Food and Essentials

With the closure of many shops and the introduction of new social distancing regulations when shopping for food, maintaining a necessary level of food and essentials in the home can be a challenge, particularly if you’re unable to leave your home.


  • Order online – Many supermarkets offer online ordering services. Do a shop online, but make sure you place your order well in advance as delivery slots can be booked up for several weeks in the current situation. If using online supermarket services is challenging, see if local shops will deliver to you and take payment online. This alternative can support local businesses and remove unnecessary stress for you. NHS volunteers will also deliver to people who are self-isolating.
  • Ask someone to shop for you – If someone you know who lives nearby and is not vulnerable (older people or those with underlying health conditions) or self-isolating, ask them if they can do a food shop for you and drop it at your front door. Instead of giving them cash, you could do a bank transfer for each shop or keep a tab that you pay back in one go.
  • Buy non- perishables - Try to buy food that will last a long time. If you have perishable food, try and use that first before using the tinned, frozen and dried food.
  • Plan meals - Think strategically through the food you have in your home and how it can be made into healthy meals with minimal wastage. Planning your meals helps you make sure that you use food in order of its use-by date to ensure that the fresh food you have doesn’t go off. Here is an article with some great meal planning tips.
  • Get pleasure from food – For some people, food is a means to an end. But for others, food is a hobby. If food is your hobby, be creative with your meals. Use this time to experiment and perfect your cooking skills. Food has the power to bring happiness and satisfaction so make sure it still does, even while adhering to a meal plan. Googling recipes or using Pinterest for inspiration is a good place to start.
  • Be creative with leftovers – Very few people enjoy eating the same meal every day for a week. Pinterest or just a quick Google can reveal some new and interesting ways to use leftovers (some great websites are BBC Good Food and websites run by chefs such as James Martin or Jamie Oliver). Cooking a whole chicken, joint of meat or batch of vegetables means that you can use the leftovers to make a curry, stew, stir fry, etc. the possibilities are endless! 

    Here are some tips on how to use leftovers creatively.


  • Going to the shops If you are self-isolating, some countries say you shouldn’t go to the shops. The current advice for self-isolating varies by country and as time and the situation progresses, so ensure that you check out your national guidelines before taking action as things can change day by day.
  • Panic buying In certain countries, regulations have been put into place to prevent people from stocking up on certain items. Abide by these regulations, and if these rules aren’t in place only buy what you need. To ensure there is enough for everyone, we need to make sure we are buying responsibly and avoiding waste.