Grocery shopping has been different for me this month. I started out participating in the January eat from the pantry/freezer challenge but slightly modified because I was out of some staples so I knew I would have some minimal spending at the start of the month. My goal was to keep it as low as possible and really refocus on using up what I had on hand after the holidays.
When I went to the store at the beginning of the month I encountered (for the first time) that my usual store was completely out of some of my preferred brands, such as butter, iced tea, ice cream bars and coffee creamer. I have tried many other brands of these over time but really prefer certain brands now and like to stick to them. I went to a different store, and they were also wiped out of these brands, or they just don’t carry them. I had to have butter so that was the only item I bought a different brand. I went back to the store a few times over the past few weeks checking to see if my preferred brands were in stock and they were still out until this weekend, so it took 3 weeks to get them in. So, I stocked up not knowing if they would run out again, which threw off my attempt to keep my spending lower.
I also noticed that bottled water was almost completely wiped out, the frozen cooked chicken patties and tenders (which I haven’t been buying but looked to see what they had) were also very limited. I needed an onion, and the quality was terrible. They all seemed very soft, but I did manage to find one that was ok. The apples also seemed limited and somewhat bruised. I passed on those.
So far this month I have spent $78.54, and don’t intend to spend any more. Of that amount I calculated that $16.62 of that was due to stocking up on the things they had been out of.
The shortages may have been due in part to some winter weather up and down the east coast, and maybe some supply chain issues. This is really the first time I have encountered noticeable shortages on products I regularly use. I realize that I didn’t HAVE to have ice cream bars, or iced tea, and changing brands of butter and coffee creamer isn’t a hardship. But it contributed to me stocking up on these products when they did come in. Instead of buying one of each item, I bought two.
Is anyone else noticing shortages? Do you stock up a bit when you see your usual items back in stock? I feel like I’m grocery shopping a bit differently now.