My pandemic shopping updates

As I’ve stated often, I do not go to the grocery store. Up until the pandemic, I relied on grocery deliver services, mainly Shipt (from Meijer or Target) or Instacart (from Costco). Lately, those services have become unreliable, and I haven’t had a fresh grocery delivery since March 24. I have also tried to use delivery from Whole Foods, without success.

As I have mentioned, I do have food tucked away in my freezer and pantry, and some fruit and veg in my refrigerator. I also mentioned that my refrigerator stopped working last weekend, but I was able to save most of my food by using a mini refrigerator that I happen to have. One thing I know for sure. As soon as they are available again, I plan to buy a small backup freezer.

Here is what I have been doing and experiencing on the grocery front:

I have had good luck using Amazon Pantry. The availability of items varies radically from hour to hour, and deliveries are delayed, but the items have arrived in good order. I have ordered other items from Amazon (shelf stable milk, for example) that have been received. I actually ordered POTATOES through Amazon that were sent from Wyoming. They were expensive, but very nice and they arrived here yesterday in good condition. I must have potatoes!

Amazon has also improved their Whole Foods delivery by allowing you to sign up for notification when delivery is available. I haven’t heard from them in a couple of days, however.

Costco delivery is really screwed up. I have two orders placed and acknowledged by them for 2-day delivery items. One was placed on April 6 and the other on April 9. Still not shipped, although they still plan to. Who knows when?

Costco’s same-day delivery has improved. I was able to place an order today for delivery sometime from April 20 – 22. I’ll let you know if and when it arrives, and how many of the items I ordered are actually delivered.

Are you able to obtain the groceries you need? How are the stores in your area responding to the abnormal demands on their stocks and on their employees?

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59 Responses to My pandemic shopping updates

  1. Lucille says:

    So far, so good. However, I have to rely on my neighbor to order fresh produce, frozen items, milk and other perishables.

    For some reason although I am signed up for delivery on regular non-perishable items via Walmart.com, I cannot successfully sign up for their https://grocery.walmart.com. I need to call them to discuss; but right now it is impossible as they are so busy. So, thank God for my neighbor.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. stella says:

    One odd thing. I ordered 12 quarts of shelf-stable whole milk from Amazon. When I received it yesterday, I noticed that the origin was in Michigan, but it was shipped to Washington State, then back to me here in Michigan!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. czarowniczy says:

    We’re still chewing our way thru the pantry and freezers but when I run across something I think would go nicely in our pantry or fridge I grab it. Part of it’s panic as they’re predicting a worse-than-usual hurricane season and I want to be prepared.

    Walmart is getting stuff but at times it does look like ‘Moscow 1964’, bare shelves here and there. I also use a locally-based grocery that usually better stocked than Walmart in many items and the local Dollar Generals who are less shopped as they’re out here in the boonie but seem to have what you need.

    Farmers will soon be selling produce by the roadside though our Walmart seems to be well-stocked there. Bread shelves are full again, even the whole wheat/grain breads we like. Moon Pies are still in stock (phew) as are the Little Debbie pogey bait selections – all is not lost.

    Meat is so-so, but cheese is almost extinct, the farmers are screaming they have to pour out milk as the schools and cheese processors aren’t buying. I can see the schools (not totally though) not buying milk but why aren’t the cheese makers taking advantage of super low milk prices to build product stocks? Folks want it but our shelves are mostly empty.

    Liked by 4 people

    • stella says:

      Like you, I have been buying stuff when I can get it and I know I will use it. May not be my regular purchases, but still useful. Got extra dry pasta, and some dry soup mix and potato mixes (scalloped and mashed). Picked up some canned tomatoes, salsa, jarred pasta sauces. Still looking to get more canned fruit and maybe more canned beans.

      Liked by 2 people

      • czarowniczy says:

        Dry beans are nice too. I simmer them in broth and the goo from a can of the same beans already cooked. I take the canned beans, put ’em in a blender and thin them down with some of the cooked bean juice and blend it to a slurry. I use that to make a sauce for the beans.

