The Last Minute Shopping Trip

Posted on: June 17, 2014

There you are at the local grocery store, picking up what you’ll need for the coming week. You’ve been here countless times and know the store like the back of your hand so you’re operating sort of on autopilot. Your phone buzzes and you glance at the screen, expecting to see yet another picture of your newborn nephew that your sister posted on Facebook. Instead, you are frozen by the message you see.

Major quakes along New Madrid fault. Massive damage is being reported in many locations. The balloon has gone up.

This message was sent to you by a trusted friend, a prepper and a member of your mutual assistance group. That last sentence about the balloon is a code phrase telling you this is a major situation and one likely to have far reaching ramifications.

Few of the sheeple around you at the store likely know anything about the disaster as of yet. Doubtful any of them would recognize the implications of it, either. However, you’re savvy enough to realize supply chains are going to be disrupted, likely for some time to come. Massive resources will need to be rerouted to lend assistance to those directly affected by the quakes.

As word gets out about the disaster and people start giving more thought to it, odds are pretty good that the shelves of the store you’re in right now will be wiped clean by the end of the day.

Given this insight, you have an interesting opportunity in front of you. You could stock up for the long haul, just in case things get nasty later, and not have to deal with throngs of sheeple clamoring and fighting for the last loaf of bread.

Your time is limited. You want to grab your goodies and get the hell out of Dodge before folks in the area wise up.

So, what do you buy?

The answer is going to be a bit different for each person, based on what they already have at home as well as the family’s food preferences. On top of that, of course, is the financial end of things. How will you pay for a massive cartload of groceries? To answer the second question first, if possible try to have at least one credit card available to you that has a low balance. Use this card ONLY for emergencies and pay it off as quickly as you can any time you use it. This gives you a cushion of buying power just for situations like this, as well as emergency car repairs, an unexpected hotel stay, and other similar situations.

Ok, back to our grocery store scenario. As I said before, you want to get out of the store as quickly as possible. Planning ahead will save you time. Sit down and make a “dream” shopping list. Put on that list everything and anything normally stocked at your grocery store that you’d want to be sure to grab during your last ditch shopping trip. Here are just a few ideas.

Canned veggies, fruit, meat
Canned soup, pasta, stew, chili
Dry beans and pasta
Powdered milk
Bottled water
Powdered drink mixes
Granola bars, protein bars
Baking mixes
Baking soda
Baking powder
Gravy mixes
Peanut butter
Fresh fruit and veggies
Fresh meat
Toilet paper
Feminine hygiene

Personally, knowing the layout of my grocery store as well as I do, I’m confident I could load all that up and be at the registers within 15 minutes or less. What I suggest is, after making your list, put it in your wallet or purse. Think about it like this — you’ll probably never need it but you’ve invested all of maybe 10 minutes of your life into making the list and it might prove invaluable someday.

In our scenario here of a series of quakes along the New Madrid fault, we’re not looking at a likelihood of massive power outages outside the immediately affected areas. Therefore, fresh meat and such can still be frozen or refrigerated at home. This isn’t truly a “stock up for the end of the world” situation but rather stocking up in advance of anticipated shortages.

Worth noting, too, is the law of supply and demand. As supplies of food and other essentials decrease, demand is going to increase. This often leads to higher prices. Stocking up in advance of this will save you money in the long run, as well as keep your family fed.

Note: Please do not take this post to mean that you should plan on heading to the store as soon as you hear about a possible disaster coming your way. That’s exactly what everyone else will be doing and you want to avoid crowds, not run toward them. The takeaway here is that by planning ahead, you might find yourself in a position where you can take advantage of some advance warning.

4 thoughts on “The Last Minute Shopping Trip

  1. LP, that could be a valid concern, depending upon the nature of the disaster. If the event is extremely localized, it would indeed be *possible* for such purchases to be tracked. However, personally I feel the risk is minimal, if only because the “powers that be” will be entirely too busy with recovery efforts to worry about tracing credit card purchases in the few hours that led up to the event.

    That said, cash on hand is always preferable to credit cards, particularly due to the likelihood of computer systems being negatively affected by the event and thus many stores won’t accept plastic payment.

  2. One thought comes to mind. Plastic card purchased get recorded. Strange patterns can stand out, and “hoarding” charges can be made. Even for a local if regional emergency perhaps. One might consider making such purchases with cash. This requires having it ready to go, maybe even on hand (to fill the needs if this scenario). A lot of people consider that unreasonable or paranoid, but cash on hand is a good tool and is only a risk if it gets flashed about.

  3. CJ, I understand what you are saying but I think your concern here might be a bit misplaced. My use of the term “sheeple” is not meant in a derogatory way but rather as just being descriptive, a way of delineating between those who have their ear to the ground, so to speak, and those who do not.

    If you were at all familiar with my writing and other educational endeavors, you’d know I’m the LAST person who would sit back and enjoy people’s suffering in the wake of a disaster.

  4. I understand frustration with people’s over reliance on the system but is degrading other people in your mind and your posts by calling them sheeple really the sentiment you want to spread. A better mind set is to find a way to relate to those in your community. If they trust you they will be more likely to take your advice to start their own emergency preps. Your community as a whole will be better prepared. Sitting back smugly planning to enjoy other peoples suffering is shortsighted.and dangerous.

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