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  #251  
Old 03-29-2020, 10:01 AM
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Yeah, people have been going down a metaphorical list of cleaners. We've been cleaned out of hand sanitizer, alcohol, bleach, Lysol type cleaners, liquid soap, then bar soap, vinegar....

I expect at some point the baking soda will disappear for a week.
They had this stuff in Krogers, just not the warehouse stores. Except Vinegar. and they probably had 30 gallons of that.
  #252  
Old 03-29-2020, 10:03 AM
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I was surprised to find wheat bran out of stock. I normally buy it on line from Amazon, they've usually got Bob's Red Mill in stock. The stuff has a shelf life like cesium-137 so I buy a three pack of 20 ounce bags around once a year paying $15 for the five pounds, so three bucks a pound. I just looked yesterday to replenish my supply and all Amazon had was these little 8 ounce bags at $9.99 for a half pound.

Screw this I says and went directly to Bob's Red Mill figuring even with shipping to beat that price, but Bob doesn't have any either. Middle of June is when they figure to have more. I might have enough to last me until then, but it's going to be close. Who the hell is buying up wheat bran in a pandemic? I figure a lot of people must be taking up baking in their copious free time.
  #253  
Old 03-29-2020, 10:08 AM
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I think home baking is a reasonable response to the current situation. If you can't go out for fresh bread, you can make it at home. And although it takes some time, that's one thing you now have plenty of.

Locally, the yeast was gone from the shelves long ago, along with flour and related baking items.
  #254  
Old 03-29-2020, 10:31 AM
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Went to Aldi yesterday. Well stocked except for paper (meat was looking a little low, but lots of Easter ham available).

They did have signs up limiting purchase of any item to 5, with a limit of 2 on things like milk, bread and eggs.
  #255  
Old 03-29-2020, 11:09 AM
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I was surprised to find wheat bran out of stock. I normally buy it on line from Amazon, they've usually got Bob's Red Mill in stock. The stuff has a shelf life like cesium-137 so I buy a three pack of 20 ounce bags around once a year paying $15 for the five pounds, so three bucks a pound. I just looked yesterday to replenish my supply and all Amazon had was these little 8 ounce bags at $9.99 for a half pound.

Screw this I says and went directly to Bob's Red Mill figuring even with shipping to beat that price, but Bob doesn't have any either. Middle of June is when they figure to have more. I might have enough to last me until then, but it's going to be close. Who the hell is buying up wheat bran in a pandemic? I figure a lot of people must be taking up baking in their copious free time.
I had trouble finding corn meal. We use it just to coat the pizza stone when we make pizza. I had been running low before all of this and was just going to get some the next time we made a pizza. I've been looking for it for weeks and finally found one lonely package in Food Lion this week and I scooped it up!
  #256  
Old 04-02-2020, 09:53 AM
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Did our weekly grocery shopping this AM.

The good news: still getting better. Had some TP, paper towels, etc. but shelves were still mostly bare in that area. Got a box of tissues and some wet wipes. Finally got some unsalted peanuts after weeks of being out. But that's normal for this store for some reason. So a fairly good shopping trip.

The bad news: Our Idiot Governor. Announced Wed. that on Thursday that he would announce a shutdown starting Friday. (Couldn't do it bang-bang because ... reasons.) Now, grocery stores are excluded but I could tell that a lot of people didn't get the message and were there stocking up before the shutdown goes into effect. Lots of people with overflowing carts (including bottled water ), even in the self checkout lines. Many more people than last week. Etc. Panic buyers are panic buying.

And the other idiots still abound. E.g., a guy with his cart parked smack dab in the middle of the aisle in front of the meat case talking on his cell phone. A cross aisle and in a busy area, so a lot of people trying to squeeze by him. Not the time to be forced to squeeze by someone. After the first 5 people trying to get by you'd think he'd have a clue, but no, cell phone more important, dude!

