Frugal shopping during times of shortages and price increases.

Trigger warning. This post was written up on September 10th. If you are reading this now, there could be more shortages on this date. This is just my opinion on what I am seeing and how I feel about this. Everyone can come to their own conclusions to what the heck is happening where ever you may be. This is just a few tips on what our family is doing to get through this. Think I will title this post Planned Chaos because that is just how I feel about everything I am seeing. Like a terrible fairy tale from one of my childhood books.

“ Planned Chaos ”

Okay, things are getting weird out there. So here is what I am noticing.

That there are shortages…yes, but only in certain stores, for now that is. The only shortages I am seeing right now are in our Super centers.

Not a lot of eggs here but plenty at the other stores.

So I went to go check out these shortages everyone was talking about, because the grocery stores my husband and I were shopping at were not showing any big shortages like I was hearing. I stepped foot back into the super stores.

I forgot my camera for one of the stores and as most of my followers know, I do not do cell phones. So far I have been able to keep up with our advanced technology without one but in a city this is getting harder and harder each year that goes by.

I will let you all be the judge of what you are about to see. I have photos from several stores to compare. I wish I would have had my camera for the first super center store I visited but I will just have to share with you what I experienced there in words instead of photos.

Still oatmeal on these shelves but it too was starting to go.

In the super stores, their shelves were frighteningly empty. It would scare anyone seeing this again. We all went through this last year, right before the lock downs happened. Remember?

Canned meats are another very popular food to store for a long time. These were running low too,
Spices were gone here at this store. At the bulk store there was plenty to buy.

Sometimes, if we are not careful, we become like mice, looking for a piece of cheese in someone’s wicked maze.

Lunch meat can run pretty high in prices. There were freezers full of lunch meat at one store we visited for $1, super stores sell them for $3-$6 dollars.

But drive to another chain and you will find huge amounts of food everywhere like all these photos down below.

I was worried after hitting the three super stores we went to after seeing their shortages everywhere but then I walked into this store and saw all this food and wondered what was going on.

It was such a striking difference from the empty shelves from the Super center stores.

Plenty of paper supplies at this store.

Look at all these spices.

Also the discount grocery store had so much food that they were giving some away with every purchase. Hmm…what is that about?

We took extra to give to our neighbors. If you know of a good deal, or have some way to help your neighbors then share that knowledge. They will be the ones closes to you if you ever need to help each other…always remember that.
For every $10 spent you get 1lb of chicken for free,

The super stores had empty product sections too, not just food. Walking around, and seeing this, if this is the only store you shop at, well I can understand why it would freak you out. Please don’t. Just hop in your car and drive to a smaller shop up the road, go exploring around town, just don’t go into a panic. You will see that there are shelves lined with many products in smaller chains. For now that is.

Start thinking about what you may need now to upkeep your vehicles. If you see those items now, get them.
Not sure what the big demand or shortages for bathroom decor are. Hit Etsy for some great items that local artists make that you can use to decorate your bathroom with. Lots of people do beautiful ceramics out there in the world, now’s their chance to shine.
There are people out there that shop for their therapy, as a joke I suppose. Got to get your retail therapy in, but walking down empty aisle like this will only depress the depressed more. They are not talking about how extreme this pandemic has made things in the mental health area. Too taboo I guess. Walking down this aisle, you can almost feel the sadness that someone felt when they saw this…but again, get in your vehicle and shop somewhere else and that anxiety and fear will lessen when you see the truths. So much seems connected and planned in my opinion. Is something else happening here…why depress the depressed? The best way to win as they say in the art of war, is to not fight at all. Depressed and hopeless people have no drive to fight back.
Might have a problem getting home appliances, best to start looking now. If you can, try and find those stores that are not the big chains. Sadly for some items and in some places this is so hard to do. Hit the yard sales and church sales. Look for items from the past if it comes to that. They last longer anyway.

