Shopping List for COVID-19 Panic Buying

Apparently some people in Australia have started stockpiling for the end times that's somehow to be brought about by the low case fatality rate infection Covid-19.

So in the interests of maximising the survival rate of the Ozbargain community (think of a world repopulated exclusively by Ozbargainers), perhaps we should begin compiling a shopping list for the cost-conscious panic buyer.

What products should we be stockpiling?

I note toilet paper appears to be a valuable commodity in areas affected by the virus.


  • +47 votes

    if things were to turn bad. I wouldn't be using my precious space to store toilet paper. you will have no use for it if you don't eat

    • +47 votes

      You forget about trading toilet paper for Spam and Aldi pasta or a gun to just shoot yourself from having to eat Spam and Aldi pasta.


      I just arrived back from Iran yesterday and people over there cant find face mask and hand sanitisers at all. basically you need to store hygiene stuff.
      food is available still no problem.

      • +21 votes


      • +23 votes

        whereabout are you? Please let me know so I stay the hell away from it lol

      • +31 votes

        Please immediately self-isolate or take yourself to the nearest ER to submit yourself for quarantine.

        • +11 votes

          this is a valid point, well you can be infected with zero symptoms and asymptomatic


            @WT: 4weeks prior my departure i got weirdest symptoms. I had a friend who his father was working with some Chinese groups, after i met him about 2weeks later i got sick, it wasnt flu but it wasnt normal cold either. i first got a mild sore throat then i got a bit shortness of breath then my lungs where really infected for a while. I had fever for 2days but under 38.5 usually. I had severe chest pain as well. I never had such an illness. however none of my family got that from me. I dont think it was corona. I also talked to my friend he told me that he got the exact same sickness from his father and his mother got it too.

            • +5 votes

              @shamid202: Did you see a doctor when you had those symptons?

              "Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties"


                @buddylove: I do not understand this general health warning if you have cough and flu like symptoms. Really that's basically any cold….

                I avoiding anyone one with flu like symptom doesn't matter if they are Asian or not.

            • +1 vote

              @shamid202: Coronavirus never crossed your mind? That's how it got so big in Iran. There was contact with at risk groups and you either shrugged it off or never suspected it.

              Sounds like you got it and somewhat got over it. Good for you. Whether you're still contagious or not is another matter.


              @shamid202: How did you come to the diagnosis that your lungs were really infected? From what I've been reading, doctors have been using X-rays to determine this in patients, so it's really impressive if you can diagnose this by yourself.

            • +3 votes

              @shamid202: this attitude is why we are all at risk.

            • +3 votes

              @shamid202: Can you please do self-isolation (i.e. don't get into contact with other people for 2 weeks, wearing mask…) if you develop another lung infection, please dial 000 and specifically mentioned that you're doing self-isolation for Covid-19.

              Don't think bad about it, it's just being responsible and help the general community by being pre-cautious.


              @shamid202: you're joking right?

      • +1 vote

        If you flew with Qatar airways to Sydney..there's an article today that a lady on that flight tested positive to Coronavirus:

      • +4 votes

        troll spotted

    • +6 votes

      Just use a wet rag to wipe, then it can be washed and reused


        Just use your hands and wash well, and a hose.

        Seriously if I ran out of big roll wouldn’t be the end of the world, rather have food

    • +3 votes

      Don't forget to stock up on the 'koolaide' incase times get unlivable.


      Or just use water.


      Don't forget: You can reduce your risk of catching this puppy, eg, by getting things delivered to your door (Amazon, Coles, Woolies, etc.)

      Long before COVID-19, we were enjoying discount-prices, long after the week's deals ended, by ordering [over $300 / order, to Zero the shipping cost] food, etc. from Woolies.

      Coles has recently begun to offer home-/office-deliveries, w/ lower minimum spends (ie, to zero the shipping costs) - for "eBay Plus" members - if you buy it on eBay.

      (OTOH, only more costly items seem to make it to Coles' eBay shop, so you might do better buying in-store or for (always fee-free) pick-up at store.)

      Almost all of Woolies' line (except, eg, heavier items; above 250 Kg limit add shipping fee) are available for direct on-line purchase from Woolies (& Coles).

