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Are you stocking up? What shortages do you expect?


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I have never stopped stocking up. By that I don’t mean that I am amassing huge stockpiles of anything. But because of supply chain issues I pick up a couple of my favorite items whenever I see them on the shelves. 
 

in no particular order things I have had trouble getting are-

canned pumpkin 

Shout laundry treatment 

oatmeal

dog and cat food 

Brianna’s salad dressing 

everything but the bagel seasoning 

Adam’s no stir peanut butter 

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We're having trouble finding replacement plumbing parts. Every supply house is out of the same things. Going forward we'll order parts as soon as we have the earliest inkling the work will need to be done. 

 

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1 hour ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

I have never stopped stocking up. By that I don’t mean that I am amassing huge stockpiles of anything. But because of supply chain issues I pick up a couple of my favorite items whenever I see them on the shelves. 
 

in no particular order things I have had trouble getting are-

canned pumpkin 

Shout laundry treatment 

oatmeal

dog and cat food 

Brianna’s salad dressing 

everything but the bagel seasoning 

Adam’s no stir peanut butter 

I’ve been looking for Shout or Spray and Wash for months and can’t find any. It’s pretty much the only cleaning item I didn’t buy a refill size bottle for and of course now I need some and it’s not available. Seems like a weird item to be out of stock. 

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27 minutes ago, MEmama said:

I’ve been looking for Shout or Spray and Wash for months and can’t find any. It’s pretty much the only cleaning item I didn’t buy a refill size bottle for and of course now I need some and it’s not available. Seems like a weird item to be out of stock. 

I had to go to the grocery store that nobody likes and they still had some!!  

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10 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

I had to go to the grocery store that nobody likes and they still had some!!  

Good tip!

You know, sometimes I think man, I’ve been looking for this item *everywhere* when in reality the only place I’ve ever checked is my local Target. I guess maybe I should branch out a bit before complaining that an item no longer exists. Lol

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the heads up on possible issues finding sneakers!   I took my teen to Target today and there were very few sneakers in general.  In her size there was one pair.  They fit and we got them.  We are still rather stunned that we got so lucky.  Fortunately I don't need any because there were none at all in my size (8).

They had NO olive oil.  Paper towels were picked over.  All the clorox products and cleaning products were well stocked.    Otherwise it was truly hit and miss throughout the store.  

Edit:  They were out of most of their brand of vitamins as well.  

Edited by Ditto
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I've struggled with food scarcity mindset for years, and with our move to this house in 2019 I was determined to *not* stock like I have in the past because the house is maybe 800-900 sq ft useable space and I just didn't want to have to figure out where to put it, and wanted to keep more mobile in case we had to move quickly again. Then 2020 happened...

This week I bought 3 new shelving units and have made stock up priority instead of walkways:

  • Last year pasta, flour (esp bread flour), and yeast were impossible to get for 3+ months. I have enough of all of these for probably 6 months. 
  • Eggs also ran out, so have some egg substitute for baking, maybe 2 small bags.
  • Milk ran out on 5 different weeks last time, so have 3 bags of dried milk.
  • Tuna and canned sea stuff (sardines, oysters, etc) I've also stocked up on, since we had a limit of 4 cans per trip, if the store had any. I'm going to buy probably another case of tuna, then will have enough for 3 months.
  • Protein powder, found a sale on my brand so I bought a ton.
  • Rice, also was out of stock for at least 2 months, last year I gave my 25 lb to my cousins because they couldn't find any. So I have probably 50 lbs of rice right now.
  • Freezer this week is getting stocked with meatballs, taco meat, and a chicken dish. Probably 5-10 meals of each. (open to any suggestions for no-bean, no-tomato freezer meals...)

We'll probably eat down on this stock until about half the shelves are empty, then I'll decide if we need to restock and what with, or if I'll go back to minimal stores.

Stock up fail: I'm donating dry beans, maybe 50+ lbs worth, because last year couldn't find any for a few months and we used them substantially -- most of our dishes had a bean component -- and so I stocked up once I found some again. But then, maybe a month after my big purchase that should have lasted us 8-12 months, we found out my DH can't eat any of them at all for medical reasons. So...that kinda hurt, lol, but my loss is someone else's gain. 

eta: Also, I'm going back to work, so I know that If shortages happen again I can't do the driving to multiple stores/towns through the week looking for what we need, like I did last time. So this is a big stress relief on that front, too.

Edited by Moonhawk
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Gosh, we haven't noticed any shortages.  During the first lockdowns, there was definitely a shortage of masks, sanitary wipes, TP, PT, kleenex, etc.  Now those products seem to be on the shelves in abundance, even on sale (like they over-bought).  I'll make sure I don't wait to buy TP until we have just one roll left, but I'm not anticipating shortages for our needs here. 

