Stroll the aisles of your local grocery store right now and you’re bound to get frustrated by all the things that aren’t in stock: Eggs? Good luck. Bread? Eh, maybe, though even then, it might only be something like Hawaiian sweet rolls. Pre-packaged romaine lettuce? You better grab the last one before it goes, my friend.
Luckily, going to the supermarket in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic isn’t without comic relief. For every item people have grabbed with gusto, there’s usually a little pile of something people refuse to eat, even given the circumstances. (Desperate times call for desperate measures ― but apparently, those measures don’t include eating vegan steak.)
Below, our readers share the funniest things they’ve seen left on the shelves of their local markets. (Responses have been edited and condensed for clarity).
1. “Noodles made of chickpeas. I bought the only box on the shelf because I was really craving spaghetti. They were so gross. Ruined my meal.” ― Jennifer Norris
2. “The cereal aisle was basically empty except for Raisin Bran, Shredded Wheat and Special K.” ― Jaclyn Bruner
3. “Frozen kale pizza at Trader Joe’s.” ― Emily C Piaseczny
4. “I had to take this pic because I was like, ‘Are people more afraid of food labeled veggie than starving in a quarantine pandemic?’” ― Robin Brabson-Christopher
5. “In Waitrose, a posh supermarket in England, the only things left in the frozen section last week were ice cream and frozen lobster.” ― Natasha Delcourt
6. “All the dried pasta was gone except angel hair. It was very funny because that was just what I was after that day. I told my mom that her favorite pasta is very unpopular.” ― Amy Hauck
7. “Pretty much everything that our family eats: gluten-free, no sugar or artificial sweeteners and vegetarian. 😂 (We live in the south.)” ― Danessa Rofkahr
8. “There’s plenty of cauliflower pizza. The rest of the frozen pizza case is empty.” ― Patty Koehnen
9. “Hot Tamales Peeps. 🤢” ― Ashlee O’Haver
10. “Turnips!” ― Gail Ferraro
11. “Apparently, I am the only person in my town who buys flax milk. I’m touched the store has kept it in stock just for me all these years.” ― Nan Murat
12. “It’s been a couple of weeks, but just before everything shut down in New York, people had panic-bought all the toilet paper and all the flushable wipes. However, the shelf at my local Walmart was not yet completely bare. They still had plenty of Dude Wipes stocked on the shelf. Manly man butt wipes are apparently where everyone draws the line in a pandemic.” ― Stephanie
13. “‘International’ aka Asian section is fully stocked. Y’all missing out on such good food.” ― Colleen Salisbury
14. “No one in New England wants Manhattan Clam Chowder.” ― Mandy Jean
15. “Beets. ALL OF THE BEETS.” ― Maria Coppock
16. “Boxes of old Halloween candy stuffed into the toilet paper section. At a distance, it looked like the toilet paper had been restocked. When I got closer, I was like, ‘What the heck? Hey, customers, wipe your butt with this!’ Employees nearby started cackling. Apparently Stater Bros. is going with ‘trick’ this year.” ― Jen White
17. “Empty freezer case except for 6 or 10 lb. buckets of these beauties.” ― Danny Rayhorn
18. “Frozen Hawaiian pizza ... that answers the age-old question!” ― Lorna Watson ”
19. “Canned veggies were decimated except for lima beans.” ― Anna Ayers Dethmers
20. “Not only is there is a lot of Corona beer, it has been marked way down.” ― Finca Chipacay
21. “In the South people bought all of the Duke’s mayo and left the Hellmann’s.” ― Audra Renee
22. “A lone pint of pistachio ice cream.” ― Olivia Haslup
23. “In the meat section, the only thing available was either gristly blade steak or enormous porterhouse steaks. The cheapest cut, and the most expensive. Nothing in between, literally.” ― Jennifer Anderson
24. “Cauliflower crackers and chocolate hummus.” ― Barb Gottschalk
25. “Literally all the foods I eat, like WHITE PIZZAS. Come on, guys, don’t you have style? White pizzas are delish, but they’re all alone in their freezer.” ― Emily Bienek
26. “Our city has two enormous international markets. Both have a ‘regular grocery store’ section and then massive international sections organized by country. Regular grocery store section is cleaned out of pasta, rice, etc. The Italy section is fully stocked with pasta.” ― Christine Muller-Held
27. “One can of soup: cream of bacon. I didn’t even know it existed.” ― Pam Jefford Folsom
28. “I had to take a picture! Everyone took the stress relief tea. Made me lol.” ― Julie Gemar-Stimac
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