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COVID-19 and Shortages

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Of course, we all know about the shortages of toilet paper. Goodness gracious you'd think this pandemic involved heinously awful diarrhea, the way TP has disappeared! :24:


It might be worthwhile to list other items that have disappeared or are in short supply. In my excursions to the stores I have seen barren or almost barren shelves for:


- Hand sanitizer and commonly recommended ingredients for home made sanitizers such as aloe gel


-rubbing alcohol


-hydrogen peroxide


-Vitamin C


-cold and flu treatments


-zinc lozenges


-tonic water


-wheat flour




-disinfectant cleaners


-OxiClean (this one surprised me - what connection might it have to the pandemic? It isn't a disinfectant like bleach. I always keep some on hand, but consider it a nice thing to use on work clothes, as opposed to a survival NEED -- am I missing something here?)


As this pandemic, with its associated stay at home orders, factory closings, etc. continues, we may notice more shortages. Feel free to add any items you have noticed to be missing or in short supply.



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The prices on almost everything are higher than usual according to my records.  


Trouble procuring: 

Margaret Holms (or any brand) Seasoned Italian green beans canned--I'm having a very hard time finding them and we usually eat them a lot.

Dried red beans

Dry chickpeas


Canned Asian vegetables (bamboo, water chestnuts, baby corn)

Cream of Wheat 

canned and frozen spinach

OTC migraine pills of any brand

409 mold and mildew cleaner.  I've found zero in the last two months.

None of the usual sales are going on this time of year for any large items.   



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:o  My parents have become surgical mask HOARDERS!  They both get a new one from the doc office every time he has to go in for his missing toe nail.  And..... my brother and I BOTH told them NOT to throw them away.....sanitize them....their stock pile is adding up. 


MtRider ....shhhhhh, don't tell.  :behindsofa:

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Lentils, oddly enough. Red and black lentils (urad dal?) invariably gone. Sometimes brown, and always the green remain. You'll know sh*t's gotten real if the green lentils are gone. Normal, short grain rice gone; brown rice and fancier rice varieties (jasmine, etc.) sometimes remain.


Pasta, forget it. Tortillas- touch and go (time to get out the ol' tortilla press).


Yogurt- gone in a flash. Tried looking for steel cut oats and those were gone, too.


And, of course, any sort of chicken.

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Wow, I haven't been in a store since.....end of Feb?   Not unusual for me cuz DH does our shopping now.  He hasn't mentioned too many shortages ....except when he went early on a Monday morning.  No truck had come in yet to stock from Fri-Sun.  Tues morning seem to be pretty well stocked.  I supposed it depends on what you're looking for? 


MtRider  ....not gonna have a personal look-see.   :grinning-smiley-044:   Staying away. 

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What I described was in a regular grocery store. If you have a warehouse store membership you see far fewer items out of stock. Hand sanitizer and cleaning stuff is hard to come by, of course.


The Asian grocers are mostly ok, too. They've put item limits on things like eggs or rice, though. Even if one piles up storage foods, getting your family to eat it is a different matter. This week I made up a nice batch of dal makhani one of the things I always get a bit of when we go to an Indian buffet nearby. And I did a good job if it, if I do say so myself. Served it up with some steamed brown rice... my husband politely ate some, shoved the last third of his bowl at me, and went to reheat some leftovers. The next night, he sous-vide-ed a ribeye for us.


I will try doing up a rajma masala with dried beans, and I know he'll eat the chickpeas, too...the man is just spoiled.  We can well afford meat, and lots, so why not? seems to be his attitude. He won't touch canned meats/fish, either. I could see this becoming the subject of much bitching/bickering if the normal trappings of civilization ever became harder to get.

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Our warehouse stores here are scare as the regular grocery stores.  Several items are out of stock constantly and they are spreading other items thing to cover the 'front' of the shelf to make it seem like they have more.   Two of the Asian groceries are closed entirely and one is still open and looking better than the regular grocery store.  The Indian grocery was closed for a month, but reopened last week.  I haven't had time to go there yet.  


Either husband or I have ended up going out about 1-2 times a week and visit about 3-4 stores in the great search for whatever it is he actually needs for work that week.  Neither of us have seen or bought TP in about 2 months now.  Everywhere is out of paper goods and cleaning supplies.  

Kroger is constantly out of vegetables but has some expensive meat.  (1 store checked)

Aldi's had vegetables with limit but is out of pasta sauce and meat.  (3 stores checked)

Walmart is out of everything (2 stores checked)

BJs  is low/out on starchy items, canned veg, pasta sauce, and meat. (1 store checked)

Lidl is out of dairy, meat, and certain varieties of canned goods (2 stores checked)

Asian Grocery is low on udon noodles, beans, and coconut milk.  (3 stores checked, 2 closed for duration of pandemic)

Sams is low on starches and canned items (1 store checked)

Food Lion was very low on canned vegetables, meat, and canned Mexican items (tamales, salsa, green chilis) (2 stores checked)

Home depot is out of PPE for painting, dust, etc and has a lower stock of tools than usual. They are low on dirt and decent plants. (1 store checked)

Lowes is well stocked on plants, but is out of some tools and parts.  (1 store checked)


I imagine that stock varies by area.  


