Toledo Talk

If you're going to the grocery store, good luck

first, I think the traffic was worse than during Christmas shopping. The snow doesn't help either.

Was at the Kroger on Laskey this afternoon. I have never seen so many cars in the parking lot there, ever. And I shopped the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas. I took 3 carts to the door with me from my parking area and by the time I got near the front door, 2 of them had been scooped from me. I found out why soon enough. There wasn't a single cart inside the store. People were actually waiting for the cart people to return carts so they could use them.
There were no bananas, only 6 gallons of milk left, bottled water was scarce, and a pretty good dent was being put into the bread department.

The check out lines were across the aisle and up the adjoining aisles. Funny sites were the couple that had 2 full size carts filled from top to bottom with 2 liters of various soda. Under the cart, and under the seat was stuffed with soda. It was stacked in the cart and curved up like a mountain in both carts. Why? I do not know. It wasn't cheap enough to justify that. One older lady had 5 gallons of milk. 5 gallons? Sweet moses. The other funny thing was listening to people complain about shoppers. Things like, "They had all week to shop, why did they wait until today?" I guess they thought that they were the only ones that needed to be there.

The self checkout lines were the shortest. Be patient in and out of the store. As I was leaving 2 women were yelling at each other about a parking spot. One was even out of her car yelling and waving her arms. Most people were considerate about parking and stuff, but others were flying through the lot like they were going to a fire.

Overall, it was madness.
Serenity Now!

created by hockeyfan on Jan 04, 2014 at 06:26:35 pm     Food     Comments: 41

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Meh - I grabbed a gallon of milk at Speedway today, and I now plan to hunker down and whittle away at our pantry and freezer goods (not to mention extra uneaten food we purchased for the various holiday parties we hosted) until it warms up in a few days.

The storm also gives me an excuse to work from home at least a day or two this upcoming week.

posted by historymike on Jan 04, 2014 at 06:35:44 pm     #  

Saw the same thing at every Kroger we passed today. Didn't venture inside but noticed the parking lots were full out to the street.

WTF is with people? Happens every time there is nasty weather forecast. Do most people not keep the basics on hand? We keep a rather well stocked pantry for a number of reasons - not the least of which is that we enjoy good food and I enjoy cooking.

I've just never understood people's rush to hoard enough food for a month when you know that, at the most, you might not be able to get to the store for a day.

posted by Foodie on Jan 04, 2014 at 06:37:44 pm     #   1 person liked this

Aye I went to Kroger on Navarre yesterday night. Never seen such a thing.

posted by INeedCoffee on Jan 04, 2014 at 06:56:16 pm     #  

Meijer in Rossford was bad too. I just went because my grandma needed to make her weekly shopping trip and we needed stuff. With 7 people stuff doesn't last long. I'm lucky if we can go 3 days without having to go the store.

posted by lfrost2125 on Jan 04, 2014 at 07:01:33 pm     #  

Was at the P-burg Churchill's about an hour ago. Was it busy? Yes, but I got my stuff and went to the checkout and was right behind the person who was paying for his stuff. Lots of milk in the cooler, too.

posted by OnePlainPerson on Jan 04, 2014 at 07:06:26 pm     #  

Unfortunately, I had planned on going to the the store today for a family get together Sunday. This put me directly into the storm fest shoppers.
After seeing some tempers and attitudes out there today, I'm not sure I want to see society if a real emergency or crisis occurs.

posted by hockeyfan on Jan 04, 2014 at 07:44:45 pm     #   2 people liked this

I went to the store on Thursday for our weekly trip. There were literally no juice boxes on the shelf and bread/milk were slim pickins! I am so glad that I order a 1/4 of a cow during the winter and I don't have to worry about meat but we still need staples. I couldn't believe the store then and I can't imagine it today!

posted by ajm00733 on Jan 04, 2014 at 07:51:12 pm     #  

I think, between the expected snow and extreme cold and it being the beginning of the month, when many people receive benefits, we had the perfect setup for craziness at the grocery store.

