9 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping During This Pandemic

Susie Harrison
By Susie Harrison December 22, 2020 08:12

9 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping During This Pandemic

Wise shopping is the key when you may be fearful of impending doom. Currently we are dealing with waves of a pandemic and the frightening possibility of an upcoming economic depression.

Budget your money, be smart and head for the grocery store. I am going to use our own shopping concepts we used prior to the pandemic hitting our stores here in America.

Related: When Grocery Stores Go Empty – A Back Door Shopping Strategy

Here are some common mistakes and useful tips from our experience:

#1. Do shop early and often. If you are a global news watcher on internet media channels, you might figure out something is coming before your country’s news stations pick up on it.

9 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping For Food During This Pandemic

If so, you are in a good position to hit the store for a bulk shop… just in case.

Never forget toilet paper, sanitary items, and cleaning supplies. Continue your weekly shopping as usual. Just buy double of your regular items if you can (including toiletries).

Obviously, buy a little extra shelf food.

#2. Don’t take all of the same item off the grocery shelf. If you shop earlier and often, you won’t need too. There will be plenty available at the time you hit the market.

If you remove all of an item like toilet paper, it can cause others to think there is an issue. You may contribute to a panic buy. Purchase two ‘72 roll’ packs of Charmain instead of emptying the toilet paper shelf.

Some of the most common mistakes and the most important one is that people don’t leave some for others. Please, do so. Later you may find that you have enough to help those in need.

Related: Toilet Paper Pills – The Best Invention You Didn’t Know Existed

#3. Do remember the items that become unavailable first.

In March I noted not only the toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and sanitizer, but things like garlic, flour, and yeast. I missed garlic for a while, but bread making becomes important when the bread is out.

Vitamins are also something you should check into.

9 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping For Food During This Pandemic #4. Your initial shopping should include water; however, you should always have extra water stores at home anyway.

The psychology on why the water vanished off the shelves when local water outages weren’t a threat is a mystery.

After your initial stock up of water, be reasonable and only buy slightly more than you need in each trip. Again, you do not want to trigger a panic water buy. Do not forget that Gatorade, 7-up, and juices can also hydrate the body when fluids get low.

#5. Got chickens or pets? Do remember their food unless you believe you have enough scraps when/if the stores close.

9 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping For Food During This Pandemic

Chickens are an endless supply of eggs (meat if society collapses). Most city ordinances make one of the most common mistakes and may not allow more than one chicken in an urban area, but there is a way around of that. City dwellers often approach their neighbors and offer them occasional eggs if they won’t report them. It has worked for us for years.

#6. Do not forget medicines and supplements! These fly off the shelves just as quick as the toilet paper in a pandemic. Think of special needs, like medicine for those in the family with high blood pressure.

Depending on the virus of the pandemic, you will want to concentrate on medicine that will make symptoms more bearable. Most will want to treat at home, so you don’t spread the virus in a clinical environment (unless your life depends on it).

9 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping For Food During This Pandemic

Another thing handy are Zinc, Vitamin C, D, and A. Most Immune Support vitamins cover these. Get them now, before they disappear in a rush later.

Also pain reliever, throat spray/lozenges, and flu meds are vital. If you have children, remember plenty of liquid Ibuprofen and Tylenol.

#7. Do think about food differently. If the stores must close temporarily, certain perishable items will be missed.

Instead of making one of the most common mistakes and buying bread, bake bread!

This requires flour, yeast, and oil, which is often very quickly depleted from the store, for extended periods of time. These items should be on your original flu shopping list.

If you are a tough guy, the challenge of yeast in bread should occupy some time in a quarantine- bonus.

Download bread recipes and instruction now in case the internet has issues.

You might also consider evaporated milk – one can evaporated milk/one can water to make milk. There’s also Fat Free Dry Milk, but not as filling.

Related: How To Dehydrate Milk For Long Term Storage

And if the electricity were to be affected, there are ways to purchase meat without need of refrigeration. Smoked summer sausage is one those people forget.

9 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping For Food During This Pandemic Don’t forget soup!

Also remember that if you have bought rice, beans, mac n cheese to get butter, milk, seasonings. It makes your lockdown more pleasant. And for all those boxes of mashed potatoes, a little gravy can make that go a long way.

#8. Timing is important.

