Grocery Stores And The Empty Store Shelves
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Grocery Stores And The Empty Store Shelves

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Have you checked out the grocery stores and the empty store shelves lately? You may have missed a few things if you’ve been getting drive-up or pickup lane for your meals. It seems it’s been hard to purchase certain items the past few years and some of the items are things we all need. You remember the toilet paper shortage, the Clorox wipes in short supply, and hand sanitizer that was hard to get. Much of that was due to the effects of the pandemic.

The challenges now relate more to supply chain issues, including blocked shipping lanes and the related shipping costs going up. There are also production labor shortages, strikes in some industries, and challenging new regulations in the trucking industry.

Well, hand sanitizer is overflowing on shelves now, and toilet paper is more accessible. I can get Lysol wipes and spray, but I prefer the Clorox wipes a little more. Anyway, I’m grateful for what I can get these days.

Why are Grocery Stores Still Out of Stuff?

Grocery Stores And The Empty Store Shelves

Here we are in 2024, and I’m updating this post from 2020. The prices are higher, and the shelves are still not fully stocked at most grocery stores. Climate change is affecting weather patterns and causing more severe winter storms compared to the past year in some areas. Weather conditions can make a real difference in the supply challenges of various food products. Wildfires, floods, and severe weather throughout America are affecting our crumbling electric grid, causing power failures and dangerous blackout conditions, hindering production, and prompting food shortages.

Grocery Stores And The Empty Store Shelves

I decided to take pictures of some grocery store shelves to share. Some days, the shelves are worse for a food item you may need, and if there, the price tags show higher amounts. This was not a drastic day, but look closely, you can see some items pulled forward, making the shelves seem slightly less empty. I hope you can fill your cart with needed items folks, cause I came home frustrated.

Ramen Noodles

I was happy to see the Oreos stocked. I didn’t buy any, but I was tempted. LOL! Some families depend on ramen-type noodles, and these shelves were not empty. But there were slim pickings for the many offerings. During times of emergency, popular items, and particularly affordable backup food supply items are sold out.

Dried Noodles on Shelves

Canned Soups

The area where soups were stocked was a little more full on some shelves and less on others. The cans were pulled forward, so it appeared the shelves had more inventory than they did. Look closely at the bottom row on the left, it is a single row of soups.

Canned Beans On Shelves

Ketchup and Condiments

Thank goodness for ketchup. I need it for making my barbecue sauce and for spreading it on hamburgers as well. The shelves were not empty, but some rows were only one row deep.

Read More of My Articles  Food Shortage: Why Shelves are Empty & What to Do

Whew! I need my ketchup. No, I don’t want to make my ketchup, but I did it once.

I like stocking it, though! It’s almost embarrassing how much ketchup I put on my hash browns; I’m just saying!

Jar of Ketchup on Grocery Shelves

Mayo and Miracle Whip

Now that the kids have moved out independently, I tend to buy smaller containers of mayonnaise and Miracle Whip. I’m having difficulty getting Real Mayonnaise (not the “Light” kind) in the small jars. I caved and bought some “Light,” and it’s hard to gag down. I sure hope they get some Real Mayonnaise back in stock.

Mayonnaise on Shelves

Salsa

Salsa is one of my all-time favorite condiments. I must have some Spanish/Mexican genes because I could eat salsa on just about anything. The jars were sparse but acceptable for those needing to stock up on their favorite salsa jars.

Salsa on Grocery Shelf

Canned Meat

My granddaughter went with me, and we had to walk over to see what these two shelves were missing. These shelves usually have SPAM! There is no SPAM at this store. I grew up on SPAM. I never fed it to my kids, but people buy lots of it here in Utah!

I forgot that Spam was even an item available anymore. My mom fried it and made SPAM fried rice with it. Hopefully, the shelves will be replenished soon.

They had plenty of tuna and canned chicken, so life is good for sandwiches or casseroles, so that’s awesome!

SPAM is missing on the Shelves

Canned Beans

The dry beans were a little scarce, but the canned beans on the shelves concerned me. Yes, I buy dry beans, but I still love a case or two of my favorite ready-to-eat canned beans. I remember writing a post on Canned Foods I Highly Recommend You Store.

Several people have mentioned lately that they only buy fresh or frozen vegetables, not the canned version.

I get it, but we need to stockpile cans of food we’ll eat. It could be supplies of beans, olives, tomato pastes, green chilies, salsa, or canned soups. I cook from scratch, but I still need my pantry stocked.

Please stock up, my friends. We must. It can be home-canned food or store-bought food, just do it.

Beans Pretty Scarce On Shelves

Pasta and Spaghetti Sauce

The pasta aisle seemed better stocked today than when I last visited the grocery stores. However, they appeared to be limited regarding spaghetti sauce choices. I love making spaghetti sauce from scratch, but I also love having 8-10 cans of ready-to-heat jars of spaghetti sauce.

Read More of My Articles  How to Prepare for a Food Shortage

My favorite pot for making pasta is a 6-quart Soup Pot.

Pasta ans Spaghetti Sauce

Canned Vegetables

There are very few choices for canned vegetables, but hopefully, enough for one or two cans of your favorite ones. Today I noticed a case lot sale starting this weekend at Smiths in SLC, UT. You may want to check out your Kroger-related store for savings on the tasty survival food you need.

Green Beans a little Scarce

Peanut Butter

We specifically walked down the peanut butter aisle. The jams and jellies were fully stocked, but the peanut butter shelves were not as complete. Here again, I only buy the small jars of peanut butter now, the 16-ounce size is just right for the two of us.

