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When a hurricane is predicted to hit an area and be a fairly nasty one. When a pandemic hits and locals schools and churches are closed. When a blizzard is expected. That is when panic buying starts to be a key factor in why prepping for disaster is a way to go.
Panic Buying, the Real Problem
Let’s look at the COVID-19 Pandemic as an example: panic buying at its best. While you can do a quick Twitter search for the hashtag #Panicbuying and see for yourself, there is a huge selection of photos and videos on shelf clearing, physical fights over things like toilet paper, and hoarders. While the memes make you chuckle for a moment, if you take a second to think, it is sad and scary.
Panic Buying Definition
Panic buying occurs when consumers buy unusually large amounts of a product in anticipation of, or after, a disaster or perceived disaster, or in anticipation of an incredibly large price increase or shortage.
Yup – that is certainly what happened when people realized COVID-19 was a more serious thing than they had originally thought.
Panic Buying Effects
It screws up the balance of supply & demand and then leads to a major disruption of the supply chain. You would then hit empty shelves, and possible price gouging as stores know they have what you absolutely need and will probably pay what they ask for.
Yup – we saw this. A lot of empty shelves, and then places like Walmart raising prices on everything from toilet paper to ground beef.
Panic Buying Jokes
Sometimes you simply need to laugh. We were all scared, there was so much that was unknown, and the information we were living by changed every day it seemed. Humor came to our rescue.
Here are a few of my favorite jokes:
Ran out of toilet paper and started using lettuce leaves. Today was just the tip of the iceberg, tomorrow romaines to be seen.
Yesterday I ran out of soap and body wash and all I could find was dish detergent. Then it Dawned on me.
How did the health experts lie? They said a mask and gloves was enough to go to the grocery store. When I got there, everyone else had clothes on.
What do you call panic-buying of sausage and cheese in Germany? The wurst-kase scenario.
The grocery stores in France look like tornadoes hit them. All that’s left is de brie.
Some of the first things to vanish
Not a square can be found on any shelf, in any store. With the COVID-19 being a respiratory illness, that was surprising and something most stores didn’t see coming. Everyone knew the handsoap, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes would vanish quickly, but the toilet paper was a stunner.
Think of what you need when you have the flu; things to help with an intake of fluids and rest. Gatorade, broth, juice, meds to help lower a fever, and Kleenex. These items were cleared out of stores quickly, along with any over-the-counter flu and cold medicines.
People were grabbing multiple packs of ground beef and chicken. We saw one lady grab 12 packs of chicken! The poor guy in the meat department couldn’t get stuff on the shelves fast enough, people were taking it right out of his hands or out of the boxes he was pulling items from.
Spagettios, baked beans, and even soup seemed to vanish. Many stores started putting up signs that said “no more than 4 of each kind” to limit the hoarding and make sure everyone had enough to go around.
Let’s face it, schools are out and sandwiches are the fast and easy fix for feeding the kiddos. Peanut butter and jelly are a quick go-to for most families, along with eggs and toast. White bread seemed to be the winner over wheat, vanishing faster than you could blink.
Panic Buying Costco
Even Costco was out of things like toilet paper – and soon put limits onto how much of certain items you were allowed to purchase. It took 8 months for the “limit of one” case of toilet paper signs to disappear.
So let’s make a list
Looking ahead, it pays to have an adequate stock of the things we already talked about. You can avoid the panic buying and fighting people at the stores to just pick up your weekly list. Granted, this makes a lot of sense to spread out over a period of time. It is easier on the pocketbook, for one thing.
- Pain Reliever
- Fever Reducer
- Toilet Paper
- Feminine Hygiene Items
- Hand Sanitizer
- Disinfecting Wipes
- Rubbing Alcohol or Peroxide
- Household cleaning supplies
- Canned Meat (easy to do yourself with ground beef and chicken!)
- Canned Veggies
- Canned Fruit
- Canned Soups
- Vegetable oil
- Pasta Sauces
- Peanut Butter
- Dried Fruit
- Powdered Milk
- Pet items
- Supplies for Baking like: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, powdered sugar
There are a lot of other things to consider, and if you join our mailing list? You will get a 52-week stock up plan that helps you build your inventory with a minimal investment each week. You will be prepared for the next big emergency and not have to worry about panic buying. You can stay home with your toilet paper and lookup #panicbuying on Twitter and enjoy and chuckle at the memes and craziness.