ECON Report food and grocery price increases/shortages here - UPDATE, new runs on the stores

abby normal

Contributing Member
Went to Walmart Super Center with the toddler yesterday. Tried sneaking under the tape so we wouldn't have to walk around the barricade. No line so I figured, why not. Employee informed me I had to be a good little sheep and go around due to "fire code" rules. I knew it was BS but I suppressed my rage and took my little boy around the long way.

For the record I hate shopping at WM but we are very rural and choices are few. Kroger prices have gone way up recently, especially with meat.

Food-wise, everything looked pretty well stocked. No frozen burgers anywhere, must have been cleaned out over the weekend. Hubby wanted steaks and I about choked when I saw the prices. 3 pack of NY strips was $25. Wanted ribeyes but couldn't justify the price. We only do steaks once a month but it might get less frequent than that if these prices stay up.

Also went in search of a replacement pool vacuum, none to be found.

Needed 10 more bags of black mulch to finish the landscaping and they were totally sold out. Drove around town to check some other places and it's ALL gone. Apparently in this part of Ohio everyone is landscaping and black mulch is the new TP.

Black much matters! ;)
 

maric

Short but deadly
Went to Wegmans today for milk & bread. Looked at the meats because I'm nosy. Hamburger was OVER $5 a pound for the cheap stuff. T-Bone steak, are you ready for this? $21 A POUND! :eek: Needless to say that crap stayed right where it was.
 

John Deere Girl

Senior Member
Went to Walmart Super Center with the toddler yesterday. Tried sneaking under the tape so we wouldn't have to walk around the barricade. No line so I figured, why not. Employee informed me I had to be a good little sheep and go around due to "fire code" rules. I knew it was BS but I suppressed my rage and took my little boy around the long way.

For the record I hate shopping at WM but we are very rural and choices are few. Kroger prices have gone way up recently, especially with meat.

Food-wise, everything looked pretty well stocked. No frozen burgers anywhere, must have been cleaned out over the weekend. Hubby wanted steaks and I about choked when I saw the prices. 3 pack of NY strips was $25. Wanted ribeyes but couldn't justify the price. We only do steaks once a month but it might get less frequent than that if these prices stay up.

Also went in search of a replacement pool vacuum, none to be found.

Needed 10 more bags of black mulch to finish the landscaping and they were totally sold out. Drove around town to check some other places and it's ALL gone. Apparently in this part of Ohio everyone is landscaping and black mulch is the new TP.

Black much matters! ;)
I got our new pool vacuum from Amazon.
 

Shooter

Veteran Member
went to walmart for pills, right as you went in, the center of the isle, was a huge display of masks, all kinds, then next going in, was a long display of hand sanatizer all sizes and brands,

but strangley, no alcohol in the drug dept.
 

parsonswife

Contributing Member
Ah... another sweet onion lover! I usually grab a few when they first start showing up, but wait until our WallaWallas in the garden start bulbing for my real binge. Nothing like chopped sweet onions in cottage cheese on a hot August day!

Summerthyme
What? Never heard that onions and cottage cheese. Is this a regional thing? Will try it soon
 

summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
What? Never heard that onions and cottage cheese. Is this a regional thing? Will try it soon
I don't have a clue. But while I loved cottage cheese and pineapple as a kid, my l9ve of sweet onions along with a seasonal abundance of milk (hence, cheese) around the time the onions start producing made a natural pairing. A good sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper (and salt to taste... we use it, probably because it's also the time of year when we're working hard in the heat, but we also don't eat much processed food, so aren't in sodium overload) adds to the pleasure.

Summerthyme
 

FireDance

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Ah... another sweet onion lover! I usually grab a few when they first start showing up, but wait until our WallaWallas in the garden start bulbing for my real binge. Nothing like chopped sweet onions in cottage cheese on a hot August day!

Summerthyme
Oooo Girl! Yes ma’am! Had a great aunt who reputedly ate onions like apples. I don’t believe she ever married. But hey! Onion/marriage? Not sure which I’d choose. lol. Both, but you just have to be quiet for awhile I think. Going to try this ASAP!!
 

Dozdoats

On TB every waking moment
This week's case lot canned veggie order courtesy of my local mini market came in at 2 out of 3. Still no English peas after 3 weeks of trying, and my mom really likes those. Trying again for next week.

$.65/can for 15 ounce cans still, for what we can get. Have no idea how long those prices will hold.
 

Barry Natchitoches

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Back to reporting on prices: I went to a smaller, locally owned supermarket today and bought 4 cases of green beans, 15 ounce cans for 50 cents a can...

