Although most of us are ondue to the , we still when we're , toilet paper and prescription medications. But you'll want to limit the amount of time you spend in the store and the number of surfaces you have to touch.
The next time you go out shopping for essentials, you need a plan. Remember to shop calmly and patiently, and smile at others. We're all in the same boat. Read on for grocery shopping tips in the time ofand let us know in the comments what has worked best for you.
Organize your shopping list
To get in and out fast, you'll want to organize your shopping list by aisles, if you know them, or by a family of items. Some grocery store apps, like Kroger, will list where you can find the product, like aisle 5.
After making your list, start adding the items in order of the aisles. Now you don't have to worry about zigzagging around the store because you forgot to grab an item that was.
Only buy what you need
The temptation to panic shop and stock up on supplies is strong in times of uncertainty, but not very helpful. Hoarding has causedof certain products, like toilet paper and frozen peas (here's how to get an ). That isn't fair to the community, or to you when it's your turn to replace an item you legitimately need.
Some stores are limiting the number of items you can buy. If yours isn't, consider what you actually need. If you have three packages of toilet paper at home, don't buy another set. If you're stocked up on Clorox wipes, leave the last package on the shelf for someone else. The supply will return.
Wipe the shopping cart down or wear gloves
Before you grab a shopping cart, have a sanitizing cloth ready to wipe down the cart. Many retailers have these available, and some are wiping the carts down for you as you walk in. If you don't have access to disinfectant wipes, however, wear a pair of latex or other single-use gloves while you're shopping and discard them when you leave.
Leave the family at home
If you can go to the store alone, do it. It helps limit the number of people at the grocery store at one time and makes it easier to socially distance. If you have to bring a child with you because you have no one else to watch them, make sure they don't touch anything and that they keep their distance from others as well.
Maintain your 6-foot bubble
While waiting to grab something in an aisle, wait until the other person has moved past what you're after. Not only does it help you follow the rules of social distancing, but the person will also appreciate that you're not hovering over them while they try to find what they need.
Also, when you're checking out, keep the six-foot distance between yourself and other shoppers. You should also try to use the self-checkouts when possible, too, so that you can worry less about someone standing too close.
Keep your hands clean when shopping
If you don't have gloves, make sure to sanitize your hands often in case you accidentally touch your face. That doesn't mean you have to apply hand gel after each item you touch, but it's a good practice to do so when you leave the store.
You should alsowhen you get home from the store.
Use a noncontact payment method
Where possible, usewhen checking out at the store. Or, if your debit card has the contactless tap to pay (where you hover your card over the payment terminal), use that rather than inserting or sliding your card in the machine. These methods prevent you from having to enter your PIN code or signing on the touchscreen -- both areas that numerous people touch daily.
If the store you go to doesn't have any of these options for payment methods (the Kroger I go to weekly doesn't offer any of these for its customers, but has its own mobile pay system), make sure you use hand sanitizer right after touching the PIN pad. You'll also want to sanitize your debit card, too.
Grab items from the back of the shelf
Items that are located on the back of the shelf likely haven't been handled as much, so try to go for those. Make sure you slide the items in front to the side with your arm, rather than your hands. Or you can try to reach through the gap and slide the back product out so that you can easily grab it.
Go to stores during off-hours
If possible, plan your grocery trips during off-hours when social distancing is less difficult. Each location varies, so you can drive past the store at different times to see when it's less congested. For example, some stores have fewer people inside shortly after they first open than they do around lunch time. If you're still having trouble finding items you need during this time,if your store offers it.
In less than a month, our schedules have dramatically changed, but it's important that we adapt to stay protected from the virus. Here arewhen you need to leave the house, and .
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.