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anniedeighnaugh

Grocery store shelves are emptying again

DH can't find prune juice anywhere. We've struggled to find the quaker choc rice cakes and now stock up when we do find them. Some of the paper product aisles are looking pretty empty too. He's teasing that it's starting to look like Russia!


Have you noticed shortages in your area?

Comments (57)

  • Kathsgrdn
    last month

    Not yet. Got to go out soon for a few items though.

  • seagrass_gw Cape Cod
    last month

    We're at the tail end of tourist season out here, so our grocery options are actually better than in the summer when the locusts descend upon us! It's always been this way, even before Covid. We'd go to the grocery store and stuff would just be cleared out.

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  • eld6161
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I noticed less variety of apples. But, thry arranged things so no spaces. Then, there was a space on a juice shelf. i had to buy a larger version of a brand I prefer.

    I don’t buy paper goods at the supermarket, but going past that aisle, things looked pretty bare.

  • dedtired
    last month

    Shortages seem to be sporadic, which leads me to believe that the problem is deliveries rather than hoarding. Costco had no paper towels on one trip and now they have plenty

  • chloebud
    last month

    I've noticed low inventory on some shelves here in SoCal. I heard on the news Costco is warning of possible shortages on TP and other essential household items.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month
    last modified: last month

    It's shortages of organic staples that I'm seeing here. They tend to be sold out a lot - things like bananas, milk, eggs, butter. Thankfully it's not permanent and they restock regularly, but it's a bit of a nuisance when I'm ordering online and by the time my pickup time arrives, an item is out of stock.

    Trying to just roll with the punches tho. Things could be so much worse. We're nowhere even close to Soviet era Russia!

  • morz8 - Washington Coast
    last month

    I'm noticing some things. Two weeks ago two stores I visited in one of our larger cities was low on Dairy, one organic store and one major chain. I bought the last quart of heavy cream at Fred Meyer.

    Costco periodical that came out last month said they had improved their TP to a thicker product. I'd wanted to try it so picked up the large package the next week. When we went again, they had no TP nor paper towels. In any brand. I'd wanted the paper towels.

    I keep butter pecan Ensure Plus in my Mom's refrigerator - she enjoys the flavor and always can stand more calories. I keep the vanilla Plus there so the med techs can mix some of her meds as appropriate into it...they crush all her meds for her. Last week, Walmart: no Ensure products of any kind. Same with Fred Meyer two consecutive Tuesdays. Luckily I had a 6-pack of each flavor here at home for her and had taken those (since I'd have been out of luck and she's two hours away).

    Last night I checked Walmart, Amazon, Target, Walgreens online. The only Ensure Plus in stock was Amazon at jacked up prices. I looked again this morning and Walmart was showing it in stock again, I ordered enough of each for at least a month. She doesn't do well with substitutions, it needs to be in familiar packaging.

    Bottled water has been low stock every place we've checked for at least two months. I like to keep a few of the 8 oz on hand for my car, DH's truck. He keeps them in the garage refrigerator, offers to our mail carrier who never says No, UPS, FedEx etc. And friends stopping by.


  • joann_fl
    last month

    The shortages have not stopped since it all began. They can't get help to put it out and its not shipping to the stores, or at least that is what they are saying.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I don't go for prune juice - do you? (I think that's a Frank Zappa line)

    Haven't noticed shortages here. In fact, the opposite, most things are now easily found. In one case, something that has been difficult is available. One of my favorite French cheeses that Whole Foods seems to have had trouble getting consistently is back in stock. I suspect it comes shipboard in chilled 40 ft containers and I figured that port congestion has been the problem.

  • Lucille
    last month

    Just did a shopping at HEB. No shortages, the only thing they were out of is a particular brand of salsa, I am in the process of trying out a variety of salsas.

  • foodonastump
    last month

    Ive been seeing it for weeks. While many shelves are sparse, where it’s affecting me the most is in produce. Mostly in organics, but even getting a decent bunch of broccoli (which I buy conventional) is a challenge. Produce was the one area that never seemed to take a hit here early in the pandemic.

  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    last month

    Yes!!! Why? Ugh

    I agree with the produce observation FOAS. Not to be political, but will deporting people who are willing to harvest, help the situation or not? 🙄

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    last month

    Golly!! There is NO shortage of produce here! It is extremely plentiful and prices are excellent.

    Whatever shortages there are seem to be very regional in nature.........maybe being very close to a major port city has a positive impact on availability, although at this time of year, the bulk of produce is locally grown.