We stopped at Costco after work last night and after reading Facebook posts similar to hockeyfan's experience, I am very glad we did.

posted by valbee on Jan 04, 2014 at 08:25:54 pm     #  

It was easy shopping this morning at the Toledo Farmer's Market. We bought sourdough bread, coffee beans, apples, carrots, beets, etc. We missed out on the eggs though. One farmer said the eggs sold out quickly. Another farmer said, "The girls were on strike." It was too cold for much egg-laying production. The chickens were too busy eating to stay warm. It's fun buying directly from the farmers and the other producers who sell their products at the market. We didn't stop at the Phoenix Earth Food Co-op today, but I reckon it didn't suffer from stupid human madness.

Weather-wise, every winter storm is NOT the freakish Blizzard of '78.

For the current storm, the toughest 24-hour period will probably be from Noon Sunday to Noon Monday for the combination of snow, blowing snow, and cold. It will be chilly on Monday and Tuesday, but some stores should be open and city roads should be passable. If people need food on Monday afternoon or evening, and they live in the city, they should be able to get it.

My calendar reads January and not July. It seems strange to me that so many people who live this far north act like pansies.

I'm guessing that most households already contain at least two days worth of food before shopping.

I could understand stocking up in an insane manner if people lived in the wide open, wind-blown, rural countryside with the nearest store 30 miles away.

Here's a future idea: canning. People should can more in the late summer and fall. We could live off our corn salsa for a while.

It would be extremely rare for a storm to shutdown businesses for more than one day. In my opinion, the only type of weather that could do this in Toledo would be a tornado, a severe ice storm, or possibly a Blizzard of '78 repeat.

A bit about the '78 storm:

... winds gusted to more than 100 miles per hour over much of the state, with sustained winds in the 45-60 mph range. Record snowfalls were recorded in many areas.

That ain't this current storm, and for many of us, it's unlikely that a storm similar to the Blizzard of '78 will ever occur again in Ohio in our lifetime. And now I jinxed us. Later this month, the biggest blizzard since '78 will hit Toledo.

"Serenity Now!"

Good one, hockeyfan.

posted by jr on Jan 04, 2014 at 08:26:36 pm     #   5 people liked this

I went to both Meijer and Kroger today (a glutton for punishment I guess) each were equally crazy busy. I figured between the incoming storm and unusually low temps in the forecast, being the first week on the month, and everyone going back to school and work on Monday (potentially) - Perfect storm for empty shelves at the grocery store. Meijer was also having some nice sales.
Surprisingly, however, most people I encountered were happy and friendly. Stay warm and stay safe y'all.

posted by SJD on Jan 04, 2014 at 08:35:48 pm     #  

Went shopping around 4 yesterday. Every dingle cart at Costco was spoken for. It was hilariously packed!

posted by upso on Jan 04, 2014 at 08:42:09 pm     #  

Hoochie Mamma

posted by hockeyfan on Jan 04, 2014 at 08:43:50 pm     #  

Glad I'm not the only one that noticed. It was nuts!

Someone mentioned above - We had a storm earlier in the week stranding people. Food Stamps in the beginning of the month and a storm on it's way. Plus it's a weekend.

The perfect storm to create havoc.

posted by Danneskjold on Jan 04, 2014 at 09:36:05 pm     #  

I was at Krogers - Jackman/Laskey today also, but only because I forgot A-1 sauce. It was a mad house but thankfully Krogers had ever lane open and things were moving along.

Just don't forget to run water in your sink on Monday when the temps dip again. My parents were greeted to the water company today because they were looking for a leak. After a check in the crawlspace it was all muddy, but it wasn't my parents house it was the neighbors house that the pipes burst. Hope everyone fairs good with the impending storm.

posted by ToledoLatina on Jan 04, 2014 at 10:28:14 pm     #  

I needed a few things, so decided to stop out at the Secor/Monroe Kroger for fun. It was crazier than I expected. The highlights:

Mixed in with the drivers circling the front of the store for the closest parking spots were parked cars to pick up passengers at the doors. This is a big inconvenience for those who drive back and forth in front of the store to save themselves the extra ten steps.

