October 21 – Shortages

Today, the news story that caught my attention comes from Bloomberg.com.    In this article, food shortages are discussed at length.

According to this article, the three main forces driving these shortages are labour shortages at food processing plants, transportation issues/getting products to store shelves, and hoarding by consumers.

I have seen a number of articles discussing goods shortages, gas and oil shortages, and the like.  They go into detail about how and why these shortage occur, how long these shortages will last, etc.    Most seem to suggest that they will, in time, return to pre-covid supply levels.

I can only speak for how things are in Canada, specifically in Saskatchewan.   So far, we have had limited shortages and not so limited price hikes – which of course are most detrimental to those who can least afford them.

In my view…  We need to adapt permanently! – personally as well as retailers.   In Canada we waste an obscene amount of food, product, and fuel.   Suppliers encourage this waste by their packaging and by their promotions.

There are some things that Dan and I have done for ages.  When it comes to vehicles, furniture, appliances, electronics and the like – we do not buy, or trade up, unless we have to and we do everything possible to keep such things out of the landfill.  

Mother-in-law’s rocker that Jen reupholstered. (I love this chair – I live in this chair 💞)

Since this pandemic started and I retired, we have gotten way better at being purposefully less wasteful. A number of the things we do now –

  • We shop way less frequently – saving gas, wear and tear on our vehicle and avoiding a lot of impulse buys – food and otherwise
  • We are getting way better at watching expiry dates and using up food before it gets tossed
  • We are way better at using our leftovers
  • We take better care with our food – preparing vegetables before putting away helps keep them fresh longer. Freezer packing our meat in usable portions before storing in the freezer also helps.
  • Buying condiments, etc. in smaller bottles so they get used up before being tossed out
  • We did way better at using and processing (for later use) our garden produce this year
  • Using REAL dishes instead of paper plates (mostly).
  • We are doing way more to weather-proof our house this fall to save on energy and to save my lungs and sinuses from the effects of forced air heating this winter
  • Buying better quality clothing and home linens – less often!
  • Using rain barrels to water our garden this summer
  • Giving grandkids money for gifts in lieu of ‘things’ that they may or may not need or use. Especially now that they are getting older, they would rather have the money to do something that they will enjoy.

It is little things – but they all help. It definitely helps with me being home all of the time, especially when Dan has days off. We have time to get things done together. That is not a luxury that everyone has. But if everyone who could, did a bit more it would take the pressure off of supply chains and make life a bit easier for others. We could actually be helping instead of hoarding.

We don’t really do that much, it doesn’t seem like that much, but I cringe to think of how wasteful we were before the pandemic.

Retailers could also do so much more to help control waste – especially food stores. Some perishables you simply cannot purchase in smaller quantities (like Bok Choy) or they are price prohibitive in smaller quantities. Many current promotions are only for quantities of two to four units at a time. Anything perishable – from salad dressing, to crackers, to cereal is impractical purchased in multiples for a small household. But, the price per single unit is rediculous, compared to the multiples price.

That’s it for today! My views were rather wordy compared to my news, but if you got this far ‘Thanks for listening!’

Take care and have a great day! 💞

31 thoughts on “October 21 – Shortages

  1. Good reading, Annmarie! Your comment on forced air heating really struck me – what happened to using radial heaters against the wall? I know they use hot water but is there a solution to forced air? It really dries your sinus out and blasts dust everywhere!

    I admit to using paper plates too much, but if you use real plates you have to use water to clean them off. Which is better? My local grocery store tosses so much food away in the big bins behind the store, it makes me mad! And, the Dumpster Divers then come for that food.

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  2. I don’t know if anyone uses radial heaters anymore – mostly forced air and in-floor heating. Our house is way too old to handle the changeover to in-floor heaters. We have been using our electric fireplace and an oil filled space heater so far this year. Dan got our air filters cleaned up last weekend so they will help when we turn on the heaters. They are good filters that take out a lot of the dust but of course they don’t help with the dryness. True about the plates but I do dishes (by hand) after every meal anyway so the water is minimal. Yes the food that stores toss out is obscene.
    Cell phone providers make me nuts too with their upgrades every second year. For some people who use their phones a lot – especially for work, ok. But for most of us, that is just rediculous.

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  3. That’s pretty good! We have replaced all of our appliances since I moved in with Dan (22 years ago). We get them from the same local dealer and they have given us great deals every time. 😁. We did just but a computer from Best Buy. I think we go a fairly good deal. Freezers are priceless at any price! We save money and trips to the store with ours for sure.

