COVID-19 How to keep well stocked without panic buying

I have always kept spares, for varied reasons over my lifetime, because going daily to the shops was simply not an option. I have always had enough staples for a couple of weeks.
Tissues, always keep 3 boxes, maybe 4 if a large family, in case of colds. Toilet paper, enough for a couple of weeks, no need to fill the spare room.
One spare each of soaps, toothpaste, shampooh etc, one spare each of cleaning products, washing up liquid etc etc.
I keep a couple of cartons of long life milk and a packet of powdered milk. When the use by date is close I use it up (baking, puddings etc) and replace.
I always have rice and pasta, again one packet opened, one spare. I always have a few tins of baked beans in case I dont feel like cooking.
Same with sugar, flour etc etc, One opened, one spare.
Same with frozen veges. And my grated cheese is kept in the freezer, as is a loaf of bread.
I also cook a little extra and freeze meals so again, if I cant cook I at least have meals I can heat and eat.
I dont need to panic buy, just restock. Unfortunatley because of the panic buying, restocking is becoming hard at the moment.
Preserving is great, however many of us dont have that option.
Any other ideas for maintaining a well stocked home to cover emergencies?


Hi @OldGal, sentiments most of us older and not so old Aussies are familiar with.

Not so easy for those living day to day. Any extra by my observations tends to get used up when things are a bit tight, making it hard to get ahead. This is not only common, but likely to become far more common if we start to see a drop in employment over the next few weeks.

Doubtless the younger ones are now learning a lesson about their JIT living, however buying more than your immediate needs our sons describe as wasteful or greedy. They may still have a point.


As well as those not so young who tend to eat out much of the time - they’ll have to learn themselves some cooking skills!

I ordered a bit (the usual amount of 2-3 kg of each) of flour, race, lentils from the online organic store I use last week, which I now have, but checking today I see they have stopped all online orders to cater for in-store sales only.
I think it might be time to get my winter vegetable crop planted, at least I have plenty of spuds and pumpkins just about ready to harvest. Being at least partly self-sufficient over recent years is proving to be rather useful now!


I have been living like this for many years, when working and now, on a pension. It would be very impractical and expensive and yes, wrong, to go and buy spares of everything at once now. Might be a way for some to be prepared in the future. Its about maintaining this rather than building it.


We lived in the country for over 20 years so always had extras and once we moved back to the city found we kept on keeping up the extras. We’ve always had a freezer and used to buy sides of lamb and beef; parcel them up and freeze them. We still freeze our meat which we tend to buy on special. A cryovac machine is very helpful. We bought that initially for when we went remote camping and 4WDriving. Still use it. We’re still trying to maintain our normal shopping routine.

I have enjoyed the conversations with others in the supermarkets. I shopped at the ‘oldies’ time this morning and again enjoyed the smiles and chats. I’ve found we tend to be a lot more social as we discuss the folly of hoarding. (By the way I am an ‘Oldie’.)

I was surprised today when the checkout person thanked me for being polite. I find it hard to believe the need some people feel for rudeness.

I’ve also love the jokes proliferating re toilet paper. Humour is such a powerful tool and enables us to get on with life.


Not sure if I classify as a “younger one” at 33… its confusing when one of my jobs involves clients mostly over 60 which usually makes me feel young, and the other working with kids and 20 year olds which makes me feel very old :joy:

My husband (currently our primary income earner) is currently casual labour hire in the construction industry, so I always make sure we have a bit extra to cover sick leave, just like OldGal. I make sure, as much as possible, that our bills are paid a couple of weeks ahead. Even over-paying by a small amount each payment accumulates into a nice buffer after a while.
The other thing that has suddenly become very useful for me is enjoying/being able to cook and eat things that most people don’t seem to like or don’t know how to use. We pretty much only eat brown rice, and that has been very easy to get. I eat a lot of beans and learned a long time ago that cooking them from dried is much more satisfying than canned (getting a pressure cooker made it quickish and easy as well). Brown rice and well cooked beans is a delicious and very nutritious meal, and its cheap and easy to keep extra of in the pantry. We make our own bread, and I buy bakers flour in 5kg bags so I already had plenty of that.
My shopping trolley is usually packed full of fresh fruit and vegetables, and anything that doesnt get eaten, just before it’s no good it gets preserved (jam, frozen, canned, dehydrated). I’m also always happy to accept and preserve any gluts of produce from my family and friends :slight_smile:
I’m actually seeing a pattern developing as I’m writing this, and I think slowly investing in equipment like a pressure cooker, breadmaker, dehydrator, canning/preserving equipment as I’ve been able has set me up really well for the crisis. Acquiring the skills to use it all (and enjoy doing it!) has also been very beneficial.

