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Shortages: Here we go again! — The Grow Network Community
Public victory comes from private discipline.

- Manny Pacquiao

Shortages: Here we go again!

Grocery stores are putting product buyings limits in place again.

Here's an article discussing it:

https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/News/grocery-stores-implement-product-limits-buying-patterns-emerge/story?id=74123092

"'We think that there's going to be a lot of limits,' Brackett said of the early retail restrictions to 'hopefully help mitigate' shortages and prevent 'stockpiling that we saw before.'"

And here's a picture I took at my local grocery store yesterday. This is what the frozen vegetable section looked like:

Keep up the gardening and food storage. Stockpile before you think you'll need to do it. It's not over yet. :-(

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Comments

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,390 admin

    Yes, shortly after our code red, virtually lockdown announcement, there were supposedly excessive lineups in grocery stores like in spring.

    I find it interesting that people still didn't do much preparation during the summer, and are repeating the same actions (I don't know that there was quite the same rush on tp, however).

    My husband was going to go in for a farm related item and of course, then, a few groceries since he'd be in (nothing urgent), but decided that it could be put off for 2 weeks. That should let some panic die down. I wondered if limits might happen due to some of the panic buying taking place again.

    It sounds as though our food supply system is a little more stable up here, but keeping that in mind, there is still a lot that is imported from the US.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 377 ✭✭✭

    I can't speak to the overall US food supply, but here there has never been a lack of food in the stores, especially fresh produce. The food items that have sometimes been in short supply are flour, yeast, meat, eggs, rice/pasta, frozen vegetables, canned vegetables/sauces, and other processed foods.

    In other words, if you are comfortable cooking from fresh veggies, you could easily have eaten a healthy diet all through 2020 even if you are not in a position to grow your own food. And you can always freeze or can the veggies you bought fresh.

    I would like to think that more people will sign up for CSAs and other local sources of food in 2021, but are Laurie pointed out, many people don't seem to be learning from their experience.

    On the bright side, I haven't seen any recent shortages of TP, paper towels, or other key non-food items. That seems to be under control so far.

    My husband is off shopping for a few minor items right now, but it's just fill-in stuff. If we had to go 2 weeks with no shopping at all, we'd barely notice it. Longer than two weeks and we'd be missing some favorite foods.

    The Governor of Vermont has announced new restrictions, such as ordering people not to gather with anyone who is not from their own household. (This is a change from recent guidance of limiting groups to 10 people.) If this is still in place at Thanksgiving, I suspect many people will ignore it for the holiday. The Governor is also urging employers to encourage working from home to the maximum possible extent.

    There was a lot of discussion about a second wave of COVID when winter came, and it seems to be happening. On the bright side, if the new vaccine is really 90% effective, it will have a dramatic impact once it's widely available.

  • Lisa KLisa K Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭✭

    San Diego County went from the Red Tier back to the Purple Tier and some stores are starting to see stockpiling. Luckily I have been buying what I need as it comes available so I should be set for at least 6 months, the one exception is a freezer they are now on backorder until January.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 377 ✭✭✭

    We went shopping again a couple of days ago in a different store. I didn't see completely empty shelves, but there were many shelves that had been heavily shopped and not restocked. You could tell that some items (cans, in particular) were suddenly popular again.

    @LaurieLovesLearning was clearly right. People did *not* learn from their experience this spring, and did not keep their pantries reasonably well stocked this summer. Now suddenly they are back to grabbing things when the lockdowns began again. ☹️

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,390 admin

    @VermontCathy The vaccine percentage as reported did not tell the full story. It was 90% effective in a very small percentage of the people in the study touted in the press release. There have only been press releases from the company not official stuff from other (governing & outside) sources, so it needs much further testing & still go through a (supposedly) rigorous approval process.

    This, I read in a city newspaper that is usually overly friendly to the hype (and this does not serve that purpose), so I tend to believe this story.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 377 ✭✭✭

    Hence my comment that "*if* the vaccine is really 90% effective..."