Mark and I sometimes fix peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. When you make them on homemade whole-wheat bread, they are yummy!

I prefer jam, but jelly sounds like P&J sandwiches, right? I highly recommend stocking up on peanut butter now if you enjoy eating it on sandwiches, etc. Check the dates. Peanut butter can go rancid over time, so be careful with how much you stock.

Peanut Butter Aisle

Flour and Bisquick

Walking down the baking aisle, I spaced, looking for the yeast! The shelves were full of different flours, but sugar was in short supply. I saw plenty of baking soda and baking powder. If you need a good recipe for biscuits, here is mine: Easy Homemade Biscuit Recipe.

Related: 13 Surprising Uses for Flour

Grocery Stores And The Empty Store Shelves

Thanks for joining me today to discuss the grocery stores and their empty shelves. We know that with all the storms in the Midwest last year, crops were being destroyed. Plus, for those fruits and vegetables that were ready to pick last fall, the farmers, in some cases, had no one to gather the bounty.

Final Word

We prep because we never know when food will be scarce. Sometimes, we may have health issues and be unable to work, so stocking food is critical.

I can still remember a young mother emailing me and telling me that the city she lived in had an ice storm and the roads were not passable, so she couldn’t drive to any store. I had the same experience in high school, living with my aunt and uncle in the Chicago area. It was scary!

Preppers are not hoarders, we are families who realize we must be prepared for whatever comes our way. I can’t imagine having to tell my children the cupboards are empty. “I’m sorry, I didn’t plan.” You don’t want to be one of those panic-buying families, trust me on that.

Please grab an extra bag of rice or beans or a can of green beans every week. God will provide for those people who take care of themselves. Please keep prepping. May God bless this world, Linda

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133 Comments

  1. Bug Spray
    Went to get my mom some Home Defense Spray and yeah none anywhere. I can order it but all they had was Raid brand on the shelf. I’ve no idea why

      1. The pictures look a lot like our store’s shelves. We ordered some air tight containers to put our opened food stuff in. We’ve been having a horrible infestation of moths. We’ve put out traps, but we’re still getting them. We find the eggs and such in packaging, so we put our cereal and such as that in the containers. I did put some flour in one, and will put sugar in another one. We have our cereal in them also. I eat one kind and hubby eats a different kind. OK 2 different kinds in the same bowl. His doesn’t have as much sugar as mine. He’s diabetic. I do have half gallon jars as canisters, but they won’t hold a full bag of flour or sugar or such as that. I do have some gallon jars that my MIL gave me from pickles and such. I use them as well. I do put bay leaves in my rice, flour and other things that weevils like. I also place them in my pantry to deter them.

        1. Hi Deborah, oh my gosh, I have helped two friends get rid of them. Let me grab a link for you. They may have traveled to your cupboard hinges, they are terrible!!! Please read this post and the comments. It will take time but you can get rid of them. They “hide” everywhere. https://www.foodstoragemoms.com/pantry-moths/ Oh, I hope you find where they are spreading. I found the culprit in one house, it was a can of bread crumbs. I can NEVER buy that brand, all I see are pantry moths! Good luck, my friend, Linda

          1. Hi Linda,
            I think someone already mentioned moths. I was going to do the same…I don’t have that problem with food I’ve already stored…just the new food I’ve bought to top off the food we’ve eaten since this begun. I am freezing staples in bags for a few days then letting them come to room temp in the bags before removing them. That’s the only way I know to kill them, but I was shocked to find a moth fly out of a box of stove top stuffing…it wasn’t in the bag but in the box, so maybe the food was okay. I had a moth in something else too. That aside, I really like having the pix to see the shelves. They are similar here, but they don’t keep the shelves that neat here. One thing I noticed at the Mexican fruit/veggie stand. They have them all over central FL. Anyway, they are doing the same thing by filling up the bins with whatever they have. I went to one and found a few different fruits and veggies, but the majority of the bins were filled with ONIONS. It’s what they had a lot of. It’s one thing when a store owner fills shelves one deep, but when it’s onions in a fruit stand, it’s quite noticeable that they are low on stock.

          2. Hi Debbie, life changes every day at the grocery stores, the shelves get thinner and shorter. We all know there is a food shortage, just different foods at different times. The pantry moths are a pain! Check all your cupboard door hinges, they hide in those. Bleach the shelves and buy moth traps, etc. They are such a nuisance, Linda

        2. I emptied another 30 gallon water drum and gave it to the amish friend. She said she keeps food items in it so the mice, etc. have to work harder getting to it.

  2. Linda, I’m off to Costco in Las Vegas today so plan to pick up several items–dog food, a 50 lb bag of white rice, another similar bag of Pinto beans, a few 5 lb blocks of various cheeses, etc. We already have plenty of rice and beans in long term storage (heat sealed Mylar bags + O2 absorbers) but I think it pays to have extra on hand for neighbors. I’ll not see children go hungry when I can do something about it.

    Our local Kingman grocery stores are showing the same empty shelf signs you are seeing. TP? No problem so far, but canned meats? I picked up a case of Spam last time they were selling it in case lots. Not my favorite but I do like it, and it lasts forever. We also have a plentiful supply of bread in our stores and that was in short supply last time. Fortunately, we can bake our own and when I get back I’ll be grating up a bunch of homegrown zucchini to make blueberry zucchini and zucchini banana bread.

    I no longer buy pasta in boxes. It gets weevily too quickly. Now I buy American Beauty in the clear plastic bags. It lasts longer just sitting in my pantry without going to weevils. I also vacuum seal pastas for long term storage, but the Mylar/O2 regimen also works.