      (Coles' eBay offering seems more like a 24x7 shop in cities, where you pay more for 24-hr access, IMO.)

      It may take a Business Account to make it easier to order vast quantities of any item(s), eg, Heinz soups, when costing just $1.75 / 535g can.

      (That's cheaper than Coles' + Woolies' $3 frozen meals; for Oldies, it's even cheaper than [wet] cat food ;~)

  • +41 votes

    Hand sanitiser and Spam. That's all you need.

    • +28 votes

      Is this applicable only to pandemic scenarios, or does it apply more generally to everyday life?

    • +72 votes

      dont buy actual commercial hand sanitizer.
      just buy 5l of 100% isopropyl alcohol. ebay for $30 fee postage (most deliver withing 3 or 4 days)
      and $3?? distilled water 5l from bunnings or woolworths.

      mix them both together and u have 10L of hand sanitizer for $33
      (if u want it stronger u can mix a 70% isopropyl alcohol)

      put it in a pump bottles around the house, in the cars. spray bottles to disinfect surfaces doorknobs ect.
      thats all it it.
      commercial hand sanitizer is a scam
      u can half it and share it with family members and friends.

    • +5 votes

      What about spam sanitiser and hands? Will they be of use?

    • +1 vote

      That is exactly what my dad stocked up on….

    • -5 votes

      Hand sanitiser is antibacterial not antiviral. Doesn't help in this situation.

      • +8 votes

        Hand sanitiser does kill most viruses aswell, including coronavirus. 70% is a more effective concentration to say 95% as 70% coagulates the protein at a slower rate to the higher concentration, allowing the alcohol to penetrate the entire cell before it is blocked by the coagulating protein, therefor killing the cell more effectively

        • +18 votes

          A small note: Viruses don't have cellular structure (thus no cell).

          They have a protein coat instead (capsid).

          Unless you're taking about the hand sanitizer killing your skin cells on contact.

          In that case the hand sanitizer should rather be called hand destroyer :)

          • +4 votes

            @Raq: Thanks for the correction

            • +1 vote

              @Tonyh87: Another correction, its usually 66% Isopropanol.
              At 95%-100% concentration it does kill better, especially bacterial spores*. However, it can sometimes cause the cell to coagulase without disrupting the lipid membrane, which doesn't do irreparable damage but instead inactivates the cell without destroying it. These cells can rejuvenate and become activated later on when conditions change. Not to mention at this concentration the solution evaporates too fast, so it might not have enough time for action to kill the cells. Also some bacteria have cell walls that aren't exactly hydrophilic or hydrophobic, so this in-between solution allows it to dissolve effectively (eg/ mycobacterium).

              The best solution seems to be three-step treatment of:
              1) soap (removes most of the microbes)
              2) alcohol (destroys most of the microbes)
              3) and bleach or H-peroxide (kills surviving strains).
              …However, addition of "abrasion" (1A) and "high temperature" (1B) factors may be useful/required depending on the surface and its conditions.

              PS: Instead of 66% IPA, usually 70% Ethanol is more widespread due to cost and ease of dilution.

              • +1 vote

                @Kangal: Its more like added information rather than correction I would say


                @Kangal: Microwave, electric or gas oven for 1B level treatment?


                  @Musing Outloud: Let's say you discovered a thick-greasy growth of what you suspect is concentrated infectious microorganism on a hard surface. And let's say this happened in a PC2 (BSL-2) "Clean Room" where DNA/PCR may be of concern.

                  In that case, here's how you would handle it.
                  1) PPE, Notifying other staff, and closing the door/isolation

                  2) If there's some liquid nearby, assume it is also infected, carefully blot and absorb it using a paper towel.
                  3) Now it should be dry but "dirty", if sensible, you can now wipe area with soap to cut through any protective grease
                  4) If that wasn't very effective, you can use a rough sponge, or even gumption, being careful to dispose everything into biohazard bins directly.
                  5) The initial steps only removed the microbe (ie cleaning), say 95% has been discarded, now begin the steps of destruction.