When making Indian, I usually make the sauce with chicken first and let them like it that way.  Then sub out the beans later.  My husband and kids always love it, but I try to serve some sort of meat with it if I'm making a new recipe.  Saag paneer is a big favorite now.  Sometimes I make a bean dish and a meat dish with smaller portions of each and that always goes over well. 

Edited by euphrasyne
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Items here in short supply even now


flour any kind



cream of wheat

dry cereal

dry beans


canned meats, like tuna, cornbeef, beef tips, chicken

pasta period...any type of pasta - pasta salad, mac&cheese, or just plain pasta. Forget finding whole wheat pasta.

powdered milk


canned veggies, like hominy, greens, field peas, black beans, pinto beans, anything except green peas, green beans and corn those can be found with no problem.

sugar, unless you want the organic pure cane sugar that is like $8 a pound

drink mixes

bottled water 

salt - I was surprised at this one

coffee & powdered creamer





baby food

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We have strict limits on what we can buy, mostly two of each.  Last time I was there, I got two boxes of salted butter and two boxes of unsalted, but a lady tried to get more than two boxes of salted butter, and they wouldn't ring up the third.  The sign in the back said limit two of each kind of beef, but the rule in the front was two ground beef and two other packages of beef period.  The dried beans will be out of stock for days at a time, according to the bagger.  Limit on those were two per kind.  I haven't seen yeast in weeks.  I have seen White Lily biscuit flour exactly once since the day the panic buying began. I've seen bread flour twice.  Corn meal once.  Pasta is sometimes there, but very slim pickings.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are there, but mostly in-season plus plain roots like potatoes and onions, and none of the artfully cut stuff on display.  It reminds me of what I would see when I was a kid, actually.  


A couple of hours south of here, where they do a winter vegetable season, the farmers are plowing the vegetables under because they can't pay people to pick them when there's no one to process them for the restaurant trade.  People are walking into fields and gleaning as much as they can drag away.  (Let's not get into my particular family's actions here.) :sigh:  

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Hubby mentioned to me (from a blog he's followed for years) that he's reading that all the foods that are being shipped and put on the shelves are foods that would normally come from October plantings...might want to consider "supply chain shock"..and watch for it ???

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In my area we’ve had shortages of pretty all of the above...although it comes and goes. Yesterday I went to the store to get sesame oil...they were completely out...along with bare shelves of all the kinds of specialty oils. It’s hit or miss one day to the next. 

Today I went to my local Ace Hardware store to get soil....there was a line to get in....and a long line to the cash register. One silver lining from all this....in my area so many more people are starting gardens and getting chickens.


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The limits here are 2 of any type of meat.  (Target and Kroger are per animal but other stores all meat)

2 any type of bread total.

2 each dairy including evaporated canned milk.

1 cleaning supply or paper good

1 case of water

4 each variety of canned good (preggo and ragu towards the same total--tried to buy 4 of each and they would not let me)

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When the panic buying subsided, our WM began doing their best to restock the shelves.  I got there around 7:30 am and found TP, paper towels, Clorox  bleach, dish soap, sugar, flour and meats.  Missed the pinto beans, watched a person get the last bag as I went down the isle, but, our local market supplied me with 3 lbs. before my previous trip when I bought the last 2 lb. bag.  They have taken the limits off on most things.  

No Vit. C, zinc, hand sanitizers or my liquid Dial Gold antibacterial refill, I’ve been unable to find it on line.


Pasta isle had a small variety.  Canned meats and veggies were stocked fairly well. Cereal, cracker, chip, and juice isles were completely stocked, cooking oils were slim, but had a good variety.  

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DH is shopping for us and my folks to keep them safe.  Does the limits allow for that...in any of your areas?  Would he have to go thru twice?  Is THAT allowed?  In his case, he knows most of the store people personally so they might let him but....??


MtRider  ....hoping not to run into more complexity that would have DH in the store longer!!!!  :shopping: 

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In my area, cannot shop for multiple people.  You can go through twice if they don't remember you, but they are publicly shaming people who they see going through multiple times and calling security.   I've seen videos and tagging of individuals on local facebook groups.  It's extreme bullying.  People here just go on several days a week....so much for limiting contact.

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If the stores would have put a limit on some items in the beginning, we might not have had the panic buying (toilet paper) as bad in the beginning.  Stores put limits on things all the time. Especially during sales. They have to control hoarders and hogs some way since people can't seem to self regulate. 