 

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2 hours ago, MEmama said:

Good tip!

You know, sometimes I think man, I’ve been looking for this item *everywhere* when in reality the only place I’ve ever checked is my local Target. I guess maybe I should branch out a bit before complaining that an item no longer exists. Lol

For cleaning products that were in short supply at the beginning of the pandemic, I found them at Lowe’s and Home Depot. Going to places that are not the first place people think of has helped me. (But later other people caught onto that trick and they were out there as well). 

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19 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

For cleaning products that were in short supply at the beginning of the pandemic, I found them at Lowe’s and Home Depot. Going to places that are not the first place people think of has helped me. (But later other people caught onto that trick and they were out there as well). 

Yes, Home Depot is where I finally found ammonia. And plenty of Clorox toilet cleaner. Still haven't seen ammonia in grocery stores. Haven't had to check for toilet cleaner in awhile. But I should make sure I'm fully stocked on cleaning supplies before college students return and are setting up house.

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4 hours ago, MEmama said:

I’ve been looking for Shout or Spray and Wash for months and can’t find any. It’s pretty much the only cleaning item I didn’t buy a refill size bottle for and of course now I need some and it’s not available. Seems like a weird item to be out of stock. 

Oh I have had those problems.  I need to remember to go to the store with dh next time so I can get cleaning and laundry supplies.  He does well with getting extra food but never gets extra or even regular cleaning stuff.

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4 hours ago, Moonhawk said:

Freezer this week is getting stocked with meatballs, taco meat, and a chicken dish. Probably 5-10 meals of each. (open to any suggestions for no-bean, no-tomato freezer meals

I just cooked up a whole bunch of fried chicken cutlets for the freezer.  We like chicken parm, but I’m also on a white wine sauce kick, and ds eats them dry. Thrown atop of any quick grain.

We also have a real thing for homemade Salisbury steak. I typically don’t like frozen mashed potatoes, but they reheat fine (to me) when covered in Salisbury steak and enough of its sauce.

Sloppy Joe meat sometimes makes it to my freezer. I’m always afraid to make too enormous a batch because no one seems all that into it, and then it disappears because we’re all lazy and it heats so fast, lol.

We’re not big casserole people, so I aim to freeze up just the most time consuming parts of meals. Youngest ds and I are supposed to attempt a casserole sized quesadilla recipe. If it works out well, we might freeze a few.

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7 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:


 

in no particular order things I have had trouble getting are-

canned pumpkin 

Shout laundry treatment

dog and cat food 

everything but the bagel seasoning 

Also no pumpkin here. I didn't see it til about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving last year. I use Oxyclean laundry stain gel and have only found 1 tube in 1.5 years. Pet food is scary low. Aldi finally had bagel seasoning but TJs and Walmart have been out for months.

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4 minutes ago, Brittany1116 said:

Also no pumpkin here. I didn't see it til about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving last year. I use Oxyclean laundry stain gel and have only found 1 tube in 1.5 years. Pet food is scary low. Aldi finally had bagel seasoning but TJs and Walmart have been out for months.

Haven't had any trouble with canned pumpkin.  And pet food is fine here.  

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9 minutes ago, Brittany1116 said:

Also no pumpkin here. I didn't see it til about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving last year. I use Oxyclean laundry stain gel and have only found 1 tube in 1.5 years. Pet food is scary low. Aldi finally had bagel seasoning but TJs and Walmart have been out for months.

My problem is that I use canned pumpkin with both the dog food and the cat food. So I need it year around. 

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52 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Could you just buy pumpkin and boil it

It is the easiest thing to grow. 

 

 

47 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Yes. If I were motivated enough. 😉

My husband is motivated but we lack space. Our patio is overrun with plants.

38909331-20F8-4C12-ABBA-943D89041620.jpeg

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6 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

I've heard the counterargument to this idea to be, "There isn't a labor shortage, there's a wage shortage." Generally if you offer higher wages, you will get applicants.

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12 hours ago, TechWife said:

Hospitals are paying sign on bonuses for entry level jobs where no to little training is required prior to hiring. Combine that with decent wages, benefits and a working environment where people are extremely careful about virus prevention makes a lot of these jobs attractive to some. A nearby city recently advertised heavily that they were seeking both firefighters and linemen, paid training, no experience required, no degree required. Manufacturing companies have been hiring as well - no experience or previous training required. These are just the examples from my general area that I remember off of the top of my head. Also, I know a couple of moms of school age children  that took the lunch shift at restaurants catering to business people. They were laid off and don’t plan on returning to the field.

