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Covid 19

Don’t panic! Why stockpiling is a waste of money

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/sep/28/dont-panic-stockpiling-supermarket-shelves-waste-of-money

Name: Stockpiling Part 2.

Age: Just getting under way now.

Appearance: Like a month of Christmas Eves.

If you’re talking about panic buying, I got that out of the way back in March. That was Stockpiling Part 1. This is the sequel.

The sequel? But I still have 180 loo rolls from last time. It doesn’t matter. Amid a second wave of coronavirus and the threat of a return to a nationwide lockdown, panic buying has resumed in earnest.

In that case, I had better nip to the shops. Too late. Too late. Supermarket shelves have been stripped in Leeds and Cardiff. Last week, Morrisons reintroduced rationing for certain key products. Tesco followed suit, setting limits on the amount of pasta, flour and antibacterial wipes customers can buy.

Oh no! Where are my keys? Not so fast – once again, retailers are insisting wearily that stockpiling is unnecessary. There is plenty of everything to go round if people would only shop normally.

Yeah, but they won’t – and neither will I. You do know it’s actually the stockpiling that’s causing the shortages.

I’ll be more comfortable discussing this once my attic is full of spaghetti. Waitrose’s executive director, James Bailey, says: “If one person fills their house with all the packs of pasta they can get their hands on, it inevitably means somebody else will go without.”

I understand how panic works, thanks. I’m just trying to make sure that the person who goes without isn’t me. But the person who goes without might be a key worker.

While I fully support our key workers, I simply can’t risk having to spend an entire winter eating an unpopular pasta shape. But it’s all such a complete waste.

What is? Bulk buying.

But isn’t hoarding – sorry, buying in volume – a tried-and-tested way to save money? A new study says no. It turns out that the average shopper spends about £200 a year bulk-buying stuff that ends up in the bin, usually because the products in question pass their sell-by date before they are needed.

That does sound like a lot. It adds up to almost £10bn a year across the country. All that food waste is terrible for the environment, because, unlike packaging waste, food releases methane into the atmosphere as it breaks down.

Well, you’ve managed to suck all the fun out of food shopping. I suppose I’ll just pick up a bottle of gin and a ready meal. That’s the spirit.

Do say: “More farfalle bolognese, anyone?”

Don’t say: “Out of loo roll already? Don’t worry, I’ll defrost another nine-pack.”

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