grocery cart in a shopping mall

Here are at least 50 things everyone should have a supply of for the year ahead

After two years of a seemingly endless global pandemic, supply chain interruptions and issues are rampant. Still very near the beginning of 2022, it is looking like the pandemic will persist through at least the first half of this year. With this knowledge, it is a good idea for everyone to think a bit ahead and prepare themselves for more lockdowns and potentially empty grocery store shelves. No, we are not suggesting that you raid the store and leave nothing for anyone else. We are simply stating that the purchasing of sufficient amounts of a few key items will likely save you a headache later.

50 Things Everyone Should Have Stocked In Their Home This Year

As already mentioned, when we say stocked, we don’t mean overstocked. We simply mean that you should have it. Having these items on-hand now will save you the hassle of duking it out in the supermarket with other, more last-minute shoppers.


1. A Conventional Generator and a Solar Generator

Having a backup generator is a good idea any time, pandemic aside. It doesn’t matter if there are power outages or issues with electricity if you have one of these. A solar-powered one is great because they are better for the environment. That being said, having a conventional on hand is good in case of days with less sun.


2. A Berkley Water Filter

Berkley water filters are known not just for purifying water, but also for removing bacteria and viruses. We don’t think we need to say much more on these, considering the global health crisis going around.


3. Rainwater Collection System

If you don’t have a natural supply of water near your home, this is the next best thing. Plumbing problems can be a real pain. They’re an even bigger pain when plumbers are in short supply and in high demand. Having this on hand will save you from having to go out and buy jugs and jugs of water – if you can even find them


4. Fully-Stocked Emergency Medical Kit

This is just a good idea no matter what is happening in the world, but especially during a global pandemic. After all, avoiding unnecessary trips to the doctor, the store, or the pharmacy are probably in your best interest. Having a large, complete medical kit will save doctor and hospital visits for real emergencies only.

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5. Rice

Rice takes a very, very long time to go bad as long as it is stored properly. It is healthy, versatile, and cheap. This means when suddenly everyone realizes that they need to stock their pantry at the same time, it will get swiped up quickly. Do yourself a favor and go get a couple of big bags of it now. Above all, it’ll save you money in the long run.


6. Pasta

Another carbohydrate that doesn’t really go bad! Not to mention pasta is also incredibly versatile and can be great for healthy, fast, family-friendly lunches and dinners. Purchase a variety of types to allow for variety in your meals.


7. Canned Soup

These, naturally, can last practically forever (again, stored properly) and can provide you and your family with variety and a warm meal on a cold day. Canned soups can obviously be eaten as-is but are often utilized in casseroles, stews, and other recipes as well.


8. Canned Vegetables

Especially during a pandemic, you need to be eating your veggies. Unfortunately, it might not always be feasible or wise to go to the store every couple of days to buy more fresh produce. For this reason, canned vegetables can come in handy. Just watch for the sodium content as in some cases they can be very high.


9. Frozen Vegetables and Fruits

These are other items that while maybe they won’t last quite as long as canned varieties, they can often be a bit healthier and taste better, too. Frozen fruits and veggies can be used in almost any situation that the fresh stuff can be. On a hot day, they can be quite refreshing, too.

10. Canned Fruit

Again, these will last a really, really long time. On top of that, they tend to be a child-pleaser. Of course, this is often because they contain a lot of sugar. If you want to control the amount of sugar your family is consuming, look for lower sugar brands or even better do some fruit canning yourself.

11. Canned Chicken

And other canned protein sources in general! Tuna, salmon, pork… there are actually plenty of great protein sources that come in cans. They are versatile, easy to work with, and can make throwing together quick, easy, healthy meals quite simple. 

12. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter and other nut butter will also last for a long time and of course, are quite delicious. Besides simply spreading on toast, you can use them for smoothies, baking, and some sauces, as well. Look for lower sugar and salt varieties if you can.

13. Salt

Yes, we need to be mindful of our salt intake, however, food without any salt at all? Let’s be honest, it’s quite bland. Salt is an essential ingredient to cooking and baking and still has an important role to play in our health. Don’t let yourself be left hanging with a salt-less pantry.