As I advised earlier, getting to Costco, WinCo, or Walmart requires being aware of a potential need to stock up. Once you are, you can make an initial trip to the store for the purpose of buying extra food and supplies before whole-scale panic buying begins.

9 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping For Food During This Pandemic

#9. Gardening: Do think long term and remember to purchase seeds and indoor/outdoor gardening supplies.

Some states tried to restrict these items. However, if possible, think of the long term.

If it is winter or still cold, start an indoor garden.

Once the shelves start to empty and you still need supplies, think about the most common mistakes from above and go early in the morning. If the line is long or you can’t find what you need, ask the supervisor when their next shipment is expected to arrive.

This is valuable. I even was able to talk a manager into saving me a few much desire items.

Try to avoid the crowds if you can. Also look for alternative items people don’t think of. My daughter wanted bleach and cleaning supplies when her small-town store was wiped out in March. Instead, they found plenty of gallons of Vinegar on the bottom shelves. It is not as good as bleach but serves its purpose in a pinch.

Being creative and smart just may come in handy if S does HTF.

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Susie Harrison
By Susie Harrison December 22, 2020 08:12
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56 Comments

  1. Stu December 22, 14:50

    I have noticed America’s news media is not reporting on much global catastrophes these days. Everything is about joe Biden and the stimulus package fight. What about the food shortages happening in China, India, Africa? They will effect all food products world wide. The domino effect in those countries usually take a few months to be noticeable here. So when it is , look out the shelves will be bare. Growing food at home is essential this year. Time to get more seeds. Impending collapse of the dollar. You can’t print food but the cost of it can skyrocket. It may have just been a sale item, but yeast I was buying two months ago was 39 cents per package, now it is 69 cents per package. Same company, same brand, same size, same grocery store, same town but different price. Yes, world elites are sitting high and mighty and pretty and lush taking care of each other patting one another on their backs. Better look out for your family, no one else will. Self defense products are waning. Thank God there is not an energy crisis right now because our president had enough forethought to get us out of energy dependence. But reverse those policies and it will come. Two dollar a gallon gas could turn into seven dollars a gallon. And that child representative from New York says we are in the cheap seats and she is a queen in her district. Man it’s like the hunger games. Take their guns, take their food, take their freedoms, take their children, take their lives. That is the mindset we are facing with the upcoming leadership in this country. Piss on them, I will not comply.

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  2. WannabeHomesteader December 22, 15:16

    Some good tips here. Would add vodka, as it can sanitize, be bartered, or even used to make your own herbal tinctures for do-it-yourself meds. Also, I’d add seeds. Most people think of seeds just for gardening, but sprouts are PACKED with enzymes and nutrients and can be a s source of fresh greens if the supply chain of fresh fruits and veggies is broken. (Buy in bulk online instead of those little packets at the store – MUCH cheaper!) Try black oil sunflower, broccoli, etc. Research how to do easy soil sprouts ahead of time – doesn’t require a grow light or any fancy equipment, and a “crop” can be ready in days. Some seeds do better growing without soil. Research and practice ahead of time, and you’ll have a high-nutrition food to enjoy now, as well.

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    • Stu December 22, 17:56

      Hey I did make a mint and vodka tincture. Mint came from garden. Sat for two months before straining. Turning and shaking jars everyday. Most disgusting thing I have ever tasted. Thought I would try it before being gun ho on using it for anything. Tried the mint with oil as well. All that did was ruin and had to throw it out. Vodka is definitely the product to use. Will have to get more at twenty bucks a pop. Glad I don’t like the taste, would not last.

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      • Govtgirl December 24, 06:35

        Stu- I remember going to a 3 day training seminar in Louisville. Couldn’t wait to order a mint julep. It was disgusting. So disappointed. Got a great gift for my birthday. It is a kit for making gin. Comes with two attractive pint bottles, labels, a small flask and all the necessary botanicals. All you need to buy is the vodka. Don not waste any more vodka! Infuse it with botanicals today and G and T the inauguration and rest of the lockdown away.

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        • WannabeHomesteader December 24, 15:55

          Govtgirl – I don’t drink gin, but what a good idea to make your own! I was curious what would be involved, and right off the bat I found a super easy gin recipe online. Turns out I just happen to have all the ingredients! Vodka, juniper berries (growing in the backyard), cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, etc.

