More shopping in time of omicron

I needed 32 pound printer paper for a project for next week’s storytelling at Columbia. Office Depot had a nice selection of papers, some even on sale. I got a ream of 500 sheets.

I wanted to get Valentine candy to take to the staff at Columbia next month, and knowing that See’s Candy often sells out of seasonal products, decided to go by there today, just one month until the LOVE day. Sure enough, the single chocolate hearts had already been opened and half of the box was gone. The clerk found an unopened box in the back so I’m pretty well set. I even found a bag of my favorite candy–cashew brittle–which had not been in stock the last two times, Halloween and Christmas, when I shopped at See’s.

After my trip to Whole Foods on Thursday, I wondered what I would find on Friday at our local grocer. This is a local chain with union employees with stores throughout the valley. There are three stores within a 3-mile radius from our house. I went to the one closest and also my regular store.

The last time I was there, the pasta shelves were empty. Today there was a variety. The produce section was robust with all the greens in full force. They even had alfalfa sprouts which I bought for roast beef sandwiches. The bread shelves were still a bit bare, but the in-house bakery had a wide selection and I got a package of chibatta rolls for those sandwiches. Another area that was bare was the Pillsbury cans of dough. I wanted cinnamon rolls, but none. I did notice that the flower shop had more than the Whole Foods flower department. Whole Foods, though, only buys fair-trade plants.

It appears that it’s all about which store and when you shop.

19 responses to “More shopping in time of omicron

  1. It’s always been about where and when. My husband was a grocer for years, has been retired for almost a decade, and he still comments on stock and stocking in every store we enter.

    • It never leaves you. My husband worked in retail for 20 years and still wants to straighten clothing racks.

      • This gave us both such a laugh! Thank you so much for sharing about your husband. “We can’t stop,” my husband says. He still dreams about grocery stores a couple times a week. [I have seen him go all gooey-eyed over a beautiful produce set, and whine over lack of facing.]

  2. We do shop at the farmer’s market, our local market and Sam’s Club in the early senior hours on Tuesdays. We’ve been noticing that certain items are just not coming in though. I went a little nuts with printer paper and bought a 5 ream case of 24 pound paper on Amazon. Buuut… it was on sale. 🙂

    • Although I like the farmer’s market, one has become very crowded, although masks are required, and the other that I like has diminished over the years and is a distance to get to. And, the biggest drawback is having cash in my pocket. I don’t always get to the bank to get small denominations so as to make a quick trip. I just need to prepare better.

  3. I wish we had a better selection of stores, but we’re a small town and until WalMart arrived, we were really hurting for a choice. Most people drove down off the mountain to either Bakersfield (40 miles to the west) or Lancaster-Palmdale (40 miles to the east). It was an hour’s drive either way, but the kicker was that if you shopped in Bakersfield, your money stayed in Kern County. Same for specialty doctors — Bakersfield or Lancaster. All of the specialists have their practice in larger cities.

    • Yes, one of the main reasons I do not want to live out in the country. I want to be very close to shopping, especially grocery stores. On Friday I was able to go to the library, pick up our dinners for the weekend, get See’s candy, buy specialty printer paper, and grocery shop all within a 5 mile radius of our house.

      • I remember when we lived in San Diego and I could hit several stores all in the same trip. It was good, but I’ll sacrifice that convenience for the serenity and lack of traffic we have here. I discovered a new quilt shop this morning — in one of the communities in San Diego! Because I wasn’t familiar with the store name, I googled it and saw the photos of the store’s location. Got just a bit homesick because I recognized the area with the mountain in the background. Still… I wouldn’t trade here for there. Hugs…

  4. There are few empty shelves lately, but I still need to scour the stores for soymilk, for some reason. I usually find a brand other than my regular one.

    • Almond milk has taken over! There is very little soy milk around the stores here in California as we grow almonds, not soy beans. Farmers have pulled out grape vines and planted almond and pistachio trees by the thousands of acres.

  5. Pasta and cat litter seem to be harder to get where I live. I can do without the pasta, but with 2 inside cats it might get tricky without litter! I have thought to try using dirt from outside after the ground thaws, but not sure they will like it.

  6. You are indomitable, my dear! You always find a way.

  7. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for shortages. Two weeks ago it was bran flakes. Today I found everything I needed except for raisins.

    And in response to your reply to DJan, I have seen those almond groves. They seem to be everywhere in the Central Valley.

    • Yes, and that’s why you can’t find raisins. There are fewer vines. Raisins are a difficult and expensive crop to raise. Very labor intensive. Easily damaged by weather. Too hot, too cold, too wet…. It all makes a difference.

  8. Interesting!

  9. I think time of day we grocery shop has something to do with the shelves being full or bare. I prefer to shop in the mornings and on week days and haven’t seen many bare shelves here in California.

  10. Here in New Zealand, there are a lot of “supply chain issues” – some of the brand manufacturers have cut certain products, I guess so they still have a market share but it’s frustrating – when the particular flavour you love, isn’t to be had on my online grocery shop. And I’ve started to see produce is getting a bit bad – and so I’m looking for a new online dedicated store that provides delivery… somehow either the store isn’t buying regularly or maybe the “picker” couldn’t care less if I had edibles. I do have a “helper” but she can’t be buying my entire list … had to use her this week because of the strange bread that came, that tasted revolting!
    I have no idea what it’s like in an actual supermarket store, as I rarely go into any of them…

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