Earlier this week, Boris Johnson announced that Brits are now only permitted to go to the shops once a day maximum, and if doing so, it should only be for ‘essentials’.
Plenty of non-essential shops have already shut, and only those considered ‘essential’ now remain open. These include supermarkets, hardware stores, off-licenses and garages.
However, many shoppers have been left asking the question ‘what counts as an essential?’
The government has not set out any official guidelines about what is considered an essential, so at the moment, we’ll need to rely on common sense to work out when we should and shouldn’t be nipping to the shops.
We’ve come up with some handy tips to help you.
If you want to head to the supermarket or to an essential shop, consider these factors before going:
- Is it urgent?
- Will it significantly impact my quality of life or risk my health and wellbeing if you don’t have it?
- Can I buy it online?
- Will I be putting others at risk by going to buy it?
To put it bluntly, if you fancy a chocolate bar, a new hanging basket for the garden or just fancy going to the supermarket for a ‘nice trip out’, then it’s probably not essential – and you’re unnecessarily putting others at risk by making the trip.
But if you’ve run out of baby formula, need food to feed yourself and/or your family, you need to pick up medication or sanitary products, or your car’s broken and it needs fixing for you to be able to work (if you’re a key worker), then these can all be considered essentials, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for going out the house for them.
If you can, try to consolidate your groceries in one weekly shop. Plan your meals for the week, make a list of exactly what you need before you go, and stick to it.
It’s not always possible to do this at the moment given stock levels, we know, but a list will help. It’s also handy to make a note of product substitutions before you head to the shops.
For example, if they don’t have passata, you could always buy some bolognese sauce instead. If it’s written down in front of you and not an afterthought, life will be much easier!
If you do fancy a treat, look on delivery apps like Deliveroo and Just Eat. There’s loads of local businesses on there ready to deliver at the moment, and they have everything from pizza and Chinese, to sweets and cocktails. So you’ll be helping local businesses as well as not breaking Boris’ rules – it’s a win win!
Happy shopping, people, and remember – the more we stick to the rules, the quicker this whole thing will be over!