How To Combat Supply Shortages

How To Combat Supply Shortages

How to combat supply shortages. Supply shortages have become the new normal since the Coronavirus and lockdowns happened around the world. It seems impossible to find almost anything. It started with toilet paper, but has happened with cleaning supplies, video games, and guns and ammo. The list goes on, far beyond food and basic supplies. 

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Shortages happen for a number of reasons, not just Covid-19 or the Coronavirus. Weather is a big factor. Storms cause people to run out and buy extra supplies. It also means that delivery trucks may not make it to deliver. A lack of rain or too much rain can damage crops and there is a shortage. The list of things that can happen to disrupt the supply chain could take up this entire post! It is a shaky chain, at best. 

But the good news is there are things we can all do to combat this, and be better prepared for it in the future. Here are my top 7 things to combat supply shortages. 

Don’t Panic Buy

Panic buying means there was no plan. You just know you need to do something but nothing past that. Emptying a store shelf of one specific item does nothing to help anyone. Diversify your purchases. Meaning buy a bag of rice, toilet paper, some broth or stock, and so on down the list. Avoiding the urge to panic buy is an excellent way to combat supply shortages.

My husband, Nathan and I keep a running list of everything we use in the house, and go off of that when it is time to go to the store. It is a huge organizational tool. We also go to several stores, because the supply may simply depend on the demand of a specific store. Check out my tips on food storage and organization. 

Another great option for buying items in bulk that I have found is the LDS Store. Click that link to find one in your area. They are open to the public, and are an excellent option for pantry staples like flour, sugar, beans, and more. You don’t have to be a member of the church either. 

Shop Local Stores

I feel like local stores are often overlooked for the bigger corporation kind of stores. When the lockdown first happened, I went into a tiny local store downtown, and found an amazing amount of items every other store was sold out of. They had my favorite brand of flour, coconut water, and a beautiful assortment of fresh produce. Unfortunately before that, this was a place often overlooked and forgotten about. I’m guilty of this as well. 

Focusing on shopping in local stores will definitely help to combat supply shortages! What are your favorite local stores? Make a list and write them down for future reference.

Make Your Own

How to combat supply shortages through making things yourself. Making food from scratch is a huge confidence builder! It also affords you the opportunity to find alternatives if something isn’t available. This isn’t just limited to food either. Candles are extremely easy to make. 

Last week Nathan told me we needed new dish rags since ours were getting old. I picked up a cone of cotton yarn and started crocheting. For less than $12, I can make a dishcloth in the time it takes to watch a show on tv every night. The large cone of yarn I’ve linked makes quite a few for that price. I don’t mind making them because it is not only easy, it is cheaper than buying them in the store. Plus I’m keeping myself busy while sitting in front of the tv. It’s a win-win in my book. It really is easy, it is simply single and double crochet stitches. 

We’ve also been looking at alternatives to things like toilet paper and making our own hand sanitizer and laundry soap. It takes a bit more effort than simply going to the store, but that doesn’t make any of these things difficult, by any stretch of the imagination! Knowledge is power, use it. 

Making things myself is how to combat supply shortages, and easily my favorite way to do so.


How to combat supply shortages through stockpiling supplies. Stockpiling is what has made these shortages fairly easy for us to deal with in my household. What this means is picking up an extra item or two every time we go to the grocery store. A case of water, an extra bag of flour, the list goes on. It also adds up a lot quicker than you would expect. Doing this will put you miles ahead of many people, even if you are beginning. 

Freeze dried foods are also a great supply option. I use them often in my home cooking, and it has cut down on a lot of food waste for produce we don’t use often. My other favorite aspect of this is it tastes better than canned food, and has no salt added. I still keep canned food and use it when necessary. Freeze dried food is simply a great alternative when that runs out. 

Stockpiling is how to combat supply shortages, and probably the easiest thing to do on this list.


How to combat supply shortages through gardening. Gardening is easier these days than you would think! There is a wealth of knowledge out there, and it doesn’t require a ton of space. I have learned a ton from Kelly at Urban Garden Gal on how to best use my space, container gardening, varieties, and much more. 