  • anneliese32
    last month

    Here it seems to be a lack of truck drivers. The wife of a driver in our neighborhood told me that he is about to quit after 18 years. He has been driving for a large company and has not had a day off in 7 weeks, no drivers.

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    last month

    I managed to get the prune juice today at another store, but the whole section where small cans of juices were was pretty barren. The big bottles seemed to be adequately stocked. It's very strange.

  • adellabedella_usa
    last month

    The toilet paper supply was lower at Costco last week and then there was a news story on it a few days later. I haven't been in the stores a whole lot. There was a Cheezits shortage a few weeks back. My guess is the back to school crowd bought them out. Regular milk was out of stock on a Monday. There were two half gallons left. I bought one and told the guy next to me to get the second. I think the truck just hadn't come back since the weekend.

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    last month

    Only shortage around here is reasonably priced real estate. Glad we haven't seen bidding wars going on at the supermarket.

  • Kathsgrdn
    last month

    Went to Wal-mart and Kroger today to pick up some soup and other things for my sick exchange student, and the only shortages I saw were no Stok slightly sweetened at Wal-mart for me. Have been trying for weeks to order from them but they are always out. They were out in person too. They had them at Kroger and so I bought 4 of them. I also went looking for Covid test kits at those two places and Walgreens. No one has them. Two of those places told me they were expecting shipments tonight and to check back tomorrow. I want them on hand this weekend just in case me or my other exchange student has symptoms. I can't go anywhere because I am working both days and have an important doctor's appointment on Monday I really don't want to miss. I didn't notice anything else short while walking through the stores.

  • schoolhouse_gwagain
    last month

    Got a big pack of TP and one of paper towels at Dollar General yesterday. The shelves of paper goods did appear to be getting bare. I was glad I got the really big packs. Cleaning vinegar is always sold out. I shouldn't complain as I do buy like eight at a time when I see it there. Several aisles had large carts of merchandise waiting to be put on shelves tho.

  • amylou321
    last month

    I haven't noticed any shortages on anything we need. I am rather annoyed at the serious lack of Halloween decor at some of my go to stores. It was like that last year too,even for Christmas. Makes me sad.Oh well ,at least we have everything we need right now.

  • summersrhythm_z6a
    last month
    last modified: last month

    It's hard to find chicken wings over here. One store I went to last weekend, limited 2 packs/cases per shopper on paper products. Since last year's TP shortage, I always make sure to have a few hundreds in the storage.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month
    last modified: last month

    *.Since last year's TP shortage, I always make sure to have a few hundreds in the storage.

    Really? You have 10 people in your household?

  • seagrass_gw Cape Cod
    last month
    last modified: last month

    We live in a remote place on outer Cape Cod and everything has to come over a bridge across the canal on one road for our stores to be stocked with anything, Our food and fuel prices are high because of that, and the influx of summer tourists cause many bare shelves, Only two in our household, Since Covid, we've learned to grab it when we see it.

  • summersrhythm_z6a
    last month

    Elmer dear, we don’t have 10 people, just have a lot of bathrooms at two places, and we have visitors once in a while. I buy TP online by case, 96 rolls per case, the rolls are smaller than normal. I like to have at least a case as backup at each place.

  • PRO
    My Biz
    last month

    I went to Target today and saw how empty the Lego shelves were. Is there a Lego shortage? Or is it a supply issue?

  • bragu_DSM 5
    last month
    last modified: 29 days ago

    pretty soon, what you don't see... you won't be able to afford when you find it.


    ETA


    There are still certain flavors of soda that are not being made because they are not as popular. Canned pasta is also running low -- if you are into that sort of thing. Metals are high dollar these days, coupled with the huge slowdown of the big container ships with products from overseas. And the dollar isn't worth as much because of all the spending ...

  • Chessie
    last month

    None here in SE VA.

  • lisa_fla
    29 days ago

    There is a predicted toy shortage for the holidays That might explain the Legos There is still an aluminum shortage which is why soda prices are higher and Annie saw larger pkgs available when she wanted small cans I have seen more out of stocks than usual

  • Raye Smith
    29 days ago

    No shortages here in "fly over" land. But our stores are small so it does take less to stock them.

  • nickel_kg
    29 days ago

    No wide-spead shortages near me in Virginia. A few weird shortages were probably due to trucking and logistics rather than actual supply (like prunes! not juice but actual prunes! and graham crackers! luckily neither disappearance lasted long.) But I have noticed some grocery stores, especially Food Lion, are rearranging their shelves and not all of my favorite brands/items are stocked any more. (Ghiardeli chocolate chips! Tony's chocolate bars! now I have to buy them at others stores.)

