7 Grocery Store Staples that are Still Hard to Get
The pandemic shortages go far beyond just toilet paper. In fact, many of us are still seeing grocery store staples that are hard to get. We have seen a lot of pictures from people across the country in our Facebook group with empty shelves and missing items. So, what’s missing? Why is it missing? What should we do? Below, you will find the answers to these questions. In case you missed this post, Canned Foods I Highly Recommend You Store
“Prepare Your Family For Survival”
7 Grocery Store Staples that are Hard to Get
There are still many grocery store staples that are hard to find at your local grocery store. Here are just 7 staples that we continue to see a low supply of, but keep in mind there are more than just seven!
Before the pandemic, people combined eating at home and eating out. Thus, they didn’t have a huge need for spices. With shutdowns, COVID spikes, and people choosing not to eat out as much, more people are cooking at home. There comes a time when bland home cooked food just doesn’t work. So, people are delving into recipes and buying more spices to make more delicious foods at home.
Sugar is something we may not think about that much, but we use it in a lot of our foods that we make. Not to mention…coffee! Again, due to people eating and drinking more at home, they are making more things with sugar. Thus, more people are buying sugar.
When the pandemic hit, I noticed bread shortages. Because people were afraid of not being able to buy the bread they needed, they began buying supplies to make their own bread. In addition, yeast is a staple item for many different homemade recipes. So, as is normal, people scooped it up to make sure they didn’t run out of bread.
Again, flour is used for bread. Due to some of the bread shortages, people figured they could just make their own. In addition, flour is one of those food products where you can use a fairly small amount to make a large amount of food for your family. It’s a security item because you can use it when you can’t buy many regular items at the store.
Beans and Grains
Most people understand that beans and grains can be stored for a long period of time. In addition, we can use a small amount of these items to make a bigger meal for our families. Rice and beans expand when cooked. Just as we encourage preppers to stock these items as emergency supplies, non-preppers felt compelled to buy these items in case times got worse.
Canned and Frozen Vegetables
Again, canned goods and frozen veggies can be stored for much longer than other grocery staples. Most people know this and they know that even if the can is expired they can probably still eat it if they absolutely have to. Even if someone isn’t a prepper, they fully understand the necessity of having food that lasts longer in the event they can’t get food.
I don’t know about you, but many of my friends are saying they are still seeing shortages of disinfectant wipes. My friend has been to three stores in her area and could only find half-size containers that were much more costly than they had been before. She had to go to a nearby city to get the wipes.
But, more people are using these to clean their computers, phones, and household items. It’s frustrating that I can only get Lysol wipes (only one container each is allowed) when I really want the Clorox wipes. Yes, I’m thankful I could get one package, but with fewer sheets and they are more costly.
Why Are There Shortages?
There are several reasons why we are still seeing shortages. Obviously, when the pandemic hit, many people were panicked and began panic shopping. In addition to this, stores have just not been able to restock as they once did. Here are some reasons why:
- There are price gouging laws: Companies know people will buy these products, but they aren’t allowed to raise the prices. So, instead of selling items at a cheaper price to millions of people, they limit supply until they can increase prices.
- State of emergency: Some states are still in a state of emergency where others have opened up. Those people still living in a state of emergency status are doing more panic buying.
- People focus on certain items: We all know what foods we can grab that we can store for longer periods of time. Thus, people are stockpiling those items they think will get them through if something worse hits.
To read more about shortages and how you can prepare, I suggest you reading some of my other posts:
- Why Store Shortages are Not More Widespread
- Shortages: Are They Similar to the Great Depression
- 25 Important Items You Should Have in Your Home
Do These Grocery Store Staples Have a National Shortage
I do believe that the shortages are getting better with some items, but worse with other items. According to the Department of Agriculture,
“There are no nationwide shortages of food, although in some cases the inventory of certain foods at your grocery store might be temporarily low before stores can restock. Food production and manufacturing are widely dispersed throughout the U.S. and there are currently no wide-spread disruptions reported in the supply chain.”
