Shortages Real and Feared

once_upon

Voter
Messages
16,659
We have been able to get hot dogs regularly and consistently. I guess the shortage is regional? Or maybe we are just lucky. :D

Still haven't got any disinfecting wipes but the Wet Ones work well for mopping up pet accidents and wiping counters so we are surviving.

I bought flour early on when it was scarce thinking I would bake a lot. It's still sitting unopened in the freezer. 🤷‍♀️ I kind of feel bad for buying it now.
Whatever portion of hot dog consumption i should have by some statistical data - anyone else can have my hot dogs. I think I was forced to eat them too many times on camping trips as a kid.

I found generic wipes at either Lowe's or Home Depot two weekends ago when we went in search of a patio heater, bought 2 containers of them and 4 indivdual packages for backpacks and such when we go walking.. Which (heaters) are sold out here (went to 6 or 7 stores in search of one). Its my understanding that because outdoor dining is allowed, people are preferring outdoor seating, patio heaters are sold out in almost all the northern states (US).
 

Parsley Sage

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,654
I had lunch last Sunday on a patio with a heater. It could have been where I was sitting in relation to the heater but I felt like the heater was basically useless. I'm outside of Toronto and it was about 7 Celsius.
 

spinZZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
171
Vivek Sankaran, chief executive officer of Albertsons Cos., which operates Safeway, Vons and other grocery chains, also said the company is stocking up on more Thanksgiving items. It’s still difficult to get items like cleaning sprays and wipes, hot dogs and flour, he said.

I chose those paragraphs to quote because of the hot dogs. I hadn't known there was a hot dog shortage or that hot dogs were a Thanksgiving staple.

I am now rethinking that entire First Thanksgiving Dinner and putting in a weenie roast. If the Pilgrims also had marshmallows, I'm there.
<<Emphasis added>> Perhaps the juxtaposition is ambiguous. We could read it as:

(a) The company is stocking up on more Thanksgiving items;

[and, in addition,]

(b) It's still difficult to get items like cleaning sprays and wipes, hot dogs and flour.

If you read it as "hot dogs and flour" are Thanksgiving staples, then you would also have to read it as "cleaning sprays and wipes" are Thanksgiving staples, which may be true this year, but not in previous years.

I was at Costco within the last two weeks. They had tons of hotdogs; but they have their own hotdog production plants.
 

Aceon6

Isolating from mean people
Messages
21,130
I was told that if you don’t order a fresh turkey next week, you may not be able to get one. Frozen should be no problem.
 

missing

Well-Known To Whom She Wonders
Messages
3,693
Stockpiling is back in style.

The study found that 27% of respondents are considering a winter stockpile “because they are concerned that certain products won’t be in stock when they need them.” Another 27% are worried about the safety of shopping during a second wave...

Fifty-four percent said they plan to always have a stockpile of goods from now on, “in fear of another emergency situation like the *********.”
 

spinZZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
171
Stockpiling is back in style.

The study found that 27% of respondents are considering a winter stockpile “because they are concerned that certain products won’t be in stock when they need them.” Another 27% are worried about the safety of shopping during a second wave...

Fifty-four percent said they plan to always have a stockpile of goods from now on, “in fear of another emergency situation like the *********.”
I'm not surprised at the people who've started stockpiling again. I'm surprised at the people who stopped stockpiling (to within the limits of their available storage space) once goods became available again. I've not had enough confidence in the supply chain to return to pre-March shopping habits.
 

once_upon

Voter
Messages
16,659
I'm not surprised at the people who've started stockpiling again. I'm surprised at the people who stopped stockpiling (to within the limits of their available storage space) once goods became available again. I've not had enough confidence in the supply chain to return to pre-March shopping habits.
I think stockpiling means different things to different people.

My brother lives 2 blocks from a grocery store. They were used to going at least once a day and getting food for that day. They have drastically changed their buying habits, now getting food every 1-2 days. They are vegan eating fresh veggies/fruits making it hard to stockpile in a sense of stuff on shelves in a pantry. They probably have more beans and rice now.

My son, with 3 kids and 2 dogs who weigh over 80 pounds each, in normal times goes to Costco every 4-6 weeks, usually has a freezer full of food. A pantry full of foods and at least 2 of the 25 or maybe it is 50 pounds dog food. The kids are doing full remote learning. Also in normal times the would go to the grocery store each week as they go through 2-3 gallons of milk lots of yogurt. Even if they increase their pantry/freezer/dog food stock piles but 15-20% it may look like they are being "selfish or adding" to the problem. Especially since only one of them goes to follow the recommendation of one person in household does shopping.