I also noticed that the product quality selection was of poor and thin fabrics. Imagine a place where these were your only choices. You all have to buy the same processed foods, all the same depressing fashion choices, home décor, pet supplies, etc…what a scary thought.

One store looks like this, empty everywhere. Big super store.
Another store looks like this. So many items they are spilling over.

Kind of reminds me of that popular movie that paints Christians in such a negative light. You know, the one where they all wear red dresses with hoods. Reverse the pictures, and you will see who the true guilty ones are with that fantasy. Notice how the fashions coming out seem to be leaning towards that popular series. Almost like they want that. Also, have you noticed how in the rich and famous world of the elites they are mask-less but their employees and helpers all are wearing masks around them. There are several scenes from that popular movie series that mirror what is happening now in real life with those images, it’s opening our eyes to what someone’s wicked fantasy is. So creepy with how easy it is to influence the young.

Mac-n-cheese is one of those comfort panic buying foods.

Something else I noticed at one of the super stores and that was that their produce which is normally really good with a huge selection of fresh produce, had instead old, brown and wilted produce, that normally would have been tossed by now. Old brown lettuce frightens consumers even more.

I did not have my camera on me for the super store with the brown wilted produce. This photo up above was another store I went to that had fresh green lettuce.

Lettuce browning in bags, and empty areas of onions and potatoes were everywhere at the Super stores. Stores that supply products to middle class and the poor. Why frighten the masses?

I could not find green onions or cilantro anywhere at the super store. It was warmer in the produce area too, like they turned the air conditioning down, or up to a hotter temp in this case. You all know what I mean. Why are some able to notice this, see it for what it is, and others seem to be blind to it?

There was plenty of cilantro and green onions at this store though. Also I noticed that the super center stores had higher prices, which is so sad considering they supply mostly to poorer and middle class families. Lettuce was almost $4 at the super store but the same type of lettuce at another store was only $2 and it wasn’t brown and slimy looking.

Years ago I worked at a New York fashion clothing store ( here in Arizona) where they sold beautiful sweaters and pretty outfits. One time all our knitted sweaters were on sale. My manager turned the air conditioning down really low so the store was freezing. When customers walked in and stayed for awhile, they would get cold and end up buying a sweater. This was a corporate chain that gave us all instructions on what we were allowed to do. We had to follow their displays, where shirts went next to other shirts, the lay out of the store…everything was printed on a sheet from corporate for us all to follow. At the mom and pop I worked at I could do anything my creative heart wanted but not corporate. The corporate clothing store is now out of business, the mom and pop is still around to this day. Retailers everywhere have some knowledge to the psychology of manipulating sales and their consumer environments. It is done every day to all us consumers.

Another thing I noticed in this super store, there were messes everywhere. Disarrayed items in wrong places everywhere. I noticed there were several employees though, mostly standing around visiting each other. Like the bosses were no longer around to remind employees what to do while at work. Like the behaviors of not working were being encouraged to create the environment of disarray. There were some polite workers of course but many were just slouching around like there was nothing to do. In the stores I visited where there were full shelves that were clean, there were less employees around…just saying. People say maybe these empty shelves are from a lack of employees to keep things running smooth but that isn’t what I was witnessing.

The hot temps in the produce area are not normal ways they usually run the super stores. Why did they turn the air up to a warmer degree in the produce section? It causes the produce to age faster. Is this planned chaos? Or just paranoia?

Noticed a lot of panic food buying again like top ramen, which was an item that was in shortage right before the lock downs over a year ago. During that time though there was a difference. All ramen was gone and there were more people shopping. Is this staged?

Some super stores are different then others, so we drove to another location to see if that store was also having an air conditioning problem in their produce section. When we walked in we noticed they had fans blowing on their produce section to keep what I believe the flies off of things. Phoenix got hit with a bit of a fly problem after the storms that came in. They were weird storms too. My daughter took some footage of it and shared it with her followers and they also said what a strange lightening storm. But why are two super center stores having the same issues of air temps in the same locations where warm temps can damage fresh produce? Seems all planed to me. Why allow fresh produce to rot out. Now it could have changed. Maybe both stores in some weird coincidence were both having air conditioning problems.