The only thing I can see us missing out on would be milk, because I can’t stand longlife or powdered. But luckily we live in WA, and our fresh milk supply is generally pretty stable!!


The people who used to eat out a lot are now buying extra groceries, contributing to the apparent shortages. My wife reports there is plenty of fresh fruit, but pasta, packet meals, spuds, pumpkins and meat are not available, which is fine for us.
Unfortunately it appears that you are only allowed to buy two rectangular items each visit in Woolies in Tamworth. My wife tried to buy 2 LL soy milks and 2 LL rice milks yesterday, but was told there was a limit of 2, it didn’t matter that they were different products! Being 35km out of town, we normally buy by the box of 12, but they no longer allow that. That’s fine if you live in town and can pop down to the shops every day or 2, but it would be a rather expensive exercise for us.

Blanket limits don’t work very well for out-of-towners, so we are going to have to stop drinking as much of it… I guess weak bones due to lack of Calcium is in my future if this continues for very long!


As commented, there are fruit and vegetables, but the prices are extraordinarily high. An iceberg lettuce $4.50, bananas $3.50/kg minimum. etc Potatoes and onions have almost always been completely gone when I have been shopping over the last two weeks.

Overheard two shelf packers discussing how much harder it was to restock with the shelves so empty, because it was hard to find the location where new stock was meant to go. They had to work their way along the shelf labels instead of just looking at the products.

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There are plenty of in-towners who can’t get to the shops every day.

Meanwhile, from Facebook (I know, some people object to that as a source. If your worldview is offended, just scroll past):


The following link might help those of us with logitech mice and superscrolling who got here to the end very quickly :rofl:

It references and quotes the above FB post. Scrolling backwards works too :wink: Or click on the link below. :wink:

Good on Roy Butler and may he prevail to minds who might, like most MPs, be astonished to find the bush is not like a capital city CBD, nor even a major regional one.

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Plenty of empathy. It is both surprising and not that there is only one voice, where others in the same position have been silent. Our typical return trip was only 560km or there about.

How many eskies, bags of ice, a 12V freezer, and plastic crates can you get in the back of a wagon?
The other half of the equation is how much needed to feed a family of 5 or more?
Fresh meat optional. Depending on where and how you lived, and which side of any drought there may have been options.

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Aaaaaand… I ran out of plain flour :woman_facepalming:t3:
This is my alternative measure -
I sifted some wholemeal (which I have ample supply of) with my finest conical sieve. Its not perfectly bran-free, but hopefully it will have a smooth enough texture for sauces and fussy-kid pancakes!


Trouble with socialising at the supermarket is that, we are told to “socially isolate” and keep 1.5 (or 2, depending on whom you ask) meters away from each other
I think we (in Australia) are still at the denial stage. They take it much more seriously in Europe (albeit too late) and I get posts about how they go about disinfecting themselves after each outing (including washing the outside of all packages they purchased, washing all of their outer clothes, never wearing their shoes - which they wipe with sanitiser- or any of their clothes inside the house, even changing shoes just to take the rubbish out. They never go outside without even covering their hair, should anyone sneeze on them
I was at the supermarket the other day and asked a question from a girl stacking shelves. She nearly jumped out of her skin, until she realised I wasn’t about to attack her. Very sad