    Since I’ll be in Vegas I’ll stop by an Olive Garden for lunch (drool). I’m not going anywhere there’s been recent violence in the City but I’m prepared anyhow, just in case.

    I wouldn’t be heading there at all but I’m getting my annual eye check up and my optometrist is in Vegas. It makes a good excuse for a Costco run and Olive Garden–love their Pasta Fagiole soup and Seafood Alfredo.

      1. Linda, i’ve tried making Pasta Fagiole soup using copy cat recipes but none of them have nailed it so i’m going to try to buy a quart of it to bring home.

    1. This may be a dumb question, but how do you vacuum seal your pastas? I have tried it and it seems the noodles punch tiny holes so they don’t seal. Macaroni especially. Or did I just have bad luck?

        1. I use extra heavy Mylar bags from Sorbent Systems. They are 7 mil “Ironshield” bags and here’s a link. https://www.sorbentsystems.com/ironshield.html

          I’ve found as a rule bags from Sorbent Systems cost less and work better than FoodSaver bags.

          All that said, I still usually do the heat sealed regular 4.3 mil thick Mylar bag + O2 absorber method for pasta because those bags and absorbers are less expensive than the Ironshield bags. Here’s a link. https://www.sorbentsystems.com/medium-mylar-bags.html

          I am not connected to Sorbent Systems in any way other than as a satisfied customer.

      1. Not a dumb question at all. We had the same issue when putting up hardtack in Mylar recently. What I’ve found is you have to sleeve it in other words double up. If you any pieces of hard plastic to put on the ends of the pasta before sealing it it’ll help. Cut a piece of water bottle or packaging plastic material etc.

      2. I remove my pasta from the box, leave in the paper wrap if it comes that way and stack in 5 gallon buckets.
        I am using pasta that was stores many years ago and it has no special treatment, just drop in, fill, and stomp on lid.

      3. I have wrapped spaghetti in waxed or parchment paper first keeps the sharp edges from poking through or left it in the bag (I don’t buy boxed pasta anymore either). Leaving most pasts in the bag works just fine. I make a small slit in the pasta bag so all the air comes out of the bag. I will say if broken egg noodles etc upset you don’t vacuum them…lol

  3. I have tried to order Black Flag hornet and bee spray from my Walmart curbside pickup order for three weeks and it is still out of stock. My daughter said her neighbors haven’t been able to find it at Lowe’s or Home Depot!!!

    I have been trying to find Campbell Broccoli cheese soup for the past two months. I even called Campbell to ask what’s up. I just found it in Stock at Walmart…..we will see if it shows up in my curbside order tomorrow…..fingers crossed.

    It did take me three weeks for Lowe’s to restock light bulbs when they were on my stock up list.

    Right now I have delayed picking up chuck roasts because the prices are so high. Finding what our stock up list requires AND finding it on sale……there in lies the challenge.

    1. Hi Chris, I hear you on watching for meat prices to come down. Or at least on sale. WAIT, what do you use Campbell’s broccoli cheese for? Do you use it as base for soups? Wow, I better check my light bulbs, when will this shortage stuff ever end? It may not, my gut is telling me. I love the Walmart curbside pickup!! And if you do the review on the phone app, and click the 5 stars the young man or woman will get $5.00. I hope that is true because I was told that the first time I used it several months ago. They work so hard for us. Now I need to look for the hornet spray! Linda

      1. My cooking is not fancy or gourmet. Mostly simple and filling. I add 2 cans cream of chicken, 1 Broccoli cheese soup, 2 cans water in the crockpot with 4 marinated skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Season with salt and pepper and parsley. After 2 1/2 hours on high, I add about 4 cups of frozen broccoli florets. Another 45 minutes and we serve it over rice or fine egg noodles.

        1. Hi Chris, oh my gosh, thank you for sharing your recipe! I just ordered a case of cream of chicken soup from Smith’s today. When I go pick it up I’m going to pick up some of the Broccoli Cheese soup!!! I want to make this asap!! Linda

          1. I have a question about mylar bags. How do you seal them? I have a Food Saver, but I can’t find any information about its mylar bag capabilities. Thanks!

    2. Chris Amazon still has it to order. Dunno if that helps. Our local walmarts only had “Raid” stuff left

    3. I use Bear Creek broccoli cheese soup….After many years storing this in mason jars, it tastes as fresh as if it was newly bought.

      1. Hi JayJay, my husband and lived by some of the family members that started Bear Creek soups many years ago up in Heber, Utah. We lived by some of the adult kids who help run it back then in Salt Lake City, Utah. I’m not sure if they still own it, but they make great soups! Linda

  4. Hi Linda, been awhile since I posted anything here, lol. You mentioned your biscuit recipe in this article. I found a super simple recipe on Grandma Karma youtube site. It’s just two ingredients, 2 C Selfrising flour and 2 C heavy cream. That’s all. Knead about 12 or so times, roll out 1/2 inch thick and cut out biscuits. Bake 400 for 12-15 mins. (I did 20 because I’m at over 9,000 ft.). I was blown away by how easy these were. Biscuits were high, light and fluffy, almost melt in your mouth like fresh hot Krispy Kream donuts, lol. Just thought I would share this recipe with you and your readers.

    1. Hi Pam, you know I love hearing about this recipe for biscuits! OH MY GOODNESS! I’m going to get some heavy cream for the next grocery store trip! I can’t wait to make these!! Thank you, Linda

      1. Let me know what you think. I’m making some this morning. I had an aunt that made biscuits every morning of the week. They were awesome and I sure miss her biscuits. These are the closest to what she made but less work and ingredients. I wish I had known about this recipe years ago. It might have made her life a little easier.