It seems the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration are closely monitoring our food supply chains for any shortages. They are also in regular contact with grocery stores across the nation.
So, as of now, we are not worried about nationwide shortages, but that does not mean we will not see shortages at certain stores for certain items.
With all this being said, even though there is not a national shortage of food, we are still seeing a variety of food, medicine, and cleaning supplies in short supply. Whether companies are choosing to stock bare minimums of these grocery store staples, or they just don’t have the products, we don’t know.
However, what we do know is that we must continue to do our preps regardless of the shortages. Make lists, search for the items you are low on, and shop around to find them. Keep preparing! Remember, luck favors the prepared! May God Bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Wooden Bowls With Beans Deposit photos_306039772_s-2019
40 thoughts on “7 Grocery Store Staples that are Still Hard to Get”
I take my mom shopping every week. It seems we can either find sanitizing wipes or spray but never both. We’ve stocked up and even supplied the daycare that takes care of my grandson. Last week we didn’t buy any.
Sugar goes along with beans n rice. I’d guess about a third to half of America is buying things in anticipation of Election violence or shutdowns from politicians.
I’ve been ordering spices online. I buy bulk then break it down in small Mylar bags and distribute it to my group. I’ve even done oddities such as Worcester powder.
I’m not having issues buying other food with the exception of I can’t buy this brand or that. You buy what is there and there is stuff there. That means we are still doing pretty good round here. I’ve been to other places where it ain’t like that and trust me we’ve got it great in America.
IF things normalize it’ll be next summer before the catch up IF things panic then hang on to your hat.
And on that note I’m heading out to the store. I’ll check back in after a while because I love reading other comments and gathering intell.
Y’all stay safe
Well just got back. I went alone this week. This week they had Lysol spray. I didn’t buy any cause I’m stocked up.
I didn’t have trouble finding anything at all. I guess I bought larger bags of sugar than anticipated lol. It just said 2 so ….
Hi Matt, larger bags, let’s see two 5-pound bags or 2 50-pound bags, gotcha!! LOL! Best comment! Linda
Hi Matt, you always make the best comments, commonsense, and realistic. I sure hope people learn how to cook from scratch because they are going to have to! I have never heard of Worcester powder!! You are so lucky to have a group of people who think the same. You are amazing as always! Linda
Same here in rural Kentucky–no shortages. I expected to search for pumpkin after reading online.
Nope–the shelf had plenty. But I shop at a Kroger affiliate–bought Kroger brand.
Hi JayJay, I saw a whole lot of pumpkin at a local store yesterday. It was an off-brand, not the Libby’s I usually buy. But I have plenty, I did check to make sure it was not made in China. The Kroger brand is awesome! Linda
Our biggest issue has been canning supplies. Not a jar, ring, or lid anywhere! I am stocked up but have had calls from family & neighbors all summer complaining about not being able to get them.
Hi Rebecca, where I live in Southern Utah, you can’t find any canning supplies. Now, I see the All American pressure canners will not be stocked until after the first of the year. If you do see one it’s double the price. My fear is that people have stocked up with canning supplies and some have no clue how to can. I sure hope those supplies don’t end up in the garbage next year because they have no clue how to use them. The company that makes the Ball and Kerr items announced they will be back in stock next year. Hang in there. Linda
I bought a 921 for 329.00 and received it this week from amazon
Hi Sally, SQUEAL!! YAY! I’m so happy you got one!! Linda
In Virginia we still have empty shelves. Very hard to find clorox wipes and haven’t seen Lysol spray for months! We do have toilet paper and water. I will be interested to see how things go after the election. Hoping for good things and preparing every week. I really appreciate your emails and helpful information. Thank you for doing what you do!
