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Stockouts, panic buying, and how you cook...

Went to the market yesterday, late in the day. Not surprisingly the paper aisle was bare. Literally every paper product. More surprising were the other bare spots. In the meat aisle all chicken was gone including 3X price organics. Nearly all the beef was gone and what remained did not look good. Pork however was completely full. Bone-in chops, thin no-bone chops, loins, etc. all there in quantity. Weird looking down the cooler seeing blanks on either side of a fully stocked one. Bread & cream also stripped. Same in the canned food aisle, most gone. However, walk several aisles over to the international one and the Goya area was full. Full with many of the same products picked clean in canned goods too. Same thing at the Indian market I shop. Food to the ceiling as always and no stockouts. If I had to put money on it, I'd bet on Facebook walls spooking the herd of suburban wine moms.

In general I don't see our cuisine changing a whole lot. We've always kept a good quantity of staples (pasta, rice, flours, & root veg around) then add fresh produce & meat on a weekly basis. I'd gone into the market for chicken but pork chops are getting a quicker than usual repeat. It's easy to change up the menu quickly based on what we have and what we can buy. I wanted bread for sandwiches & soups so it looks like I am making that tonight as well. Curious how everyone else is managing their cooking parameters? Has it made you adapt or are you still the same?
 
No change for me. I keep a pretty good stock.
If pork is still there, buy it. You can cut it into chops or ground it. That is, if you like pork.

I'd suggest getting bread from the Walmart or Kroger; the ones close to me still have a small stock.
 

TexLaw

Fussy Evil Genius
Contributor
There's not much of a change, here. Paper goods and hand sanitizer are hard to come buy (as is bottled water, which still makes no sense to me). Just about all the panic buying happened over a few days, so it's largely passed, and restocking has begun. Probably the toughest thing to come by in the meat department is ground meat, but we have a meat grinder and are happy to use it.

We may not have everything available at the store, but we have plenty. We buy just about all our dry and paper goods in bulk and already had replaced nearly all of those recently (just in the normal course).

If I had to put money on it, I'd bet on Facebook walls spooking the herd of suburban wine moms.
That's a good bet. The nearby Indian and Chinese markets have been well stocked, even with cleaning and sanitizing supplies.
 

DoctorShavegood

Aaron Scissorhands
Ambassador
There's not much of a change, here. Paper goods and hand sanitizer are hard to come buy (as is bottled water, which still makes no sense to me). Just about all the panic buying happened over a few days, so it's largely passed, and restocking has begun. Probably the toughest thing to come by in the meat department is ground meat, but we have a meat grinder and are happy to use it.

We may not have everything available at the store, but we have plenty. We buy just about all our dry and paper goods in bulk and already had replaced nearly all of those recently (just in the normal course).



That's a good bet. The nearby Indian and Chinese markets have been well stocked, even with cleaning and sanitizing supplies.
I ventured out today...mostly on the hunt for liquor. That being said, I stopped into 3 different HEB and Randall stores to see whats up. Eggs are there but the cheap crap eggs are all gone in every store. Canned tuna, soups, all paper products are gone except napkins (which i bought). Its funny to see all the organic bacon, sausage and cheese gone. The Zombies never touched them before. Plenty of sheep and goat cheese. Bread seems to be ok. Didn't check the tortillas. Ground beef seems to be back. Beer supply is ok.

Maybe we'll order out this weekend.
 
I hadn’t left the house for about 4-5 days until yesterday and stopped at my local Meijer store to pick up some supplies. The meat dept was barren of everything except a few packages of ground beef, and like OP said there was pork butts, chops, and spare ribs. No chicken, no beef steaks or much of anything else, I was shocked. Dairy was very picked over as was the bakery. It didn’t really effect my plans other than having to take some meat out of the freezer when I got home instead of using fresh. We have a pretty good stock of staples in the house at all times so I look it as a good opportunity to rotate the stock and take inventory of what we have in the house and make what we “can” rather than what we “want”. I even made a loaf of bread because I couldn’t get a good loaf yesterday. I don’t know why I don’t make it more often, other than its loaded with carbs and I’ll eat the whole loaf.
 

shavefan

I’m not a fan
Went yesterday afternoon to our local Sprouts. Meat section was cleared out for the most part, as was the lettuces and eggs. I got a nice wild caught salmon filet, sea scallops, nuts from the bulk bins as well as split peas, broccoli, bok choy, artichokes, onions, carrots, found a nice chuck roast for pot roast later this week, andouille sausage, cider vinegar, coconut milk, lemons (no limes to be had :incazzato), ginger, garlic...

All in all fairly drama free, I didn't check the paper goods.

We normally have a pretty good supply of staples so not sweating it.
 
No changes here, but we have always kept a few weeks or more of just about everything. The reezer is full and we cook from scratch.