Meat was astronomically high - beef shoulder roast was loss leader at $4.99 per pound... Ordinary hamburger roll was $4.99 per pound, huge display of cheap hot dogs in meat case where steaks and other Beef is normally displayed to keep from having huge holes...

No chicken that I saw
 

TxGal

Day by day
Went to the HEB in Huntsville, TX today around 1:30 pm. Pretty much looked like normal except for the canned food aisle.

I was totally surprised - I thought we were past this - they were almost out of canned corn and canned peaches, big areas of empty shelves. This wasn't limited to a particular brand, it was all brands.

Time to be sure home pantries stay stocked up, if possible. When you get low on something, don't wait until you're out. Grab a few extras along the way.
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ETA: I should probably add that we're seeing an uptick in Covid cases in a good number of Texas areas/towns. San Antonio was up over 500 in the last few days according to KSAT (article below). If people are beginning to believe we're heading toward a 2nd wave, we may begin to see some more serious stocking up heading our way.

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‘We are entering a second wave’: Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations spiking in San Antonio
Some progress indicators trending in the wrong direction

Fares Sabawi, Digital Journalist
Published: June 11, 2020, 6:37 pmUpdated: June 12, 2020, 11:48 am
Tags: Coronavirus, San Antonio, Data, COVID-19

‘We are entering a second wave’: Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations spiking in San Antonio
Some progress indicators trending in the wrong direction
Fares Sabawi, Digital Journalist
Published: June 11, 2020, 6:37 pmUpdated: June 12, 2020, 11:48 am

SAN ANTONIO – As San Antonio begins to reopen, experts always expected a rise in COVID-19 cases, but a few of the city’s progress indicators are a cause for concern.

In the last three days, a total of 507 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in San Antonio. The trend is similar across Texas, which reported its largest single-day increase on Wednesday.

“We’re seeing a spike. This is not gradual,” said Dawn Emerick, San Antonio Metro Health Director.

Although health experts are increasingly concerned about numbers growing even more due to protests, Emerick said the current spike is more likely due to large gatherings around Memorial Day Weekend.

“We still have another week to go before we would see anything from the protests,” she said. “It’s too early.”
 
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Grouchy Granny

Veteran Member
Went to the Walmart (smallish one) in Lakeside CO this morning. Hate the cattle pen to get in and the one way aisles.

No yeast, very little flour, soups about empty, same with canned meats. Beef little to none - did splurge and buy 2 packages of rib eyes for dinner tonight, but the price has tripled (these were about 2" thick). Was going to wait until I went to Safeway, but they are cutting them so thin they are almost worthless. They had a new one, called a tomahawk cut (really thick) but at $32 for one steak - no thank you very much.

Did manage to finally get some Finish Rinse Aid for the Dishwasher, they only had 4 and I bought 2.

No bags for the vacuum sealers, canning stuff pretty picked over and very very slim on lids and rims (thank you lord, I have plenty for this season).

One thing I did notice is that in the aisle with the coffee/honey/peanut butter was 25 lb bags of Royal Basmati Rice. I already have 30 lbs so I passed on that one. They have stuff put in weird, weird places! Snack aisle really well stocked (do they think we are all living on chips?).
 

TxGal

Day by day
I don't want to hijack this thread AT ALL, but reference my post #3739 above, please see the below article. I really hope this isn't going to affect food processing and distribution. If so, I guess we'll be looking at more disruptions in the food system:


COVID-19 Spreading to Food Processing Facilities Across the U.S.
By Jared Hayes, Policy Analyst and Braelyn Parkman, EWG Government Affairs Intern
Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Although not yet as pervasive as outbreaks at meatpacking facilities, COVID-19 is on the rise at America’s food processing facilities. EWG’s search of news stories published from March 14 to June 8 found that almost 1,200 food processing workers at 60 plants have been infected by the coronavirus.

The infected workers were employed at the plants of industry giants like Kraft Heinz, Birds Eye, Conagra and the Campbell Soup Company’s Pepperidge Farm, as well as those of smaller brands, like Fairmont Foods and Ruiz Foods.

The table below lists the plants with the most cases. Click on the plant name for a news article or other source of information. For the full list, click here.

