A Last Run To Buy Grocery Store Food Items


What will be the first grocery store items to disappear during a SHTF scenario when all of your neighbors are rushing out to the grocery store down the street? Will the items they purchase be the items they really should be purchasing? Maybe, but then again, maybe not.

For the purpose of this scenario, let’s say that the SHTF event is a major magnitude 8.0 earthquake on the New Madrid fault zone where Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri come together along the Mississippi river. The earthquake is so severe that almost all of the bridges along the Mississippi river are knocked out. Since much of the foods and supplies criss-cross the country from source to destination, there will be major disruptions in inventory when nearly all the east-west trucking has slowed to a trickle due to the major bridges being out. In this example, you don’t actually live in the devastation zone (where the power will be out and stores closed anyway), but you know that there will be serious supply shortages soon. The news media has been talking about the supply distribution breakdown and the fact that bridge repairs may take months or much longer. You are worried that food may become in short supply.


Most people won’t know how bad it might get, but there will be people beginning to panic and rushing out to the grocery store to buy supplies.

Many people won’t be smart, and won’t think it through. What will they buy first?

Maybe they will rush to get things like,

– fresh milk, bread, and eggs
– more of their ‘regular’ stuff (processed/boxed foods, frozen foods, etc.)
– cigarettes and booze

Why did they buy these items? What was their ‘thinking’ or logic behind it?

It’s a natural instinct to go out and buy the foods that are consumed on a regular basis, especially those that will ‘go bad’ the soonest, foods that don’t last that long like fresh bread and milk. We have been trained to think short-term. We have short attention spans and tend not to think ahead (or plan ahead).


Buying milk and bread and other ‘regular’ items are Okay, but, for those who realize the serious magnitude of the situation, knowing that supplies may run out quickly and that they may be without supplies for some time afterward, what might be some better (or additional) items to buy first?

Maybe some of these items will be a better choice during that last minute grocery store run before things run out completely.

– 10 lb. bags (or larger) of rice & beans
– flour/sugar/salt/yeast
– high calorie foods, like the following few random examples,
mac-n-cheese (600 calories/box)
peanut butter (100 calories/tablespoon)
canned stews (200 calories/cup)
canned brown, red, or black beans (350 calories/can)
canned meats
you get the idea…
– powdered milk, powdered potatoes
– coffee/tea, or similar items that you use, or could be used for trade


I’m not intending to make a list of things to get, but to point out that for a last-minute, one time last run to the grocery store while facing upcoming food shortages, you should think about it differently.

By thinking in terms of getting food items that will be better for longer term shortages, you will fill your basket with other things than most people around you who are stocking up with bread and milk. The things in your basket may not be what you normally buy, but the idea is to buy the foods that will last longer, and provide more calories for you money.

Remember, calories keep you alive.


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  1. For this scenario we have 2 shopping lists ready. One for food and toiletry items including some of the above and a second for automotive necessities, propane, emptying the bank account of all cash and home preparation if moving into the basement long term is required. There’s also a home prep list for those who get there first. All is based on the level of emergency and ease of access to above merchants. Being caught off guard can result in chaos and indecision and lost valuable time. It’s key to drop what you’re doing, no matter what or where and get to these stores with your shopping list. If one is packed with people, move on to the next store on your list and so on, then head straight home. The speed of an event will determine whether you have time do do any of this at all.

    1. Good idea. I think, since we have several grocery stores available, I will borrow one of my mother’s tricks and find each store’s aisle layout diagram and add that to the lists I have. Husband wouldn’t know where to find anything in the stores, and aisle numbers might help.

  2. where i live, when a new grocery store is built, they automatically give people a map of the store when it opens. I told my sister the other day that I’ve started prepping. She didnt laugh at me,(she is not able to prep, they are on 1 income now & that doesnt even pay the bills at all.
    I have helped them some, but I pull from my prep storage.
    I’ve learned even if I dont need it, I will at least buy 1 of each:5 lb bag of corn meal,1 5 lb bag of flour & 1 4 lb bag of sugar along with 1 bag of rrice, beans with 3 gal of water & gatorade. several cans of tuna & potted meat w box of crackers.

    1. @ honeymom

      Well after I calmed down from yesterday’s Killary BS, I wanted to say something to your post…

      Shi^ Hitting the Fan, is not always about “the big one” you have the right attitude in your preps, obtaining what you can as you can. I little at a time works wonders. One thing I do when cash is a little low is “use one, buy two” always replacing what you use, that way you’re not going out and buying $1000 of stuff you “may use” if TSHTF, but you’re getting things you are using, and that extra one you buy, it gets put away so you can help others if need or if you run short. Sounds like you’re doing “it” right. Hopefully you can talk your sister into just preparing a little. You may also point out to her that buying bulk sometimes is difficult, but the overall cost per “unit” is a big savings.

      Good for you talking with her about preparing.


  3. Keep in mind that neither corn flour or regular flour have a very long shelf life.

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