  5. Stocking up these days is way smart. Plus with shortages and weather, I believe we will see a lot of price increases coming up. Plus train our taste to like simple foods such as beans and lentils. My daughter in law hated beans. So i asked her to just try a spoonful now and then. Over time she started liking beans and lentils!!!
    Our tastes can be changed!!!

    1. Hi Janet, oh my goodness, we need to get together if you are still in Southern Utah! I have the lentil recipes and I can’t wait to show people how to use them! I totally agree on the food prices going up. BIG TIME! Linda

  6. Canned about 100 lbs of tomatoes this summer, peaches that I found on sale at Krogers for 77 cents a lb . Canned a few pints of Ghana from our pears and figs. I’ve been thinking about canning some chicken and dried black beans when it gets a little cooler. Looking forward to getting apples this fall and canning apple butter and Apple jelly and drying apples. I toss the Apple slices in sugar and cinnamon before I dry them. Stocking up is a process. Can’t do everything at once, but every little bit adds up. I’ve found that drying fruits and veggies that are about to go bad is adding up. Everything is so uncertain now. I worry about people who are not stocking up anything.

    1. Hi Linda, good job! I love hearing you are canning and dehydrating food. I’m extremely worried about those who are not stocking up. This is no boot camp, we are in the real deal now. Stock up or starve. P.S. I love dehydrated apples with cinnamon and sugar, yummy! Linda

  7. I am having trouble buying Borax for laundry lately at several stores. Other laundry boosters have too much scent for us.

    1. Hi Karen, where do you live? If you live in Southern Utah I could give you a box. Check online Walmart (.com) and Amazon. It’s going to get even pricier. I hope you can find some. Linda P.S. Ask your local grocery store to order some.

    2. Hi, Karen,
      I like Arm and Hammer Washing Soda. I’ve used Borax when the stores were out of the washing soda. I just add a small amount to each wash load.
      Happy washing,
      Teddy

  8. Something to think about: Does your family eat different meals in the fall/winter than they do in summer? Do you have the items you typically use for soups on hand?
    (You have discussed beans and pastas, just want folks to think about specific menus)
    I know my family has different menu preferences seasonally. So I need to make sure to keep that into consideration when doing my shopping.

  9. Very good article! We are having shortages like you are. Canned vegetables and fruits seem to be in short supply as do some soups. I have been looking for cream of celery soup that I use in several casserole recipes, and finally found some at Menard’s of all places. Husband has quite the green thumb so we have a nice garden and I can what we can’t eat or give away. We consider ourselves to be very fortunate in that we have many skills between the two of us.

    1. Hi Paula, thank you for your kind words! Oh, I need to get a few cans of cream of celery soup. Great reminder. I don’t use it often, but for a few recipes, I need it!! Great comment, Linda

  10. Regarding homemade detergent. I was curious how much I use; last Sept. 9, I filled (2) half-gallon mason jars with freshly made using Borax, A&H, and Amish bars grated. I still have exactly 2 inches in the first half-gallon jar. So, I used 6 inches or so in 11 months –great!!! I have mix for another year +.
    Two-member family– only one working– for reference.
    Saving money is a great feeling in these times.

  11. Yeast, Clorox & disinfecting wipes still the least found items here in NW Florida. Some sandwich meats still missing. Meat prices actually are reasonable. … a far cry from the $6-8 for a pound of hamburger earlier this year.

    For those looking for bug spray, you might check out the local feed stores. Also smaller hardware stores.

    1. Hi BDN, a great tip to try stores we wouldn’t think of for bug spray. Items are getting low in many areas of prepping. Hold on, we are ready for it, ready or not. It’s interesting NOW everyone wants to learn how to can food! It’s a blessing they are realizing what we all have known for years. Now, the jars are getting to find, etc. Linda

  12. I see it here too. For those of you struggling to find insect sprays, check out national drug stores like CVS and Walgreens, you may have too pay more for it but it is available among other things. Also, if you have either one of these drug stores near a hospital there is a good chance that it is open 24 hrs.

    The Clorox wipes may be made in China. I say this because I worked for Clorox for 12 years until they shut down our plant in order to outsource it out to China to be made at a cheaper cost. The plant that I worked at did not make Clorox but another Clorox owned company that made plastic products. If this is the case, it might explain why we are all having a hard time finding Clorox wipes.

    I am so glad too see toilet paper fully back in stock now. So I was so excited to see that after months of not being found anywhere the Charmin Sensitive w/Aloe &E toilet paper is now back in stock – I swear once I saw that the skies parted and the Angels began to sing and it felt as if my life has purpose again! Laugh, if y’all want but you all know that it is the small things that once we are without them we miss them. This pandemic made me realize that as well as see where “holes” were in my preps. Yes, I bought up 4 months worth (but not all from the same store). A full week later I am still excited about it.

    1. HI Ravenna, it really is the small things in life that make us do a cart-wheel in mind! Yay for toilet paper on the shelves. Thanks for the tip on the Clorox wipes, I think you are right!! Linda

    1. Today is March 24, 2024 and you probably will find another way to store pasta after paying 16.44 for wide mouth quart jars!!!

      Yep—I bought 8 cases yesterday. I sold 17 cases of regular mouth to change to wide mouth.

