are now using this for sandwiches or quick breakfasts or even dinners. The plus is, it is actually better for you than the heavily processed, salty, sandwich meats that we usually buy. Having a ready supply in the fridge is great if you’re short of time too – if any of us is short of time at the moment….??
Soups are your best friend, if you are wanting high volume, low calorie meals. I know a lot of people are concerned about moving less and eating more and being afraid of putting on weight. Foods like soup are great! You can freeze them. You can even make them yourself, if you’d like to. They are a dieters best friend, they are high volume, they are high in nutrients and they are readily available in cans and fresh pots, as long as you can find them.
If you can’t buy fresh, buy frozen. Don’t worry if you can’t find your favourite vegetables in the fresh aisle or your favourite fruits, or even your favourite meats, buying frozen food isn’t a bad thing to do. In fact, things are frozen upon harvests so if anything, they could be potentially more fresh than the fresh varieties that you’re finding in your supermarkets. Adding frozen vegetables to meals is a very simple way to get more nutrition in. It’s a great way for you to try new types of vegetables as well, because pretty much every type can be found in the frozen aisle.
Using foods like frozen berries and other frozen fruits for desserts and other additions through the day can be a great way for you to increase your nutrient density in this time, as well as boosting your body’s immune system and its ability to fight off pathogens.
Experiment with new foods and new recipes. As I mentioned in tip one, if you have to buy foods that you’re not accustomed to, you are stuck inside for however long we’re going to be stuck inside for. This is therefore, a great time to experiment with new foods, experiment with new recipes. Look up new recipes online, look up ways to use these new foods.
Experiment with different carb sources and different protein sources and generally use this time to build up your repertoire of recipes and your knowledge on how to cook. If there was ever a good time to build the habit of cooking your own meals and preparing your own food and getting into food prep. This would be the time! Use that time wisely, try out new things.