How Much Food does a Typical Brit need for Two Weeks of Self-isolation?

Millions of UK residents are facing the prospect of spending two weeks in self isolation to minimise the spread of coronavirus across the country.

Anyone showing symptoms or living with someone who exhibits symptoms will need to self-isolate for up to two weeks, say official guidelines.

Should I stockpile food?

There are many alternative options to stockpiling food. The government is advising that friends or family can drop supplies at your doorstep. Takeaways and food delivery services are other options, or you can place an order online and get the shopping delivered.

However, you may face a wait if you want to book a delivery slot with the major supermarkets. Ratula Chakraborty, retail expert at Norwich Business School, UEA commented: “Online grocery retailers are already seeing booming sales with the consequence that households are having to wait longer for their deliveries.”

“This trend will accelerate if the epidemic spreads and consumers shy away from visiting stores in larger numbers.”

So, whilst stockpiling is avoidable, many of us are finding it reassuring to have a fortnight’s supply of essentials in case we need to self-isolate. Families on a budget are also deciding to stock up on the basics so they can avoid delivery fees and takeout costs.

Francesca Henry, owner of the Money Fox blog said: “I think a stockpile is a good idea.”

“That doesn’t mean going crazy with the amounts but thinking about what would happen if you weren’t able to leave the house (due to infection) or if everything is going to be running out or low in the shops.”

If you choose to prepare for a two-week period of self-isolation, you may find you’ve already got a lot of basics in your freezer or cupboards to get you started.

You’ll need to think about ingredients to create nutritional and tasty meals and try to include seasonings and sauces to add some variety to your diet.

What should I stockpile?

Popular money blogger Skint Dad has put together his checklist of things to include on your self-isolation shopping list:

  • Pasta – high in carbs and stores well. Can be used in loads of different meals
  • Rice – high in carbs and stores well. Can be used in loads of different meals
  • Lentils – nutritious, easy to cook and a good source of protein
  • Pulses – nutritious, easy to cook and a good source of protein
  • Cereal/oats – avoid ones with processed sugars
  • Beans – a good source of protein
  • Canned meat
  • Canned fish
  • Canned veg – full of vitamins. Keep the liquid for stocks
  • Canned fruits – get your vitamins.
  • Dried fruits – last for ages and keep your fruit intake up
  • Powdered milk – it may not taste great on its own but is good for oats.
  • Soups – can be used as the base for other dishes
  • Baking goods to make bread
  • Nuts – for protein and fats
  • Coffee and tea
  • Herbs and spices – to help flavour foods
  • Sweets – not just for a treat, good for a quick bit of energy.
  • Bottled water – it’ll be clean
  • Anything specific for kids under two years old, if you have kids
  • Pet supplies, if you have pets

Having a stockpile is a sensible precaution, but only buy what you need to cover your self-isolation period. That way supermarkets will be able to cater for everyone and no one need go without the essentials.