I've started purchasing things that can be stored for a while, things like canned tuna, canned chicken, "helper" meals, spaghetti sauces, soup starter mixes, pasta. Thats a change and my stockpiling efforts. We always bought paper products in bulk - mostly as a matter of convenience. We are going to the butcher a little more often, especially since I've been skipping Home Chef weeks (not any choices we like or it's been redundant).

We have gone to the wine store about every 3 or 4 months since we aren't going out to eat getting 8-12 bottles.

I dont know that we are really stock piling, just shopping differently
 

Japanfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
23,786
I think stockpiling means different things to different people.

I've started purchasing things that can be stored for a while, things like canned tuna, canned chicken, "helper" meals, spaghetti sauces, soup starter mixes, pasta. Thats a change and my stockpiling efforts. We always bought paper products in bulk - mostly as a matter of convenience. We are going to the butcher a little more often, especially since I've been skipping Home Chef weeks (not any choices we like or it's been redundant).

We have gone to the wine store about every 3 or 4 months since we aren't going out to eat getting 8-12 bottles.

I dont know that we are really stock piling, just shopping differently
I would say you are stockpiling - but stockpiling varies widely in terms of extent.

My mother, who grew up during the Great Depression and endured WW2, with her husband overseas, was a serious stockpiler. She had a pantry in the basement that was chock full of canned goods - soups, raviolis, cans of tuna. And she also stocked snacks and cooks in the basement, lots of them. Plus, the freezer was always full of her baked goods.

My siblings and I, and our friends, would enjoy a romp through the stores in our basement. And there was always the option of a frozen date bar or brownie in the freezer, should we be overtaken by a sweet craving.

Then there were the cookies and cakes stored in the kitchen cupboards, a good destination after a night out partying as a teen. :slinkaway

Mom also had stashes of chocolates stores.

Back in March I did stockpile a little. But I've not done so since. However, case numbers are relatively low here, and I've not observed or been informed of any food shortages.
 

clairecloutier

Well-Known Member
Messages
10,934
I agree that stockpiling means different things to different people.

This ********* has made me realize just how many different food products we use on a regular basis. I cook different cuisines and each one has its own staple base items-- We do a lot of dairy and fresh vegetables, so, no matter how much we try to get ahead, there is always the need to go to the store on a frequent basis-- The kids and my husband eat different snacks and lunch things than I do-- At times, I feel like I am running a mini grocery store. Not to the extent of what @Japanfan posted about her mother (who sounds amazing!). But yeah, it's almost like, if people in my neighborhood needed a spice or canned good or baking ingredient or oil or pantry item at the store, they could do a stop at my house first and it might well be here. it's kind of out of control. :scream:
 

once_upon

Voter
Messages
16,659
I would say you are stockpiling - but stockpiling varies widely in terms of extent.
I guess in the terms of buying the same but larger amounts because we are going less frequently, its stockpiling. With the exception canned protein.

Even when it's been just the two of us for 10 years, we buy the bulk of non perishable like laundry soap, fabric softener, kleenex, toilet paper, etc.

Occasionally we would have not checked the storeroom before we 'd head to Sam's and end up with partial bulk package of kleenex and another 12 box package. We did that 3 or 4 years ago and now we have a kleenex order for our Sam's pickup. I bought a large container of laundry detergent about 2 years ago and probably have 1/2 left. As long as I have storage - that puts much less plastic in the recycle.

I did do an "impulse" buy in early February and bought a 4 pack of clorax wipes, knowing I had 1 full containers in the store room and 1/2 full one in the master bath and another 1/2 full one in the kitchen. This was pre C-19 and it went in and out of my Sam's cart several time. Im glad I did, but it was an impulse buy rather than a thought there wouldn't be any in 30 days.

The frequency of shopping is what has changed, more because I'm limiting community contact.

Grocery store - once a week vs 2 maybe three times a week. Much less impulse buying.

Sam's once every 10-12 weeks vs every 6-8 weeks. And we definitely spend less because we aren't impulse buying.

Butcher once every 4 months vs every 2 months. They take your order outside of the shop. No impulse buying.

Pharmacy drive up only. No impulse buying.

So yeah stockpiling if sorts, because choosing to limit community contact.
 