          My sister used to make her own homemade Kahlua (a sweet, coffee-flavored liqueur) to give as gifts. An excellent dessert is to dribble a little over vanilla ice cream!

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          • Govtgirl December 24, 22:31

            Nice that you have all that. I do not care for the blue Bombay gin which has a lot of juniper etc, flavor is too strong. Beefeater is much milder, leans toward lemon peel. Supposedly only has to be infused for about 3 days.

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    • poorman December 22, 22:14

      In order for vodka to work that way it would nrrd to be at least 70% which means it would need to be 140 proof. Don’t know of any that is

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    • WannabeHomesteader December 24, 06:44

      Wanted to give an update about sprouting seeds. Hubby and I were at a ranch supply store today, and they had 40 lb. bags of black oil sunflower seeds (intended as bird seed) on sale for $16.99. Hmmm…. I figured that would probably work for sprouts!. A quick internet search confirmed you can eat sunflower sprouts grown from seed intended as bird seed. Also, apparently there are no GMO sunflowers at this time. So we grabbed a bag! It has a little bit of debris in it, (bits of sunflower stalk), but that’s no big deal, and compared to what I paid for organic black oil sunflower seeds specifically sold for sprouting, it was a steal! And if it doesn’t work out, then our neighborhood birds will be very happy! What motivated me to try growing my own sunflower sprouts was repeatedly paying $7 for half a pound of sunflower shoots at a local farmers market last summer. They were about 6 to 8″ long and delicious added to a lettuce salad, and could be a stand-alone salad green in a pinch. The vendor would use a knife to cut what was needed from the tray of growing shoots. Microgreens, shoots, sprouts – whatever you want to call them, I figured I could do that!

      Reply to this comment
  3. Brasileira December 22, 15:34

    Gosto muito de todas as sua publicações sempre generosa e de muita importancia.Sou uma senhora de 65 anos e moro no Brasil e suas informações são de grande valor para mim pois aqui não temos ciclones,furacões e terremotos mas e se um dia algo acontecer? Quem realmente no Brasil estará preparado? Deus a abençoe por orientar a todos com informaçoes importantes.

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    • WannabeHomesteader December 23, 15:33

      By doing an internet search “Portuguese to English Translator” I was able to translate what Brasileira said:
      “I love all your publications, always generous and very important. I am a 65 year old lady and I live in Brazil and your information is of great value to me because here we do not have cyclones, hurricanes and earthquakes but what if one day something happens? Who really in Brazil will be prepared? God bless you for guiding everyone with important information.”

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck December 24, 02:22

        Wannabe: Thanks for the translation. I would like to say to La Senhorita: Bem-vinda Senhorita Brasileira. Eu espero naquela vocês vai encontrar este site muito util,

        I would like to claim to be fluent in Brasilian Portuguese.
        but alas, that would be a false claim. The internet is certainly a curse, but it is also a blessing. I shudder to think how long it would take me to compose that sentence with a written dictionary in hand, assuming I had an English-Portuguese dictionary handy.

        Reply to this comment
  4. Dropzone December 22, 15:47

    I think this was a great article, you captured most of the high lights to avoid / shop smart.
    But in the next to the last paragraph you stated…”Instead, they found plenty of gallons of Vinegar on the bottom shelves. It is not as good as bleach but serves its purpose in a pinch”

    I hope you don’t think that vinegar is a disinfectant, as your statement might suggest. While vinegar can alter the pH it is not a(n) disinfectant.

    A better alternative would be “pool shock” with no perfumes or buffers for a bleach substitute. 1lb makes about 5,000 gallon mix (make small batches as needed) for ~ 5 – 10 ppm depending on hardness of mix water, keep it dry in storage, never goes bad, use proper protection, you got bleach water to clean with.

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    • left coast chuck December 22, 17:40

      I’ve seen a couple people recommend vinegar as a disinfectant. It is not. It is not even a universal cleaning agent due to its acidic nature. Use vinegar to clean some surfaces and the acid will etch the surface, eventually ruining it if it is a shiny surface.

      In reply to Wannabehomesteader, vodka is also not a disinfectant unless it is more than 130 proof. Not all states allow the sale of alcoholic beverages over 100 proof which is 50% alcohol. The PDRK has revised its ABC laws in the last couple of years. A few years ago I purchased rum at 180 proof in BevMo, a big box liquor store here on the left coast. Not any more. One cannot buy over 100 proof alcoholic beverages. The nanny state has struck again and hardly anybody noticed.