  13. Hi Linda, Just thought I’d check in. Things are starting to show up in the stores around here but not sure how long it will last. Sunday I was in the store and YEAH TP was fully stocked, Paper towels not so much, just a few packages on the shelf. NO wipes or Lysol spray, kinda ticked me off because the store was running a special on the Lysol. I even got up REALLY, REALLY early(for me lol) to be at the store when they opened, 6 am. They just didn’t get any in according to the store person I talked to. There hasn’t been any in the stores for sale for the last 4 months as I was told they are keeping it to clean the stores and carts but haven’t confirmed that. Wish you were closer, I’d trade ya a couple of cans of SPAM for some Lysol spray LOL. The stores have quite a bit of the SPAM on the shelves right now (as of Sunday that is)

    1. Hi Kathy, great comment, I love hearing where people are living and what’s going on in their cities. It’s funny, I just went to the grocery store to get pictures and I had to look closely at the shelf labels to see what was missing from those two shelves. I grew up eating SPAM but I don’t remember ever fixing it for my kids. It’s crazy I have more Lysol than I need but share it with those that need it. I wish we lived closer, I would hand deliver a can or two. Stay safe, Linda

      1. I would gladly hand deliver the Spam if I were closer. My sister and I are the only ones that will eat it. Have you tried looking at the dollar stores for the individual packages? A couple of ours sells them for a buck a pack.So sis and I stock up from the stores around us. She’s down south of me, east coast,says not a lot of people eat SPAM , so she says the $ packs are usually in abundance in the dollar stores around her and they are sealed in a mylar type pouch, so they can go in the freezer as is. I haven’t tried it, doesn’t last long around me HA HA.

  14. Love reading about what is happening in different areas of the country! My husband does the shopping and reports shelves stocked well except for Lysol spray and wipes as well as Clorox wipes. Prices not bad- yet. We order a lot online so grocery store trips are spread out – order from Walmart and Target which has worked out well since pandemic started. FYI, we are in NW Indiana.

    1. HI Lynn, I love ordering groceries form the pickup at Walmart. I have another store in Southern Utah I use as well for pickup. I feel safer picking up over going into the store. I do go in with a mask and take pictures so I can see what is happening with the food chain and other items we all need. Then I can report it to my readers. I love hearing about other areas so we know what is normal or not normal for supplies. I haven’t seen Clorox wipes in months. I see a lot of off brands but I will wait and see what happens with the Clorox wipes. I keep seeing Lysol spray show up on the very top shelf at Walmart in the cleaning aisle. I grab two cans every time I see them and share them with neighbors. Stay safe, Linda

  15. What!?! No Spam???

    Chinese companies own about 80% of the US pork industry. Below is an article printed in the AMAC magazine about Chinese ownership of most prescription & over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, & supplements. In particular, Heparin, a blood thinner used for heart patients comes from pork intestines. Here is an article about it:

    This reminds me of a part of “the Word of Wisdom” that most people pay no attention to (I am assuming you are LDS) – D&C 89:11 – “Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof;” – eat fresh foods that are grown locally & not something that is out of season (canned, frozen, dehydrated or otherwise preserved are probably OK). You really don’t know what you are getting if you eat fresh foods that are shipped from other countries where standards and oversight are not the same as here. That being said, I tell my husband and daughter not to eat things like Spam, canned ham, liverwurst, bologna, etc. Those things are not to eat – they are to be used to grease the car.

    In regards to my previous comment about inflammation and night shade vegetables, I did not mention that before I learned about it, every time I went to the store, I only got about half way down the first aisle before I was limping, hanging on the cart, and couldn’t wait to get finished so I could go home and lie down. My knees wouldn’t bend all the way and felt like there was something “in there”, like putting a towel in the door hinge and the door won’t close. I quit tomatoes, potatoes, and other nightshades (there are about 20 on the list – some w/which I was unfamiliar) and took turmeric capsules to help with the inflammation. It took a month or so, but now I can walk all around the store and don’t have pain. I miss tomatoes terribly, but I remember the pain and won’t go back. Thanks, Kathleen Tol

    1. Hi Kathleen, oh my gosh, I got the giggles over the WHAT no SPAM? I was just shocked that two full shelves would be empty. So I walked closer to see what was missing! I had no idea that many people eat SPAM! I grew up eating it but I hated it. But you eat what is served. Anyway, I don’t remember serving it to my girls ever. LOL! Great comment! I truly believe we must eat what is in season. I could go Vegan (about 80% of my kids and grandkids are vegan), but Mark likes to eat meat. But I’m teaching him the inflammation we get from eating meat. Oh, I love your comment! We could talk about inflammation forever! Linda

  16. We are in Western New York. Three weeks ago, we went to BJs for a front store pick up. We got there for senior hours, from 8-9am. As my husband went in, I saw person after person leaving with 5 container packs of Clorox Wipes. He told me, there was a pallet with a store employee making sure people only got 1. Before this pandemic we ended up with 2 of those 5 packs and I thought they would last forever, boy was I wrong!! We share 2 or 3 with our grown kids, and obviously we are using them more than before. Currently we have 4 in use and 5 in storage.

    1. Hi Chris, isn’t it funny when we feel like we have hit the jackpot when we find Clorox Wipes????? Who would have guessed last year!! We squeal when we see them!! LOL! Linda

  17. Linda, I just finished reading all the comments and found each one very helpful! Thank you for some really great tips! I too have been stockpiling for awhile now. I’m located in SC and have noticed shelves empty of the same items that have been mentioned in the comments above. I will keep you posted .. take care and GOD bless!!