Hi Wendy, thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot to me. As far as the election, I think we are all wondering what will happen no matter who wins. I believe there will be some uproars. The bad thing is people are frustrated with our leaders and government workers who are overpaid. They need to bring these leaders back down to earth like the rest of us. My 2 cents. I’m glad you can find toilet paper and water! God bless our country, Linda
Here in the East Texas area, I’m able to find everything in our local grocery store. Granted, not every week, but the do have everything in a week or two. They mostly have the bigger bags of rice and pinto beans. Frozen vegetables are usually in stock as well. I only buy when they’re on sale though. And if we have freezer space. I have dehydrated some of the frozen veggies. I vacuum pack them in bags or jars.
So far, we’re doing well on our stocking up. We probably have enough for 6 months to a year. If we’re frugal.
Hi Deborah, glad to hear you can get frozen vegetables. Good news for those in East Texas! Linda
I’m hoping they will put the store brands on sale soon and I can dehydrate some more. I prefer getting the mixed vegetables for soups and stews. I also like to get vegetable juice on sale and us it for the same instead of tomato juice. It’s so yummy.
I am a canner, and have really been struggling to find Jars, lids and rings! I was lucky enough to find a case of pints on a shelf at an Ace Hardware – 30 miles away!! That case was priced normally, much different than the ones you see on Amazon. Maybe a bit of price gouging going on there? Someone needs to look into that!
Thanks for passing along the info that we will get them back the first of the year.
Hi Kathie, here is a link that should help all of us. Go to the bottom (they talk about sooooo many people taking up the canning). They are working hard to replenish all supplies. https://foodsafety.ces.ncsu.edu/2020/08/where-are-the-canning-jars-is-it-1975-all-over-again/ This article reminded me of when I was a young mother canning we had a shortage of supplies back in 1975. I read where the All American pressure canner will be back in stock in early spring. Crazy times! Beware of fraudulent lids. I have heard from readers they are not sealing and they paid twice the price. This is so sad, Linda
Kathie, the same is happening here in East Texas. I did see a case of pints and jelly jars on the shelf at our local store, but didn’t notice the prices. Only 1 box each though. I bought up quite a few boxes of lids at the end of season a couple of years ago. I’m bad about buying new canning jars, so we have several dozen cases, plus what my MIL had. Now, you can hardly find any canning items.
Someone on Craigslist had cases of jars for $30.
I, like you, have lots of cases and shoe boxes of lids.
Hi Linda, not sure how your Costco is , if you have one but Friday I went and they had about a pallet full of Clorox 4 packs available at ours. I snagged a package for my DIL and me. Just a warning the other day we had put another roll of Bounty on the rack and Granddaughter #2 told me “Grandma, the paper towels are broken” after half the roll came off. Seems in their efforts to get product out about 4 rolls in the 12 pack of towels DH bought aren’t perforated. He just got the exacto knife out and started to slice the roll for us. I called the company, laughing about it . The lady I talked to was very apologetic but I told her they were doing a great job of trying to get product out there’s bound to be an OOPS or 2 happening. She did say she would pass it on to the plant manager. But we all got a good chuckle out of it.
Hi Kathy, WHAT? I have not seen Clorox Wipes at Costco in months. Now I need to go look, thanks for the tip! The story about the paper towels, oh my goodness! I love hearing you called them and let them know in a kind way. There are so many people working so hard for us to get the supplies we need. May God bless you for being kind! Linda
Thank you, I figured why get mad. After all it’s a wonder we have been able to get things in the last few months with all the plants that had to close down because of the virus. Hope you can get the Clorox wipes though.I’m pretty sure if I went back Monday that pallet is now long gone, LOL.
Hi Kathy, I bet the Clorox wipes would be gone as well! I worry about all the people who are unemployed right now because of the virus. Food stamps and low-income housing can only go so far. I hope those plants can recover and reopen. This is so hard on so many families. Linda
A visit to BJs for a curbside pickup let to a trip inside when we saw several people leaving with 5 packs of Clorox Wipes. Entire pallet was almost empty, at 8:30 in the morning. We have 10 now, which should last us 6 months. Still can’t find Lysol spray, but we have a years worth of hand sanitizer. Our Aetna Medicare Advantage plan sent us “care packages ” including personal care products, eye drops, throat drops, hand sanitizer, chap stick, aother assorted full size brand name products!! I have never seen anything like it, but we do appreciate it.
