If you thought 2022 would bring a return to normalcy, you’re sadly mistaken. In fact, this year could end up looking more like 2020 than last year did. And that could mean a return to bare store shelves.
With the war in Ukraine continuing and sanctions on Russia potentially ramping up even further, shortages of raw materials, grains, and fertilizer could send the prices of food and consumer goods even higher than they would have been, even with rising inflation. Don’t be surprised to see shortages of basic necessities.
Now is the time to stock up and make sure that you’re prepared for any future shortages. Here are the nine things that will likely disappear from store shelves first.
1. Toilet Paper
Toilet paper is probably going to be the number one most hoarded item yet again. For some reason, people just have a fear that they’re not going to be able to wipe themselves after doing number two.
Supplies at stores have been irregular for the past two years, and prices have been climbing as demand hasn’t really slackened. But this is one item it’s easy to stock up on, since toilet paper can’t go bad.
It’s a good idea to figure out how long it takes you to go through a roll of toilet paper in your main bathroom, then get at least a two month supply. In my house it takes about three days to go through a roll. So two months supply is 20 rolls. An 18-pack of Charmin works pretty well.
And make sure to replenish your stock no later than when you’re down to a two-week supply. You don’t want to get caught out and get left with no TP.
2. Paper Towels
This is another one that has become very popular in recent years. Sure, you can make rags from old T-shirts, but that can be messy and inconvenient. And who wants to constantly launder old rags, anyways?
Follow the same method for calculating your usage as with toilet paper, and replenish your supply once you’re down to your last two rolls.
A lot of appliances around the house rely on batteries either for their primary source of power or for backup power. And you can guarantee that they’ll fly off the shelves at the first sign of trouble, because most people don’t bother keeping supplies on hand.
Figure out how many appliances in your house use batteries, and what type, and make sure you purchase plenty of backups. Batteries are cheap, they last for years, and they’re absolutely indispensable. There’s no reason not to stock up on them today.
4. Baby Products
If you have small children, you probably know that baby items are going to disappear quickly. Here again it can pay dividends to stock up. Whether you need formula, diapers, or wipes, most baby products have long shelf lives and can be easily stored. And if you find yourself with excess items, or diapers that your child no longer needs, you can donate them to those in need or use them as barter in a real SHTF situation.
People will panic at the first signs of complications in oil markets. Gas stations will have lines going down the street and prices will skyrocket. You can keep from being subject to this in two ways.
First, never let your gas tank ever get less than half full. That ensures that you can always get out of Dodge if you need to, and ensures that you’ll always have fuel to get around even if you have to lay low during a gas panic.
Second, if you can, buy gas cans and store gasoline. Make sure to use fuel stabilizer to extend its shelf life, and rotate your stocks every few months because gas won’t stay good forever. This obviously isn’t something apartment dwellers can do, but if you have a house and a safe place to store gas cans, get ahead of the curve and start storing some. And that goes double for those of you with gas-powered generators.
6. Canned Food
Canned foods are going to fly off the shelves if food shortages start occurring. And that’s why you need to start stocking up today. Prices have already started rising on most canned goods, and they’re only going to get more expensive.
Canned food can last for years, so there’s no reason not to stock up on at least a few months worth of food. An 18”x36” 6-foot tall storage rack or cabinet can store plenty of food. Just make sure to rotate through your supply so you don’t have old stock sitting around for years.
Normally bread is the item in short supply on store shelves, but 2020 taught us that flour is popular too. Apparently a lot of people decided to take up baking.
If bread is a staple in your diet, make sure to stock up on enough flour to last you several months, as well as plenty of yeast. And if you really want to be secure, maybe it’s worth stocking up on grain and making the investment in a grain mill. That way you’ll be able to keep grains on hand for long-term storage and make flour when you need it.
Water will also disappear from the shelves quickly. While you may think that you’ll always have your municipal supply or well water to supply you when things get tough, just remember Murphy’s Law. Make sure to have a 2-3 month supply of water stored away if you have room for it, just in case.
9. Soap and Cleaning Supplies
This is another thing that most people don’t think about until they need it. And by the time they need it, there’s nothing to be had on the shelves. Soap and cleaning supplies aren’t going to go bad, they can store for years inside a climate-controlled house. So there’s no reason not to stock up on soap, disinfectants, rubber gloves, and other cleaning supplies.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of what’s going to be disappearing from shelves, it should help give you some direction about what is going to be around and what isn’t, and which items you should start focusing on when building up your survival stockpile.