Coronavirus: How To Avoid Empty Store Shelves

Coronavirus: How to avoid empty store shelves

Coronavirus: How to avoid empty store shelves. I went to the store last night because my previous shopping trip had been interrupted and I needed to finish. These two trips were about 48 hours apart, and there was a very big difference in them. 

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When I went a couple days ago, nothing was really out of the ordinary. It was a pretty normal shopping trip, although very busy at the store. Yesterday shelves were empty and there were signs in many places saying there was a limit on the number of items each customer could purchase. It was crazy how much had changed in a mere 48 hours. 

Panic Buying Instead of Prepping

I have noticed quite a few friends posting pictures on social media of empty store shelves and people buying copious amounts of supplies. Apparently my first shopping trip was when the hoarding and panic buying was getting into full swing. This made me think a lot, because I had no need to buy out the store myself. It made me start thinking about how this can be avoided in the future for others. 

Buy one extra thing every shopping trip. This can be a case of water, or a bag of flour, cans of vegetables. Or it can even be non-food items like toilet paper or batteries. Buying an extra item or two during each shopping trip will not break the bank. 


Know your space and keep things organized. Having dedicated places to prepping supplies is a big deal. I’m a stickler for organization. If I buy too much, there’s no room in my cabinets and it spills over onto any available flat surface. For me, this means that not only is it taking up valuable space, but it is easily forgotten. Easily forgotten things end up being wasted. Which is basically throwing money in the trash. The last time I checked, I don’t have the same bank account that Bill Gates does, so throwing money away is a big deal. 

Long-Term Food Options

Keep more long term storage options. Freeze dried foods are an excellent example of this. Unopened, they have a shelf life of 25 years. Once they’ve been opened, the shelf life is 5 years. Blue Can Water is a perfect water option for long term storage as well. These items are not used or opened unless it is a real emergency and all other options have been exhausted. 


I also keep alternative options. If I ran out of toilet paper, I have baby wipes and even old washcloths that aren’t fit to use for anything else besides cleaning rags or an alternative to toilet paper. I’m currently learning how to make almond milk so that I have a viable option to traditional milk if I can’t go to the grocery store. 

Storage Space

Do you need more storage space? Me too! Storage space is the one mortal enemy for preppers. Here is my favorite free-standing cabinet. I have three of these in my house, that I use for cleaning supplies, food, and bathroom supplies. These are perfect for a garage, bedroom, or anywhere else that you have some available space and they look beautiful. 

By buying an item or two extra every shopping trip, I am increasing my stock of food and household goods slowly and without destroying my bank account. Then when something like the Coronavirus comes along, I’m not fighting other people to buy out the stores. I have confidence knowing that I’m pretty set on food and household supplies if I am stuck at home. This can also be true for any situation such as a massive snowstorm, public health emergencies, or even simply having a short paycheck one month. 

Being able to buy things and stock up also saves me a ton of money. When demand for products skyrockets, so does the price while the quantity available goes down. If I’m preparing prior to an emergency, I can watch sales on things that I need. Saving money means that I can save that money or put it toward other prepping supplies. 


Planning ahead makes a world of difference, and that is exactly what prepping means. It is really easy to avoid empty store shelves and panic by planning ahead and having the items you need on hand already. Have you experienced a shortage of items in your grocery store? What are you doing to prepare? Tell me about it in the comments! 

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  • Ivana Mearns

    This situation is scary, isn’t it? It’s great to read your reflections on this topic and yes, it’s always great to stay organised and think of alternatives if something is sold out.

  • Despite Pain

    It feels like the world has gone crazy, to be honest. I’ve seen some photos of people buying what looks like 400 toilet rolls. Panic buying is contagious. Over here, some supermarkets have started rationing things. Hopefully it calms down soon.

    These are all great ideas, Erica. Because we live out in the country, we tend to buy in bulk because we can’t afford to drive to the supermarket all the time. But even I don’t buy 400 toilet rolls at a time.

  • Kelly Martin

    I’ve been buying a few extra things each time I go grocery shopping lately. It’s been pretty crazy here in Australia with all the panic buying, especially the toilet paper! I went shopping this morning and everything I wanted was in stock so hopefully everyone is settling down now.

  • Dreams Abroad

    We are making a shopping trip tonite. It seems that the virus is going from bad to worst now and some countries are closing their borders. Planning ahead for the Coronavirus should have been done a few weeks ago. Thank you for your informative post.

  • Lyosha

    I think a lot of people are overreacting. I have some supplies at home always just in case (and some goods are much cheaper to buy in stock) I am easy with it. Anyway, your advice is most welcome!

  • Fatima Torres

    Always going for freeze dried options is always a great idea. I feel like people are going nuts over this and it’s good to be safe, but people are a bit out of hand.

  • Smita

    Here in Switzerland too, the panic is increasing at several places though thankfully stores are not running out of stock yet – other than hand sanitizers, of course, but that’s the situation almost all over the world. I think worse than the virus itself is the panic that’s being created everywhere.
    I like your idea of gradually building up stock at home to be prepared for any eventuality. Living through the corona situation has now made me serious about doing this for the future!

  • Subhashish Roy

    Here in India things have not gone that far but yes masks and hand sanitizers are seeing good sales in the stores. None of us would have expected anything like this but let’s hope this virus vanishes as fast as it came in.

  • Sonia Seivwright

    This a great insight into the Corona Virus. It is heartbreaking how we just entered a new decade and this new death threatening virus arrived. Can the world not have a break for just 1 year?

  • Luna S

    Thankfully where I am this hasn’t happened but buying one or two extra items each trip sounds like a great idea!

  • Britt K

    Great suggestion! I don’t think that most of us would even notice an extra item or two on each of our shopping trips, but it wouldn’t take long for that to add up in a positive way!
    We haven’t actively gone above and beyond to prep for an emergency, honestly, but we could go a few weeks without having to purchase supplies if we ever had to right now. A good start, I suppose… It helps that we’re avid campers and are regularly purchasing and setting aside items for that as many of those items would also double as emergency supplies if something were to happen…

  • Scott J DeNicola

    When this whole thing started I kind of took it lightly but slowly started to stock on some essentials like Toilet Paper and paper towels and non-perishable food items. Somewhere in the back of my head, I was thinking of Erica and what she would do. Where I live we never run out of water or have it turned off so that is not a big of an issue as regular food is. I still think the panic is a bit out of control and hopefully, it doesn’t get much worse. I do grocery delivery PT and have had to stop because of this lunacy.

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