Remember a year ago when we were like, “this will just be a few weeks, right?” While it does feel in many ways we may be on the “other side” of the pandemic, it’s been nearly an entire year for most of us since work-from-home, virtual schooling, social distancing and masks became a regular part of our household lexicon. We recently polled our readers and asked “what was the funniest/strangest/most epic thing you purchased during the pandemic?” While some of the answers seemed very popular (hello, pandemic puppies!) others were very practical and others still had us laughing out loud. Read on to see what we learned!

photo: iStock

Pandemic Pets

By far the most "things" acquired into our households were pets and all their gear! In order of most to least common, you said:

Puppies/dogs
Cats
Guinea Pigs
Hamsters
Chickens
Parrots
Turtles 

Food & Drink

Pounds and pounds of cheese. 

"Wine. Cases of wine."

"Wine. A lot of it." 

"Six cases of wine. And six pounds of cereal marshmallows."

"50-pound bag of bread flour. Twice."

"I have no idea why, but at one point I had three large tubs of sour cream in my fridge. It wasn't a conscious decision to purchase that much, but one day I was nosing around and realized that I was single-handedly responsible for creating a food shortage in my grocery's dairy aisle. "

"A case of chocolate pretzel pop-tarts and diet iced tea mix that could probably make 100 gallons..."

"Six pounds of strawberries for my two year old—because I was adding to the same order throughout the day and kept forgetting I already added the damn strawberries. Try to guess who didn’t confirm quantities in the cart before purchasing."

"Special order GrapeNuts"

photo: iStock

Household Goods & Bads

"Toilet paper. I was part of the problem. I see that now."

"A bidet!"

"A giant inflatable unicorn sprinkler." 

"A 22' Airstream Bambi camper."

"A lifetime supply of sidewalk chalk." 

"The CrunchCup!"

"My husband panic-shopped seed tape in case things went crazy and we needed to grow our own vegetables. I told him that if it came to that we would have to starve for 6-8 weeks before our lettuce, cucumbers, radish and carrots became edible."

"Good: outdoor patio furniture to socialize at six feet.
Better: new kitchen floor for the room we live in
Best: minivan to travel and sleep and picnic in."

"Waterproof playing cards...3 packs. You know, for all the social gatherings I'm not having."

"Mannequins."

"Many, many cotton balls. I didn't realize the order was for multiple bags. Cotton balls for LIFE."

"Dinosaur costumes for my 9-and 11-year-old girls. They make so many people smile with them on."

"Cleaning slime."

"A house, sight unseen."

"A snow white costume after Halloween and then put it on and told my kids I needed to take a long nap."

"Water and sand table for inside a small two bedroom apartment. Still going strong!"

"So. Many. Purchases. But the funniest—or at least the most delusional —would be the "resort wear" collection I just bought for my pre-covid body because it was 70% off and a day out-of-state can't come soon enough! You know the kind you see in all those resort commercials on FB? Only, who wears a caftan in real life. It will go back. Biggest regret? The outdoor patio heater I bought to bring the 'outdoor restaurant dining experience' home. I hate the cold, so a heater wasn't going to cut it. That got returned unopened. So. Many Purchases! And naturally, I threw major coin at a bounce house which went largely unused for the first half of the pandemic. BUT a family we ended up 'pod-ing' with (did I just make up a word?) wanted to use it 24/7 so my kids now (finally) appreciate it."

Other popular responses included an inflatable hot tub, above ground and backyard inflatable pools, pianos and other musical instruments, outdoor theater screens, and inflatable bounce houses. 

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