        Day before yesterday I did red beans and rice and used the spine section of a rack of ribs I smoked to boil down with the beans – worked quite well. I put the sauteed vegetables and meat (usually sausage) on the side so everyone can add what they want in amounts they want.

        I like dried beans for hurricane food as you can soak them to soften them if you’re short of power to boil them. They have substance, form a complete protein with rice and taste good too!

        Liked by 3 people

        • stella says:

          I have some dried beans, but not enough.

          Liked by 1 person

          • czarowniczy says:

            You can never have enough dry beans. Scratch-made refried black bean tacos…..drool. Lima beand ans ham (the Col would know them by another name), the list goes on.

            Like

          • Menagerie says:

            Years ago my son the trucker had a mashed pallet of red beans. He gave some to everyone he knew, and a crap ton to me. I gave plenty away at the time. When we moved I donated a smaller, but not little, plastic tub to a food bank, and I bet I still have four-six bags of them. Now, had those been pintos they’d be long gone.

            I have enough dried beans to keep us in food for weeks, as well as enough rice to go with it. We normally don’t combine beans and rice (except in soups) around here, but it just makes sense to have both if they are to be relied on for meals.

            What I would run out of is cornbread, which would make my husband a very unhappy man, beans without cornbread.

            Liked by 1 person

            • stella says:

              I have much more rice than I would normally use in two years, and cornmeal, white and yellow, and some canned beans. I’ll keep looking for more dried beans though.

              Liked by 1 person

            • JTR says:

              We’re lucky there, thank the Lord! We actually have a local working mill! Nora’s Mill. They have a website you can order from, but it’s a great fun place to visit in person. You can feed the ENORMOUS pet trout in the river that runs the mill! We love Nora’s.

              Liked by 2 people

              • Menagerie says:

                There are mills about an hour’s drive from us, one west of us in a little town called Whitwell, and another not too far from Dalton, but both of them only open up to the public in the fall when they have the big festivals. You have to get your cornmeal and grits then. There is also a Mennonite family that sells Molasses there and we stock up on it too. Really good stuff, the very best grits I’ve ever had.

                You guys are very lucky to have a year round place. I would love that.

                Liked by 1 person

                • JTR says:

                  The shop at the mill sells sorghum syrup. Locally grown down the road! There are lots of places around here that sell jams, jellies, pickles and condiments. I love some hot chow-chow to go with my pinto beans! We are lucky to have a lot of local people that grow and share their bounty. Last year, the farmer that abuts our land was selling ears of fresh picked corn, 12 for $2.

                  Liked by 3 people

                  • czarina33 says:

                    Love sorghum syrup! My grandfather grew sorghum. Might be why we always had it in the house.

                    Like

                  • stella says:

                    We had it in our house when I was young. I don’t remember liking it very much, and I think my dad learned to like it when his family lived in Alabama for several years.

                    Like

        • The Tundra PA says:

          Ummm ummm UMMM! Love me some red beans and rice!

          Liked by 1 person

    • stella says:

      Liked by 2 people

    • stella says:

      Regarding cheese, it takes time to make most cheeses, and if people are panic buying cheese, then it will take a while to replace the supply.

      Liked by 3 people

      • czarowniczy says:

        Yeah, but for the cheesemakers not to be buying milk, that indicates they aren’t making cheese.

        I know this hit two of our local dairies, one is closing for sure and the other’s on the edge. If I win the Powerball on Saturday I’ll buy one and live my childhood dream. The one I’d like to buy makes cheese and butter too.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Menagerie says:

          One of my sons is addicted to cheese. He used to eat our whole family’s supply of cheese for the week in a day or two, no matter how much we all beat the crap out of him. And we did.

          Liked by 3 people

          • czarowniczy says:

            We have a tray in the fridge loaded with cheese, we are decidedly cheeseiverous. Now this isn’t exactly gourmet cheese territory, matter of fact the more exotic cheeses (anything that doesn’t have ‘American’, ‘product’ or go on a pizza) has it’s own case well removed from the fromage familier. Snotty as it sounds, even the domestic ‘foreign’ cheeses are disappearing or disappeared from the exotics box,

            Liked by 2 people

  4. litenmaus says:

    I had to go to town the other day. I’d just been to town eight days earlier…..these were the changes in those eight short days……..

