25 Items You Should Buy While Non-Essential Businesses Remain Closed

As you scroll through social media, you're likely to come across memes and articles about stocking up on toilet paper, water, and non-perishables. While food products and toiletries are crucial in the event of a pandemic or natural disaster, some emergency essentials are often overlooked.

As essential businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies remain open, many of us may find ourselves a bit alarmed when we have to go weeks or even months without services when 'non-essential' businesses close. Visit Walmart or Amazon for products that will keep you entertained or healthy while you're home for an extended period.

This list does not contain first aid kits, survival kits, or food supply options.

What is Considered a Non-Essential Business?

  • Salons
  • Spas
  • Gyms
  • Malls
  • Concert Venues


1. Wax Kit

You may be wondering why a wax kit is on this list. If you have the luxury of working remotely (or still have to report to work during a pandemic), you might want to look presentable.

Chances are, your favorite salon is closed.

2. Nail Clippers

Nail salons are not considering essential businesses at the time. If you depend on a salon to treat ingrown toenails or such, you will need to care for your own beauty needs at home.

3. Hair Dye Kit

Again, if you insist on keeping up with your hair, you must do it at home. Please, do not get crazy with highlight kits. Color corrections often start at $300. Cover your grays if you must.

If your local salons are open during the coronavirus pandemic, consider staying home regardless. Let's flatten the curve!

4. Aloe Vera

Part of emergency preparedness means having some multi-use items available. Aloe vera is great for sunburns and creating DIY hand sanitizer.

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a must. I know many people who have had their dentist cancel on them at the moment. Totally understandable! If you insist on having that clean teeth feeling, consider rinsing your mouth with coconut oil.

Kitchen & Gourmet

6. Brita Pitcher

As water cases slowly disappear from store shelves, you may panic. Don't. Just purchase a Brita water pitcher.

7. Ice Maker

If you don't have an ice maker in your refrigerator and depend on bags of ice, you may find an ice maker helpful.

8. Bread Maker

Bread makers are fantastic items. There are hundreds, if not thousands of recipes you can make from homemade bread.

9. Coffee Maker

If you can't go without your coffee, you'll need to make some at home.

10. FoodSaver Vacuum

If you're buying meat in bulk, try not to waste.

Entertainment + Sports

11. Video Game System

If schools remain canceled during an emergency, try to keep the little ones entertained. An hour or two of video games doesn't hurt.

12. Home Projector

Kids will also benefit from a home movie projector. Of course, they'll still want their fresh air during these hard times. Pin up a white sheet, and take movie night outside.

You can stream all of your favorite TV shows on it, thanks to the HDMI port. Take sleeping bags and old blankets outside for a fun time.

13. Football

Exercise is an excellent activity during this time. Passing a football around could boost your mood.

14. Yoga Mat

Feeling stressed? Try yoga.

15. Portable Phone Charger

In the case of a power outage, you'll be happy you had a charged portable cell phone charger on you.

Household & Wellness

16. Allergy Drops

Before assuming you're sick from the virus, consider your allergies. I use Allergena, and I've noticed a huge difference.

17. Humidifier

Whether the air is full of germs, or debris from a hurricane, you'll need a humidifier in your home to keep your air clean.

18. Flushable Wipes

If toilet paper isn't in stock, have your flushable wipes ready.

19. Electrolyte Powder

Staying hydrated during a pandemic is crucial. Chances are, you might just be a bit dehydrated when you're not feeling well.

20. Bible (Any religious and/or spiritual book)

Are church doors closed? Have a service at home.

Auto & Outdoors

21. Oil

Many auto shops can remain open, but if your mom-and-pop shop is closed, have some car essentials ready. If you're still required to commute to work (or grocery stores), make sure your car is in good shape. Learn how to change your oil at home.

22. Spare Tire

I would hope that roadside assistance is still available during trying times but just in case.

23. Gas Can

I've run out of gas before, it was beyond scary! I didn't have great signal, and a gas can saved me. It is one emergency essential I won't ever forget.

24. Jumper Cables

Play it safe and keep jumper cables handy. This emergency essential is perfect for any time of the year.

25. Inflatable Pool

Inflatable pools are underrated during power outages. Instead of sitting inside, waiting on the city to fix the outage, just wait outside in cold water. It's an emergency essential you can use anytime it's warm out.

These aren't your typical emergency supplies. Surely you have all of your emergency food and emergency credit cards ready to go. These items are perfect for entertainment and wellness during the closings of non-essential businesses.

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