Was down to a quarter tank of gas. Usually my "get more" line. Was thinking of waiting since for now that's going to be a month+ of gas. But habits die hard and I filled up. Well under $2 a gallon. (Or 19 cents in 1960 prices.) All this cheap gas and nowhere to go.
  #257  
Old 04-02-2020, 10:02 AM
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It's getting easier to schedule grocery deliveries, although Walmart still has quantity limits on some items, such as sandwich rolls and Carnation Instant Breakfast. Still can't get disinfectant spray or hand sanitizer. My 14th day of quarantine is tomorrow, so I won't be venturing forth in person until Saturday.
  #258  
Old 04-02-2020, 10:05 AM
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I ordered today and I am getting a delivery tomorrow from Whole foods, last week I had to wait 5 days to get a delivery. Either less orders or more people doing the deliveries or both.
  #259  
Old 04-02-2020, 11:26 AM
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Got up early yesterday to get a pickup time scheduled for WalMart. Managed to snag a pickup today at 2.

An hour ago they e-mailed me to say they were cancelling my time.
  #260  
Old 04-02-2020, 01:42 PM
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someone wrote on a blog that a local guy was in a grocery store yelling at people who had gloves or a mask on. He said the gloves/masks should be for medical people only. Sounds like he needs to see a shrink.

Last edited by Bijou Drains; 04-02-2020 at 01:44 PM.
  #261  
Old 04-02-2020, 03:01 PM
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For you people who can't find banking supplies such as flour and yeast have you looked online? For example:
https://www.bakersauthority.com/
[although they mostly sell larger quantities and with no free shipping UPS charges can be high]
  #262  
Old 04-02-2020, 03:14 PM
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Speaking of Costco, they are now limiting entrance to two people per membership card. Not that anyone should be going shopping with extra people anyway, that is what lists are for, to remember what it was you went to get.

//i\\
  #263  
Old 04-02-2020, 03:33 PM
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Got up early yesterday to get a pickup time scheduled for WalMart. Managed to snag a pickup today at 2.

An hour ago they e-mailed me to say they were cancelling my time.
Well dammit, and when they cancelled my pickup they ALSO cleared my cart.
  #264  
Old 04-02-2020, 03:40 PM
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Speaking of Costco, they are now limiting entrance to two people per membership card. Not that anyone should be going shopping with extra people anyway, that is what lists are for, to remember what it was you went to get.

//i\\
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  #265  
Old 04-02-2020, 04:52 PM
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Speaking of Costco, they are now limiting entrance to two people per membership card. Not that anyone should be going shopping with extra people anyway, that is what lists are for, to remember what it was you went to get.

//i\\
We went yesterday morning. They were also limiting how many people were allowed in at a time, and had a list of what they were out of outside the entrance.
Long line and it moved fast. Upside was no six person family hordes blocking the aisle, and the fastest checkout I've ever seen there.
  #266  
Old 04-02-2020, 05:20 PM
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According to Wisconsin Representative Joel Kitchens, we don't have a shortage of some food items, but a surplus. So much so that
Quote:
The Dairy Farmers of America has asked more than one hundred of Wisconsin’s largest dairy farms to dump their milk until at least April 6. That's because the market is being flooded right now due to large consumers of dairy products — such as schools and restaurants — being shut down.

Unfortunately, the Dairy Farmers of America says the milk being discarded can't be donated to food banks because it still needs to be processed and those plants are already at capacity.
Why farmers are being told to dump milk, even with some store shelves empty
  #267  
Old 04-02-2020, 05:40 PM
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Yay! My store got sneeze shields today!

On the downside, between the plastic barrier and more people wearing masks it can be hard to understand customers, but more protection for us workers - yay!
  #268  
Old 04-02-2020, 06:31 PM
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According to Wisconsin Representative Joel Kitchens, we don't have a shortage of some food items, but a surplus. So much so thatWhy farmers are being told to dump milk, even with some store shelves empty
I don't understand this. If they're dumping milk because it's not being distributed to schools, etc., why are the plants at capacity? How do the plants function normally, when all of that milk has to be distributed to the schools, etc.?
  #269  
Old 04-02-2020, 10:55 PM
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I would suppose that there is no place to store all the fluid milk that has already been processed.