One of my young adult kids is currently working as a janitor at a hospital.  Pays better and better hours than their previous job at CVS, and they get protective gear.

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5 minutes ago, Moonhawk said:

I've heard the counterargument to this idea to be, "There isn't a labor shortage, there's a wage shortage." Generally if you offer higher wages, you will get applicants.

Except in trucking. Close family member works shipping logistics. They were paying 50-80% higher than prior rate and couldn't get a bite. Then they add $100 more to the listings each day it lingers and things still sit for up to a week, when they used to have more drivers than loads.

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20 minutes ago, Brittany1116 said:

Except in trucking. Close family member works shipping logistics. They were paying 50-80% higher than prior rate and couldn't get a bite. Then they add $100 more to the listings each day it lingers and things still sit for up to a week, when they used to have more drivers than loads.

I remember reading that a large percentage of the trucking force were about retirement age when the pandemic hit--they just left.

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3 hours ago, Carrie12345 said:

I just cooked up a whole bunch of fried chicken cutlets for the freezer.  We like chicken parm, but I’m also on a white wine sauce kick, and ds eats them dry. Thrown atop of any quick grain.

We also have a real thing for homemade Salisbury steak. I typically don’t like frozen mashed potatoes, but they reheat fine (to me) when covered in Salisbury steak and enough of its sauce.

Sloppy Joe meat sometimes makes it to my freezer. I’m always afraid to make too enormous a batch because no one seems all that into it, and then it disappears because we’re all lazy and it heats so fast, lol.

We’re not big casserole people, so I aim to freeze up just the most time consuming parts of meals. Youngest ds and I are supposed to attempt a casserole sized quesadilla recipe. If it works out well, we might freeze a few.

I had to google what a Salisbury steak was, it looks interesting! So you make mashed potatoes and steaks (and gravy?) at the same time, then freeze separately? Or is the gravy frozen with the steaks? Or is the gravy made fresh? Are all Salisbury steak gravies with mushrooms, or was that just what Google served me? (Mushrooms are fine, just never frozen anything with mushrooms before)

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28 minutes ago, Brittany1116 said:

Except in trucking. Close family member works shipping logistics. They were paying 50-80% higher than prior rate and couldn't get a bite. Then they add $100 more to the listings each day it lingers and things still sit for up to a week, when they used to have more drivers than loads.

Even non tipping food service here like Subway is paying $17-18 an hour, which is plenty for our cost of living.  One could easily afford a two bedroom apartment here on that. Nursing pays very well and it’s impossible to find home health nurses.  My family is offering $20 an hour for a home health aid for my grandmother and can’t get a single person.  I’m offering $12 an hour to SLEEP at my house and cannot find anyone.  
Unemployment rate is fairly low, so I don’t really believe it’s just people collecting unemployment.  I think people have left the workforce.

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4 hours ago, Moonhawk said:

I had to google what a Salisbury steak was, it looks interesting! So you make mashed potatoes and steaks (and gravy?) at the same time, then freeze separately? Or is the gravy frozen with the steaks? Or is the gravy made fresh? Are all Salisbury steak gravies with mushrooms, or was that just what Google served me? (Mushrooms are fine, just never frozen anything with mushrooms before)

Well, the recipe I use doesn’t have mushrooms because some of the kids and I don’t eat fungus. 😉 But my steaks are made with a portion of the sauce ingredients and then simmered in the sauce so, yes, I freeze it all as a whole family meal tray.  
The first time, I did a few trays without potatoes because I was worried they’d get funky, but was pleasantly surprised that the met our (not extremely high, but existing) standards.

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10 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Shout stain remover, 60 oz, is currently available for delivery from Target online if it's not in your local store. I can also get it on two day delivery from Walmart.

You might check your online options if you keep striking out locally. 

 

 

Good tip! I’ll take a look. Online never even occurred to me. 

I found the hardware stores useful too and bought a couple refill sized containers of my most used cleaners for very inexpensive. At some point—maybe soon after DS had Covid toes last spring—I found a like a gallon of Lysol at Lowe’s for just a few bucks. Now, I don’t actually use Lysol but I guess I had a moment of panic that I *might* and since it wasn’t available anywhere else, I impulse bought. Maybe I can donate it to one of our schools.

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5 hours ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

Even non tipping food service here like Subway is paying $17-18 an hour, which is plenty for our cost of living.  One could easily afford a two bedroom apartment here on that. Nursing pays very well and it’s impossible to find home health nurses.  My family is offering $20 an hour for a home health aid for my grandmother and can’t get a single person.  I’m offering $12 an hour to SLEEP at my house and cannot find anyone.  
Unemployment rate is fairly low, so I don’t really believe it’s just people collecting unemployment.  I think people have left the workforce.