      Fortunately, Nevada is not so solicitous of the health of its inhabitants and it is easy to acquire higher proof alcoholic beverages while visiting Sin City.

      The reason whiskey was used to wash out wounds in bygone eras is because having been distilled, it was clean unlike other fluids including water which was usually teeming with all sorts of nasties. So it would wash away germs, not kill them. It would not re-introduce germs as would most of the water that was available. You can safely use any distilled beverage as a wound wash without re-introducing pathogens but it it lacks bactericidal properties until it is over 130proof or 65% alcoholic content. Then it is a bactericide. There is a significant difference between clean and sterile. Yes, I know that 60% alcohol will kill bacteria but that is right at the threshold. Alcohol is hydrophilic and so self-dilutes by absorbing atmospheric water when the container is opened. Thus it is safer to use slightly higher alcoholic content to overcome alcohol’s hydrophilic self-diluting tendencies.

      People recommend sanitary napkins as a substitute for sterile dressings. Sanitary napkins are better than a dirty sock because they are clean, but they are not sterile. A sterile pad is the ideal wound dressing. If you want wound dressings, stock up on sterile 4 x 4 pads

      Same thing with the urban legend about using a tampon to plug a puncture wound. Perhaps Navy corpsmen or
      army medics carried tampons for puncture wounds in the field but they knew that the dust-off helicopter was already on the way and within a short period of time the trooper with the tampon stuck in the bullet hole would have the tampon removed and the wound irrigated with sterile saline solution to clean out all the junk the tampon had pushed deeper into the wound.

      Without immediate, competent medical care being available pushing a tampon into a puncture wound has just made a bad situation a lot worse. Now you have shoved all the debris that was located around the entrance to the penetrating wound deeper into the wound with less chance of self-cleansing. You have introduced possible infectious material into a nice warm, wet place with lots of access to other areas of the body. If the wound wasn’t fatal before having a non-sterile tampon shoved into it, it certainly has the chance of becoming fatal from a blood borne infection greatly enhanced.

      For an ETOW situation or even a not so ETOW situation but one where competent medical attention is not immediately at hand, we need to eliminate that urban legend of shoving a tampon into a puncture wound. Pressure on the outside with a STERILE dressing is what is called for. If you need more dressings, a sanitary napkin over the sterile dressing is much better than a tampon jammed into the wound channel.

      We have had EMTs write in and emphatically state that tampon usage in wound dressings is not standard of care and any EMT who used such would be dismissed for not adhering to the standards of care.

      Standard of care is a term of art. It is a legal definition used to define professional care, especially in the medical field. The standard of care varies with the community. The standard of care in a small, isolated town is different from the standard of care in a major hospital in a large city. I have had major surgery both locally and in the San Francisco Bary Area and I noticed a difference in the standard of care in those two locales. The standard of care in the SF area was noticeably higher than it is locally, at least to me. Having sat through a number of medical malpractice cases, I tend to watch what everybody is doing and how they conduct themselves, especially with regard to patient infection.

      Let me give you an example. Look for it the next you are in a surgical area. The OR personnel all wear disposable booties on their shoes. The purpose of those booties is not to keep bloody tissue from ruining the Doc’s new Air Jordans. The purpose is to keep infectious material on the floors outside the OR from being tracked into the OR. Be that as it may, you will notice OR personnel, including the docs wandering around the halls of the hospital wearing those booties and then proceeding into the OR wearing those same booties. WTH?

      Same thing with gloves. You will notice the medical personnel put on the gloves and then proceed to handle all sorts of non-sterile items in the room. Duhhhh! Did you sleep through the sessions on sterile practice?

      Hospital administrators pull their hair out wondering how they can reduce the hospital-induced infection rate of the patients in their hospitals. That rate, by the way, is alarmingly high.You have a much better chance of picking up an infection in a hospital than if the doc did the procedure in your bedroom. At least in your bedroom they are your germs to which you have developed an immunity. They are not the germs of someone from a totally different locale which are strangers to your immune system.

      Well, that’s all for this morning’s lecture on infection control standard of care.