                  6) You can use >70'C hot water (if sensible) carefully to limit spread of area. This will inactivate many cells, make the environment unfavourable to continue multiplying, and kill the initial population (which is 40%-80% from that remaining 5% population).
                  7) Now you can use 66% IPA, and wipe the area. Then follow up with a second round by soaking it in there and leaving it for 5 minutes. You've now killed 60%-100% from that remaining 5% population.
                  8) Some people have suggested using Acetone, but that's not ideal to use in high amounts in closed up/non-ventilated areas. Plus its expensive. However, there are other alternatives such as Virkon and Oxy-San, and these should be used after alcohol to add to the effectiveness (eg 30%-100%). And those few stages will decimate the population (ie sanitation).

                  9) To ensure extermination of any surviving strains (ie disinfection), you can use Hypochloride (bleach) or even better Hydrogen Peroxide (acid). This will denature proteins as well.
                  10) These chemicals are harsh so they must be applied quickly, and cannot be used on all surfaces. This should kill 80%-100% of the 5% population.
                  11) If you tally the numbers conservatively; you would have blotted, scrapped, and wiped 80%-95% of the microbes from the surface. Your initial sanitation would have killed 40%-80%, followed by another 60%-100%, and maybe even another 30%-100%. You should have killed 99%-100% of the microbes by this stage, you would be very unlucky to have survivors at this point but it isn't unheard of. The final extermination should have killed all of it microbe, you're effectively at >99.99%, ~100%.
                  12) To make sure cleaning was done adequately, you would do a 10cmx10cm moist swab of the environment, and plate that onto Nutrient Agar and incubate for several days. You would also do a few extras of the room but at different locations. You can then confirm that the Clean Room is indeed fit for purpose. You can also run PCR test of the site if it is deemed desirable.

              • -1 vote

                @Kangal: Just dunk your hands in a container full of petrol - that kills and cleans anything….just makes sure you're not near a flame source… Side affects include having a nasty obnoxious smell afterwards…..


      Hand spamatiser


      I'd say corned beef and potatoes, because you can make corned beef hash, and that is delicious and calorie dense.

  • +61 votes


  • +24 votes

    Time for a new prepper thread?

    (I love prepper threads.)

    What products should we be stockpiling?

    1. 4 weeks of canned food (1,500calories/pax/day) and water (15l/pax/day).

    2. Condensed milk and instant coffee - stores for a long time and good source of dirty energy.

    3. Pure ethanol (you'll need a license to acquire) and bleach.

    4. About 100l of diesel and 50l petrol.

    5. A tonne (metric, not figurative) of firewood.

    6. (Frowned upon but legally acquired) firearms and ammo.

    7. First aid kit. I advise having an Epi and Salbutamol, and a shrapnel removal and suture kit.

    • +36 votes

      if things get that bad, all you need #6 and all the above would be acquirable

      • +7 votes

        I don't think so. If things get that dire, we would have a social collapse. I don't think my aresnal is anywhere near potent enough to go offensive against rogue law enforcement turned marauders.

        Defensive? Yeah they can try.

        • +7 votes

          I don't think my aresnal is anywhere near potent enough

          time to up the game

          • +3 votes

            @Archi: No chance. No legal means of acquiring automatics nor do I intend to keep one. They're only essential for offensive scenarios.

            Defensive, there are many better alternatives. Caltrops come to mind. Two nails and the shittiest welding skills are all that is required.

            • +3 votes

              @tshow: You think ninja toys are better than firearms for defense?

              • +7 votes


                You think ninja toys are better than firearms for defense?

                Automatic firearms in specific.

                In defensive scenarios, you do not control when a confrontation occurs so traps are better than firing bullets which will be in limited supply.

                (And caltrops are not throwing stars).

            • +1 vote


              Two nails and the shittiest welding skills are all that is required.

              Having trouble seeing this being a good caltrop. 3 nails? Yeah… 2? I'm gonna need to see an @MS Paint diagram.

              Edit: upon further reflection, I suppose two bent nails would do the trick.


                @Chandler: Lol. Yeah. Just bend them. Even better is to twist them. Get two long nails and put the in a vice. Get a big pair of plyers and twist a couple of rounds. Spot weld and you're done.

                You could make hundreds a day.

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