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/23/costco-brings-back-purchase-limits-on-toilet-paper-and-more.html


    "Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said the retailer is bringing back purchase limits on household essentials such as toilet paper, bottled water and cleaning supplies."

  • chisue
    29 days ago

    My local Nextdoor site had a post yesterday about an increased need to check expiration dates at grocers. A good number of people echoed this, citing many different grocery chains. One person claimed this is due to delayed deliveries. Another said there's no law against offering 'expired' goods. (I've heard that the various Dollar stores regularly sell 'expired' merchandise; explains the low prices, eh?)


    I'm not rigid about expiration dates unless ithe product is fresh meat, dairy, or frozen goods.

  • kevin9408
    29 days ago

    Update Annie, Costco already has limits in some markets and Sam's club has had of limit of one pack of toilet paper and paper towels for about a month now, at least here in the twin cities, Mn.

    A suggest making your thanksgiving dinner shopping list early and pick up the items, I really think finding pumpkin pie filling will be a problem the closer we get to November.

  • Cherryfizz
    29 days ago

    My brother works in a grocery store and he said there are products they cannot get every week and some items not at all.

  • C Marlin
    29 days ago

    For imported goods one problem is the backlog of cargo ships in the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors. The ships are at a record high.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    29 days ago
    last modified: 29 days ago

    FYI, those are not 'expiration dates'. They're mainly 'best by' dates and are mostly meaningless - unless it's fresh meat or dairy. 'Best by' means optimal quality and taste, not that something will be spoiled or harmful.

  • woodrose
    29 days ago

    chisue, you heard wrong. I've never bought anything expired at any dollar store. I've had to be more careful about buying things at other stores, because items move slower at larger stores.

    I'm sure one of the reasons for shortages is lack of workers to manufacture, transport and stock items. That's what happens when you have a pandemic + loss of businesses + not enough workers.

  • lily316
    29 days ago

    NO toilet paper last night at our megastore. Canned cat food has been really scarce but last night that had improved. Paper products seem to be the most affected. Last week I bought Brawny on sale and none this week.

  • blfenton
    29 days ago

    No shortages where I shop (west coast Canada) but prices for fresh produce are astronomical. Fortunately I'm now only buying for two of us.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    28 days ago

    FWIW, just read this from Marketplace.org:

    "The demand-supply balancing act

    A few weeks ago, we flagged the return of purchase limits on that first horseman of pandemic panic-buying: toilet paper. “Like other manufacturers, we continue to face a variety of challenges across the supply chain including shipping, transportation, logistics and labor,” one TP manufacturer told USA Today at the time, almost as a footnote.

    Indeed, supply, not demand, is the story. From bottled water to cleaning products, caps on certain purchases are popping up across the country, and the reason is that the products in question are hard to come by.

    To go back to toilet paper for a second, even if it’s manufactured here in the U.S., some of its constituent chemicals often come from overseas. “If those chemicals are coming from, say, China or Thailand or India, and they’re sitting on a boat offshore, that becomes a delay to the toilet paper manufacturers,” said Ken Boyer, who studies operations management at Ohio State University.

    And boats laden with imports are sitting offshore — in record numbers. So, consumers are faced with buying limits. It can be risky for stores to apply and enforce these limits, which can make already skittish consumers even more skittish and heap additional demand onto strapped manufacturers ... a chain reaction of another kind."

  • Kathsgrdn
    28 days ago

    I've had to watch the expiration date at Wal-Mart and Kroger. Kroger is worse, though.

  • Olychick
    28 days ago

    The only thing I've not been able to buy is distilled water for my cpap machine. Everything else I want is stocked, it seems, but I mostly shop the farmer's market, the seafood market, and my food co-op.
    I don't know if it's true, but someone told me the shortage of distilled water was a packaging problem -that they couldn't source the lids for the gallon jugs. But, this week, the grocery store had a new brand of water and I noticed the lids were larger on their gallons.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    I found distilled water to be more of a challenge to get at the pandemic's start, when the hoarding activity of the self-centered braindead we all have in our communities caused so many items to be needlessly in short supply. After a few months, it was more available and I've had no problem getting it when needed for the past year or more. I think the last bottle I bought I found very unexpectedly at Whole Foods, not the kind of undistinguishable commodity product I expect to find them selling.

    I need to note - even a few years back, distilled water wasn't always findable on store shelves, blank spaces or those filled with other products were often encountered. It seems to be a product whose heyday has passed. Long ago, most households bought it regularly for steam irons. Few do any ironing at home these days, demand for the water has to have been affected.