I appreciate this thread a lot. It helps me imagine what is going on back home.
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  #270  
Old 04-02-2020, 11:21 PM
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I don't understand this. If they're dumping milk because it's not being distributed to schools, etc., why are the plants at capacity? How do the plants function normally, when all of that milk has to be distributed to the schools, etc.?
Just a guess, but consumers like to purchase milk in quart and gallon containers for home use. For institutional use, it is generally distributed in little single-serving cartons or bulk containers not labeled for consumer use.

How easy is it to convert an assembly line used to fill the tiny single-serve cardboard cartons into one that fills gallon plastic bottles?

The grocery store nearest me has always carried three different brands of ordinary cow's milk (plus the usual assortment of organic, gluten-free, flavored, and non-cow stuff). I notice now that there is usually only one brand and it's a different brand every time I visit. And it's often not one of the usual brands. So I think there has been some sort of upheaval in the milk supply chain and everyone is scrambling to get milk wherever they can find it.

Last edited by Alley Dweller; 04-02-2020 at 11:22 PM.
  #271  
Old 04-02-2020, 11:31 PM
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Costco is one of the safest places to go shop in person now here in the original epicenter of Kirkland Washington. Costco's "Kirkland" brand is named after the seattle suburb, and is home to Costco store #3. Since Seattle went into non-essential mode and had horders much earlier than any where else, I think we are also much earlier to have filled up pantries and garages. From what I read, there is plenty of different stock in the supply chain, so the rest of the country with shortages should start catching up as folks stop whording.

The entrance is funneled into two walkways, carts have been sanitized, there are few customers , sign outside listing the few items out of stock, giant stack of Kirkland TP (but missing the better stuff), everyone is pretty careful about social distancing, a fair amount of face masks on shoppers. AND the staff seem to be their normal bubbly selves, which is really nice to experience given the human interaction dearth going on these days.

Supermarkets are much smaller, narrower aisles, and shoppers are more dense...
  #272  
Old 04-02-2020, 11:44 PM
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Finally, at Costco there was toilet paper yesterday.

And found Lawry's garlic salt with parsley!
  #273  
Old 04-03-2020, 12:04 AM
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I would suppose that there is no place to store all the fluid milk that has already been processed.
You can't store fluid milk for more than a few days as it quickly spoils.
  #274  
Old 04-03-2020, 02:19 AM
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You can't store fluid milk for more than a few days as it quickly spoils.

You mean once opened, right? There's such a thing as UHT milk. The shelf life for the unopened and unrefrigerated ones in my kitchen is a year and a day.
  #275  
Old 04-03-2020, 09:26 AM
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UK Country Town.

I went shopping last Friday and this morning at our local Tesco. They have instigated a pensioners happy hour at 9:00 on Monday Wednesday and Friday.

Last week they had started with limiting the numbers in the store and there was a shortish queue outside at 8:45 when I got there, all spaced out at 2-metre intervals. Stock inside wasn't bad. I bought toilet rolls (not our usual brand, but acceptable) and there was plenty of bread, both baked in-store and from the big bakeries. For me, the annoying empty shelves were the pasta and rice area, with only a few of the more expensive items left. There was plenty of fresh veg and fruit.

This morning, they were better organised apart from a problem they had with the front doors which delayed opening. There were people in the car park (reduced to half its normal size) asking anyone obviously you to wait. The trollies (carts) were all lined up by the door and an assistant was wiping them down before handing them out. Inside, they have instituted a one-way system up and down the aisles although many people ignored it, although we were all being ultra-polite and keeping our distance. Shelves were better stocked and I bought pasta and rice. They are still limiting quantities on some products but that did not affect me. We won't go hungry and our bums will still be wiped, although my wife has cornered the remaining ultra-soft TP.

There were several people wearing face masks today and while standing in the queue, I watched a couple who seemed to spend the whole time fiddling with them.
  #276  
Old 04-03-2020, 11:53 AM
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Though there was still no TP at Albertsons a couple of days ago, they did have paper towels which is encouraging.