    1. Linda, I couldn’t ask above, but with pantry moths, I had two, in new packaging I brought in. I usually take stuff out of boxes…such as stove top stuffing…I take the bag out of the box, put the date on it with a sharpie and then put it at the bottom of a 5 gallon Stove Top Stuffing bucket with gamma lid, older bags on top. Now the box I opened, a moth flew out of the new box I bought. So the moth started its life elsewhere. So there could be moths in the food or if the bag is intact, there could be moth eggs on the outside of the packaging. I put the bag in a freezer bag and put it in the freezer for a couple days. I figured it will kill anything on the inside or outside. But now, I’m concerned and I will pull everything out and bleach everything, and you said hinges too, what about all the hardware that comes together on open metal pantry shelves? Should I douse them with bleach? I work so hard on this that I would be very upset to lose any of it to moths. If the clean up helps, maybe I should just do it.

        1. Thanks, Linda. I even wondered if some of the new boxes we’re buying is from older stock or older grain that was infested. Inside the bag is scary. I will get on this immediately. And freeze everything new that comes in the house. I got in the habit of removing cardboard boxes as I read the boxes are breeding grounds for insects. I just cut the instructions off the box and tape them to the bucket. So everything is in hard surfaces…buckets, cans, jars, sealable tubs etc with oxygen absorbers. I found I had a lot more space by getting rid of the boxes too. I keep wondering if we will have turkeys for thanksgiving. Just in case, I stored canned turkey and all the fixings, but I hope we can have a frozen or fresh bird this year. Will look for one early!

  18. Thank you for teaching us and encouraging us LInda. It keeps me going. I echo what you say about stocking up. It’s so important. As the holidays are approaching I hope everyone will keep in mind that Cloros wipes, TP and food make great Christmas gifts for your kids. Thanks for all you do.

  19. Not having been in a grocery store since March, we have relied on our daughter in May, and Walmart curbside pickup since then. I did call last week the butcher at Wegmans. While he was able to freezer wrap our ground beef order, he did not have any chuck roasts. He said they keep ordering them, but have only been getting them in hit or miss, and he didn’t know why. Today he called and confirmed he can fill my order for 6. My daughter will pick them up tomorrow morning. I am not as good at long term stockpiling as most of you, but I am just about set for 6 months…… milk, eggs and bread aside.

    1. Hi Chris, if you are set for 6 months you are way above the norm. I get emails from church leaders asking me how to light the fire under their members to stock for 3 days. Beef is getting hard to get everywhere. I LOVE hearing you are stocking up. Keep up the good work, Linda

      1. I am afraid my downfall at this point is milk, which I know can be frozen, but it takes up a lot of space…..currently used for husbands favorite ice cream…lol…. bread, which I don’t know how to bake, and don’t care to learn, although I have frozen some and dried some for breadcrumbs and stuffing. I have bought several boxes pillsbury quick breads. And eggs which you have taught me how to freeze, but I haven’t gotten around to. My hardest part this year will be my love of white grapefruit, which is only available December thru February

        1. Hi Chris, I have some #10 cans of Thrive Life Instant milk (25 years shelf-life unopened). I store it for my husband’s morning cereal routine. I would store ice cream over milk in my freezer as well! LOL! White grapefruit sounds delicious right now! Just buy a few cans of good instant milk to use if you have no other way to make chocolate milk or bake something that calls for milk. I would not stress over storing a lot of milk. Thrive Life also sells smaller containers of instant milk. Just get six or so for emergencies. Here is a link, https://www.thrivelife.com/milk-powder.html. I store it for cream soups, homemade mac and cheese, or whatever. Not a lot but enough to get me through a disaster. Linda

          1. Hi! Aseptically packaged milk can be found at the Dollar Tree. Yes, for $1 for one quart/32 ounces. They usually have it in whole, 2%, 1% and nonfat. I like to keep it on hand in case of a power outage long enough to affect the refrigerator. Aseptic means it has been processed and poured into a box like a juice box. I have tried it room temperature and cold and found it quite drinkable. I prefer organic, but that gets really expensive when available in the boxes. When we are threatened with a hurricane, they vanish. I noticed the same thing happened when things went nuts in early March. It took awhile, several weeks, before I found them again.
            Thank each if you for all your encouragement, and you, Linda, for creating the opportunity for this community!
            Teddy

          2. Hi Teddy, now I need to go to the Dollar Tree! I remember years ago buying canned milk in metal containers. Then I found containers by Gossners, they had all kinds of milk and whipping cream! I need to go check out this milk! Thanks so much! Linda

  20. The smaller local chain grocery store near me has been pretty good about keeping things stocked up once we got past the baking supply crisis in spring and never had lineups other than right at opening in the morning. Some of the larger chains have had very noticeable empty spaces in “the basics” and often had lineups all during the day. Only sporadic shortages now. Real Lemon juice seemed to be missing for a while. I did notice the canning supply section at the local Canadian Tire was almost empty when I went past that aisle a couple of days ago but I got mine earlier in the year. I tend to keep at least one “spare” of most condiments and whatnot besides the one in use and will stock up on a few if they’re on sale at a good price and have a best by date that works for me. Meat isn’t scarce in the stores but the price has gone up so much that it’s a bit scarce in my freezer. I’ve only been buying the discounted “cook it quick” stuff and cooking it before freezing. Case lot sales often look good but sometimes aren’t as good a deal as just buying the same stuff elsewhere at their regular or sale prices.

    1. Hi Alice, good to know how the shelves are looking where you live, thanks for sharing. I have cut way back on buying meat of any kind. When the meat is gone in the freezer, we will eat what meat I have in cans. Of course, we already eat beans, so we are good. I refuse to pay what they want for meat now. I love checking out the discount bins of meat. I like the prices! Linda

  21. I cannot complain because now we basically have little shortages that I can see. For a while there was no YEAST. I have not found that super lysol spray advertised but since we are not sick we really don’t need it. The meat was limited but now it is not. Alde does not have my favorite stewed tomatoes {their brand} I love the farm store for produce because it is reasonable. I love peanut butter on anything and with apples especially. I shop not a lot.. My husband does it. He and my daughter deliver food through Uber Eats but he just drives the car. We live in NW NJ.