Growing your own food also means you pick it fresh, and you know what goes into it. It is cheaper than buying produce in the store that is generally at least 2 weeks old by the time it reaches the store. There are a lot more nutrients in fresh-picked produce than what is in the grocery stores. 

With gardening, it is a great time to learn about food preservation. Home canning, making sauces from scratch, or salsa. Here is my go-to book on home canning. 

Raise Livestock

How to combat supply shortages through raising livestock. Raising animals for food does take a lot more time and effort than going to the store. It also requires some space. But starting with chickens would be your best bet. I call them the pet that poops breakfast. But eggs are nature’s multivitamin, and chickens can be raised for meat as well, and in the backyard. They eat quite a variety of foods, and can be fed with the foods from your garden. Cattle can be raised for both milk and meat as well. 

Learn To Hunt and Fish

Hunting and fishing takes a lot of skill, and isn’t something learned overnight. But in an emergency or shortage, it is a skill that can save your life. Start reading books, watching YouTube videos, and reaching out to friends or experts who will take you out and teach you. I’ve said it before, but it is worth repeating. Knowledge is power. Start learning before that knowledge is essential. 

How to Combat Supply Shortages Discussion

What are things that you have done to combat the supply shortages and make things easier? Tell me about it in the comments! I want to know how you combat supply shortages and make things easier for yourself. Read more about my prepping tips.

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  • Kelly Martin

    Great article Erica and thank you so much for the mention! We sometimes experience supply shortages here because of fires, floods or extreme weather so it’s always good to be prepared. I’m getting better at making sure that I have enough supplies on hand whether it’s canned or frozen food to get us through and I’ll definitely take these ideas on board as well.

  • Stephanie S

    Yes, great article! Seems as though everyone is back at it again, and the panic buying has started in my area. The first thing to go has been the TP, and I was actually shocked to see that sugar is now flying off the shelves. I’m really hoping this will let up soon. Thank you for sharing these tips. I’ll need to share this information with my local group since this information can really come in handy during this time. Thank you!

  • Britt K

    You have included some great solutions here. I love that you mentioned shopping at local stores for two distinct reasons – First, the fact that our local stores are struggling as small business owners have been left behind for the most part in terms of any financial relief. Second, the point that you mentioned, they are often overlooked but offer the products that we’re searching for. When everyone was complaining online that you couldn’t buy hand sanitizer anywhere, we were able to pick it up easily at a local shop. They didn’t have a lot, but there was definitely enough for a few more families there at the time.

  • Morgan Paxton

    We had a lot of shortages at the begining of the pandemic but it’s leveled out more now. Every now and then we see a wave of shortages (like toilet paper!). It was really hard for us at first, since we are vegan, a lot of our staple foods were all sold out! Everyone was opting for pasta, beans and even tofu. Since we’ve been just buying a tiny bit more than we need each shop to make sure we have a small stockpile. Everything is so unpredictable. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  • Chelsea

    These are great ideas. I panic buy a lot. Where I’m at we’re still seeing shortages of certain items and I’ll get nervous and end up buying another brand or a replacement in bulk that I’m not sure about. Or, when they DO end up having the product, I buy huge amounts of it. Sigh. It’s not great for my pocket book, that’s for sure. Thanks for all the reminders!

    • The Prepping Wife

      Organization will serve you well, Chelsea! I have a set amount of everything (I may have OCD) and the threshold of how much I’m comfortable going down to before going shopping. That organization keeps me from panic buying and overbuying. Overbuying leads to a lack of space, and things feel too disorganized for me when that happens.

  • Naeem

    Gardening is not just a hobby; it is a therapeutic activity that offers a myriad of health benefits. From physical fitness to stress reduction, improved mental well-being, cognitive stimulation, and a rekindled connection with nature, gardening provides a holistic approach to enhancing our overall quality of life. So, whether you have a spacious backyard or a small balcony, take the time to dig your hands into the earth, nurture plants, and experience the transformative power of gardening for your health and well-being.

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