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      • WannabeHomesteader December 22, 21:47

        Thanks Left Coast Chuck for the reminder that alcohol has to be at least 130 proof to sterilize anything. The vodka I picked up at Costco was only 80 proof, but it did a good job of making a mullein tincture. ( We have mullein growing wild all over the place near us.)

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      • WannabeHomesteader December 22, 21:58

        Left Coast Chuck thanks for the reminder that vodka has to be 130 proof to be able to sterilize. I checked the Vodka we picked up at Costco, and it was only 80 proof. But it worked great for making a mullein tincture. We have a ton of wild mullein where we live!

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        • left coast chuck December 23, 01:41

          Wannabehomesteader: The 80 proof is okay for washing, as long as it isn’t being depended upon as a bactericide. It’s nice and clean, having been distilled. To preserve its cleanliness you shouldn’t let the bottle sit out with the lid off. The alcohol in tinctures is intended as either a solvent or a carrying medium and preservative. It evaporates after the tincture has been applied, leaving the dissolved contents behind. We used to rub tincture of paregoric on our kids’ gums when they were teething. It relieved the pain of teething almost immediately. They are both getting ready to retire next year and the year after and so far as I know neither of them are addicted to narcotics. So I guess getting tincture of paregoric on their gums in infancy didn’t turn them into hard core addicts.

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  5. Power Unseen December 22, 16:01

    Right about shopping early. My in town supermarket (UK) had plenty of veg this morning. But I went back later and all veg gone.

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  6. berad199 December 22, 16:03

    I pick up an assortment of canned meats when we shop. Also, a few packages of gluten free pasta and packages of rice find their way into our cart. What I need to start buying is items such as salt, sugar, seasonings, etc.

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  7. wormlady December 22, 16:25

    I prefer not to buy bottled water, instead, as I empty my jars of home canned food, I fill them with boiling water and put on a reused lid that I had in simmering water. Nine times out of ten, the lid seals and I have shelf stable sterile water. Canning jars take the same amount of space whether they are empty or full. I prefer to have mine full. And when it is time to start canning again, I pour the water from the sealed jars into the canner. No waste.

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    • left coast chuck December 24, 02:28

      Wow! That is a fantastic idea. I have boxes of jars that I am saving as I think unbroken jars with matching lids will be at a premium after an EOTW event. Why have them sitting empty in the garage? Fill them with boiled water.

      Such a great idea and so simple to fulfill. Thanks, Wormlady, for such a useful hint that is so easy to implement.

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  8. Blue December 22, 19:01

    We did our normal shopping this past weekend and noticed a few things are already bare: eggs, only the 60 count eggs were available… Seasonings were pretty much depleted. I figured they had just been moved to the center isle for the holidays… no such luck, they were just gone. The bread isle looked pretty dismal. Though, it was a Sunday afternoon, the bread guy comes to this store every other day, so that might have something to do with that.

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  9. mary December 22, 19:13

    Sardines, canned salmon, canned makerel, all are great, store long and can be used with rice, crackers or veggies. Minimal waste, and good when in olive oil as a healthy plus!

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  10. Bruce Smith December 22, 20:41

    It’s only Christmas, not even an emergency. yet my local supermarket shelves look like they’ve been looted already.

    Barely any toilet paper left and empty shelves everywhere. I hate to think what would happen in a real emergency. :/

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  11. Illini Warrior December 22, 21:08

    only sheeple buy retail bottles of water during a SHTF – preppers are already with their water storage plans ….

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  12. City Chick December 22, 22:34

    Today for the first time since last March, there was Lysol Disinfectant Spray on the shelf in the local grocery store. Price $16.00 per can.

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    • left coast chuck December 23, 01:32

      Wow, CC! Buy bleach and make your own disinfecting spray. It’s a lot cheaper than $16 for a 16 oz. bottle of the same thing with a few other ingredients added. 1/2 cup of 6% bleach to 1 gallon of water, I believe is the recommended dosage on the bottle of Clorox for sanitizing in a hospital. Check the label to make sure my memory doesn’t have a bug in it. Clorox bleach is available all the time in my local Costco. I haven’t checked Safeway nor Winco nor Smart & Final to see if they have Clorox in stock. Three gallons from Costco will last me a lot longer than the advertised shelf life of the stuff.

