Shopping Guide

Grocery Store Shopping Tips During the COVID-19 Quarantine

When you protect yourself, you protect others, too.

Photography: Nathália Rosa | Unsplash

Doing grocery runs during the COVID-19 quarantine requires a bit of preparation, because after all, you’d like to only head out once in two or three weeks. If you’re the “tribute” assigned to do this task, then you need all necessary precautions. Here’s a checklist of things you can do:

Make a grocery list.

As with every grocery trip, list down everything that you need to buy, and make sure that your stocks can last you at least a couple of weeks. (This, of course, doesn’t mean that you should hoard because supermarkets and palengke have stocks, and everyone needs their supplies if we are to beat COVID-19 as a community.) To make sure you don’t forget anything, try grouping your items into these categories: food, medication, pet supplies, toiletries, home cleaning agents, and miscellaneous.

Dr. Lauren Sauer, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, tells TIME that it’s better to make a list on paper which you can throw away after rather than on your phone to minimize the chances of transferring viral particles to its surface.


Wear the proper gear.

Different doctors have different opinions regarding whether or not one should wear a mask and a pair of gloves when going shopping. Some say that you shouldn’t wear a mask unless you’re sick because it gives a false sense of security, while others say that you should to lessen chances of infection as there are those with COVID-19 that are asymptomatic. There are a few who are on the fence about gloves.

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If you wish to err on the side of caution, however, wear a mask and a pair of gloves. The Department of Health recommends that you to throw these in a sealed bag after usage for 72 hours, before leaving them in your garbage depository to be picked up by your collector. More importantly, make sure that you don’t touch your face while you’re shopping. Always bring a bottle of alcohol or hand sanitizer with you.


In a list of tips, netizen Jopie Sanchez also suggests “wearing clothes as close to your body as possible” to avoid getting what you wear in contact with your surroundings, as well as wearing your glasses (should you have any) as an added layer of protection.

Sanitize the handles you hold.

Whether it’s a basket or a push cart, it’s best to spray a bit of alcohol or use a disinfectant wipe on the handles you’ll be holding. That being said…

Touch as little as possible.

This isn’t the time to pick the nicest can out of a shelf of canned goods. The less surfaces you touch, the better. It also follows that when you pick up something, as much as possible commit to buying it. Do it as a courtesy to your fellow shoppers.

Make sure to practice physical distancing.

As always, stay at least one meter apart from others. If a grocery aisle is narrow, wait for the other person to leave before walking through.


Pay digitally, if you can.

This is probably one of the few times you should take out your phone during shopping. Many groceries and supermarkets already accept payment via mobile apps such as GCash and Paymaya, so utilize them to lessen cash handling. 

If you can only pay in cash, make sure to sanitize your hands after.

Once you head home, you can follow these steps to help keep things clean and disinfected.

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