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simon1

Self Ignored by Vista
Paper goods were in short supply last weekend, but it should be better now. I haven't checked the small corner store about 2 miles from here or the one about 11 miles away at the intersection of the county road and the state highway.

Food shortage? What food shortage?

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There's some pork chops, brisket, pork belly, roasts, venison, and some crab legs buried in there somewhere, along with what's in the fridge and its freezer.


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Background: When I got ill a few years ago, I had a major battle with the Government over my benefits. This put me at huge financial strain, and changed the way I eat and cook. Since all this panic, I've not had to change anything I do, as all the kit, systems, and stock management is already in place. The only change is that I'm now moving from whatever is cheapest or on sale, to whatever is available if retail stock is dwindled.

Dried goods: I keep dried beans, pasta, and lentils to some level or other. Just before the panic set in, I managed to replenish all my stocks. Not hoarder level, just a sensible amount for me, which means between 500g and 3kg per item. For example, beans are currently at around 2.5kg, but that's 5 different beans in 500g each, all mixed together. I also have assorted grains, including different types of rice, pearl barley, and cous cous. Again modest quantities of each, but it adds up.

Tins: For me, it's mostly chopped tomatoes, which are used in batch cooking, so two tins, or one tin and a squirt of puree, goes toward a meal in my belly and 8-10 in the freezer. I usually have 4-6 tins, but might have a couple more at present. Also in there are sardines (4 or 5 tins), beans in sauce (4-6 tins), and a couple of tins each of sweetcorn, baby new potatoes, and mushy peas. Again, useful for batch cooking.

Veg: My secret weapon here is a dehydrator. A bag of punnet of mushrooms can last me a month or more, used a tablespoon at a time, as and when required, without fear of spoilage. Same with easily spoilt greens, strawberries, and other foods that spoil quick. In normal times, I grab veg that's reduced for a quick sale because it needs using immediately, and make it last all month. Some veg I buy dried already, as it tends to be more economical that way, and more convenient too. Onions for example. Saves stinking the house out.

Batch cooking: I have a 6 litre slow cooker. Chuck in the chicken carcass for starting soup, along with an onion and veg peelings that I've stored in the freezer, and add in a couple of chicken breasts too. Fish out the chicken breasts, strain the stock of all the chicken and veg remnants, shred the two chicken breasts and put those back in, along with sweetcorn, pearly barley, and other veg as required. Again, 10 meals. Likewise, chilli (meat, lentil, or just plain veg), beef stews, veg stews, sweet potato and chickpea curry, lentil dahl, bolognaise, and many other economical any home made "ready meals".

All I generally need in the way of fresh goods, is bread, eggs and milk. I normally keep a couple of long life milk cartons in the cupboard for when health issues stop me going shopping anyway, but i've increased this to 4. Again, not hoarding, just sensible supplies, plus a little extra where it counts. I don't dehydrate eggs, so picked up 6 today to go with the 4 I already had. I have one small loaf of bread, a loaf in the freezer, and a bag of flour and tub of yeast on standby for emergency use, or just knocking up a naan to go with a curry.

With this base, I'm all set to improvise around whatever's available. I can portion up chicken wings or pork chops and freeze them, and a beef joint can do a meal, plus sandwiches, plus jerky for snacks. Dried veggies can be vac packed with jerky for ready to eat dried meals - sweet potato chips, spicy dried peas, beetroot slices, aubergine, courgette all work great, or "leathers" can be made from pureed veg too. Great hiking food too!

The batch cooking is great for spreading limited supplies over several meals, by bulking up with something else. The two chicken breasts over 10 meals mentioned above is a good example, and one beef steak can make several portions of stew if need be. More importantly, the batch cooking and dehydrating, and using peeling for stock, minimises waste. In the Western world, it's too easy to overlook that during the good times, but I got used to gleaning every meal a food source has to offer. Reduction of waste is probably the biggest difference I made when it comes to working with limited supply, and making it work. The right condiments hide a multitude of sins too, so chilli powder, dried herbs, and such like, can be good allies to have around.
 
Knowing a few alternatives can help fill gaps in the pantry too, such as lentils being a substitute for minced (ground) meat. Add a beef stock cube or two, and you're back up and running for your pasta sauce, cottage pie, or whatever. A spoonful of marmite or bovril works too, if you ran out of stock cubes. Porridge oats can bulk up a loaf to some extent, if you're running low on break flour. Makes each portion "heartier" anyway.

I've made bannock type bread in a frying pan a few times too, when supplies were low. The dried fruits from the dehydrating work well with this. Rehydrate the fruit with some boiling water, and leave to soak, before adding the lot as the liquid role to the plain flour and baking powder. Not so good for sandwiches, but eat the meat and salad first, then follow up with the fruity bannock after.

