Regardless of our feelings towards the word ‘lockdown’, the fact remains that social distancing and self-isolation are key to fighting the spread of COVID-19. And even though we all find ourselves working from home, the need for buying groceries hasn’t fallen away.
Following these shopping tips may help with any doubts or concerns you may have when it comes to the practicalities of buying food.
Whether you’re going out to the shops or using a delivery service, here’s how to stay as safe as possible (and keep everyone around you safe, too).
Before you leave home… wash your hands
Wash your hands with soap and running water before you leave your house. When you get to the grocery store, you’ll be touching a lot of surfaces like trolleys, card keypads, and products that many other people have touched before. It’ll do your sanity some good to remember that most of these surfaces will not be terribly contaminated, but you should still be mindful about not touching your nose, mouth, or eyes while you’re in the shop.
If sanitising wipes are made available at the store’s entrance, be sure to wipe down your trolley handle. And it won’t do you any harm to use a tissue as a barrier when touching surfaces like fridge doors or areas where there are items in bulk, as these get frequently.
Have a plan
This is a practice we’ve all been trying to implement long before lockdown became our reality. Having a comprehensive list of all the grocery items you need helps you feel more confident when going to the store. Divide your list into the shop’s sections: fresh produce, pantry items, treats, etc.
There’ll be less opportunity for dawdling in the aisles if you know exactly what you need and where it is. You’ll probably spend less money, too, as you won’t be making those ‘maybe we need this’ impulse purchases.
Don’t use cash
Money has a notorious reputation for being dirty at the best of times. Experts even believe notes and coins could transmit viruses, so it’s probably best to avoid cash for the time being. If you’re unable to avoid handling cash, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
Maintain a suitable distance from other shoppers
We’ve seen some grocery stores taking this really seriously by capping the number of shoppers they allow in the store at a time, as well as putting out markers for people to follow to keep their distance from each other.
However, some shops aren’t as diligent, and this is where our sense of personal responsibility comes in. Keep at least 1,5m away from other shoppers. If someone is looking at something you’d like to get as well, give them some time to do so, get the other items on your list, and come back to the previous item. If you see someone who is coughing and/or sneezing, don’t be embarrassed to stealthily move away from them.
Again, try not to touch any part of your face during your time spent in the store.
Prefer to use a delivery service instead?
Using a delivery service gives you the best chance of not coming into contact with other people. But, the bigger South African grocery stores are having a hard time keeping up with demand, with some only offering delivery dates in a month’s time, so smaller, independently owned stores are a great alternative to consider.
Here are a few of our favourite grocery delivery services:
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We've got your back – Munching Mongoose Covid19 update. With all that is going on around the world at the moment, we are sure that you, like all of us, are a little worried and uncertain for what lies ahead. Well we just want to let you know that we are "all systems go" and we've got your back. As always we are open and working with all our awesome partners to still bring you the best available, healthy, organic and local produce. We have always, and will continue to keep the highest standards of food hygiene and sanitation. We are going to implement some new procedures and bring new options to the table too – you can select to have your order delivered in sealed cardboard boxes and milk in plastic bottles so that there is no need for returns, and packaging can be disposed of (recycled) for the next little while. Just let us know if this is something you would like. We can also offer "contactless delivery", where the team will simply pop your order on the ground at your front door for you to take into your home. They will also be wearing gloves and have hand sanitiser in the vehicles with them. Remember that stress is not good for your health, so try and take it easy, stay calm and keep eating healthy organic produce to maintain a good immunity. If you have any questions, would like to know anything in particular, or if you simply want to have a good ol' chat and a laugh with one of us here at Munching Mongoose, then please feel free to give us a shout or pop us a mail. Let's all work together, stay healthy and keep up the Happy Munching! . . . #munchingmongoose #mongaggle #happymunching #homedelivery #organic #freerange #contactlessdelivery #isolationsolution #coronavirus #covid19
Need some staples delivered to your door? The Munching Mongoose is an organic-grocery delivery service that prides its self on providing you with the best produce so you can create healthy and wholesome meals. You’re able to customise your box and choose from a whole host of ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers.
Offering a similar fresh-produce delivery service, The Veg Box Company stocks seasonal fruit and vegetables, as well as various meats, cheeses and preserves. The boxes themselves are really affordable and easy to customise. You’re also supporting local farmers when you buy from The Veg Box.
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"Life is short. Build something that matters" Siqi Chen Come see our new store in Morningside Shopping centre and all the fabulous packaging free, refillable products we have. We have loads of new products too (which will all be available online soon and also at Cedar Square as soon as we have our new unit added to house all the new stuff ? just give us a few weeks to get it up and running ??) ? courtesy of the wonderful eco warrior herself @janishaharie ?? #refillrevolution #zerowasteliving #zerowastejoburg #therefillerysa #therefillerymorningside #refusereducereuserecycle #refusesingleuse #singleuseplasticsucks
They have two physical stores – one in Morningside and the other in Cedar Square – that will remain open, but with shorter operating hours. You are also encouraged to shop online and have it delivered to your door, nationwide, but you can collect your purchases at the store. Stock up on items like olive oil, dishwashing liquid and, most importantly lots of chocolate-coated nuts.
For those who’d like to introduce a little convenience to their lives, We Are Food is just what you need, as they offer ready meals, eliminating the need for you to leave your home to do grocery shopping. You can order delicious freezer meals for singles, couples, and families.
By Features Writer Andrea Cresswell
Person of faith. Features writer. Lover of baked goods (Mary Berry is one of her heroes). A curator of really great Pinterest boards. She also loves to stay up to date with the latest health trends. If she was lost you’d probably find her perusing the cookbook aisles of Exclusive Books, sipping on a cortado.