I now have a new peeve.
I have said that while the early morning shopping for “priority assistance” is a good idea on paper, there are some problems with that AFAIC.
Firstly, not all of us oldies are morning people. I am certainly not. I have trouble sleeping, so sleep when I can, which may or may not be at the times most people consider night.
Secondly, having spoken to several people who set the alarm and turned up at (say) 7.15, only to discover the shelves empty. Seems there may have been 3or4 packets of toilet paper (I did not stockpile/panic buy, so am now running out) which disappeared by 7.02 am. Some things there was no stock of at all, they just simply got no deliveries. They told me that they have no idea what will arrive on which day (when I spoke to a shop assistant, she told me that they have received no TP for 3 days) So, these old, sick or disabled people have to get up early every morning in the hopes of finding some of what they are running out of, possibly picking up the COVID-19 virus they are trying to avoid; by not practicing “social isolation” we are told to practice.
So, I got an email from Woolworths, which I thought was a great idea. They are restoring home deliveries for “priority shoppers” pending approval (proving that you are eligible) So, I applied and was approved.
I went to the website to place my order. They actually had TP (one brand only that wasn’t marked “sold out” and one per customer) and several other things I needed.
Got to the checkout, only to be informed that half my basket is not available. Went to pay for what was, got informed that I can’t have delivery unless I order minimum $50. So, went back to shopping. Clicked on lots of non perishable stuff I didn’t really need, just to get to $50 (still no TP!) Went back to checkout, only to discover some of the new things I’ve selected were also not available. I was again under the $50 (which does not include the $10 delivery fee) Cut a long story short, spent an hour trying to place an order, to no avail.
So, I phoned their help line. Only spent 55 minutes listening to musac. The girl was very sympathetic. I suggested she’d mention to the powers that be that perhaps us “priority shoppers” could set up a “wish list/ pre-order” what ever you’d want to call it and they pack our shopping, before they are put on the shelves and let us know when our goods are there, ready to deliver. She didn’t seem interested in that (just kept repeating that this wasn’t the way they did it) She did try to help, logged into my basket and added some more (unneeded) things to add up to $50. Thanked her, hung up and went to the checkout. My basket was now $46… That is when I gave up!


Our local Woollies (and expect Coles and other supermarket employees are the same) said that she was abused regular throughout the day from customers due to the purchasing limitation introduced by the supermarkets. We happened to be there at 10am and she said that she felt that day was going to be lucky as she was yet to be abused. She said that abuse is hurled her way usually within the first few customers.

May be we should all pull our heads in and realise that the purchase limitations are not the fault of the supermarkets or their employees, but the few in the community who irrationality have panic bought particular items spoiling it for everyone else. Finger should be pointed at these individuals rather than the supermarkets which are trying to make panic bought products available to all and sundry.


I have lung disease, am over 60 and applied for priority delivery with Woolworths…twice…last week then yesterday. No reply. So am walking to the shops couple times a week playing russion roulette with my health. Coles havent even started to offer ANY form of delivery. 'STAY HOME" THEY SAY, “GET SUPPLIES IN” THEY SAY. Yeah, right.

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You should phone them (have a cup of tea, while listening to musac) because there is something wrong. I got approved in a couple of days. That said, not sure if it is worth the hassle, as there is still nothing available to buy

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If you have one, try the local deli and small shops, F&V, bake shop, and butcher who seem to be reasonably stocked around here. TP, still backlogged everywhere; grab a pack when you can where you can.

FWIW Costco is having a seniors morning this Thursday but they state they might not have everything ‘we’ need or expect in stock. Seems pointless except they just had to ‘show up’ even if only once since Colesworth set an example.

It reads like the Colesworth marketing departments have taken the lead in their CV-19 response, no communication with warehouses, deliveries, or the poor staff in the stores seems required in their minds. Reads great, looks good, what else matters to marketing?

Coles announced today that Tue and Thr are now an emergency and healthcare workers hour (7:00-8:00), and Mon-Wed-Fri remain the seniors hour.


Thanks. I logged into my Woolworths account and checked delivery, windows now open to me :slight_smile: So I guess I have been accepted, that is a huge relief. Coles simply say go to foodbank site to find local charity! I dont want charity!!! I (like many others) just want delivery restored to us. There is a Fruit and Veg shop which delivers but their prices even before this were out of my budget. In store…great prices…online for delivery (which is free) a HUGE difference in prices. My local butcher closed up shop a few weeks ago although their other shop still open and he did offer to deliver for me so will be doing that.


One shops solution. (edited link)