Hi Chris, oh my gosh, what a blessing from your insurance company! We can’t get Clorox Wipe packages, but I was able to get 3 Cloxox containers with only 35 wipes for $2.38 EACH. It was way more than I like to pay but I like the Clorox ones more than the Lysol or off-brand ones. Crazy times, stay well, stay safe! Linda
Maybe having a town right on I-40 is an advantage as every store in town has all of these things. Also, most spices can be ordered online, and Costco sells flour, rice and other staples online.
Ray, some Walmart stores do the same. As well as Amazon. We check prices before we order though.
Great post as always, Linda!
Here in Western Washington, I am still seeing shelves in the stores that are very sparse on some items and not on others. I have noticed how the shelves look filled but if you look behind, there may only be a row or two of the items. Fortunately, I am pretty well stocked right now on food. As for cleaning/disinfecting items, I can now get off brands of disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer. Still look for those brand names when I go to the stores!
Of course, canning is out right now. I don’t have much in the way of canning equipment – had to let that go when I moved into an apartment. But, I did purchase a small canning rack this year that fits in my large stock pot so I am able to process 4 pint jars at a time. Now, when I am able to get jars/lids again, I will start putting up a little in the way of canned goods. I used my dehydrator a LOT this year. I was able to get a lot of fresh fruits and veggies and now have dried goods put away for soup/stew, pies/desserts.
As for the comments on the USDA and Food/Drug Admin – Well, call me paranoid or whatever, but I have little confidence in anything that the government says! If those agencies say there is no shortage, I am going to stock up – big time! I am not going to wait for them to say – Oh, sorry, we misjudged and now you cannot buy “whatever” because… Just saying, that I don’t and will not bank on what the governmental agencies tell us.
Leanne, I totally agree with you! I don’t believe everything the govt tells us either. I DO believe in being prepared and being sensible. Researching and watching things, keeping an eye open…I’m always aware of what’s going on around me. We live in Northern Nevada and there are still alot of items that can’t be found-canned pumpkin, spice cake mix (I used that for cookies), canning supplies (but that happens every year at the end of summer), spices, lots of misc. items. I’ve been told there’s a shortage of aluminum cans so that’s why there aren’t that many canned items. Who knows if that’s the truth or not? We’re pretty resourceful, thank goodness, so we’re good to go. Not forever, naturally, but for quite some time. We’re real lucky – we have a wood burning woodstove and 6 cords of wood each year. That’s a big help for us especially when the power goes out. Now, I just need to do something when that “disembodied hand” from the neighbor’s yard reaches over and filches a couple pieces of firewood!
WHAT??? Robbie, someone reaches over and borrows some of your firewood? Wow, this is a first! I just started seeing pumpkin in stores this week. Maybe you can find some. Linda
“Borrow” is a relative term…I’ve never seen him return any of the firewood! LOL
Hi Robbie, I got the giggles when I read that yesterday! Linda
Linda, I have to take exception to your comment “government workers are overpaid” As the spouse of a “government worker” My spouse was NOT overpaid. He spent 30 PLUS years working his butt off tracking and getting prosecuted welfare cheats and fraud . HE BARELY made after 30 + years $55,000. AND that INCLUDED his medical. By the way as a retiree, we get crap for medical now. It is the UPPER echelon management and Government appointees that are over paid.Most workers are barely getting by. So please don’t lump all government workers together.
