Cooking in the time of COVID While Staying Safe

Sep/27/2020 / by Jesse Bereta
Image credits: PxHere

The global pandemic is certainly having a large impact on our lives. But, as dangerous and inconvenient as COVID-19 has been, it has also given us an opportunity to retool our routines, whether that be to make our homes more comfortable or to find safer ways to exercise. But the most critical thing at this time is our store of resources, particularly food.

Before the pandemic, we were all seduced by the modern conveniences we had. Making dinner was as simple as picking up a few things after work at the local grocery store, bakery or butcher shop. You could even grab a meal from a restaurant. Now, we must prepare ourselves to stock up every fortnight.

For many of us, it has been a major adjustment from the way we typically scrounge for food. Chances are the majority of us had fallen into the habit of wasting money on food that spoil fast, or on take-out orders.

Still, there are many ways we can change our food habits to save some money.

Stocking up

The most important area we can cut back on wasting money is the way that we shop.

It is time to stop convenience cooking and buying prepared foods. While loading up on bags and bags of potato chips may seem like fun, those foods vanish fast.

Instead, think about getting the most bang for your buck. In place of those chips, a bag of potatoes can be prepared in multiple ways to satisfy the same cravings. Additionally, the cost of a few bags of bread is the equivalent of buying enough ingredients for dozens of loaves.

If you buy too many perishable foods, chances are it will turn bad before you can eat your way through them. So be certain to fill the cupboards with lots of dry goods, such as pasta, grains, and canned and preserved foods.

A large portion of freezer space should be reserved for proteins. Investing in a deep freeze can extend the duration between grocery store visits.

Meal Planning

Another way we can learn to stretch the budget and limit our time in public is by practicing strategic meal planning.

Having an agenda on what meals you will prepare plan on preparing will cut much avoidable expense. It also helps you ensure that all the food gets used up, and that nobody is scrambling to make a meal.

There are many ways that we can use meal planning to stretch a limited budget. Consider making large batches of meals ahead of time such as stews, curries, stir-fries, or soups. These meals keep longer and can make a little bit of food seem like a lot.

It is important to be resourceful when planning meals. Do not plan a different extravagant meal for each night. Instead, consider how you can use a certain ingredient over a few meals. For example, you can save a lot of money buying 12 chicken breasts and using them in versatile ways all week instead of buying 2 chicken breasts, 2 pork chops, some beef, and fish.

Reconnecting With Food

Maybe it is time that we start dropping those modern conveniences and become more self-sufficient.

Growing your own vegetables is a simple way to assure that you always have a stock of fresh foods.  Maintaining a garden would be an ideal way to prepare yourself for COVID-19 or any future disasters.

While a full vegetable garden is not feasible for everyone, there are many plants that can be grown indoors. Hydroponic grow lights are well worth the cost if you grow enough food.

Additionally, many resources can help you learn to regrow vegetables from scraps. A stem of romaine lettuce can regrow its leaves just by being left in a glass of water. It is just as simple for many other foods, such as onions, pineapple, celery, carrots, and bok choy.

While food management during COVID can be hard, imagine the holidays! Check out this story on celebrating a COVID Thanksgiving

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