Do you want to know how to get essentials during the pandemic and avoid searching for them at 5 different stores? I am happy to share tips on what I have personally found to work well during Stay at Home orders as an LA County resident.
This post contains Amazon Affiliate and other affiliate links. A SoCal Way of Life earns a commission from all qualifying purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
Pandemic Panic Shopping
We’ve all been there. We realize we are dangerously close to running out of fresh produce, shampoo, or (gasp!) toilet paper. And for some reason, the pandemic causes people to hoard things like toilet paper. Why? I still haven’t figured that one out 😉
I like to call what ensues next, “Pandemic Panic Shopping.” No, I’m not talking about hoarding. I’m talking about that point at which you panic because you realize you are running out of some essential items and you are going to be forced to go to one (or many) stores just to find what you need. When the daily Covid numbers are going up, especially in LA County, you are likely cringing at the thought of having to go into an enclosed area. Especially when there’s someone near with their nose hanging out of their mask or wanting to lean over you to grab stuff. Ugh.
I know how frustrating this entire cycle is and would love to share with you how to get essentials to keep your home up and running.
How to get essentials with little to no store visits
The name of the game is to avoid having visit multiple stores just to find what you need to keep your household running smoothly. Who wants to visit a bunch of stores in the hopes that one will eventually have tp, disinfectant, etc.?
I will share with you, my beautiful readers, what I have personally done to minimize my excess store visits and exposure to others outside my home by a few categories of essentials.
How to get essentials: Paper Towels and cleaners
I’m sure that you noticed that there are plenty of stores with curbside pickup, right? But, have you noticed that these curbside orders often exclude paper towels and disinfectants? For the love of God, why?! If you need these items, the store requires you to physically go into the store and see if the item just happens to be there. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather save my leaving the house and potential exposure to Covid for heading out to the beach or shopping at Marshalls. Just saying!
My solution: FORGET PAPER TOWELS! Grab microfiber cloths and natural cleaners, delivered to your door, by Grove Collaborative.
Trust me, just any old microfiber cloth won’t do. I’ve wasted my money on various brand of microfiber cloths only to find that they leave streaks and or don’t hold up well to cleaning. The microfiber cloths that I have purchased from Grove Collaborative are far superior and have paid for themselves many times over due to all of the paper towels that I did not buy and use. The cloths are sturdy and work extremely well when I’m cleaning counters or polishing furniture. Another perk? You are helping to save the environment 😉
Tip: I highly recommend you purchase microfiber sets that come in a set with a Method or Grove brand cleaner. You end up getting a better deal on the cost of the cloths while also getting a great cleaner.
Tip #2: Purchase reusable spray bottles with cleaner concentrate from Grove to further reduce waste and eliminate store trips.
Shop through my affiliate link and receive a free gift with your first purchase!
Click here for the deal>>> Receive a Mrs. Meyer’s Winter Bundle for FREE with your 1st purchase of $25+
How to get essentials: Toilet Paper needs
For some reason, this is a touchy topic for people. I don’t know why. At this point in the pandemic, the news has made it abundantly clear that we all use the bathroom and purchase toilet paper.
I think that the solution is fairly obvious in this case, but I’ll lay them out here for you anyway 😉
Solution #1: Purchase a bidet attachment for your toilet(s).
I purchased a non-electric bidet attachment from Costco for $29 for just one restroom. I had a mutiny on my hands when it first arrived at the house. One: “It will be difficult to install!” Two: “WHAT is that?!”
You know what? It was the best investment I ever made during the pandemic! We no longer have to worry about standing in long lines in the HOPES that there will be toilet paper in the store when we walk in.
I purchased this bidet from Costco because it was sold out EVERYWHERE else. Here is a link to a similar attachment on Amazon. This is the same brand, however this one has extras like a warm water function and therefore worth the extra cost:
Solution #2: Order from a toilet paper delivery company.
Yes! They exist! Can you believe it?
I read other people suggesting others order from Who Gives A Crap (FYI: I am not sponsored by this company) I gave it a try and I have three positive things to say: 1) Their delivery was reliable. 2) They delivered to my door. 3) They had toilet paper available for my home when I couldn’t find it anywhere online or in store.
The downside of ordering from this company? I ordered the “premium” paper. If you are one of those people that likes Charmin, this company is not for you (LOL). The paper is pretty tough. Now, if you absolutely refuse to try solution #1, I guess this is the option for you.