Hi Kathy, I need to explain, I am not talking about people like your husband in the government. I have a family member that works for the government and watches Netflix when she finishes her work each day. She said I don’t have anything else to do so I watch movies every day. Why don’t they cut her hours? We as taxpayers are paying for people to watch movies? I should have clarified what I meant, I apologize. I’m talking about the UPPER government workers. I had another family member that worked for the government 4 days a week from 9:00 to 2:00 and took days off to go to a doctor’s appointment. Regular employees from companies could never do that and I bet your husband didn’t either. I feel the UPPER government workers need their pay cut and retirement cut. I’m not talking about someone like your husband. In my opinion, no one is watching out for the rest of us including watching out for your husband. I will never LUMP all government workers together again. Linda
Thank you Linda for clearing that up. If she doesn’t have anything to do but watch movies, then I understand where you are coming from and it should be addressed by her supervisor,IF the supervisor is even aware of it. And yes my husband did get time off for doctors appointments BUT it was only for the time that covered his wait time in the drs office and his appointment. IF he got in and out in a reasonable time,IE: the doctor was ON TIME, he would go back to the office and finish his work for the day. I also got time off to go to DRS appointments but I had to take my PTO time in 4 hour increments, it was the company’s rule. So I would go and sometimes get in and out and then I had the rest of the day off. Found out from an old co worker after I left (retired), the company changed the policy on that.
I went to Wal Mart with my mom and sister. I bought 10 doz eggs as they were on sale for $3 for 5 doz. I also wanted to pick up some extra paper plates, but they didn’t have any on the shelves. Now they did have lots of styrofoam plates. We do not use those. as they tend to melt when hot foods are placed on them. And we can’t use them in the microwave or burn them in the woodstove. I also saw a shortage on Pine Sol products. They had plenty of beans and rice. (I don’t need any of those as I had buckets of them). I was surprised at the price of Lima Beans, split green peas and Blackeyed Peas. They are getting kinda pricey. Might be time to consider growing them in containers. I can’t find where to buy those in bulk like we do with Pinto Beans and Black Beans. My mom was looking for the larger cans of tomato sauce and they didn’t have any so she had to buy the smaller 8 oz size. I buy spices in bulk when I can find them,as we use a LOT of garlic powder,Onion powder and black pepper. I have a large variety of other spices and I also have the worcester powder. I also have coconut milk powder. I have been buying almond flour and other non gluten products to bake for my nephew as he has Celiac’s disease. I do Sugar free also as a family member has severe diabetes. ( I have it also but not on insulin). I have not had issues buying real sugar, but can’t find the 25 pound bags locally. (have to go to Costco or Sams). I make my own brown sugar so I buy molasses in quart size jars. Yeast is still hard to find in my area. I really don’t use much of it as I bake sourdough bread at least once a week. I pray everyone can find what they need. Thank you for another informative post. May God Bless you and yours.
Hi Judy, I hope you end up finding the things that you need for your pantry. What a crazy year. Stay safe, Linda
I don’t have a sam’s club membership any longer–just was a waste of money for me. The only thing I can’t find anywhere is paper plates. I actually had to buy styrofoam instead but will never do that again.
The paper plates I found are just too expensive and I guess now it’s cheaper to line the dinner plates with aluminum foil than buy paper. You get the same result–no washing dishes.
I found my sam’s club paper cups on Amazon, buy Angel soft TP @ DG, buy paper towels @ DG, napkins @ GFS and will do without paper plates.
Our stores here in Northern Virginia have disinfecting wipes sometimes. Disinfecting spray and cleaners are still hard to find. Yesterday my Target had Lysol spray, it’s the first time I’ve seen it since early March. I like to buy the Wet Ones disinfecting hand wipes. One of my sons has an egg allergy, and he likes to be able to wipe his hands when we’re out and about. My youngest son also doesn’t like hand sanitizer, so he uses those instead. They can be found occasionally, but not regularly. Paper plates have been hard to find here lately. My Aldi had packets of yeast yesterday, and a pallet of sugar and flour. The baking aisle hasn’t been that well stocked in months! They even had an extra pallet of flour that they parked in a corner of the store.
Hi Melinda, wow, you were lucky to get some Lysol, Walmart here in Southern Utah has had a few times. Paper plates are hard to find here as well. Yay, for baking supplies! Linda