Aceon6

Isolating from mean people
Messages
21,130
I just did a freezer and pantry inventory and while we have more than most 2-person households, I don’t think we’re stockpiling. March taught me that there are certain items that I can’t run out of. We went two weeks without canola oil and some key condiments that limited what I could make, so our new house rule is to add an item to the shopping list as soon as we open the one from the pantry. And we’re still buying sale items in quantity as there’s no rhyme or reason in when they go on sale anymore.

I plan to cut grocery trips from every week to every 10-14 days while my town stays red and use the farm stand‘s outdoor area more. One more Costco and one more Target run will probably get us through the holidays.
 

Japanfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
23,786
How lucky be I, living in this safe corner of the world (Canada Pacific Northwest). With no fear of shortages.

As of today at any rate - cases are going up here like everywhere else.
 

sk8pics

Well-Known Member
Messages
7,526
I agree that stockpiling means different things to different people.

This ********* has made me realize just how many different food products we use on a regular basis. I cook different cuisines and each one has its own staple base items-- We do a lot of dairy and fresh vegetables, so, no matter how much we try to get ahead, there is always the need to go to the store on a frequent basis-
I don’t know what kind of milk you use, but if you buy organic milk, the shelf life is longer. The container I just opened, purchased in early October, has an expiration in mid-December.
 

quartz

almost, but not quite
Messages
14,297
Stockpiling to me means panic buying. I ‘stock up,’ meaning if its on sale and its something we use on a regular basis, I’m getting as much as I can to save $$$. I am of course priveledged in that I have a car to go all over town to shop sales, the available cash flow to spend whatever I want, and the storage and freezer space to put it all.

I just had a discussion yesterday with a co-worker who, when I used the phrase, “it cost a lot to be poor” and they didn’t get it. I used the above example, and explained: not everyone has a vehicle to get themselves to various stores to shop the best deals, not everyone has extra cashflow to get extra items when they are on sale, and not everyone has the living situation where they have a place to put extra stuff. Still don't think they got it, but that's more wilful ignorance than a lack of ability to explain it on my part. It‘s not that complicated to understand. :wall:
 

Aceon6

Isolating from mean people
Messages
21,130
I just had a discussion yesterday with a co-worker who, when I used the phrase, “it cost a lot to be poor” and they didn’t get it.
Yup. Many people walk or take the bus to get food. In addition to paying far higher unit prices for just about everything, they’re limited to what they can carry. I see a sale on a 25 lb bag of rice and think “great”, someone living paycheck to paycheck thinks “should I spend $15 on this if it means I can’t get much else” and “how the heck do I get this home”.
 

once_upon

Voter
Messages
16,659
Stockpiling to me means panic buying. I ‘stock up,’ meaning if its on sale and its something we use on a regular basis, I’m getting as much as I can to save $$$. I am of course priveledged in that I have a car to go all over town to shop sales, the available cash flow to spend whatever I want, and the storage and freezer space to put it all.

I just had a discussion yesterday with a co-worker who, when I used the phrase, “it cost a lot to be poor” and they didn’t get it. I used the above example, and explained: not everyone has a vehicle to get themselves to various stores to shop the best deals, not everyone has extra cashflow to get extra items when they are on sale, and not everyone has the living situation where they have a place to put extra stuff. Still don't think they got it, but that's more wilful ignorance than a lack of ability to explain it on my part. It‘s not that complicated to understand. :wall:
I agree that stockpiling is panic buying but its also someone's perception of what they see in your cart. Like it might be a normal amount for you but like I said longer times between purchases. Yes I'm fortunate to have a car, and storage and to have the income needs that allows me to do that type of shopping.

I think when I was doing my public health nursing rotation is when I became acutely aware of the concept of "it costs more be poor".

We got the ad flyers for different stores (target, Walmart, bakers, hyvee) for different zip codes. (affluent, middle class and poor neighborhoods). The items advertisted on sale were definitely cheaper in the affluent neighborhood. The poorer neighborhoods advertised sale prices were were often 5% or greater than the lowest price in affluent neighborhoods.

Add to that - taking large amount of groceries home on a bus while have small children with you is not a workable situation. So they often hired a taxi to get it home. I see similar things at laundromat needing a taxi to get clothes to and from. I haven't been in a laundromat for years, but if you can't transport your own detergent etc, those little individual soap/softener packages are extremely expensive- something to keep in mind next time you see someone who lives in a poorer area and comment about dirty clothes.
 