Food Processing Plants With the Most Reported COVID-19 Cases
CompanyLocationNumber of Cases
Steven Roberts Orignial DessertsAurora, Colo.115
Ruiz FoodsDinuba, Calif.107
(at two plants)
Ruiz FoodsTulare, Calif.
Birds EyeDarien, Wis.104
Taylor FarmsNorth Kingstown, R.I.100
Leprino FoodsFort Morgan, Colo.87
Firestone FruitVancouver, Wash.69
Rite Stuff FoodsJerome, Idaho50
Abimar FoodsAbilene, Texas48
Lusamerica FishMorgan Hill, Calif.38
Calavo GrowersSanta Paula, Calif.35
Good Foods GroupPleasant Prairie, Wis.34
Twin City FoodsEllensburg, Colo.34
King Soopers BakeryDenver, Colo.32
Columbia ReachYakima, Wash.31
 

TxGal

Day by day
Article continued:
Source: EWG, from news stories published between March 14 and June 8.

In a report today on EWG’s findings, Bloomberg said: “These are the first national numbers of their kind. The advocacy group compiled its figures using local media reports because there are no federal agencies reporting the data. The true total is almost certainly higher.”

At least 1.8 million Americans work in food processing plants – disproportionately people of color earning less than $40,000 a year. Working conditions make many of these employees more susceptible to the coronavirus pandemic. As more and more workers become sick, our food supply chains could quickly unravel, causing food prices to spike and increasing the number of Americans who struggle with hunger.

Despite the critical role food workers play in our economy, many do not receive protections from the virus. Some food and farm companies have provided personal protective equipment, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, and the Department of Agriculture have yet to issue emergency standards requiring food companies to meet safety guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If they do become sick, some food processing workers are ineligible for paid sick leave, increasing the likelihood that they will infect their co-workers. The Families First Act, passed by Congress in March, requires some food industry employers to provide two weeks of paid sick leave, but many are exempt from the requirement. Although they have been deemed essential workers, food workers do not automatically receive hazard pay to reflect the risks they face.

What would happen if thousands of these workers got sick at the same time?

Food prices are mostly driven by the cost of labor, transportation and marketing, not by the wholesale price of ingredients. Even though the salaries earned by food processing workers can be near or below the poverty line, the cost of labor is often a major factor in the price of food.

The effect of these factors on prices varies greatly among food categories and regions. Unlike the costs of meat and dairy, the price of crops typically has little impact on the price of food sold in grocery stores and restaurants. So as more food and farm workers become sick and food and farm labor costs increase, the retail price of food will likely increase as well. According to the USDA, food already accounts for 12 percent of household spending, but the poorest Americans spend about one-third of their income on food.

What should policymakers do to protect our food supply chains from COVID-19?

OSHA must be directed to issue emergency standards that require employers to provide personal protective equipment, enough space to work without spreading the virus, and housing and transportation options that will reduce the spread of the virus. USDA programs that are typically used to provide subsidies to farmers or purchase surplus commodities should be redirected to provide protective equipment to small food processors and farm workers. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee, proposed this shift in her recently introduced Food Supply Protection Act.

To reduce transmission of the virus among workers, all food workers should receive two weeks of paid sick leave, regardless of the size of their employer, and access to health care. Policymakers should ensure that federal agencies enforce laws that keep our food supply safe. Critical safety rules have already been rolled back during the COVID-19 crisis, including food inspections.

Hundreds of food processing workers are getting sick from COVID-19. But policymakers have so far done nothing to ensure that these essential workers have adequate safety protections. Actions taken so far to provide access to COVID-19 testing and paid sick leave exclude many of these essential workers. Nor have policymakers undertaken the steps needed to ensure that they receive hazard pay for the risks they face.

Farm and food workers are working long hours, at enormous personal risk, to feed us. Congress, the USDA and OSHA must make every effort to protect these essential workers and recognize the critical contribution they make to our nation.
 

greysage

Veteran Member
Did an Instacart two days ago. There were still a lot of 'out of stock' items I had ordered prior to all this. But this last order everything I wanted was there, no substitutions or replacements. Got it delivered in 75 minutes. Prices were pretty much the same before.
 

Terrwyn

Veteran Member
I did an Instacart order yesterday and the choices are becoming more limited on a lot of items. Had Heinz relish replaced with store brand. No chicken thighs but plenty of leanest ground beef at 8$ lb. Didn't even try anything canned. 2% milk rather than 1%. So things just are not right. Everything feels wrong.

Also received an order from Vitacost and whatever they are not out of they have limits on. So I bought 3 each of different facial tissues and more odds and ends. I did notice that they are no longer shipping next day and from one place. My rather small order came in 3 different deliveries.
 

Texican

Live Free & Die Free.... God Freedom Country....
Went to Sherman, Texas, today to UPS Store, Sams, Kroger, Albertson's and Lowe's. Bought generally everything on special.

