Our days vary, from good to not so good, but it is extremely rare we have an Unpleasant Day as there is always something of worth every day, something or someone to make us smile.
We have had to change our shopping tactics and were up at 6.15 this morning ready to do battle with the latest craze of panic buying.
We do (or did) a main shop once a month, then weekly thereafter top up with what we’ve either used or run out of as a matter of course.
We thought we had it sussed with a late evening shop. This worked once locally.
We tried again with an evening shop in a main town some distance away. Again, this worked, once.
We discovered yesterday purely by chance that a little supermarket store closes at 6pm on a Sunday compared to 4pm for everywhere else. It wasn’t teeming with people and we were able to get some tinned stuff, just in case. We did not go mad, taking advantage of the 2 for £2 tinned pies, 15 eggs at 1.09 plus 6 for our neighbour and some corned beef at a reasonable price.
Today we thought we’d approach the issue from the other end and get in early.
The supermarkets open at 8am, so we were on the road at 7.15, armed with my list.
The roads were pretty quiet as it was too early for the school run, and when we arrived at our first supermarket of choice, there were no horrendous queues outside, and the car park was reasonably occupied for that time.
Inside was another matter.
Already at 8.15, queues were at the checkouts with customers trolleys loaded with multiple buys of practically anything they could get their hands on. One guy had ten trays of 15 eggs.
We made a beeline for the UHT milk, and there were just 13 left on the shelf with a note limiting five cartons per customer. Hubby put 5 in the trolley and as we’d promised to get some for our neighbour, I took a separate 5 up to the DIY checkout and out to the car. Each was 30 pence more than we usually pay.
Back into the shop, I went to the chiller for fresh milk, and that was almost stripped too. Toilet rolls were completely sold out, as were kitchen roll. I reckon there are going to be a lot of blocked toilets if you follow my line of thinking.
We got baked beans, 4 tins for £1 or 30p each separately, a tray of 5 chicken breasts for a fiver as the only pork left was belly pork and some bananas. Surprisingly, fresh produce was still pretty well stocked, but no SR flour or sultanas.
On to our second shop of choice.
The bread was almost all gone, but we got a large loaf, some tinned tomatoes (I don’t care if I have to ‘chop’ my own because only whole peeled tomatoes were left, god, we are a lazy bunch in the kitchen), the cheese we like (yeah, I picked up 2 as locally they’d sold out), our yogurts, again sold out locally, 2 packs of stock cubes, gravy granules, grapes and potatoes. Again no SR flour or sultanas, but plenty of dried raisins (not good for my curries). No UHT milk.
One customer was stopped on his way out and told that his purchases had to be paid for, and thus escorted back to the till. He had a 16 pack of toilet rolls and six pack of lager.
I overheard another customer asking when their shelves would be restocked, and the guy said they had no problem with their stock, but the issue was with their delivery chain, which was currently running SEVEN HOURS LATE.
Our final supermarket was the worst.
The car park was packed, and people were getting angry. It was just after 9am. We nearly got rammed by an idiot backing out of one space as we made room for someone vacating another so that we could take it. Someone coming in the opposite direction tried to push the point, but Hubby stood his ground behind the wheel.
Most of the trolleys were gone from the stands, and inside was an absolute nightmare.
Fresh produce wasn’t bad, so I barged my way to the root veg section and picked up a stew pack, some onions and a four pack of baking potatoes as the ones I’d bought elsewhere were too small. We also got some mixed veg and fruit from the freezer section, some plain flour (sauces don’t care), sultanas and another 2 packs of stock cubes.
There was no rice or pasta of any description anywhere, or UHT milk.
The only thing we didn’t get on my list was the pork medallions, and even if they had them, I was not paying the extra £2 hike from last week.
Coming home, the traffic making its way into the town was horrendous, and it wasn’t even 10 o’clock yet.
I have not known anything like it, not even when the supermarkets announced one year they were closing for Christmas Day AND Boxing Day. The country went into panic buy overdrive, but it was nothing like today.
I don’t know when we are going to try shopping again, certainly not for at least a week anyway.
With the Coronavirus figures going up and up daily (we now have 6 cases here in Lincolnshire) we will have to stay local and take our chances.
Now we have a problem with our NHS as all surgeries have told their patients that there will be no face to face appointments until further notice and if they have a problem, to ring the surgery and a doctor or nursing practitioner will consult on the telephone and triage.
If the virus doesn’t get you, it looks like our government strategy just might.