14. Sugar

Another ingredient for which we want to be mindful of our consumption, sugar is also still important. This is especially if you want to get your pandemic baking round two (or three, or four…) on. It will get bought up quickly so make sure you’re stoked ahead of time.

15. Powdered Milk

Is it as tasty as fresh milk? No – but it takes a whole heck of a lot longer to go bad. On top of this, it can be used in many baking recipes as well. This one will be especially important if you’ve got young kids at home.

16. Bags of Flour

Again, the baking craze at the beginning of 2020 meant people raided the shelves of the “baking needs” aisle. Flour was one of the first things to go. Don’t let your COVID baking dreams get derailed by not already having flour in your pantry.

17. Yeast

Many people in the first year of the lockdown decided that being stuck at home was the perfect time to master the art and science of baking bread. That is until they went to the store only to realize that everyone else had the same idea. Yeast was a popular but scarce item. Go get it now and save yourself the trouble.

18. Coffee

If you’re a coffee drinker and reside in parts of the world where coffee is not grown, then recognize that supply chain issues will disrupt this product massively. Stock up on your favorite type of beans or grounds and invest in a way to store them that keeps them fresh. When everyone else is clambering for the last bag of joe on the shelf, you’ll be sipping with ease from the comfort of your home.

19. Extra Vitamins

When people begin to panic about a virus, they then all rush out to fill their cupboards with vitamins. Go stock yours up now in advance. After all, it’s better to already be taking the right vitamins so that as more people get sick, your immune system will be ready.

20. Lighter or Matches

Fire is important. Whether it’s getting the gas stove going or keeping warm, we need fire in many aspects of our lives. Unless you’re really adept at starting fires cave-man style, we suggest you make sure you’ve got plenty of lighters and matches on hand.

21. Candles

In the case of a power outage, you might have to go even longer than usual without light during a pandemic. In this case, it is a good idea to have candles on-hand so that you will still be able to see. Just make sure you practice fire safety and are careful of where you put candles. Also, never leave them burning unattended.

22. Flashlights or Lanterns

Candles are great for ambiance and soft light. If you need to find something in your pantry or go downstairs and check the electrical box, however, they aren’t quite as useful. Flashlights and lanterns will get you a lot further in these circumstances. 

23. Firewood

Whether for heat, light, or both, have a good stock of firewood around. Even if you don’t have a fireplace, you may wish to construct a small fire in your backyard to do some cooking in the case of an outage. Also, having an outdoor fire with a few properly-distanced friends is a good way to socialize when it’s cold out.

24. Extra Blankets

Again, if power outages occur, you want to have plenty of things ready to help keep you and your loved ones warm. Extra blankets will be critical for this. Again, speaking of the backyard bonfire idea, these will also come in handy in this situation.

25. Extra Sleeping Bags

For keeping warm, for sleeping in – however you want to use them, they are always a good idea. Worse things worse now you’ve got extra sleeping bags for camping and sleep-outs in the warmer months.

26. Extra Fans

If you live in a hot climate, losing power or at least having your air conditioning break down can be just as dangerous as losing heat in the cold. Have extra ready in case these circumstances occur. Far better to be prepared than to melt in the heat.

27. Hand Sanitizer

If we learned anything from the first wave of coronavirus, it’s that people will buy up hand sanitizer faster than you can blink. Then you’ll be stuck paying outrageous prices online for them or awkwardly trying to make your own at home. Do yourself a favor and go buy it now before the craze happens.

28. Toilet Paper

When you’re sitting on the Jon and the toilet paper’s gone… what do you use? Don’t be stuck using things that could clog your drains or be simply completely s**t out of luck (pun intended). Have a well-stocked toilet paper cupboard at all times so you won’t be left high and dry.

29. Extra Soap and Shampoo

Even though we may not be able to go out and see people, we still need to be clean and hygienic. Always have a backup of soap, shampoo, conditioner, and whatever other hygiene and beauty products you use. This way you won’t have to worry about running out.

30. Extra Toothpaste

Dental hygiene is a critical part of our health. Especially with the issue of “mask mouth” that became a problem during COVID-19, you want to stay on top of your oral hygiene. Make sure that you’ve got a good supply of toothpaste so you can avoid unnecessary trips to the dentist.