Another reason why the soup section could be low is because we are in the Flu season, If you are in an area where chicken soup is out it could mean you are in a hot spot for sickness.

We were low on cat food, so I picked up two boxes. Both boxes were sealed from the outside it looked that way, but one box without me knowing, had some that were opened in the store. The seals must have gotten damaged in shipment. We put our items away in the pantry and had the wet cat food (remember I believed it was sealed) in the kitchen. That next morning something smelled and when we found the smell it was coming from the box. When my husband opened it, it was full of maggots. Yeah, I know gross, but it happened. Remember the fans all over the store to keep the flies off the produce?

One of the stores had full shelves everywhere but less then half the employees of the Super stores and yet everything was clean and well stocked. No chaos here.

We did not go back to tell the store though, that store had angry energy in it and people were yelling in the parking lot and it just felt off. There seems to be two sides always battling it out with each other, not everyone but there are some that love the energy of chaos. In environments of stress you will run across this sort of tension. The middle people are always invisible but they see more then either side.

Something else I noticed about the Super center store. Last year when everyone was getting into gardening because of the shortages, my husband and I went to the super store to see what they had in their normally huge garden areas, and they were all empty. Nothing was out, no seeds, no bags of dirt, no pots, no plants…nothing. Like the whole thing had been cleared out and shut down. But why? As a past retail buyer of products, this makes no sense to me at all. Buyers always shop for profit, but this was weird, like profit no longer matters and pleasing consumers no longer matters either. Why would a store do that?

Not the empty store, this is the discount store where there is plenty of food in boxes everywhere and cheap, like super cheap.

My husband went to a sale section in the store and there were some items that had been moved there from the garden that did not normally have a shelf expiration date on them but there were marked down at 80-90% off. So strange to see regularly stocked items put on the discontinued aisles. Why discount and discontinue a popular item?

Like the super store was now making it impossible for it’s customers to garden and grow their own. And in this past year, I have noticed that both super center stores, never returned back to those large garden areas with seeds or supplies like they did in the past. Like they just decided to stop having a section in the store for people that are more self sufficient. Reminds me of what happened in Michigan when their lock downs started, they were told garden supply stores were not essential. Any seeds we buy from the big hardware and home improvement stores do not produce anyway, at least none that we have noticed. Beautiful plants, but not producers of food.

The plants that are meant to produce just don’t, no matter how healthy they look when you first buy them. Maybe that’s an Arizona thing…who knows, trying to be as open minded as possible but my heart is saying something else, along with my brain. Things aren’t adding up and they haven’t for years now. Like they are all for show but you will never get food from them. Well, the big stores seem to be at it once again. Just click on to clip below and you will understand what I am trying to get across here.

I have my own ideas why these shortages seem to be happening in the big store chains first. But, again, I will leave it up to you to connect the dots. Remember that fear creates chaos and chaos is the fuel that keeps people blind to all those truths. When the big store chains have shortages, people will go out to the smaller chains, they will go into a panic, it can get bad, and Winter is coming. The first log burns in the fire, but the little logs keep the fire going.

At the discount grocery store, which is open to everyone, they have dry goods that are perfect for any preppers out there or people who live in areas where there are a lot of storms. Bags of beans were only .25 cents and in regular grocery stores they run $1-$2 a bag.

There is one thing I need to add about the super centers and that is, that they give people many jobs. That’s a good thing. All these workers in these stores continued working when the pandemic hit the hardest, they are some of those early heroes when the Red monster first showed up. These super stores are needed to help our communities. They just have to make some changes that will be beneficial for everyone. Right now, they are influenced by outside forces that are not in our best interests it seems, but I could be wrong, just looks that way from what I am witnessing. Maybe they will never change and someone just needs to step up and start a huge super center of local products…they call them Farmer’s markets.

