One of the more startling aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic's early days was the breakdown of our food supply chains. We knew it was key to stay home and avoid unnecessary exposure, but everyone needs to eat. Getting to the grocery store only to find rows and rows of empty shelves was a shock to everyone's system.
Unfortunately, we should plan for a repeat this fall. Experts believe we're going to see more food shortages as the weather gets colder, and for many of the same reasons we saw this past spring. Between COVID and flu season, food producers and suppliers are going to run low on manpower. Prices may fluctuate, but more to the point, it's going to be a lot harder to find some kitchen staples over the next several months.
One unsurprising item topping predictions is flour. Other baking supplies, like baking powder and soda, sugar, salt, and yeast, could also get thin on the ground. If you're looking to stock up now, also keep an eye on things like canned soup, certain sodas (especially if Coke has recently canceled your niche faves), and some of your favorite snack foods (like certain brands of nachos and cookies).
Like many Americans, your grocery bills may have crept upward during the pandemic. By avoiding hoarding behaviors, it's possible to stretch your trips so you'll have less exposure, but consider some other changes to your shopping habits to help, like focusing on vegetarian options. Even going for sourdough can open up new eating horizons. It's all one more challenge amid many during these times, but new habits could be really helpful in the long run.