    😉

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,390 admin

    @VermontCathy I did catch that. 😄 You guys are so smart.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 377 ✭✭✭

    On the one hand, on the other hand, if this happens, then maybe....😁

  • DesireeDesiree Posts: 206 ✭✭✭

    I am beginning to see more empty shelves with signs on limits again. I am pretty secure on the items that are empty (about 3-4 months worth of supplies). I am down to once a week shopping for fresh bananas/produce (stuff I couldn't preserve) and milk. I am in and out in under 15-20 minutes. I just hope that Ohio can get it's numbers down soon so that I don't get too close to empty. I will reassess as this goes on, but with so many delivery services available now I may not have to venture out.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 377 ✭✭✭

    We shop very frequently, several times a week, but it's usually only for a few items and we're in and out quickly. The limits (which were common here in spring, but are only on a few items now) haven't been much of a problem for us because we are already pretty well stocked up, and we're just replacing things as we use them so that we are ALWAYS stocked up.

    (Ironically, the effect of limiting the number of items shoppers can buy in one trip is to encourage shoppers to make more shopping trips, just the opposite of what you would want in a pandemic. :-/)

    I won't let our stocks at home even begin to edge toward empty as long as we can go to the stores at all. My goal is always to be able to go two weeks with NO shopping without significantly impacting our diet or other basic needs (TP). So the pattern lately has been use one, buy one.

    Incidentally, I have not seen any vital wheat gluten flour for baking locally in quite some time. There isn't even an empty spot on the shelf for it. I fear I'll have to order it online when my current supply is used up.

  • frogvalleyfrogvalley Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭

    I think we're good here. There are a ton of stores around so if an item is lacking in one, you can probably find it elsewhere quickly. We purchase a couple of items to store each time we go to the store. We try to purchase and eat fresh items immediately and use the others judiciously or for storage.If we had to drastically reduce our intake, we'd probably last a year.

  • SilkiemamuskaSilkiemamuska Posts: 85 ✭✭✭

    I am happy to say that we have been able to send food off with our oldest when she visits from college. Apartment living does pose specific challenges to how much she can keep that is not shelf stable though.

    I agree with the practice of keeping back ups and rotating on a regular basis. Even without the craziness currently happening, it is nice to know that if a major change occured we would be ok and be able to help others as needed.

  • ParadoxParadox Posts: 139 ✭✭✭

    which is sad, in terms of the gluten.. I have some, but can't use it anymore--concerned about triggering sensitivity as my dad was celiac and I've had some issues with excessive consumption in the past. But, I put it in canning jars, so I can't even donate it now.

  • ParadoxParadox Posts: 139 ✭✭✭

    we did a significant stock up over the late summer, so other than a couple of items (sour cream), we're pretty well set for several more months. We do, fortunately, have a direct connection to a dairy farm for milk & eggs, so that's keeping us pretty set for now. The one area I am running into is the things that my mom will eat. I'm nearly out, but fortunately, I found a source at a butcher shop that my milk farm goes to for their bovine processing, and they're willing to pick up for me next week. :)

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,390 admin

    @Paradox Get a live culture sour cream/yogurt. Make your own sour cream with the cream using a yogurt recipe! ;)

    Now, what is tough to find here right now is whole cloves, black peppercorns and green cardamom pods...and I need those to make more tea.

  • JennyTJennyT Posts: 238 ✭✭✭

    Here in South Carolina there are a few stores around me that have had to put the signs back up to keep people from buying too much. I'm hoping it doesn't get as bad as last spring. I'm trying to replenish my food storage because we've been using it up.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 377 ✭✭✭

    @frogvalley "I think we're good here. There are a ton of stores around so if an item is lacking in one, you can probably find it elsewhere quickly."

    I'm guessing that you are in a more-developed urban or suburban area, unlike Vermont.

    @LaurieLovesLearning "Now, what is tough to find here right now is whole cloves, black peppercorns and green cardamom pods...and I need those to make more tea."

    I bought a mortar-and-pestle recently. Some spices needed for those Asian dishes are only available whole, and they're fresher anyway when you grind them right before you use them. I haven't used it much yet, but it was definitely a good kitchen tool to get.