A complete moron with a cart packed full of groceries using the self-checkout who needed the cashiers assistance every three items or so. An IQ test to qualify self-checkout candidates could do wonders.

Sorry sir, but our tests have revealed that you do not have the mental capacity or the problem solving skills to master the complexities of our touch screen pos system.

Don't get me wrong. I really had a good time being part of all the excitement.

posted by nick44 on Jan 04, 2014 at 11:11:48 pm     #   1 person liked this

nick44, like me, it sounds like you knew it was gonna be a complete mess, but if you put aside the afternoon to go, it can be hilarious people watching.

I completely forgot about the people parked in the fire lane. One car was actually facing the wrong way. Sure, it was cold today, but really? Cars just sitting there on possibly the busiest day of the year? They could have dropped off their "shoppers" and drove around or sat off in the distance waiting.

Overall, it was an "experience".

posted by hockeyfan on Jan 04, 2014 at 11:34:09 pm     #  

We stopped by the Meijer in Sylvania tonight. The trip was actually for something non-grocery related, but we figured we'd grab a few things while we were there. It was interesting looking in the aisles.

Everything pretty well picked clean. Almost no bread. Almost no milk.

The produce department was almost empty. No potatoes of any kind. The cooler that normally holds carrots, celery, etc was completely empty. No bananas left, and only 2 bags of apples remained.

I've never seen grocery aisles so empty, other than in disaster movies.

posted by mom2 on Jan 04, 2014 at 11:59:38 pm     #  

Mom2, that's what Prairieson was saying a bit ago. He stopped at the Kroger's on Alexis after work to pick up things we needed, and he said the shelves looked like pictures of Russian grocery stores in the 1970s.

They were out of milk. Out of ground beef. Out of a lot of stuff. And, interestingly, there was only one bottle of our dishwashing liquid of choice remaining.

I guess I'll be using heavy cream instead of milk to make blueberry pancakes in the morning, but that's not the end of the world. LOL!

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 05, 2014 at 12:28:15 am     #  

so, apparently what we can all get out of this is that when the end of world is coming, stock up on bananas and milk?

posted by hockeyfan on Jan 05, 2014 at 01:37:28 am     #  

Alexis Kroger was a madhouse around noon. Just went to get pop that was on sale. No carts, lines backed up down the aisles but stock was fairly decent at the time. Should have bought a bunch of milk and bread, then sold it at a high mark up out in the parking lot.

posted by TrilbyGuy on Jan 05, 2014 at 01:51:56 am     #  

Pure panic buying.

Those of us in the know have bought bottled water, in case the water goes out, batteries, in case the power goes out, and energy bars, in case things are protracted or we need to take food with us when leaving.

Otherwise, we always have about a week of staples in the house, so why bother? Buy 20 lbs of ground beef and then the power drops? guess you feast for a day, if you have gas stove, then what?

posted by RobJelf on Jan 05, 2014 at 03:49:56 am     #  

WTH is the deal with the produce aisles being cleared out? Are people that determined to stick with their New Year's resolution during the snowstorm?

Interestingly enough, I noticed that Kohl's parking lot looked like Black Friday last night. I guess people needed to stock up on clothes and bedding too.

posted by dell_diva on Jan 05, 2014 at 07:56:04 am     #  

People are idiots, pure and simple. Sorry to put it so bluntly. This is NW Ohio/ SE Michigan, cold and snow is normal this time of year. You won't get snowed in! I wasn't around in 1978, but do remember 1994 when it was very cold. Still alive.

posted by someguy23475 on Jan 05, 2014 at 08:29:22 am     #   1 person liked this

I wasn't around in 1978
I was. We got snowed in. The cars were all rear-wheel drive. And depending on the direction that your house faced, the drift might cover your entire garage. Walked to Kroger on the second day. Still remember it. They plowed the main roads and people walked down the main roads. There was no way they were getting cars out of neighborhoods. The entire neighborhood eventually shoveled our own street.