At the UPS Store, had to wait in line to send off a package. The staff did not have on masks or gloves, but were behind sneeze shields. Out of five customers, three of us had on masks and I was the only one wearing gloves.

At Sams, about 15% of the people, mostly elderly, were wearing masks and I was the only one wearing gloves. Employees were wearing masks and gloves. A few shelves were empty or near empty prices appeared to be up. There was an abundance of TP. One whole row of TP between the cooler and freezer that was over 8' high and as long as the cooler and freezer. Got another case of TP and the other things that I was after. No Lysol or hand sanitizer. Brisket was $7.98 per pound and the rest of the meat was also high.

At Albertson's, probably 20% wearing masks and again I was the only one wearing gloves. Meat and hamburger was outrageous. Did buy four bags of jumbo shrimp for $4.99 each and four chuck roasts for $2.77 per pound. Shelves were adequately stocked.

At Kroger, the most of the staff were wearing masks and those handling goods wearing gloves. Again only about 20% of the shoppers were wearing masks and the majority were elderly. A few and I wore gloves. Did buy mother her 6 boxes of eight pieces of fried chicken for that is the meat she normally eats which were on sale. The shelves were adequately stocked. Brisket was $6.89 a pound and on Memorial Day weekend bought brisket for $2.79 per pound from Kroger, but was limited to two. Other meat was also cost high. Shelves were adequately stocked.

At Lowe's, the staff were wearing masks and no gloves. Looked for a small tiller, but only on a single battery tiller was in stock. The guy in the department said they did not expect any new shipments of tillers and Home Depot was also sold out. Seems like people have gone into gardening.

This trip only took about 7 hours.

The DW and I unloaded the groceries and put the groceries away.

Texican....
 

Terrwyn

Veteran Member
I ordered some elderberry today from Amazon and it said delivery Thurs. Also some soup with a limit of 4 cans and 4 pkgs. Aldis was out of diced tomatoes so ordered a case on Amazon also Thurs.
The selection at Aldis is pitiful. The only reason I ordered from them was because I like their organic orange juice.
I dont know folks something ain't right so I'm going to keep prepping as long as I can.
 

4RIVERS

Veteran Member
Update West KY Sams Club: We made a run by Sams today and found the 90-10 ground beef still just $4.28 per pound, but what we didn’t find is what was disturbing.
Let me preface this with, Sams is undergoing a merchandising reset. They have totally moved things around, which I am hoping is the reason for the lack of stock that was out.
First off, while there was plenty of fresh hamburger meat, that was about it. The freezers containing frozen chicken, burgers, fish, and entrees were completely empty. The other freezer sections were low on what was present. There was no paper towels or toilet paper, except for less than 10 cases of the rough TP.
The household cleaners were very low. The Clorox bleach was almost $14 for 3 gallons and wasn’t very well stocked.
The only true score was Instant Dry YEAST! They had a few 2lb packs, so one came home with me. My wife said get another, but they were limited to one pack per customer, and while I thought about having her go through another line and get it, I didn’t. She’s coming around though, besides saying get the extra yeast, she didn’t even question getting another 50 lbs of white rice!
 

jward

passin' thru
Super Walmarts and Walgreens carry Sambucol.
(NWMO area)
Yes, thanks to Marseydoats, I remembered to stop in get some, thanks!

I also took part in some free community food as we had a dozen pallets of fresh fruits, vegetables & dairy products come thru for distribution. Now, all I need is a recipe for red onion and apples, preferably with fresh cream cheese.

I've been amazed at what second harvest & associated wholesale is donating, and the discounting going on in local stores. No, I don't need it, but there's no means testing and no storage option for the fresh items, so. . .
 

Meemur

Voice on the Prairie
Now, all I need is a recipe for red onion and apples, preferably with fresh cream cheese.
- Onions can be dehydrated. If you don't own a dehydrator, you can dry them in the oven with the door cracked open or on a screen in your car (crack open the windows!)

- Apples can be dehydrated (brush with ascorbic acid to maintain the color -- available in the canning section) or made into pies and frozen. Apples will also keep for awhile if stored in a cool place, like a basement.

- Cream cheese can be frozen and/or incorporated into a number of desserts and then frozen

The apple slices and cream cheese + some other fruit over a sugar crust makes a good fruit pizza.

Onions can be used everywhere from scrambled eggs to onion bread to soups and stews.
 

twohats

Contributing Member
Local Rural king has canning supplies cases of 1 quart and 1/2 gal jars running 11.49 each. White vinegar
is 1.79 per gallon. They also have a lot of 10 lb bags of sugar. No salt or pectin though.
 
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