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  #277  
Old 04-03-2020, 12:53 PM
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You mean once opened, right? There's such a thing as UHT milk. The shelf life for the unopened and unrefrigerated ones in my kitchen is a year and a day.
I think PT meant raw milk, collected from the cows into a tanker but before it's been homogenized and pasteurized. An unopened carton will, indeed, keep for far longer than a couple days.

I took a car in for servicing Tuesday morning. Since the appointment was 8am, right after they open, when I was waiting a worker came by with two rolls of toilet paper. I said, "Precious stuff."

He said, "Yeah, we had some disappear so now we're not keeping spares in the bathrooms and taking the stub when we swap out the roll just in case it doesn't get better soon."
  #278  
Old 04-03-2020, 02:02 PM
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I was surprised to find wheat bran out of stock. I normally buy it on line from Amazon, they've usually got Bob's Red Mill in stock. The stuff has a shelf life like cesium-137 so I buy a three pack of 20 ounce bags around once a year paying $15 for the five pounds, so three bucks a pound. I just looked yesterday to replenish my supply and all Amazon had was these little 8 ounce bags at $9.99 for a half pound.

Screw this I says and went directly to Bob's Red Mill figuring even with shipping to beat that price, but Bob doesn't have any either. Middle of June is when they figure to have more. I might have enough to last me until then, but it's going to be close. Who the hell is buying up wheat bran in a pandemic? I figure a lot of people must be taking up baking in their copious free time.
Thanks for this. I make bran and raisin muffins and normally buy wheat bran at the bulk area at Whole Foods. I paid way too much for a pound of wheat bran on Amazon but it will be here in two weeks and I can avoid Whole Foods. I have had the best luck in general at Vons and Albertson's while people are waiting in long lines at Trader Joe's.
  #279  
Old 04-03-2020, 02:05 PM
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A little off-topic, but I didn’t want to start a new thread and this one was the closest match.

We ordered takeout last night. I was my brother’s birthday so we decided to do something a little nicer than usual. We placed a takeout order from a chain steakhouse, one of the restaurants in the mall parking lot. We ordered at 4:30 for a five o’clock pickup.

When I called in, they said they would bring it to the car. I was kind of expecting that I would pull into an empty parking lot, honk the horn, then someone would bring out my lonely order.

I was surprised. The place was jamming. They had a system set up where they would take your name, put a numbered sign on your car, and direct you to a numbered parking spot. Then someone would come out, take payment, and deliver your order. There were 20-25 cars picking up their orders when I came in, and a long line waiting for numbers and parking spots by the time we left.

The Olive Garden Restaurant across the way seemed equally busy. The other restaurants in the mall parking lot weren’t quite as busy, but they seemed to be doing a healthy business for 5PM on Thursday.

I was really glad to see so much takeout food activity, it made me feel a little bit more optimistic.
  #280  
Old 04-03-2020, 02:21 PM
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You mean once opened, right? There's such a thing as UHT milk. The shelf life for the unopened and unrefrigerated ones in my kitchen is a year and a day.
Which in much of the USA can be hard to find and often overpriced. Was a surprise to me when I transferred from Puerto Rico where over the past 20 years UHT has become the go-to for many of us and has a huge presence in stores, about a third of the milk sold for daily use, and I used to buy it for the month.
  #281  
Old 04-03-2020, 02:28 PM
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I was surprised. The place was jamming. They had a system set up where they would take your name, put a numbered sign on your car, and direct you to a numbered parking spot. Then someone would come out, take payment, and deliver your order. There were 20-25 cars picking up their orders when I came in, and a long line waiting for numbers and parking spots by the time we left.
I was just this morning talking to my friend in New Jersey. She described almost the exact same system at her local cannabis dispensary. Apparently home delivery is illegal there.
  #282  
Old 04-03-2020, 03:13 PM
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One thing I forgot to mention about my grocery shopping trip yesterday was the new plastic shields at the checkout.