31. Extra Razors

Okay, so I know if you’re not going out and seeing people you might get a bit lax with your shaving routine. Still, especially for men with beards and mustaches, it’s important to have extra razors so you don’t let the facial (or other) hair get too wild. Also, razors can have other uses, so it’s a good idea to have a few extras lying around.

32. Bleach

Again something you may not think of until you are out and there are none on the grocery store shelves. This is an item that when you need it, you need it pretty quickly. Have it ready and you won’t miss a beat.

33. Battery-Powered Radio

Most of us don’t even own a radio anymore, let alone a battery-powered one. Think about it: If the internet is down, how are you going to receive your news? A backup radio that doesn’t require electricity is a great thing to have around, just in case.

34. Extra Batteries

Whether it’s for your radio, your flashlight, or whatever another battery-requiring object, having backup batteries is just as important as the object itself. After all, what good is a flashlight or a battery-powered radio if the batteries that make it run are dead?

35. Solar Chargers

Again, having multiple options for charging your important electronics is always a good idea. Solar chargers are a great backup option in case of a power outage. This way you will still be able to charge your phone so you can communicate with your friends and family.

36. Trash Bags

Another item that disappeared from shelves during the first wave of the pandemic. Don’t end up with a pile of garbage on the floor. Buy extra bags now to last you through the shortages.

37. Tarps

Tarps will be important for keeping things covered and dry. For example, all of your extra firewood. They can be useful in many situations so have a few extra ready to go.

Read: 11 Foods That Stay Good After Their Expiration Date

38. A Pocket Knife

Pocket knives are useful for so many things! Get yourself a high-quality one with plenty of functions. This way you’ll never be without the tool you need.

39. A Hammer

Realistically, a hammer is something you should have in your home regardless of a pandemic. You never know when you are going to need one. Again, shortages abound in tough times so buy yourself one while the hardware stores are still in-stock.

40. An Ax

An ax is another highly useful tool to have around the house. This is especially if you plan on manually re-stocking your firewood pile yourself.

41. A Shovel

This one is particularly important if you live in a winter climate. In case of heavy snowfall, you’re going to want to make sure you have a good shovel or two ready to go. 

42. Work Gloves

Keep your hands protected while you work. These tend to wear out relatively quickly, so make sure you’ve got some extra pairs. Buy them now before everyone else is trying to.

43. Warm Socks

And to be honest, just socks in general. Socks are another clothing item that either get holes in them or you lose one to the mysterious dryer land. Always have plenty of extras, especially the warm ones, so that you aren’t stuck sockless.

44. Seeds

One way to avoid the issue of running out of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs is to grow your own. Go buy seeds now so that when the seasonal rush coupled with pandemic panic buyers comes around, you’re already prepared.

45. Canning Jars

If you’re able to grow yourself a big enough garden, chances are you will have more produce than you’re capable of eating. Use this to your advantage and can your canning game on. You can also simply go to farms or markets and buy a bunch of second or discounted produce to make your own sauces and other canned goods.

46. Extra Pet Supplies

Don’t forget about your precious fur baby! Pet supplies also will get bought up quickly when people start panicking. Make sure your favorite animal friend is also well-prepared for the pandemic and doesn’t get forgotten in the scramble.

47. Emergency Cash

When systems crash, how will you purchase the things you and your family need? With cash, that’s how. Have an ample stash of cash in the house ready for emergencies. 

48. Games and Activities

Who else found themselves getting really, really bored during the first and second lockdowns? Get your family prepped with plenty of board games and card games so that you will have entertainment besides social media and Netflix. Buy the games now before they are all sold out. 

49. Your Favorite Drinks

Not that you should be drowning your pandemic sorrows in alcohol, but having your favorite drinks around to enjoy occasionally is not a bad thing, either. Avoid long liquor store lines and have a few extra bottles ready for a rainy day.

50. Baby and Feminine Products

Diapers, formula, bibs, pacifiers – anything that your baby needs, be well-stocked. Even if there are certain products that you don’t normally use, it’s a good idea to have them as backups. For example, non-perishable formula and baby food or disposable diapers as well as reusable ones. As for feminine products, think pads and tampons as well as consider buying a menstrual cup.

Naturally, we hope that it doesn’t come to needing all of this but it is never a bad idea to be prepared.

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Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.