Nope Mt. Rider, a limit means you. I tried to buy 4 of a laundry additive once because I didn't see the tiny sign. The limit was two. Honest!y, I didn't see it. They made a big deal of it. But they did tell me to go out and come back in which I did. This was a few months ago. Cashiers don't really care about your limits. I mean if you come back in their lines again. They are just trying to follow their managers rules and preserve their job. Can you tell I used to be a cashier in a former life? I think their issue is with a sale being on one receipt and who might be watching them. Too many people lie about shopping for someone else. Sigh.


Kinda irks me. They tell people to wear a mask yet you can't buy them at any price. They tell people to take care of our elder!y and shop for them yet there is a limit on how much you can buy. I understand it. Still doesn't make it any easier. 

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On 4/18/2020 at 9:43 PM, dogmom4 said:

One silver lining from all this....in my area so many more people are starting gardens and getting chickens.

It’s a really good thing that people are starting to raise some of their own food. I hope more towns remove their bans on chickens. Every day when I collect eggs I am so glad that we have the chickens. More people should be allowed to do this. 

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:buttercup:  Yeah, I gave away our last 4 ducks in Dec.   Cuz of DH's shoulder surgery .....that didn't happen......  No egg layers for the first time in 2 decades........and THEN WE GET COVID PANDEMIC? 


MtRider  .....who has better timing than that?  :duck1:

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I'm taking a little time off today on advice.  Went to the store this morning.  Of four kinds of lentils, only the green ones were in stock.  Just like HazelStone noticed.  Plenty of rice, but the beans were thoroughly picked-over.  The corn meal and powdered milk were gone.  There was flour, but when I reached for it, something pulled back my hand, so I left it alone.  The paper plates and bowls were limit one, and still thin on the shelf.  Don't people have time to wash dishes?

Lady in front of me in line had two buggies, one of them divided, and lots of food.  She asked for the manager, showed something on her phone, and everyone nodded.  Then they divided her purchases up to what was clearly three purchases, bagged in three sets of bags marked with a felt tip pen.  Cashier kept glancing back at me.  Not my problem.  Not as long as they didn't have an argument with the management or something to eat up my time.

There was a lot more meat than last visit.  Plenty of ham, some of it even on BOGO, but that had a two-pound limit (which is resting, shrink-wrapped, in the deep freeze now).  There was so much sausage in so much variety that I got confused and couldn't tell it apart (concussion damage).  DS1, who was shopping separately, got some but not the kind I like best.  Plenty of chicken, some lamb/duck/turkey, reasonable amounts of pork, and a decent array of beef.  Only one chuck-eye, though, and it was one of the sorrier looking ones I have ever picked up.  Remembering the front end rules from last time, I got two ground beef and two packages of other beef total.  The ground beef was more generously packed than last week's one-pound packages, though, with nearly a pound and a half in the bigger package.  There were chicken quarter bags this week, which we have not seen in weeks, but DS1 assumed I would grab plenty (he doesn't want to take more than our fair share), and I was so confused (thanks, concussion damage) that I didn't recognize what they were until I was describing them on the way home.  I did get a big package of thin pork chops, which will be great for everything from minute chops to pork stir fry, while he picked up some lovely thick ones that I like to call porterhouse steaks of pig.


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22 hours ago, euphrasyne said:

....so much for limiting contact.


Doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it? :shrug:

I get paid once a month so I shop once a month for everything I need to last until the next cycle. :shopping:

Now they're saying LIMIT the amount you buy AND they're also saying stay home. :shakinghead:

This means I have to go to the store multiple times in a month to get what I need thereby increasing my exposure and putting my health at more risk. :gaah:

WHY don't they make up their minds!?!?!?!?!?!?  :banghead:

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I hear ya Midnightmom. 


No masks any place but wear a mask or go to jail and pay a fine. 

Stay at home but shop for the elderly.

Shop for the elderly but limit of 1 per customer.

Stay home but shop every other day because of rationing. 

Stay home but shop every other day because of social distancing. 

No work + no money = no shopping. 



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DH goes tomorrow.  It's been two wks except for the extra quick run for meds that weren't ready.  He will have two separate lists in different handwriting.  He always does separate receipts.  AND....he knows the manager.  My folks are NOT going out shopping in this mess!!!  Don't want DH in it any more than absolutely necessary.  It wouldn't be necessary for us but he picks up things just cuz he's there.    We both know we're risking exposure of both of us for my folks.  We try to brush it off with them but my mom knows it too.  :pray: 


DD2 shops for their family with 2 teen BOYS and for her sister.  Brings TALL GrSon16 for extra cart.  DD1 has comorbidity factor AND being a grade school teacher, she has GERMAPHOBIA!  :lol:  With good reason, right Dogmom?  [Don't touch the railing with bird poop and gecko poop!  Now you have to wash your hands!  DON'T put your hands on anyone else or your face until you wash your hands!!!!  How many times have your heard this????] 


MtRider  :rolleyes:    

Edited by Mt_Rider
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