But ... only a couple feet wide next to the scales. Lot of just plain old air on either side. Not really a significant barrier between the clerk and us. And the baggers don't get even a token shield.
  #283  
Old 04-03-2020, 03:34 PM
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One thing I forgot to mention about my grocery shopping trip yesterday was the new plastic shields at the checkout.

But ... only a couple feet wide next to the scales. Lot of just plain old air on either side. Not really a significant barrier between the clerk and us. And the baggers don't get even a token shield.
Sneeze guard?
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Old 04-03-2020, 04:31 PM
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Sneeze and cough guard.

There's no practical way to have the cashier do her job (which in many places also includes bagging) completely protected from the customers, but like ill-fitting home-made face masks, it provides some protection. It does prevent sneezes, coughs, and speaking from going immediately between people. Because the stuff doesn't float for long, the idea (as I understand it) or the hope is that by the virus-laden droplets made it around the barrier they've dropped low enough so as to be unlikely to be inhaled by one of the people on the other side of the barrier.

It keeps the customer from directly sneezing/coughing on the cashier and vice-versa.
  #285  
Old 04-03-2020, 04:38 PM
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Trader Joe's has a rule that they will bag your stuff but only in their paper bags (at no cost) or you can bag your own stuff in your own bags. In short, they want to avoid touching customer stuff as much as possible. (And when I use a credit card, they never touch that either.)
  #286  
Old 04-03-2020, 05:31 PM
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Trader Joe's has a rule that they will bag your stuff but only in their paper bags (at no cost) or you can bag your own stuff in your own bags. In short, they want to avoid touching customer stuff as much as possible. (And when I use a credit card, they never touch that either.)
All markets are doing the same thing from what I have seen.
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Old 04-03-2020, 05:41 PM
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Winco here now has the shields, plus gates to herd traffic flow (problem for a customer like DH who is still recovering from a broken leg and can't hike the perimeter of the store to get to items near the registers). Since you bag your own there, bringing a reusable was not an issue.
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Old 04-03-2020, 06:21 PM
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Trader Joe's has a rule that they will bag your stuff but only in their paper bags (at no cost) or you can bag your own stuff in your own bags. In short, they want to avoid touching customer stuff as much as possible. (And when I use a credit card, they never touch that either.)
I haven't personally confirmed, but I am told that the Trader Joe's in the San Francisco Bay area don't allow you to bring your own bags into the store. A friend of mine reported that her TJ's ran out of paper bags and was giving away free reusable cloth bags.

Yes, that would really suck if I rode a bus to TJ's for half an hour carrying my bags with me only to be turned away at the door.
  #289  
Old 04-03-2020, 07:07 PM
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Sneeze guard?
My grocery shop (national chain) doesn't have sneeze guards, they have signs asking the customers to unload and wait at the far end of the conveyer. So that you crowd with all the people pushing past, instead of crowding the cashier.

Although the numbers are so low in Australia that the risk is low, this irritates me out of all proportion to the risk, because

1) Everybody else is making a real effort to enable social distancing, including laws for the rest of us, and

2) They narrow the aisles with floor displays to crowd people up and slow them down in order to increase impulse buying. This irritates me even at the best of times.
  #290  
Old 04-03-2020, 08:35 PM
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I don't understand this. If they're dumping milk because it's not being distributed to schools, etc., why are the plants at capacity? How do the plants function normally, when all of that milk has to be distributed to the schools, etc.?
The news here said a big part of it is because restaurants and school lunches are big users of cheese and since they are closed....
  #291  
Old 04-04-2020, 02:50 AM
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You can warehouse cheese for quite some time. Unless, of course, the warehouses are full, but in that case they should send it to food banks and food pantries which are seeing an enormous jump in demand.
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Old 04-04-2020, 03:33 PM
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You can't store fluid milk for more than a few days as it quickly spoils.
What!?

Maybe if you didn't reach towards the back to get a newer container. I don't buy ordinary pasteurized milk anymore, but when I did I always found it would stay good, even if opened, until the printed sell-by date, even if it was ten days or two weeks in the future.

