The way I did my groceries changed after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and we were all forced to stay inside. For one thing, I cook more now out of necessity. What I didn't expect, however, is how much my habits would change between Week 1 and Week 11 of quarantine. Instead of stocking up on canned goods and buying too much bread (remember when the shelves were always empty?), I prioritize onions, garlic, and other ingredients that elevate my simple meals.
We asked the women in our Cosmo Mixers for their own grocery hacks and realizations during ECQ.
- "Rice is a great staple for meals. (And bigas can be stored for so longggg!) But it gets boring when all you ever have to eat is rice + ulam, so we have learned to stock up on pasta. Sometimes bread. [I also realized] it's okay to spend on the 'non-essentials' like chips and other snacks! Mental health mo rin yan, e.
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Also, this is the most I have eaten veggies since moving out over ten years ago! The mobile palengke just around the corner is such a big help. Veggies are accessible and so much cheaper than grocery prices! I wish it were like this on a normal day. I missed veggies!!!" -Jewel
- "Eggs in supermarkets just aren't as fresh. Best to buy from a farm supplier. So many of them can be found in Viber groups. Also, buy potted herb plants! Herbs and aromatics just don't get restocked as often. Paano na mga quarantine gourmet cooking kung walang rosemary?
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As for a hack, balik sa handwritten grocery lists para iwas hawak and contamination sa phone! I try to pay via GCash, QR, or credit card... Kung mahaba pila, ipila na ang cart/basket and just keep adding until you make it to the end. Saves so much time!" -Nicole
- "Shop at noon! Walang tao masyado in line 'cause it's too hot or they're eating lunch. Also, stick to the list para 'di mag-over budget. Hahaha! Cheetos are non-essential!!! Also, meat parts are somethin' else." -Ira
- "I used to spend more on groceries buying the brands I grew up eating like Oreos, Chips Ahoy, Spam, and Cheetos, then tipid on the cooking essentials like oil, spices, etc. Now, I spend more on the pantry/cooking essentials for healthier options, then just buy local or lesser known alternatives for the other stuff. They're cheaper, and still hit the spot anyway. Chips Delight is the best, haha." -Ysabel
Answers have been edited for clarity.
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