For now the discount store has plenty of vitamins and protein mixes. For now that is.
Boxes and boxes of discounted groceries.
These large boxes of cereal were $1.

I believe in order to keep this planet of ours and the people on it healthy, we need to figure out ways to keep supplies made and grown in the same country they are supplying for. All countries should do this. This will cut down on global warming too. Isn’t this what “They” want…okay, I said my piece. Hope you all find frugal ways to shop and stay safe out there everyone. You’re all smart, you know what’s happening. The path least traveled is always rough when we first step on it, but through time it gets smoother and smoother the more we all walk the right path. People should stay focused, and not panic in any situation. Panic shopping makes people do crazy things, like buying up toilet paper when food and water are more important items to buy up. Stay safe out there everyone and may God bless you all in your shopping adventures.

Here are some other shortages I noticed in the super center stores. If these shortages are correct, then these will be the items you all need to start looking for when you do go out shopping. Watch the patterns.

Dry drink mixes. Just a little bit of extra info about this store’s location. It is in a hot spot for addicts. No judgement on my part with the broken ones, I come from a family where addictions have hurt them terribly. I blame someone else for the drug problems everywhere in my country…best to not get into that, This post is already too long. Anyway, addicts crave sugar. This could be the reason why this section in this store is empty, addicts love the sugar drinks.
Peanut butter was very low at both Super center stores. Best to buy peanut butter from the machines where you watch the peanuts being pressed and made into peanut butter. A lot of these peanut butter brands are mostly fake oils that are harmful for you. We were out of peanut butter but at the other store they had plenty to sell and the real stuff too.
White vinegar was out at the Super stores. Look up how important this simple and cheap product is. It can be used for so many things, even disinfecting things.
Yep, toilet paper and paper products were low at the Super stores but scroll on up and you will see full displays of toilet paper at the other stores. Sometimes I wonder what goes on in the corporate meetings.
Dairy low, but scroll up above and there you will see shelves full of dairy from another store.

Copyright Our Little Red House 2021 ©

24 Comments Add yours

  1. I think local sustainability is going to be very important in the days ahead.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ourcrossings says:

    Sadly the COVID pandemic has had a massive impact on the global supply chain as the ports shut down all over the world with Covid outbreaks. When something like that happens, it has a long term impact. That’s why we have to start looking at locally grown food that, in times like these, can create important economic opportunities, provides health benefits and helps to reduce environmental impact 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that is so, so true. We need to start looking at locally producing our own products. Keep things simple and life as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Michele Lee says:

    Very concerning. Again. I was just at the store – they were out of toilet paper. 😟

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That doesn’t make sense to me, the things that become popular are crazy to me. I would think over the counter medications would be the first to go in times of distress. I remember the first round of shortages and how expensive food items were selling on Amazon for. A box of Little Debbi Oatmeal creams was selling for $30, that’s crazy. I worry what the holidays will be like if we head down that path again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Michele Lee says:

        You do have a valid point. I was surprised to find not a single roll of toilet paper. And so the search begins. 😞 $30! What? Supply and demand, I suppose. Limited resources and human resources is an ongoing issue with so many places unable to staff appropriately. Take care and thanks for the idea to prepare for the holidays. I am not much of a shopper, so I need the nudge. 😆

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re very welcome and I hope you find all your supplies and at a good price too.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Michele Lee says:

        Thank you so much! 😄 I hope the same for you.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Librarylady says:

    Will this never end? The church we belong to has always advised having a food storage stash. Not hoarding mind you, just having enough put away to sustain life in an emergency. It’s come in handy several times over the last couple of years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The churches here and the food banks were running very low according to the news. There are so many stores that throw away food when so many can use these items they send to the dumps, so sad. I feel the same way…will this ever end.