  • salonva
    28 days ago

    Interesting, here on mid Atlantic/east coast, we have had no problem finding distilled water. DH needs it as well for his cpap. We usually try to keep one in reserve. I guess I will pick up another one tomorrow. oops.

  • nickel_kg
    28 days ago

    I must have very clean water for my carnivorous plants and some of my orchids. Distilled water is always in stock at the discount grocery store, always by the pallet load not on a shelf, 89 cents per gallon last I bought it. (During summer I use water from the basement dehumidifier but that source dries up in winter. And not biologically sterile enough for a cpap machine.)

  • Elmer J Fudd
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    I don't think distilled water purchased in a retail store is sterile. Nor, for CPAP use, does it need to be. The air one breathes when sleeping isn't sterile.

    What it is, is demineralized. I doubt that the handling of the demineralized (by distillation) water or the plastic jugs it's put into are after filling raised to a high enough temperature for long enough to sterilize the contents. Nor are the tops secure enough to ensure nothing can get in, as is the case as with sterile fluids for medical use.

    Here's why I think demineralized water is needed. Water reservoirs in CPAP machines are typically plastic with some part of the bottom being an aluminum insert, with a gasket around it to seal it to the plastic. The aluminum lines up with a metal surface below it, inside the machine, that gets warm depending on the humidity setting. With a higher humidity setting, it gets warmer. Lower sedtting, less warm. The heat is transferred through the aluminum plate to the water in the container - warmer water, more water vapor (humidity) passes into the air. Cooler, less vapor. When I first got a CPAP machine, 20 years ago, there was no recommendation to use distilled water. What happened was that the tap water (full of normal minerals) corroded the aluminum plate which broke the gasket seal, and caused them to leak. I used to go through a reservoir (and have a leak) every 6-8 weeks until it dawned on me to try distilled water. No more corrosion, no more leaking reservoirs.

    I don't think there's any such thing as "sterile enough". Something is either sterile or it isn't.

  • nickel_kg
    28 days ago

    You don't have a dehumidifier, I take it?

  • Elmer J Fudd
    28 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    No, no humidity where I live. Basements are very rare and are not found at all with houses built since maybe WW2. Although in some very high cost areas with building height restrictions (I'm thinking of Palo Alto as an example), knock-downs in recent years are seen being rebuilt with basements (where one wasn't present before) as a way to get more interior living space and still comply with setback and height restrictions.

    I would never use condensate from a dehumidifier in a CPAP or other device, out of the certainty that it would contain a lot of mold, algae, bacteria and who knows what. Maybe if it were boiled for a good length of time but with the ease of finding distilled water it wouldn't be a good choice to consider. If I were ever somewhere that I couldn't find the distilled water, I'd use the CPAP machine dry. When traveling abroad, I always try to have with me the phrase in the local language for distilled water. I've always been able to get it

  • kevin9408
    27 days ago

    I have no distilled water but know how to make it by simply boiling water with a condensing tube. I had no need to run around finding essentials throughout 2020 because I had all I needed. If the electric and natural gas stopped coming I'd still get by for years. I believe one should be prepared for a minimum of 6 months and preferably a year. I grow, freeze, can, freeze dry and mylar bag food with a reserve of over 2 million calorie and growing. Care to know why and when?

    In 1997 with the passage of U.S. Farm bill they scraped our Strategic Grain Reserve program and replaced it with the Emerson Humanitarian Trust Reserve intended for foreign aid but allows the trust to hold cash and not food. In 2008 this trust gave away the last ounce of grain stored for emergencies and we as a nation have nothing in reserve. This the reason and 2008 is when I started. This is from a open letter to congress in 2008 by a coalition.

    "We are just one drought away from possibly seeing $10/bushel corn or $20/bushel wheat with absolutely no plan in place to deal with such a calamity. The president and U.S. Congress have irresponsibly ignored this issue throughout the entire Farm Bill debate"

    As said I didn't need to find a thing during the shortages. I had nearly a two year supply of Toilet paper before the pandemic started, and re stocked my own Strategic reserves when supplies returned this summer. For those who think someone else will take care of your needs without exception, think again, and if you only need a gallon of distilled water get two. Elmer isn't going to give up his extra gallon he unexpectedly grabbed to hoard and the government isn't going to bring you a can a beans, so buy three next time you go to the store, and every time.

    Through the panic I watched the madness of the mob and it's reinforced my decision to start stocking up 13 years ago. Put something away people, how many times does it take to get slapped before learning to dodge?