      High percentage IPA is also available at many sources. Safeway pharmacy had one gallon bottles of 75% IPA for $28 and change. A little pricey but cheaper than your bottle of Lysol. I don’t use IPA for anything but very localized sanitation. I use the much cheaper bleach solution for large surface disinfecting.

      At $16 a pint, you could buy140 proof whiskey or rum, drink some of it and use some of it for disinfecting and it probably would be a better price than $16 a pint for Lysol which you can’t even drink.

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      • City Chick December 23, 02:11

        LCC- I’m not buying it either! This is why we have our own little stash! When the SHTF in March, pardon my expression, I was well stocked. Thankful that I was able to provide much needed items to the family to keep them going and keep them safe. They’re being in a good way means I’m also in a good way! A very Merry Christmas to
        you and your family! BTW, Amazon has the same outrageous price!

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    • Stu December 23, 01:48

      You live in New York?

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    • Illini Warrior December 23, 15:46

      guy ahead of me at Lowes was buying two cases of Clorox wipes >>> gag Xmas gift for his out of state relatives …

      they haven’t seen any since March >>>>

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    • WannabeHomesteader January 15, 18:30

      City Chick, I was able to pick up several small cans of off-brand aerosol disinfectant spray the other day for $1.00 apiece at the Dollar Store. It smells just like Lysol.

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  13. Cat December 23, 03:21

    You’d think that by now, Americans would have reconsidered their dependency on toilet paper.

    Bum guns (hand held bidets) do take a bit getting used to, but you can then spend the extra money on food, whatever. In addition, you will have extra space for other supplies.

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    • left coast chuck January 5, 04:23

      I bought one of those devices to try for the next time t.p. is gone from the shelves. I guess I am the most uncoordinated preppier in the world. I manage to get water everywhere but where it is suppose to be. I must be the original guy “He can’t find his ass with both hands.”

      I’m going to put it on the shelf for use in a dire emergency that may not happen rather than spend a lot of time and clean-up time to get skillful with the thing.

      Please do not be discouraged by my ineptness. Cat is correct. For the person able to find his or her ass with just one hand, it is a useful replacement for t.p.

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      • Cat January 5, 05:38

        Good luck! There are YouTube videos and articles to walk you through it.

        Keeping the water pressure to a minimum is a must. Too high and it can take several layers of skin off in all the wrong places, plus get everything around you, and you, wet. So for the first few weeks at least, having a dry set of clothes nearby is helpful.

        They are in all my bathrooms. But I have to admit… I’m still crap at it.

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  14. Cygnet Brown December 23, 16:57

    I have been stressing throughout this year that we need to not only buy garden seeds, but we need to learn how to save these seeds. That’s why I am currently writing a book series called The Perpetual Homesteader and the first book is called The Perpetual Vegetable Garden. In it I am including how to save vegetable seeds. I don’t just write about it either! I have been doing it for two years now! This year when everyone was scrounging for seeds, I was happily planting what I have already saved!

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  15. City Chick December 23, 19:32

    CB – Plenty of good info on state university extension sites. I regularly receive info from Penn State Extension. These sites cover all sorts of interesting topics that help this city slicker produce a more abundant crop in a small space. I’m very interested in gardening ideals for small spaces. Looking into adding espaliered fruit trees to my garden space this Spring. Good luck with your book series. Hope this gives you another book idea to add to your series! Merry Christmas!

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    • Tee December 24, 08:58

      I live one hour north of City Chick in Connecticut. We are NOT seeing food shortages at all. Why is it so different here?
      We are also big time gardeners. We only grow from our own seeds and plants.
      I have to share my winter, indoor garden story. Three years ago, I purchased grow lights in different color spectrums. We built grow boxes. We re-planted tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers from outside and we enclosed the plant room to keep it heated. That was in August. By January, the plants started producing flowers. By March, we had small tomatoes. By July, we got out first indoor crops. It turns out that our electric bill went up $150 per month (x 5 months). The start up cost was about $350. The crops were DELICIOUS, but not affordable. The second year of the indoor garden, we moved it to a spot in the house that we already heated. Delicious again, but not enough output for us. Year three (now), we went with aquaponics. We purchased another $500 in supplies (including the fish), and we started from seed and, we do not even have buds yet. Plus, the plants are thin and spindly. I have concluded that indoor gardening is NOT for us. Our summer garden is always healthy and successful and we can as much as we need. $86 per tomato is just not for us.
      We have found a new home for the fish and the aquaponics equipment. We will dismantle it and move it out in late July… When our garden starts giving us sweet and juicy, early girl tomatoes and sweet, young, peppers.