How to get essentials: Small Object Sanitizer
Yes friends, the topic of disinfecting wipes is coming up. We all know these are still tough to find. There are definitely DIY wipes recipes to be found on the internet, but who knows if they are actually effective in killing the coronavirus?
I still recommend using disinfecting wipes or spray on door handles, but what about everyday objects that you touch constantly and definitely take out of the house with you?
Solution: iHome UV-C Sanitizer and blue tooth speaker alarm clock
I stumbled upon this handy item while shopping Costco. I looked for similar items online and found them sold out everywhere!
This item states that it is a 360 degree UV-C sanitizer that sanitizes 99.9% of germs in 3 minutes. I have one and can confirm that it is a 360 degree clean for items that fit inside.
I love this thing because:
- It is multi-functional (sanitizer, clock, usb ports)
- I can sanitize more than just my phone!
- Anything else that fits inside!
- It is a decent size (8.87 x 4.85 x 3.51 inches)
- I place it out in the living room for everyone to use.
- I CAN SAVE MY DISINFECTANT WIPES FOR OTHER THINGS!
Here is an Amazon link to the item below:
How to get essentials: Fresh produce
I will be the first to admit that I was an anti-produce box delivery person until last March. I was like, “Who am I, a Vanderbilt?” That is, until the pandemic came along and I discovered a local company with reasonable prices and no delivery fee!
I love Doorstep Produce and discovered this company early on in the pandemic. They currently deliver mainly in the LA South Bay and parts of Los Angeles. However, the owner has mentioned that the service area will be expanding. If you head to their site and find that your address is not in the service area, email them and ask if they would consider servicing your area. The owner stated she would consider it and deliver if she could make it work with their current services.
Check out more details about Doorstep Produce and why I love them so much by heading over to this post: Keep your Family Nourished with Doorstep Produce
How to get essentials: Non-perishables and other basics
For things like pasta, canned goods, and other supplies, I highly recommend Target Drive Up and Amazon Prime.
Solution #1: Same day curbside pickup at Target.
With the exception of refrigerated or frozen items, and disinfectants, Target curbside is by far one of the most convenient ways to get items you need the SAME DAY at NO COST to you!
I have been using Target drive-up service throughout the pandemic, especially when Covid numbers get uncomfortably high in LA County. I just head to the Target app, set the store I want to pick up items from, then shop away. All you have to specify is that you want to “drive up” for that item. When you’re done shopping, pay and complete your transaction. You will get a text, email, and app notification letting you know that your order is ready for pickup. Just open the app and click the button letting them know you’re coming. The directions tell you what to do from there.
There are special spots designated just for Target drive-up orders. Just pull into the spot and let them know you’re there via the app. Keep your window up if you want, show them confirmation number, then pop the trunk for them to load the bags for you. It can be 100% zero contact if you need/want to avoid rolling down your window.
Again, this service is FREE. And no, this is NOT sponsored 😉
Solution #2: Order your items from Amazon Prime and have them delivered to your door.
Whether you need batteries, a Baby Yoda bobble head, or some craft supplies, you can easily get them delivered to your door with Amazon Prime in 2 days or less.
I HIGHLY recommend that you sign up for Amazon Prime. The annual fee includes prime delivery, prime video streaming, prime music, and photo storage (and more!). I mean, this is easily one of the best services I pay for each year.
You can try out Amazon Prime free for 30 days by clicking HERE.
Grab these if you plan on shopping in store!
Sometimes, you just can’t avoid going in store! I am sharing how to get essentials, including those times when you have to head into the stores.
If you want the protection that a face shield provides your eyes without wearing a face shield, I recommend these protective glasses. I recently purchased these for the family. None of us wanted to wear face shields, but I wanted some sort of wrap-around eye protection. These were comfortable, affordable, and not to awkward looking (in my opinion 😉 I grabbed these adult pairs and one kid pair on Amazon. I like that there are little shield/guards all around the eye area. I’ve provided the links with pictures below:
Tip: Make sure that the description states the glasses are anti-fog. I originally purchased a different pair of kid glasses without anti-fog and it was a big problem when my kid put a mask on with the glasses. We then purchased the kid glasses I linked above that are anti-fog. We can personally confirm that these glasses are great 😉
Did this help?
I hope that this will help you and your household get essentials during the pandemic. We wish you a safe and healthy new year!