Debbie S

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,399
No frozen vegetables at the small grocery store I went to this morning. And the big box grocery I ordered from last week didn't have the frozen vegetables I wanted in stock.

I could have gotten some fresh veggies, the produce section looked pretty stocked, but I've got stuff for this week and really just wanted to replenish my freezer. Maybe I'll get fresh stuff next week.
 

Jenny

From the Bloc
Messages
21,302
I'm surprised more of you aren't having groceries and other supplies delivered. Yes there's a cost, but at the same time that means savings on gas or taxis or buses. We haven't set foot in a grocery store since the first week of March, and while yes there are some items we haven't been able to get (my fave type of Vietnamese hot sauce :(), we've also discovered a lot of new items and tried new recipes based on what's available. Even Costco is delivering - not the wide selection in stores, but many of their basic goods are available, including paper products, cleaning supplies, Kirkland brand food products, vitamins, etc.

The only stores we've had to visit in person are the liquor store (maybe once every 6 weeks), pet food store (3x since this started) plus one trip to a drug store and one to Home Depot.
 

Debbie S

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,399
I'm surprised more of you aren't having groceries and other supplies delivered.
The 'big box' grocery chain I go to doesn't deliver to my zip code. Online order/outside pickup is the best I can do. I try to go to smaller groceries and Target (for household supplies/paper goods) where I can be in and out in 15 minutes or less.
 

clairecloutier

Well-Known Member
Messages
10,934
I was ordering through Instacart for a while, but it's unclear to me whether Instacart workers get a wage beyond their tips. Consequently I felt the need to give a large tip with every order. And with multiple orders a month, that adds up.
 

Jenny

From the Bloc
Messages
21,302
Back in March we tried a bunch of different options, including a version of Instacart, as well as major retailers (one little test order with Wal-Mart was a complete disaster for example), and it was quite an experience. In the end, we settled in with a company that has traditional supermarkets as well as a well-established delivery business. It was hit and miss at first - I had to go online at midnight to secure delivery times weeks in advance, and there were issues with out of stocks or odd substitutions, but they quickly adjusted to the increased volume and I'm also confident in their safety protocols.

I realize that I have more options that some living in a big city, but even there as we did the initial research, there were many options that would not deliver to our postal code, which is why for example we have been to the pet food store a handful of times, because it's been the only way to get the brand that our cat eats. Along the way, we also discovered a really good brand of litter we'd never used before so we'll stick with that, and bulk birdfood that we will also continue to buy.

Anyway, my point is that there may be some good options that don't involve physically going to stores, or at least not as many or as often, so perhaps worth trying now before things get completely desperate.
 

once_upon

Voter
Messages
16,659
I'm surprised more of you aren't having groceries and other supplies delivered. Yes there's a cost, but at the same time that means savings on gas or taxis or buses. We haven't set foot in a grocery store since the first week of March, and while yes there are some items we haven't been able to get (my fave type of Vietnamese hot sauce :(), we've also discovered a lot of new items and tried new recipes based on what's available. Even Costco is delivering - not the wide selection in stores, but many of their basic goods are available, including paper products, cleaning supplies, Kirkland brand food products, vitamins, etc.

The only stores we've had to visit in person are the liquor store (maybe once every 6 weeks), pet food store (3x since this started) plus one trip to a drug store and one to Home Depot.
We had been doing delivery for over a year before pre-crud and actually have a subscription which includes delivery without additional charges. In March we were unable to get delivery times so started with the curbside pick up. Now we do curbside pick up as our weekly outing and do curbside pick up for take out at the same time.

I expect we will go back to delivery this winter. They used to bring them in the house and sit on counter but now they have to leave it on the porch.
 

Theatregirl1122

Needs a nap
Messages
22,980
Having delivery as a healthy, well person means using a service where I pay a person to take a risk for me to do something I can do myself. It also means I take a slot from someone like my grandmother who cannot do it herself. My mom could barely find a way to feed her in March and April because of the spike of people ordering due to the BB even though my grandmother hasn’t been able to buy her own groceries in years. If I have to quarantine, I will order delivery. Until then, I think the best thing I can do for my community as a whole is go myself.

It is fine that others have concluded differently, but this is how I feel for me.
 