These days we use so little milk that we have to buy UHT pasteurized milk (i.e. Fa!r Life), and this too lasts until the printed sell-by date even if it's two months in the future.

I'm usually surprised by how spot-on the sell-by dates usually are.
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  #293  
Old 04-05-2020, 08:01 AM
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no issues finding food at Lidl today. I think it's best to go as early as possible to get what you need.
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Old 04-05-2020, 10:22 AM
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I meant to add people are also buying up all napkins and paper towels and tissues. I guess they are getting desperate.
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Old 04-05-2020, 10:38 AM
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You can warehouse cheese for quite some time. Unless, of course, the warehouses are full, but in that case they should send it to food banks and food pantries which are seeing an enormous jump in demand.
You can definitely warehouse cheese for quite some time. That's how the whole "government cheese" thing came from.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_cheese
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Old 04-05-2020, 11:10 AM
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Well Walmart cancelled my online pickup order again, and once again cleared my cart of groceries.

Guess they want people to actually go in to the store, so guess that's what I'm gonna do.
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Old 04-05-2020, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by dorvann View Post
You can definitely warehouse cheese for quite some time. That's how the whole "government cheese" thing came from.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_cheese
Keb Mo video; Government cheese

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7PWH8NXxEc
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Old 04-08-2020, 06:44 PM
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Kroger, 4-8, 3:30 PM. Everything looked a lot better than my last trip, nearly 2 weeks ago. Kroger has installed sneeze guards at the checkouts and has instituted a one-way traffic pattern. In one entrance, out the other but nobody is caring whether you are going one way or the other inside the store. No sanitizing wipes in the cart area. I took my own. Beef, chicken, TP and paper towels available. Two things I looked for and were unavailable were 392 batteries to fit my digital thermometer and hand sanitizer. About 25-30% percent of customers were wearing some type of face mask. Saw many people with face masks pulled down off the face, around their neck. Forgot to check for Lysol type cleaners, I'm pretty well set for that.
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Old 04-08-2020, 06:51 PM
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Trader Joe's actually had TP in stock today, although strangely it was individual rolls instead of their usual 12-packs. I wonder if that got a new supplier during all this. I picked up 4 rolls; I wanted to leave some for other shoppers and that should be enough to last me a few weeks.

Interestingly they had no spaghetti, but tons of linguini.
  #300  
Old 04-08-2020, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River Hippie View Post
Kroger, 4-8, 3:30 PM. Everything looked a lot better than my last trip, nearly 2 weeks ago. Kroger has installed sneeze guards at the checkouts and has instituted a one-way traffic pattern. In one entrance, out the other but nobody is caring whether you are going one way or the other inside the store. No sanitizing wipes in the cart area. ...
My local grocery chain always had sanitizing wipes in the cart area; in the last month each of the four stores I've been in* had the wipes-kiosks removed.

Possibly the wipes were being stolen, but I suspect they were removed on the advice of the corporation's legal team. They may anticipate lawsuits based on "I depended on your sanitizing wipes but they failed to protect me and I got COVID-19, so I'm suing for $10 million" or the like.


*looking for a particular product needed to care for a family member, one visit per week or so.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann Hedonia View Post
...We ordered takeout last night. I was my brother’s birthday so we decided to do something a little nicer than usual. We placed a takeout order from a chain steakhouse, one of the restaurants in the mall parking lot. We ordered at 4:30 for a five o’clock pickup.

When I called in, they said they would bring it to the car. I was kind of expecting that I would pull into an empty parking lot, honk the horn, then someone would bring out my lonely order.

I was surprised. The place was jamming. They had a system set up where they would take your name, put a numbered sign on your car, and direct you to a numbered parking spot. Then someone would come out, take payment, and deliver your order. There were 20-25 cars picking up their orders when I came in, and a long line waiting for numbers and parking spots by the time we left....
Between the staff members organizing the cars in the lot, those carrying the food out and taking payment, and those inside--taking the orders, as well as assembling the orders once the kitchen finished dishes--it may be that some of these restaurants haven't had to lay off any of their workers! Hope that's the case.
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