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Grocery Stores And The Empty Store Shelves


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Feb 16, 2024
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Grocery Stores And The Empty Store Shelves

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.

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 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.

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

The post Grocery Stores And The Empty Store Shelves appeared first on Food Storage Moms.
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