    1. Hi Sue, thanks for the heads up on where you live. I love hearing what the shelves look like in grocery stores. We have a lot of Lysol Spray here but no Clorox Wipes for months. OH, I just bought 8 jars of peanut butter. I buy the 16-ounce size so it stays fresh when opened. We don’t have an Aldi here in Southern Utah, I’ve heard good things about that store. Stay safe, Linda

  22. I recently read that paper towels are in lower supply. Checked one of my stores and they were not as fully stocked.
    Regarding soups, Progresso has halved the varieties of soups they were making. They were producing 90 varieties. If I had only known, I would have had more on hand of our favorites!!
    The hoarding reaction to the pandemic is being capitalized on by numerous companies to reduce the number of lines or varieties they were producing. Better economy of scale, improved bottom line.
    Linda is right. We need to keep our supplies as reasonably full as we can. Expect more supply chain disruptions.
    And also, find happy things to focus on 🙂
    Teddy

    1. Hi Teddy, thanks for the heads up on paper towels, I’m going to go check on those. The nice thing about the Progresso soups, you can eat them right out of the can. Great tip! Linda

    1. JayJay,
      Thanks for the tip but more importantly…. How does the PB taste after thawing out?. DH LOVES his Peanut butter toast and I’ve been picking up a small(16oz) jar every time I go to the grocery store. Would like to store some but have been reluctant to store too many jars due to the oils.
      HI Linda. Did anyone answer Deb on how to seal the Mylar bags? I may have missed it. To answer, you can use a flat curling iron that’s used for straightening hair rather than curling hair or your clothes iron on plain heat not steam. So far mine hair iron has worked out and the bags have held their seal(knock wood) As for the shortages I haven’t seen too much missing but then I’ve only been looking at what I buy and only have seen a few things being scarce. Dry beans for one, used to have two whole shelves at the store with all kinds of dried beans now its barely a half of a shelf with only 3-4 kinds of dried beans for sale. I have noticed a LOT of those premade “meals” being brought in and on the shelves and in the refrigerated sections.We tried a couple, not impressed though. I can do better by cooking by scratch.

      1. Kathy,
        We have a number of jars of peanut butter in the freezer. I usually shove the jars in a Foodsaver bag and seal that around the jar for extra protection. I recently thawed and opened a jar that had been in the freezer almost two years. I could not tell any difference in the peanut butter from a fresh jar from the store.

        1. Harry
          Thank you. I’ll have to try that and see if Da Hubs can tell the difference (LOL). It would be good to be able to “stock up” when it goes on sale.

      2. Hi Kathy thank you for the tip on the curling iron. I don’t use Mylar bags (personal preference) so thank you! I like to cook from scratch so premade meals would not work for me. Except Costco has a sausage lasagna that is cheaper than I can make it or close to it so when it’s my turn to cook, I buy a set of those. We are living with our daughter and share days to cook until our home is finished. Cooking for eight is getting hard for me. Just a couple more months, hopefully until our home is done. Linda

        1. You’re welcome. A friend showed me how to use the flat iron instead of buying a system. It wasn’t too hard but with practice it gets easier to use. The Food Saver (aka the Sucky machine as my grand daughter called it, tee hee) just doesn’t heat up enough to do the Mylar bags.

  23. I don’t frequent many online sites, so I wanted to share this post today.

    https://southernstates.com/products/canning-jars-pt-wide-mouth-12pk
    These are at Southern State Coop and a hardware store in my rural town.
    I read the back of the box. MADE IN CHINA

    Searching online for wide mouth quarts and pints since I sold my regular mouth, I am finding this brand at several places.
    There are no quart jars anywhere online…N..O. W…H…E…R…E!!!
    The best price I found is 15.44 for pints and 16.44(only a few at walmart) for quarts and these are wide mouth.
    Good luck hunting.
    I am buying now because I have no idea what will happen; with the govt doing all it can to discourage our food independence, I wouldn’t be surprised to wake up next week and find Ball/Kerr/Mason jar manufacturers on strike or closed due to fire in all their buildings.
    Lord help us. And that is literally, not figuratively.

  24. Gosh – re-reading through the comments was like a history lesson!!

    I was just at the local Safeway and the shelves are hit and miss on what seems to be abundant and what is not. Easter candy, baskets, and toys are in abundance!! Living in a small town now and only 2 options for in-store shopping, I see empty shelves more than I used to. So, when I have the opportunity (every few months) to get to Cheyenne, I go to bigger grocery stores to stock up on foods that are lacking in my small town.

    I have started ordering things from Azure Standards. My daughter does for her family of 7. What I find is that some of the things I want are out of stock just before our delivery. So even on-line stores are out of some things!

    As for jars, my daughter posted on the local Buy/Sell/Trade FB pages for jars. She was able to get cases of various sized jars free from someone who no longer cans. So that is an option. She did find several with chips around the edges so those were set aside. She thinks she ended up with about 17 cases of jars of various sizes but mostly quarts. So, think about looking on-line, asking at church, etc., for canning jars. She also buys lids in bulk. I purchased a jar sealer recently for her because she is always wanting to use my vacuum sealer! She now has a neat jar opener that doesn’t damage the lids as well. She saves the used lids for sealing dry goods in jars.