    The mom and pop grocery store had installed six foot high, four foot wide plexiglass guard shields between me, the shopper, and the checkout clerk. No staff were wearing masks. All checkout lines were open. (that in itself is a miracle). The bag boy followed at least six foot behind when taking the groceries to the car and he made sure he was positioned six feet from me when putting the groceries in the trunk of my car. They now offer telephone shopping, call in your groceries, they will shop and phone you to arrange for a date and time to do curbside pickup. Mom & Pop parking lot was at perhaps 1/3 of capacity.

    Wal Mart parking lot was on Monday at 11:00 a.m. perhaps 1/4 of normal vehicle capacity.

    Wal Mart had their little bean counter at the door counting heads. Perhaps 1/3 of the shopping customers were wearing face masks and a majority of that 1/3 were Native Americans. All checkout lines were taped in six foot intervals, but only one checkout clerk was wearing a mask. Checkout lines at 11:00 am on a Monday reached halfway to the back of the store….Self Checkout was even worse.

    I actually witnessed a checkout clerk yell at a woman who was wearing a mask and gloves but wasn’t standing in her little designated six foot taped box on the floor. Unbelievable to me that the woman didn’t say anything and complacently moved to her prescribed place.

    Wal Mart has hired on an entire crew of employees whose only job is to continue to stock shelves. I spoke with a number of them, thanked them for keeping the product available to us and to a man, each of them shook their head and said “This is insane!”.

    Wal Mart has also hired on at least one new crew of checkers and is being more responsive to giving some of their ‘pre covid’ employees a a little bit of breathing space. Some of those workers put in some incredible hours during the initial onslaught.

    On a strictly personal note……have any of you ever seen so many off brands in your life????

    Liked by 5 people

    • czarowniczy says:

      Our Walmart finally got sneeze shields a week ago and very few of the staff are wearing masks. They have an aisle built out of already-in-short-supply shopping carts to direct shoppers in but there’s no limit to how many can be in the store and the store’s still in it’s ‘jam ’em into tight shopper hordes’ configuration. We have the ‘6 foot tape’ marks but they put shoppers out into the store’s main side-to-side aisle so shoppers trying to transit the store get with a foot of you. It’s sizzle to make you think there’s steak.

      Our smaller locally-owned and more responsive to our local needs store just has signs up and tape at the checkout but generally it’s up to the shoppers to use common sense…or not. If you look at grocery shopping truly objectively it’s fraught with potential infection loci so you do a lot of the prep to help your denial keep you from drinking while you shop.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. jeans2nd says:

    Late last Friday night was finally able to obtain a Walmart pick-up time for groceries for three days later.
    Although pleased with finally obtaining a pick-up time, decided i couldn’t wait that long for Gimbals jelly beans. So ventured forth a half hour from closing to see how bad were the lines.

    There were no lines. Hardly anyone in the store, save for the noobs stocking shelves. Bought as many Gimbals as i had money, and picked up the remainder of Walmart’s stock Mon night.
    The little girl loaded all my groceries for me, and Walmart even included a health & beauty goodie bag with free samples of all kinds of stuff.

    Having spent decades canning, freezing, pickling, and jellying, have quit storing much food over the recent years. There are so many substitutes now.
    Stella – mashed cauliflower is a most excellent replacement for potatoes (i don’t eat potatoes). All kinds of neat stuff now in the freezer section – mashed yams & carrots, oven-roasted broccoli & cauliflower, brussel sprouts, all seasoned with cracked pepper and sea salt. Even spinach, beets, and other go-to veggies are in the freezer section done with interesting recipes. Good stuff. And our local butcher just a few miles outside town is well-stocked.

    Guess living in a small town with regional grocers and distribution centers has its benefits. Even Sheetz, KFC, Arbys, etc are well-stocked and doing a bang-up business.

