We interrupt this Black Friday holiday shopping season extravaganza to remind you to see how much toilet paper you have on hand.
Back when the COVID-19 pandemic first started, we saw shortages of toilet paper, cleaning products, meat, eggs, and more.
Although manufacturers were able to eventually catch up, experts are now warning of another wave of shortages, as coronavirus cases continue to climb alongside winter weather and cold and flu season.
It’s already happening in other countries, and stores in the U.S. are getting ready for another round of increased demand.
Don’t hoard, but be smart about making sure your family is ready to see these items disappear from shelves soon:
1. Toilet Paper
Yep. It’s back.
As more people hunker down at home this fall and winter, expect them to use toilet paper at the same levels they did during the initial lockdown. That means shortages.
We’re already seeing Costco sold out of toilet paper, both in store and online. Other stores like Target and Walmart have reintroduced product limits.
These retailers have toilet paper in stock (limits will apply):
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2. Canned Foods & Soups
There are a couple of issues here. One is that we’re still dealing with a shortage of aluminum — which is one of the metals used in canned food goods — caused by high demand in aluminum cans as more Americans stay home.
Shelf-stable foods are likely to be in high demand, as shoppers seek to fill their pantries to protect against future food shortages.
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3. Disinfectant Cleaners
The combination of COVID cases spiking, cold and flu season, and more time spent indoors will lead to a new run on cleaning products.
Germany is already seeing disinfectant sprays and wipes selling out in stores, and Clorox wipes are frequently out of stock these days at Amazon, Walmart, Costco, and Target.
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Early in the pandemic, people cleared shelves of over-the-counter medications, from pain relievers to decongestants. Pharmacies struggled for weeks to keep shelves stocked.
Although suppliers have had time to produce more product, the demand is looking to be even greater, with a regular cold and flu season happening on top of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Products like NyQuil, Robitussin, Mucinex, and Alka-Seltzer are going to be in high demand.
But it’s not just over-the-counter drugs. The Food and Drug Administration has a huge list of drug shortages they update constantly.
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5. Baking Products
During the first round of quarantine, shelves were cleared of baking goods — particularly flour and yeast.
With potential lockdowns looming, plus holiday baking traditions, there’s a good chance that some baking staples will be in short supply again.
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6. Paper Towels
Another paper product we’re seeing sell out in Costco and on Amazon is paper towels.
Supply chain strains have made paper towels difficult to keep in stock since the outbreak began, but as more people stay home, the products will be in higher demand.
Tip: Don’t buy them from Dollar Tree unless you’re desperate or have a coupon.
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7. Outdoor Heaters
Outdoor heaters have been some of the most purchased and sought-after items of the early fall. It’s already next to impossible to buy one online.
Heaters will continue to be in high demand, as people and businesses try to reduce their COVID-19 exposure by being outside.
Even related items like fire pits and portable propane fireplaces are selling out. If you can find any of these in stock, don’t wait; buy them right away.
8. Hand Sanitizer
While it appears that manufacturers have stocked up on sanitizers since the onset of the pandemic, the onset of a third wave of coronavirus infections will lead people to buy more hand sanitizer — and they’re probably running low after buying a bunch in the spring.
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9. Air Purifiers
Since most of us will be spending more time indoors with the colder weather, CNBC reports that air purifiers are going to be in short supply.
Experts say that HEPA-filtering air purifiers can clean your home’s air, eliminating 99.97% of airborne particles, including those that could carry COVID-19.
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10. Pasta & Rice
Pasta and rice were in short supply during Round 1 of the coronavirus panic buying, and these shelf-stable items are likely to be in demand again this fall/winter.
Germany’s second round of panic buying has shown demand for these items to be skyrocketing.
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11. Holiday Gifts
Remember when shipping delays were a way of life earlier this year? E-commerce is in high demand right now, but when you add the logistical stress of the holidays to it, there could be serious shipping delays.
Retailers are stretching out the holiday season to avoid these bottlenecks, so our advice is to shop sooner than later to make sure there’s inventory available and that your purchases arrive on time.
Also: Subscription boxes were very popular at the beginning of the pandemic, and lots of people ended up on waiting lists. That could happen again, particularly with meal kit subscription boxes.
Honorable mention: Cranberry Products
Depending on where you are in the country, cranberry products could be in short supply this Thanksgiving.
The Northeast saw rough weather conditions — a June frost plus a very hot August — which cut their cranberry crop in half, according to Yahoo!. In the Midwest, the crop hasn’t really been affected at all.
So while there won’t be a nationwide shortage, some areas could see limited supplies, or at the very least, higher prices.