Money is tight for many Americans, who are now out of work or at risk of losing their jobs, so it’s important to know what things are worth your money. And if your financial situation is in good shape, now might actually be the best time to purchase some big-ticket items.
Here’s what you should buy to stay healthy, entertained and happy during the coronavirus pandemic.
Last updated: July 20, 2020
1. Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet, said to buy foods that can boost your immunity.
“You should focus on foods rich in vitamin C, like strawberries, red bell peppers and citrus fruits,” she said. “It is important to remember that these foods can be found in frozen form and this is a perfectly acceptable way to consume them under the circumstances.”
2. Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Richards also recommends stocking up on foods that contain antioxidants.
“Antioxidant-rich foods include blueberries, nuts, sweet potatoes, whole grains — like oatmeal — and beans,” she said. “Luckily these are very shelf-stable foods that can be consumed in a variety of ways … to keep your diet vibrant.”
3. Tea, Crackers and Soup
Lynell Ross, a certified health and wellness coach and founder of Zivadream, recommends stocking up on pantry items that are easy to digest and soothing to your stomach if you get sick.
“I keep things in my pantry in case one of us gets a bad cold or the flu and we are too sick to get groceries,” she said. “Helpful things to have on hand are tea, crackers, canned or boxed soups — especially chicken soup — frozen fruits and vegetables, bottles of fruit juice that don’t need refrigeration, and Gatorade and ginger ale to replace electrolytes lost from fever or vomiting and to help with nausea.”
4. Foods That You Can Buy in Bulk
“There are many bulk foods that you can buy, which will help you stretch your meals while you need to be on a budget or want to stretch out the time between grocery runs,” Ross said. “Dried lentils, beans, rice, boxed pasta and canned sauces will last longer and are less expensive than premade items.”
5. Necessary Kitchen Appliances
Many of us are now preparing and consuming most of our meals at home, so having functional kitchen appliances is essential.
“If your toaster or coffee maker breaks, get a new one,” Ross said. “There is no reason to hold off on buying things unless you are out of work or have suffered financial loss. Those that are fortunate enough to still have money coming in during the pandemic can help keep the economy going by purchasing things as usual.”
“If you take prescription medication or are low on other medications, now is a good time to stock up and ensure you have everything you need,” said Stephanie Lane, a health and wellness expert, lifestyle coach and owner of SafeSpaceHub. “This also allows you to stay on top of any potential health conditions so we don’t need to overwhelm the health system with minor health concerns during the pandemic.”
7. Household Cleaning Products and Toiletries
“The most important thing is your immunity to fight this pandemic,” said Alessandra Kessler, a certified holistic health coach and contributor to Healthy Body Healthy Mind. “You should stay germ-free to be in the safe zone, so, you must keep the most filthy spots of your home clean. Your kitchen should be free of germs, so sanitize it regularly. Most importantly, you should remain germ-free by sanitizing your hands and keeping your body clean.”
This means having disinfectant wipes or spray on hand to keep your house clean, as well as hand and body soap to keep yourself clean.
8. Nondairy Milk
Oat milk, almond milk and Lactaid have a longer shelf life than dairy milk, which means fewer trips to the store.
9. Water Purifier
Relying on bottled water also means more frequent trips to the store and/or using up space that could be used to store other nonperishable goods. Instead, buy a water filter pitcher that you can continue to refill throughout the pandemic.
10. Water Boiler
Since you might not feel comfortable spending leisure time at your local coffee shop, make your home equipped to whip up your favorite drinks in your own kitchen. A water boiler heats water faster than the stove and is great to have on hand to brew tea or instant coffee.
11. First Aid Kit
In addition to medications, have a basic first aid kit on hand that includes a thermometer. This way you can tend to minor injuries and ailments at home instead of having to make a trip to the doctor.
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12. Baby Supplies
Stock up on diapers, formula and other baby supplies so that you won’t need to go to the store as frequently.
13. Pet Supplies
Stock up on supplies for your fur babies too. This means food and any medications they need, and possibly wee-wee pads if you’ll be limiting your walks.
If you’ve been thinking about buying a home — and you’re in good financial standing — now might be the best time to take the leap. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is sitting at a record low of 2.98%, and mortgage rates across the board are expected to fall farther by the end of this year, according to a new report by Fannie Mae.
The safest way to take a summer vacation this year might be in an RV. One RV dealer told Bloomberg that his sales were up 30% in May compared to the previous year. He believes many first-time buyers are seeking a way to travel while avoiding airplanes and hotel rooms.
16. Ergonomic Desk Chair
Well-made, ergonomically designed desk chairs can be pricey, but if you’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, it’s probably a worthy investment.
17. Home Gym Equipment
Gyms are closed in some areas, and even in places where gyms are open, you may prefer to work out at home. Investing in a treadmill, stationary bike and other gym equipment can help you to stay active without having to leave the house.
18. Inflatable Pools
Inflatable pools have been selling out everywhere, but if you can get your hands on one, it can be a great way to help keep your family entertained while avoiding crowded beaches or community pools.
Like inflatable pools, bikes have been a hot commodity and hard to find. However, if you find bikes in stock, snatch them up. They’re a great way for you and your whole family to get outside together and be active this summer.
Trampolines are yet another way to keep your kids entertained at home.
21. Camping Gear
If you don’t want to splurge on an RV, traditional camping is another way to vacation this summer while staying safely socially distanced from others. Supplies you might consider buying include tents, coolers, hammocks and cooking equipment.
22. Fire Pit
Alternatively, you can bring the feel of a campsite home by installing a fire pit in your backyard.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: From Houses to RVs: 22 Things You Might Actually Want To Buy During the Pandemic