    Liked by 2 people

    • stella says:

      I’m sure cauliflower is great, if I had any. Don’t go to the store, so unless I get a delivery, I don’t get fresh or frozen food. Amazon doesn’t ship cauliflower, as far as I know. I have frozen butternut squash and sugar snap peas. I don’t like frozen broccoli (just not the same). I have fresh carrots still, and canned beets. Wish I had fresh beets!

      Don’t dump on potatoes, btw. They are loaded with nutrients.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Menagerie says:

    I found toilet paper at the Big Lots the other day, first time in a month. I didn’t truly need it, but I might in a month, and I don’t know if I’ll find it again, so I bought one package. I then let my DIL know I had it and could share with them.

    Eggs are still harder to find. If I go to the store I can get them, by delivery, no. Meat is spotty. Shelves still half full on most things here. I see no improvement at all on in stock position except I went to a Whole Foods store last week and they were in good shape. I splurged on two ribeyes which I am cooking today.

    I really need to buy a little canned meat if things are going to get worse there. I just don’t like it, except canned salmon, and I think I’m poisoning myself if I buy much of that. I am going to put more burger in the freezer.

    I have a turkey thawed out which I will brine and cook. I’ll likely freeze some of the meat, but my son the trucker will be here for one night’s visit this weekend and he would love to have some for his little fridge, so I may not have to freeze any.

    I haven’t been able to find full fat buttermilk since this deal started. Why the heck would they even make anything other than full fat buttermilk? I’m not seeing peoplemdrink it like theynused to, it is used for cooking, usually baking. I want my buttermilk full fat.

    Liked by 3 people

    • stella says:

      Boy, do I agree about the buttermilk! All I have now is powdered, which works in a pinch.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The Tundra PA says:

      We only seem to have low fat buttermilk, even before all this started. Safeway did finally have toilet paper when I was there yesterday afternoon. First time in a month. Fortunately I had a stock of it still in storage from my prepper days a few years back.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. JTR says:

    I get a delivery from Thrive every month or two. They sell a lot of healthy stuff at a bit cheaper price than the stores. Locally, we have an Ingles. It went pretty bare a few weeks ago, but they are stocked pretty well now. Produce looks good, but meat is sometimes iffy. TP is hit and miss. I haven’t been to the store in 6 months. I have a disability that makes it hard for me to get around. But, I have an old angel (DH) that has learned to shop for the first time in his life! He was a Chief Petty Officer Catering Accountant for 22 years in the Royal Navy, and has also been a General Manager in fast food for about 20 years, so he learned pretty quick! I love my Chief. He calls me “THE LEFTENENT”.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Menagerie says:

      I love a love story! It would break the bank if my husband shopped on a regular basis. He did it almost ten years ago for several months when I had foot surgery. Our grocery bill was almost double what I spent. We had a lot of bacon, steaks, and Little Debbie’s.

      Liked by 3 people

      • JTR says:

        Lol! He usually will only get what’s on my list, but now and then bring home extra something he finds on sale. This week he brought home a lot of chicken breasts, so today I’m cooking a crock pot crack chicken recipe that freezes well. He usually does very well, but I’ve had to teach him a few things about how to pick out produce. He would just grab and go, never checking to see if he got a icky one. He’s getting pretty good now.

        Liked by 2 people

      • czarina33 says:

        Same here. Czar is the chief shopper and cook, and we get alot of steak, never run out of bacon and Little Debbie’s!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. czarina33 says:

    Heard a LOL funny on NPR this morning while driving to work. Driving and laughing out loud. Seems people have problems getting bananas delivered. Such as ordering four and getting 4 bags full. Or 40. One woman thought she ordered 1 pound but only got one banana.

    https://www.npr.org/2020/04/18/837855243/she-meant-to-order-10-bananas-in-her-grocery-delivery-then-10-bunches-arrived-at

    Liked by 1 person

  9. auscitizenmom says:

    This was a great thread. I somehow missed it when it first came out.

    Like

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