Erin

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,896
Having delivery as a healthy, well person means using a service where I pay a person to take a risk for me to do something I can do myself. It also means I take a slot from someone like my grandmother who cannot do it herself. My mom could barely find a way to feed her in March and April because of the spike of people ordering due to the BB even though my grandmother hasn’t been able to buy her own groceries in years. If I have to quarantine, I will order delivery. Until then, I think the best thing I can do for my community as a whole is go myself.

It is fine that others have concluded differently, but this is how I feel for me.

Yes, that's where I have landed too. When thinking about delivery, I came to two conclusions: 1) there are limited spots available for delivery and 2) someone still has to go to the store for my delivery, even if it's not me. I think it absolutely makes sense for people who are high risk to get delivery. But as much as I don't want to catch this, I don't feel right making someone else go out when I'm not in the high risk category and taking a spot away from someone who is.
 

hanca

Values her privacy
Messages
10,757
I'm surprised more of you aren't having groceries and other supplies delivered. Yes there's a cost, but at the same time that means savings on gas or taxis or buses. We haven't set foot in a grocery store since the first week of March, and while yes there are some items we haven't been able to get (my fave type of Vietnamese hot sauce :(), we've also discovered a lot of new items and tried new recipes based on what's available. Even Costco is delivering - not the wide selection in stores, but many of their basic goods are available, including paper products, cleaning supplies, Kirkland brand food products, vitamins, etc.

The only stores we've had to visit in person are the liquor store (maybe once every 6 weeks), pet food store (3x since this started) plus one trip to a drug store and one to Home Depot.
I have also had most of the food delivered for the past ten years. It is quite normal in this country, at least in the bigger cities. I don’t know anyone from my friends or colleagues who does the majority of their shopping by physically going to the supermarket.

Having delivery as a healthy, well person means using a service where I pay a person to take a risk for me to do something I can do myself. It also means I take a slot from someone like my grandmother who cannot do it herself.
It doesn’t really make much difference whether you are putting a delivery person at risk for coming to your house and leaving it on your doorstep, or whether you physically go to the shop, and put at risk the shop assistant. In fact, when you have food delivered, you are going to meet only one person, the delivery driver, so it is easy to ensure the recommended 2 metres distance and face mask. Most time you won’t be anywhere near the delivery person because the delivery person will be bringing bags from the car to your doorstep and you will be taking the bags and carrying it to the kitchen. In comparison, when you go to the shop, you meet not only the shop assistant, but also other people, so you are putting more people at tisk, including yourself.

In regard to being worried about taking slots from someone who may need it more, it is not your job to ensure that there is enough slots. The supermarkets pay people whose job is to monitor those things, and if they need more delivery slots, they will employ more people. So actually, having it delivered could mean that you are supporting local economy because more people will need to be employed.
 

once_upon

Voter
Messages
16,659
Since I'd been doing home delivery for a year before *********, I didn't feel like I was taking someone else's space. I look at it twofold - I'm doing behavior as I've always done and I'm decreasing the number of physical interaction the essential workers are exposed to.

The lower number of people the essential workers have to be in contact with, the lower their risk becomes. If I had my say the essential store employee would have a small circle of contacts - that community exposure be controlled as much as possible. That's just how I view it.
 

Prancer

Needs More Sleep
Staff member
Messages
50,758
It doesn’t really make much difference whether you are putting a delivery person at risk for coming to your house and leaving it on your doorstep, or whether you physically go to the shop, and put at risk the shop assistant. In fact, when you have food delivered, you are going to meet only one person, the delivery driver, so it is easy to ensure the recommended 2 metres distance and face mask. Most time you won’t be anywhere near the delivery person because the delivery person will be bringing bags from the car to your doorstep and you will be taking the bags and carrying it to the kitchen. In comparison, when you go to the shop, you meet not only the shop assistant, but also other people, so you are putting more people at tisk, including yourself.
But everyone who uses a personal shopper puts the shopper at additional risk, as that person has to spend all that time in the store shopping for other people. It's one thing if the personal shopper is a person at low risk doing the shopping for people who are high risk, another for the shopper to be taking extra risk for someone who isn't high risk.

At least that's how I read Erin's post.
 

once_upon

Voter
Messages
16,659
But everyone who uses a personal shopper puts the shopper at additional risk, as that person has to spend all that time in the store shopping for other people. It's one thing if the personal shopper is a person at low risk doing the shopping for people who are high risk, another for the shopper to be taking extra risk for someone who isn't high risk.

At least that's how I read Erin's post.
I dont think there is a good answer to the whole shopping issue. I grieve for everyone.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top
Do Not Sell My Personal Information