but do remember 1994
Me too. That was the last winter that I ever worked outside. :)

posted by justread on Jan 05, 2014 at 08:50:03 am     #  

All of the local clima-terrorists predict these storms every 10 minutes on the newscasts and especially social media. Internet trolls worship their guess-casting skills like they could not survive without their tips. Every storm has to have a name, is today a "weather event" or will we call it something like
"Armageddon 2014" ? I will tell you when the snow starts after I look out my window. That is most certified, most accurate. Let's all go to the store and buy snow shovels because everyone throws their away each year. Now we can all go to the grovery store because no one ever has two days worth of food in their cupboards.

posted by Hoops on Jan 05, 2014 at 09:16:02 am     #   3 people liked this

The wife and I stopped at the grocery store last night just to grab a few things.....had no idea what had went on earlier. It was insane at the level of idiocy that occurred.

What I want to know is, who is buying all of the fresh produce, chicken, milk, etc? If you are one who always cooks at home, you have stocks of food constantly, so those who went and raided the shelves are not the normal "cook every meal at home" people. Is it the threat of not being able to get to your Big Mac and Mcnuggets? And then all of the freezer section is still full? Gonna try and cook fresh for once?

posted by MattL on Jan 05, 2014 at 09:57:32 am     #   2 people liked this

Friday night at Northwood Meijers was no better, but we talked to the people around us and they all swore they were just there to get their usual groceries, lol. The one lady was driving from Taylor MI to Port Clinton for a niece's birthday party and she was supposed to drive back today, she had NO clue what the weather was supposed to be like and was kinda shocked when we told her. We were there to get some deli stuff and cookies for a last minute party at his sister's house Saturday, I swear!! :)

RobJeff, we have always had gas stoves and you can still light them with a match. Not sure about the furnace, tho.

My folks and 2 sibs were in Pburg in 78 and had no power for 5 days. They bundled up in blankets and sleeping bags, read as much as they could by daylight, ate what they had that didn't need cooking, and just waited. Still alive today, lol.

posted by nana on Jan 05, 2014 at 10:27:40 am     #  

Interestingly enough, I noticed that Kohl's parking lot looked like Black Friday last night. I guess people needed to stock up on clothes and bedding too.


We were at Kohl's last night, because the Kohl's cash we got for our Christmas shopping expired today. No way were we going to Kohl's today, so we used it last night. Wonder how many other people had the same thought?

Honestly, it didn't seem too terribly crowded inside, even though the parking lot did look full. We didn't have to wait in line to check out or anything.

posted by mom2 on Jan 05, 2014 at 11:16:36 am     #   1 person liked this

'78 Blizzard obviously mother-of-all, many around now who were too young to remember/not born would wet their pants experiencing that one. A once-in-a-lifetimer.

For me, this baby was second-worst, was returning to UT from home in Eastern Pa. after Thanksgiving, normal eight-hour drive, got caught in this hellion and turned into a 20-hour thrill ride. Was 20 years old, flying solo in a '72 Pinto shitbox. Left some scars.

posted by McCaskey on Jan 05, 2014 at 11:23:10 am     #  

I was at Kroger this morning. No bananas or iceberg lettuce, and short on bread, but hardly Soviet Russia.

posted by JohnnyMac on Jan 05, 2014 at 11:36:09 am     #  

The ice storm that hit parts of central Michigan last month left some people without power for up to nine days. The sparkling, glassy look of a landscape covered in ice on a sunny day is a memorable image, but so is the destruction. That's one weather event I don't want to experience around here.

Stockpiling a truckload of food would also make sense if the household is loaded with teenage boys who will start eating the furniture if they are not fed every hour.

With the snowfall today, the blowing snow and cold on Monday, and the bitter cold on Tuesday, I guess if people don't have to venture outside, then shopping for some food is a good idea.

Some delays and cancellations for school and work are probable through Tuesday. But it sounds like a lot of people shopped with the plan not to go outside until March.

A lot of the panic-buying-food will probably get discarded.