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      • Govtgirl December 24, 14:30

        Tee,
        Thank you for sharing your experience. Many articles on these indoor setups read like matchbook covers for the Famous Artist school.
        Perhaps your full store shelves are because you rely on food grown in the south. Here, a lot of food is from California and a significant amount of the produce is from Mexico and there were significant supply chain issues.

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      • City Chick December 25, 21:04

        Tee – Try The new LED grow lights to help lower your electric bill. Purchased VOGEK Grown lights from Amazon. They are full spectrum programmable white lights and they work great. Learned how to garden from grandparents who were from Ansonia. Merry Christmas!

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        • Tee December 26, 13:05

          Thanks City chick. I just bought 4 of the VOGEKs. They will go on the tomatoes. Ansonia? Get out… My guess Is that at one time, Ansonia was a BEAUTIFUL place. The city sits atop of the Naugatuck river. The river valley is now NOT NICE. The old industries have left it a mess. I would not travel in Ansonia alone.

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          • City Chick December 26, 16:18

            Tee – They all left Ansonia as babies 1902! Have lots of relatives on that side of the family further up into New England. Mostly, In NH. Never been to Ansonia myself and I guess I should cross that one off the list! Let me know how your garden grows! Merry Christmas!

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      • Tee January 18, 14:25

        We received our December electric bill. It turns out the VOGEK lights were a slight savings. Our electric bill was up about $130 over a non, indoor garden, December. The tomato plants are thinner and more pale. However, we decided to keep trying… even thought our fish will be moving to the University in the summer. A family member from Central (although he insists the culture, food, and life style is Eastern) Europe will be living with us soon. He is retiring early and moving in with us (we have NO room, but we will make it work). He is a botanist so…

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  16. IvyMike December 24, 02:22

    Dying Joe and Kamala aren’t going to lead us to socialism, they are just the puppets selected by the wealthy as the U.S. becomes more and more a Feudal society of the wealthy few and their many serfs. Russia before the Revolution was a perfect example. And the green new deal is dead, the power structure in the house won’t even allow AOC on relevant committees. Dying Joe might return to the Paris Accords but the Paris Accords were just a sop to the euro greenies, having no power of enforcement and completely exempting the African Continent.
    And Trump had nothing at all to do with ‘energy
    independence’, that came about when the mid size energy company Apache perfected new exploration and production technologies in the Permian Basin, creating a new world wide boom. It’s like Clinton and Gingrich taking credit for the post Reagan boom, no boys, that was the dot com boom.
    And the media is appalling, they report on almost nothing and both sides lie shamelessly and obviously. Very strange time.
    My main worry is that Biden and Harris and the Congress are so primed for a shooting war with countries that can shoot back. Russia can shut down NY Harbor with conventional weapons, and China can do the same to the Port of Long Beach. That would empty some grocery stores.

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  17. Loop December 24, 05:09

    I’m in Australia so living in a bit of a bubble at the moment however I have been reading about the food shortages elsewhere and getting worried. Thanks for this post and the comments – very valuable.

    Yeast can be easily made from flour and water, or even soaking sultanas for a week depending on your bread can take 2-7 days to make.

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  18. Govtgirl December 24, 14:20

    Loop,
    Is this the same as starter which would make more of what I call friendship bread or is what you’re talking about stronger? Did the sourdough thing this summer, but the recipes I used all required yeast as well.

    BTW, son lives in London and although the BBC news online showed a picture of empty shelves, he said there has been no scarcity at the local Sainsbury’s or Marks and Sparks.
    Merry Christmas in sunny Australia!

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  19. City Chick December 26, 19:24

    Dp – If you’er out there, hope all is going well! Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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  20. Omega 13 January 15, 16:24

    Not a mention of shopping at ethnic markets? Many Americans pass them by, thinking “they’re for the Chinese” or “that’s just Korean food,” when they’d be wrong. Ditto with Indo-Pak stores or Mediterranean markets or Mexican mercados.

    You just have to expand your horizons a bit. Food’s good, too.

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