Basically, don't be afraid to improvise, and work with what you've got. Also, if you base meals on what you have most of, you still have variety when the stocks diminish, leaving you more versatility to improvise with whatever you can grab at the next supermarket scavenging session.
 
Generally stocks in the supermarkets here are back to normal, although yesterday when I went there was no fresh chicken at all. This may be because most of the chicken sold here comes from Malaysia and they have closed the borders effectively. That said, on continuing my wandering around the shop, I noticed all the canned tomatoes were gone, so I surmised everyone here is cooking Italian style chicken.
 
Humph.....

Month, 2 maybe...... if everyone stays happy.

If you are going to hoard, do it properly.

Well done!!
I have food, but I am sorth of many things, just because I start to work very early and finish quite late... Today was the first day in 3 weeks I was able to get some toilet paper on the supermarket :c3:
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Ambassador
Yeah, we're all doing a lot of cooking.

Picked up my wife at airport last night: never seen it so dead. Masked passengers, but not her!

Went to a nearby restaurant (somewhat fatalistically). Every other table could be seated - if they had that many people. I felt really bad for the server.

Two-week countdown starts ... Yes, I'm working from home.

Bread. Yes, got White Lily flour - the best - and baking powder.


AA
 
My wife has been on me for months about eating up the food we have and how we shouldn’t go to the store every week to get more until we thin down what we have. We are still in year 1 of matrimony. I casually mentioned to her early on that I took comfort in having enough food on hand that we can skip a few trips to the market. This seemed to have worked its way out of her memory. But as I insisted last Friday evening after dinner with friends that we stop by a store and make a few strategic purchases, she started to understand why we have the stock that we do. We went to a target and a Costco and got everything we needed despite the shelves being bare. She had the sobering realization of how quickly panic decimates the inventory at local stores, and then watching me walk by and say that’s alright, we didn’t need this or that, we already have enough, it started to set in that the way I have things accumulated is a good idea. She later thanked me and said she was really glad that we don’t have to worry about our meals, especially in the event our current circumstances prolong.

I was also happy to shed the light a little broader for her and said that the supply chain is interrupted as is some production. With our preparedness we won’t have to feel as much or any hardship, we won’t be our competing for goods against a others who at this point may be in greater need, and we may even be situated to do the Christian thing and help someone else out of a hard spot simply because it’a the right and good thing to do.

I am quite happy to say that my wife and I, while working from home for the foreseeable future are eating well, healthier and creatively in an effort maximize the goods on hand. We are also avoiding boredom eating, and making smaller meals at the present time.
 
My wife has been on me for months about eating up the food we have and how we shouldn’t go to the store every week to get more until we thin down what we have. We are still in year 1 of matrimony. I casually mentioned to her early on that I took comfort in having enough food on hand that we can skip a few trips to the market. This seemed to have worked its way out of her memory. But as I insisted last Friday evening after dinner with friends that we stop by a store and make a few strategic purchases, she started to understand why we have the stock that we do. We went to a target and a Costco and got everything we needed despite the shelves being bare. She had the sobering realization of how quickly panic decimates the inventory at local stores, and then watching me walk by and say that’s alright, we didn’t need this or that, we already have enough, it started to set in that the way I have things accumulated is a good idea. She later thanked me and said she was really glad that we don’t have to worry about our meals, especially in the event our current circumstances prolong.

I was also happy to shed the light a little broader for her and said that the supply chain is interrupted as is some production. With our preparedness we won’t have to feel as much or any hardship, we won’t be our competing for goods against a others who at this point may be in greater need, and we may even be situated to do the Christian thing and help someone else out of a hard spot simply because it’a the right and good thing to do.

I am quite happy to say that my wife and I, while working from home for the foreseeable future are eating well, healthier and creatively in an effort maximize the goods on hand. We are also avoiding boredom eating, and making smaller meals at the present time.
Congratulations on your first year of marriage! If you have a relationship with Christ, it will be easier. Not easy, but easier. There are a lot of changes when you commit to a lady, but after almost 29 years with my bride, I can say it is so worth it.

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...stop by a store and make a few strategic purchases, she started to understand why we have the stock that we do. We went to a target and a Costco and got everything we needed despite the shelves being bare. She had the sobering realization of how quickly panic decimates the inventory at local stores, and then watching me walk by and say that’s alright, we didn’t need this or that, we already have enough, it started to set in that the way I have things accumulated is a good idea. She later thanked me and said she was really glad that we don’t have to worry about our meals, especially in the event our current circumstances prolong.
Well done!

Unfortunately the rudiments of using your pantry and how to buy are unknowns to many. Eating means getting a frozen pizza, bar food after work, or a Clif bar. Building up basic supplies then making a meal is arcana. IMO this is what led to local stockouts as so many collectively went "Oh Snap!" upon realizing food (as they access it) might be compromised.

Not referring to your wife here, the above is in general.
 
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