As to climaterrorists and their certified most accurate predictions, are they better predictors than the forecasting stone? Maybe Toledo should install a few of these around town. The setup appears less expensive than Doppler radar.

posted by jr on Jan 05, 2014 at 12:06:56 pm     #   2 people liked this

I can't recall the exact year, but it was sometime between 1999 and 2003, because I was still in Maumee. We were hit with an ice storm and lost power. When Edison got to us, they had power on for everyone around us, but somehow missed our block. It was another three days before they got back to us. It sucked. I was renting and my landlord brought over a generator so we at least had heat but he was worried about overloading it if we used power for anything else. I ended up sending my kids to stay with friends.

I sympathize with those poor folks in Michigan, because they had it much, much worse.

posted by valbee on Jan 05, 2014 at 01:07:55 pm     #  

We were at Kohl's last night, because the Kohl's cash we got for our Christmas shopping expired today. No way were we going to Kohl's today, so we used it last night. Wonder how many other people had the same thought?

I wondered about that, mom2. Today was also the last day of their New Year's sale. And I think we're still seeing the post-Christmas returns rush as well. Costco had more people in line for returns than checking out when we were there Friday night.

posted by valbee on Jan 05, 2014 at 01:13:23 pm     #  

Walt Churchill's monclova today-fully stocked on everything, not crazy.

posted by ahmahler on Jan 05, 2014 at 01:34:23 pm     #  

Gallup IDs America's 10 most—and least—obese cities

he 11 metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of obese residents in 2012 were:

1. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas (where 38.5% of residents are obese)
2. Huntington-Ashland, W.V., Ky., and Ohio (37.7%)
3. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, Ark. (34.7%)
4. Mobile, Ala. (33.7%)
5. Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Md. and W.V. (33.4%)
6. Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, S.C. (33.1%)
7. Toledo, Ohio (33.0%)
8. Charleston, W.V. (32.9%)


It would seem to me with fully one-third of Toledoans categorized as obese (not "overweight"...not "a few extra pounds"...not "fluffy"...not "big boned"...not "chunky"........ FAT-- come to terms with the word because 1/3rd of the city's residents are), I'm sure a potential disruption in the food supply does set off multiple panic bells and deep-set psychological fears.

Jeez...we were just talking about "bushas" in the other thread. Is there a Busha in this town that doesn't have about 2 months of canned goods (bought on sale "because it was such a great deal at Aldi/Kroger/Churchills") in the cupboard? With more dry pasta and a fridge so full of leftovers and never-will-eat it items that I can't fathom where another gallon of milk would even go.

posted by oldhometown on Jan 05, 2014 at 02:06:02 pm     #   2 people liked this

For my central-city friends, Seaway Marketplace is fully stocked and beautiful. No frenzy at all. The manager there is very engaged: He was on-site making sure everything was running smoothly.

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 05, 2014 at 03:29:59 pm     #  


posted by stooks on Jan 05, 2014 at 04:18:24 pm     #  

I hit the Maumee Meijer friday night. It wasn't crowded at all during the 'calm before the storm'. On the way back to the car, I noticed pushing a loaded cart through the snow was a little harder than usual. I returned the cart to the corral, which was full of carts, then looked around the lot and saw dozens of carts sitting in parking spaces. It was only ten degrees out, and no cart return employees were to be seen. Probably helped make saturday even crazier.

posted by mixman on Jan 05, 2014 at 04:31:49 pm     #  

Stopped at Meijer this morning. Carts were abundant, bread wasn't overflowing but available, milk was well stocked. Meat looked picked over. Not very busy.

It looked like the hysteria hit mostly Saturday.

posted by slowsol on Jan 05, 2014 at 04:36:56 pm     #

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 05, 2014 at 05:10:50 pm     #   2 people liked this

We bought food at Kroger on Holland-Sylvania & Bancroft and it was busy but there was no rudeness. But in the parking lot somebody left an electric-powered cart there in the slush. I didn't know they allow people to ride those out of the store.

posted by flinty on Jan 05, 2014 at 06:36:10 pm     #