  5. ruthsoaper says:

    Grocery prices have sky rocket! We have seen some shortages in groceries but even more in big ticket items like appliances and lawn equipment. The American made dryer that we wanted to purchase has a 1year waiting list and we couldn’t even put in an order for one. We are getting estimates for having our windows replaced and companies are telling us they won’t be able to get the job done for 6-9 months. In normal times it would have been about 8 week lag time. It’s a mad world indeed!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So upsetting that on top of everything else, the sickness, the fear, the chaos and separation with some, we also have to deal with all these shortages. Although I believe that some of these things are man made and not accidents. I always wondered where all these news channels get their money to support their low viewership they have been dealing with. Like they don’t care how ridiculous their stories are that so many can see are made to cause mass fears and chaos, along with mistrust and hate. They have the young and impressionable, they don’t need or want the ones that can see truths. Rumors out there that it is the big chain stores that are now supporting them by paying them, along with a couple other very scary organizations. Hmmm…and who supports big chain? What a gut punch to realize we may be supporting the downfall of ourselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ruthsoaper says:

        We try to shop local small businesses as much as possible. Because my husband is retired military we buy most of our groceries at the commissary. It used to be so cheap to shop there. They are still cheaper than the grocery stores but even they have gotten expensive.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My husband used to take my mother-in-law to the commissary all the time. My father-in-law was a pilot in the Korean war. The last time he went was right around the time when the pandemic first started. They were giving out free cleaner that day. One of the solders said that this is what you get when your president is a germ aphobe. Trump was president then and my husband came home with all this cleaner that day. I wonder what they do now if you go on.


  6. Pretty much the same here in Kentucky. The problem here is in small towns, we don’t have have much selection for grocery shopping. We’re about 50 miles or so from 3 large cities in different directions, but I don’t want to become from home that long, so we make do with what things we can find.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My husband and I are looking at property online in Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina and even Virginia at one point. Just having fun for now seeing all the beautiful farms and homes out there. The prices here in our city are going up more and more, plus violence. Our escapes up north are nice but it is over an hour away from big stores and in the small mountain towns they only have a couple big grocery stores that have even more shortages then here in the city. Creepy to me how the two big main super stores were the first to show these shortages, like the other chains didn’t get their memos that ” Shortages are coming” so get with it already. What scary times we live in. You and your husband are smart with knowing how to conserve and make things stretch. I worry about Winter. I have family in Oklahoma and Arkansas with ice storms and hard Winters. Here in Arizona most people live in the two major cities which are desert environments, we just got out of our deadly season of extreme heat. But those states in the middle of the country have Winter now to get through. I pray we all have a tame Winter this season.


      1. Winters aren’t so bad here usually. Tennessee is a little better. We love it here. We’re about halfway between Louisville and Nashville. We can get most everything we need within 25 miles. Love the slower pace!
        We were baffled too about the shortages.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We are trying to get ready for a move but of course we are afraid of how hard it will be since everything will be new and just a different place to get used to. Phoenix is a mean city. There are nice people of course but when you go out into it, people aren’t so friendly. It is a cold city. It keeps changing too. Seems people are afraid to get to know each other. Our neighbors here and up north are really sweet but that is rare here in this city.


  7. Priti says:

    Yes due to the pandemic we suffered a lot only physically but also financially and all the effects of this pandemic. Well written 🙂thank you for sharing.🤗😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is true. I pray people stay safe and that it doesn’t get worse. There are pockets of sadness around the world at the moment. Not everyone’s experiences are the same. Even here in my country, there are states that are not suffering as much as others, but chaos seems to be part of what some states are trying to get out of. It is in the lies and deception that causes the most destruction. Stay safe and I will keep you and yours in my prayers, may God bless you all.


      1. Priti says:

        Thank you very much. God bless you 🌹🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re very welcome.


      3. Priti says:


        Liked by 1 person

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