How to Not Panic Buy for CMCO

With the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) being in effect from October 14th onwards, the public is already going through this “panic-buy” phase all over again.

For the second time in a year, shelves started going empty on the night of the announcement itself and it is unfortunate to say that we haven’t really learnt from the past when members of the public were over-stocking up on various supplies so much that it created a social media frenzy of “who could do it worst”.

Other than leaving the vulnerable population without the essentials, some of the goods that are hoarded are even often going to waste. So how do you shop for a lockdown?

How often should I go to the grocery store?

The less the better, but it all still comes down to how much food can you transport and store. Consider going an average once every two weeks. The more planned out you are, the less you’ll tend to go for another unneeded grocery run.

If I’m buying to prepare for two weeks, will I cause a shortage for others?

No. Even panic buying at its worst simply created short-term shortages in stores. That doesn’t mean that you should stock up that much more though as the public should’ve known by now that what they put it their shopping cart is usually already more than enough.

So what should I buy that would last me for two weeks?

A good start would be canned goods like canned tomatoes, beans and coconut milk as they’re useful for a variety of dishes while dry foods like pasta, rice, spices and even baking supplies are versatile to keep as well as they’ll be used up at some point. 

Fresh foods that are easy to freeze, sealed blocks of cheese, pre-frozen bags of vegetables can be kept in the freezer while root vegetables, potatoes and onions all can be keot for a long time in the pantry, provided they are stored in a cool, dark place.

If you were to buy meat, buy frozen fish and meat that you can store in the freezer.

All in all, rationalize. Think before you buy and make sure you aren’t overprepared and are coming out of quarantine with and overstocked amount of food supply at home.

What if I come across empty shelves during my grocery shopping trip? 

Empty shelves don’t mean a shortage of food and supplies; it simply means that stores and supply chains need to catch up with the increase in demand. 

It is just taking a while to get the product flowing through supply chain back to the stores, but it is safe to say that the products are surely is on its way back to the public’s demands.

Will there be enough for me if I miss out on the days where everyone is out buying?

Yes. Stores encourage customers to only buy what they need as there’s always plenty to go around for everyone. However, there won’t be a need to wait for a restock if we just buy what we need and not overstock supplies.

Hoarding isn’t really necessary as grocery stores are still going to be open for business and we aren’t limited to visit for emergency grocery shopping. Even if the products aren’t there when you need them, be flexible and move on with other options to replace what is short in supply.

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