I think with the pandemic a lot of people who would have maybe gone into assisted living or even a nursing home in the Before Times have caregivers who want to keep them home. Thus . . huge demand for home health care. From what I could tell from my local job listings, there were tons of openings for home health workers even in the Before Times. And w/o getting too political I think the previous administration's attempt to crack down on/discourage immigration--legal or not--made that situation even worse. Around here immigrants seem to fill a lot of those home health jobs.

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5 hours ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

Even non tipping food service here like Subway is paying $17-18 an hour, which is plenty for our cost of living.  One could easily afford a two bedroom apartment here on that. Nursing pays very well and it’s impossible to find home health nurses.  My family is offering $20 an hour for a home health aid for my grandmother and can’t get a single person.  I’m offering $12 an hour to SLEEP at my house and cannot find anyone.  
Unemployment rate is fairly low, so I don’t really believe it’s just people collecting unemployment.  I think people have left the workforce.

Yeah, one consideration that often goes unmentioned is that over 600,000 Americans are dead from Covid—lots of those who had been working. Countless others are suffering with long Covid and are thus unable to work. Countless more have been left without the wage and life support of their family members who have died and don’t have a feasible way to enter the workforce.

Any of those creates a huge hole in the workforce, but it seems like too many people are only willing to offer up lazy “explanations” instead of working to conquer the complex and varied reasons for the problem.

 

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6 hours ago, Moonhawk said:

I've heard the counterargument to this idea to be, "There isn't a labor shortage, there's a wage shortage." Generally if you offer higher wages, you will get applicants.

I think my post was eaten, lol.

I believe there is a wage shortage. But I also believe we’ve been very shortsighted in continuing to expand fast food (and similar... Dollar General explosion comes to mind)) while grooming kids for college and professional positions AND having fewer kids.  Who are we hoping to have work there?

I wish I could easily find data going back a couple more decades.

 

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Stocking up - not really. Very small house with extremely limited storage space. 

Much like what Jean said, I generally pick up a few extra items each time I shop. I keep a bit extra of everything almost all the time. Only one fridge and freezer, so no stocking up there.

We do buy a good bit of food locally and small family farms here have not had any issues. 

Medications/medical supplies would be our most crucial thing if massive supply chain issues arise. We have a couple controlled meds that can only be refilled every 30 days. 

When Houston had their water/power issues last winter, I restocked our emergency box (batteries, lanterns, water filters, solar chargers, matches etc.) and checked propane and firewood supplies, etc.

9 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

Haven't had any trouble with canned pumpkin.  And pet food is fine here.  

Same. We get SO much butternut squash from our CSA in the fall that my canned pumpkin supplies last longer bc I don’t need them mid January. But we aren’t using it all the time either. It’s zucchini season! No pumpkin bread til all the zucchini is gone!😆😉 Making peach and cherry pies lately, not pumpkin. 

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8 hours ago, Ali in OR said:

I remember reading that a large percentage of the trucking force were about retirement age when the pandemic hit--they just left.

This was a problem for him initially. They did have a handful of contacts simply retire early 2020. The bigger loss has happened in the last 3-4 months somehow.

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8 hours ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

Even non tipping food service here like Subway is paying $17-18 an hour, which is plenty for our cost of living.  One could easily afford a two bedroom apartment here on that. Nursing pays very well and it’s impossible to find home health nurses.  My family is offering $20 an hour for a home health aid for my grandmother and can’t get a single person.  I’m offering $12 an hour to SLEEP at my house and cannot find anyone.  
Unemployment rate is fairly low, so I don’t really believe it’s just people collecting unemployment.  I think people have left the workforce.

I know someone offering double that with no takers. 😞

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If a job is a significant health hazard but does not offer health insurance, even an otherwise decent wage doesn't necessarily make it worthwhile. A typical US household can go bankrupt from a single, short hospital admission. Five years ago, I spent one night in the ER and it cost over $12,000, and I didn't even get admitted (nor a correct diagnosis--this was strictly enough testing to ensure I wouldn't die or anything). That's about 80% of the annual minimum wage here.

Money aside, long Covid can make it physically impossible to do most kinds of work--I spent a significant chunk of last year in bed and couldn't walk without coughing until after the seventh doctor/PA I saw figured out what meds I needed. Deaths are not the only figure to look at.

Re: stocking up, I've bought TP by the case for a few years now (to avoid plastic packaging), and just recently bought a new case since the one I'd bought ~Jan. 2020 was running low. We don't eat a lot of meat, so the shoebox-sized amount I have in the freezer should be good for several weeks. I suppose I'll find out what I want and can't get when I want it and can't get it. 🤷‍♀️

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