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  4. Great post Anne. It is a shame that so much is wasted. I think of all the food waste, there would be no hungry people if the poor and hungry were fed the food that is still good, but thrown away.

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  5. There is a lot most of us can do to be more conservative. I am fine with it and get by just fine. My son, and his friend, moved in AGAIN five months ago. My son is 31 and supposedly they came here AgAIN because they had no where else to go. So, they come to a small town with barely any work (that he wants to do) rather than living somewhere plenty of work is available. Being conservative to them is just a word and it drives me nuts…

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  6. I hear you! My three are all very much on their own now (and I am sure happier for it). It is funny but it seems like the next generation is much more intent on being independent and conservative with their money and the planet in general.

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  7. This is a good post!

    We use an old fashioned solar and wind powered clothes dryer commonly called a clothesline. The laundry gets mostly dry even in winter; then we bring it in and hang it on a drying rack to get all the moisture out.

    The new car dealer keeps sending email saying they will give us a great deal on our 18 month old car to upgrade to a new vehicle. No thank you, for two reasons. One, the car is paid off so why would we want to take on more debt? Two, our car is more complicated than we care for so why go into debt for a new one that’s likely even more complicated? An aside – we still have the uncomplicated pickup I bought new in 2000. It does what we need it to do so we will keep it until it either drops or we retire, whichever comes first.

    Our dishwasher is located at the ends of our arms.

    Our lawn is watered when it rains. No rain – no watering; the lawn goes dormant. With the growing season at an end I emptied the rain barrels.

    We’re fortunate to live in a small town where so many necessities and amenities are in walking distance.

    It could be that many of us will have to adapt to more costly . . . most everything we have, through the past several decades, come to assume will be available inexpensively and without delay. Like a $4 avocado. Or $10 for a bundle of out of season asparagus. (We do not buy asparagus out of season; ours comes from our garden or from local growers.) Or a couch, previously ordered with a few clicks that magically showed up eight weeks later, becoming less inexpensive and showing up nine months later.

    We think that while this adapting will present problems, it will continue presenting opportunities to keep paring life down to what is really important. Like books. And our dogs. And continuing to spend time with each other on the deck, appreciating our blessings.

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  8. I totally agree. We do many of these things, plus others. (That is where my dishwasher is. I have a drier but I would use a clothesline. I love the smell of fresh air laundry! ) I think sometime ‘bad’ things are actually blessings – for us and the planet.

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  9. Yes that would be nice but I don’t know how government can possibly be effective. People demand so much, feel they shouldn’t pay for it, and are unwilling to compromise on anything. They best hope I never get into politics. 😂

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  10. I agree 100%. There are a lot of people who would rather stay home and smoke pot and drink than work. Don’t get me started on that subject… I much rather stay right here on my farm than even go to town anymore.

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  11. There was one that used to get yippy with our little dog but they have gotten used to her. The cutest thing was the night we kept our grandson, Dom who is six (but small for his age). I took him out to help me feed the birds and squirrels. As I was setting up, Dom started talking to a squirrel that was watching us. It was so cute – they just chatted and chipped away at each other. Dom was so excited to have a new friend here. 😂

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  12. Ugh, we eat in front of the tv most nights too-usually watching ‘Heartland.’ We on season 6! And we do go out to eat every couple weeks usually for a late lunch (then I don’t have to cook because it’s popcorn for supper)!!!!

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  13. We don’t watch “Heartland”. We do watch a lot of gold mining and the like, some golf (some of us are not actually watching). I have popcorn for supper sometimes if Dan is at work. I made popcorn for supper once when my kids were still kids. They thought that was hilarious. I thought it was easy.

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  14. But it’s famous for being filmed in Canada and the longest running series! Both girls Amy & Lou get on my nerves though, but it’s our supper program. That or Snowy River…

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  15. Do you have an extra chair for the Hubs a couple nights a week? He loves gold diggers (Parker-we hate Tony Beets) Oak Island, and those southern alligator hunters. Hahaha

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  16. Anytime! I hate Tony Beets too, and his wife is as bad. 🙄 We watch Oak Island too, arghh That one is worse than a soap opera. The only thing half entertaining is the commentator. He sounds like Dr. Seuss. I don’t mind the alligator hunters but not a fan when I am eating.

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  17. There’s a lot of programs we don’t watch if we’re eating. I haven’t watched the Oak Island guys for awhile but Hubs still does. Can’t remember the narrator or his voice. I can’t do the alligator stuff or the tuna fishermen. Geez every catch is exactly the same. Who has time for that shit?

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