    1. Hi Leanne, I love reading through old comments, they always make me smile. Azure standard is awesome as long as they have everything you want in stock. If they don’t have it available in this shipment, you can try for the next shipment. Great tip for finding jars. Please let us know what she found for opening the jar lids so they can be used again with the food sealer. I use my can opener carefully. Linda

  25. Linda,

    I don’t know if I’ve already shared this but I have a whole new and much easier way to vacuum seal pasta—and anything else that will fit in a mason jar.

    A friend turned me on to this Dicorain Electric Mason Jar Vacuum Sealer.
    https://amzn.to/49dIyyy

    It has a rechargeable battery, seals wide mouth and regular mouth jars. Just fill the jar with whatever you want sealed, put a canning lid on the jar, push the Dicorain down onto it, push the button on the top of the unit and it will stop automatically when the jar is sealed (a process that takes about 45 seconds). It’s a far easier, simpler, quicker and less messy way than hauling out the Jar sealer attachment for my regular vacuum sealer.

    So far I’ve used mine to seal dozens of jars of pasta, nuts, flour, brown sugar, dehydrated fruits and liquids like left over soups or broth. I sealed 27 quart jars before the LED told me the battery charge was less than 20%–which is when they recommend recharging it. It comes with a Type C/USB cable to make recharging easy.
    Notes: If you moisten the seal with water before using it, the Dicorain will both go on over the jar you’re sealing and come off easier.

    Also: Some canning lids or jars have defects (chips or other flaws) that keep them from sealing. I had a couple of bad lids when I first used the device that made me think it was defective. But when I swapped the lids I was using for different ones the Dicorain sealed the jars beautifully.

    Oh, and it only cost $24 on Amazon. Check it out. I think you’ll love it. It’s going to save me a bundle on mylar bags. And if you get this lid remover you can pop the vacuum sealed lids of the jars without bending them and ruining them. That means those lids will be reuseable.
    https://amzn.to/3IQLCpF

    I know canning lids are cheap, but there could come a time when being able to reuse them is invaluable—and I believe in eliminating unnecessary waste where ever I can.
    I’m writing about the Dicorain in my monthly Dying Time newsletter (which cover all sorts of Prepper topics). Anyone who’d like to subscribe can do so by emailing me and I’ll put you on my list.
    wryter2012@gmail.com
    Hope you find this info useful.

    1. Hi Ellen, I will check my grocery store for iodized salt next time. I see things on Amazon 50% higher (not just food) than last year. I’m glad I have had all my emergency preps before the prices I see today! Thanks for sharing about the salt. Linda

  26. I can’t remember where I saw it but someone online has a video of using a brake bleeder kit with a mason jar sealer from a Foodsaver unit to vacuum seal jars when you don’t have electricity.

  27. March, 2024
    Here in my little valley in the PA Appalachians:
    Our local grocery store is very depressing. Often empty shelves, and specific brands are challenging to find. The store is also in the process of replacing their shelving with ones that are not as deep and twice as tall – making the small store feel even more closed in. I avoid going as much as I can (and take one of my boys with me or my hubby if I can) and try to stick to the outside areas which are more open. I often come home from a trip there depressed or agitated for no apparent reason.
    With multiple food sensitivities between Hubby and myself, I make basic foods, and as much from scratch as I possibly can. My next project is to learn to make the flour tortilla wraps for hubby, or pita pockets as there would be less carbs for him. I make good bread (I just can’t eat it, I enjoy swallowing) and have links to several rice based breads to try for myself.
    We’re both looking forward to the garden being in production again this year and already have seeds started. Now if it would just stop raining long enough for us to get the garden tilled we’d be in great shape.
    God is good, all the time. He has us in His hands and waits for us to choose Him, as He has already chosen us. Heaven help us all.

    1. Hi AnnB, thank you for letting us all know where you live and how the stores look. Allergies are rough. I’m so sorry you have to deal with them. So the grocery stores are making thinner shelves and taller shelves, so it appears there is more food maybe? I love hearing you are planting your garden when the rain stops!! God is good, you are so right, we must have faith, heaven help us for sure! Linda

    2. AmyB,
      Not sure if you can get it but I believe King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill does a low carb flour. DH is on a low carb diet (diabetes) so he also has to watch the carbs too. A local store(Fresh Thyme) here does a small loaf of low carb bread that I get him but have seen the low carb flour in the grocery store. It comes in a plastic/Mylar? bag, looks to be maybe able to make one or two loaves. It is a bit pricey(for me) but I am going to buy some next time I’m in the store and see how it works and whether DH likes it.
      Thanks Harry for the link I was wondering about that.

        1. You’re welcome. I also contacted (I think) King Arthur and they did tell me their low carb flour wasn’t a good fit for bread machines. So I will have to make it by hand but that’s not a problem for me.

          1. Hi Kathy, I’m wondering if you could do what I do in my bread machine. I only mix it, knead it, and let it rise. I pull the dough out and mold the loaves and let them rise again and bake them in the oven. I never bake my bread in the bread machines. It’s too crusty. Linda

          2. I don’t know if it would work that way. You could try it, tell the truth I’ve never used a bread machine, got one as a gift but haven’t used it yet,I know shame on me. Does it heat up the kitchen when you use yours? I have a very small kitchen and was wondering if I use it to “bake” my bread would it make the kitchen hot like using my oven does?.

  28. Thanks Linda, I’m gonna have to get that machine out and try it using your “destructions” as my wee grand daughter calls the instructions. Guess I’m a bit stubborn or is it leary of trying machines? LOL Thanks again

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