    @JennyT "I'm trying to replenish my food storage because we've been using it up."

    Yes, keeping stocked up is a never-ending task, not something you can just do once and forget it.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 377 ✭✭✭

    @Paradox "I have some, but can't use it anymore--concerned about triggering sensitivity as my dad was celiac and I've had some issues with excessive consumption in the past. But, I put it in canning jars, so I can't even donate it now."

    Offer it to your immediate neighbors. There's probably at least one bread-baker local to you who would be delighted to have it.

  • Gail HGail H Posts: 357 ✭✭✭

    Things are pretty nuts here in South Jersey. Not much in the way of paper and cleaning products.

    My daughter brought home a bushel of apples from the farm yesterday. I'm not sure how well they will store because of the weather we had. I may end up drying and saucing most of them, so at least we'll have something.

  • SlippySlippy Posts: 117 ✭✭✭

    My philosophy for many years has been one of Cost Averaging and Consistency.

    Rather than "stockpiling" when a crisis occurs, be prepared and buy a little extra every week. Eventually you will build up a surplus and with a little "management/stock rotation" you will find yourself with a nice store of goods.

    For example, one of the easiest things to do is to separate your food into 3 categories;

    Short Term, Medium Term and Long Term

    Short Term will be items that must be used within days or weeks. Those are easiest to manage.

    Medium Term might be canned goods with dates 1-3 years out

    Long Term might be dehydrated, freeze dried or self canned products.

    Rotation is key.

    Good luck!

  • dipat2005dipat2005 Posts: 296 ✭✭✭

    @Slippy You definitely have the right idea! That is what I have been doing for years and it really works. By a little at a time and it is quite amazing that over time you know what you need to buy a little more of and what kind of packaging works for you. I do mark dates on some so I will remember when it expires but most of it gets used up before it expires.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,334 admin

    Marking dates on your storage items is an excellent point. Not everything has an expiry date on it. So I mark with the dates of purchase.

  • sudboroughsudborough Posts: 36 ✭✭✭

    @VermontCathy totally agree w/you about the purchasing limits - I'm living with teenagers so our area's frequent 2 package limit of organic beef or chicken is barely enough for one meal, let alone leftovers :( ... so if we can't "shop for the week" we need to return to the store multiple times per week (or have multiple people check out at different registers??)..... yes my family is eating more plant based meals but still even fresh produce is hard to keep in stock (even though there aren't limits on lettuce organic options are often completely gone)... was last at the store 7 days ago - toilet paper aisle completely empty 😶....

  • Michelle DMichelle D Posts: 177 ✭✭✭

    @sudborough I ran into a similar problem yesterday. I went to do my weekly shopping and they had limits on everything. Limit 2 of each item per customer. I have a family of seven. Two gallons of milk or two dozen eggs definitely doesn't get us through a week.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 377 ✭✭✭

    @sudborough "Even though there aren't limits on lettuce organic options are often completely gone. I'm living with teenagers so our area's frequent 2 package limit of organic beef or chicken is barely enough for one meal."

    I hate to say it, but this is not a good time to be an organic purist. Sometimes you'll have to buy what's available.

    I prefer to use only organic potatoes, whether grown in my own garden or bought, but this year I've had no choice but to use conventional potatoes.

  • Megan VenturellaMegan Venturella Posts: 312 ✭✭✭

    I can’t believe that ANYONE could need to run out for toilet paper last minute by now. I’m over here trying to determine if I should buy salt by the barrel because I’m inland and can’t grow it. I don’t know who is crazier! 🤣

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,390 admin

    Tomorrow we find out once again if there is anything missing in our area.

    I haven't heard of anything in particular lately, so I am hoping for a good day.

    Considering restrictions, I'll be home while my other half braves the city people's stores.

  • SlippySlippy Posts: 117 ✭✭✭

    How's Ammo in your area?

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,390 admin

    We haven't been in need, so I don't have an answer for you @Slippy.

  • JennyTJennyT Posts: 238 ✭✭✭

    @Michelle D I have a family of 6. So we're in the same boat as you. These limits make things very difficult.

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