Items With the Biggest Shortages Right Now main image
Scroll Down To Continue

Items With the Biggest Shortages Right Now

Beef

Beef

Beef is not the healthiest option but it is the most delicious one. From steaks to burgers, stew to stir fry, there are so many delicious uses for beef. But with a shortage of beef happening in stores across the country, you’ll be saying “where’s the beef?” before you know it.

The cause of this shortage doesn’t necessarily have to do with the number of available cows. No, it actually started in June of 2021. Many of the largest beef suppliers in the world suffered from a ransomware attack that had forced many slaughterhouses to shut down, some of which process over 20K cattle per day.

(Image via Wikimedia)

Wood

Wood

You’d think that wood is something that’s never really in short supply. Sure deforestation is a problem but it’s a problem because we have all the wood we need and more. That is, until now, as many hardware stores and other suppliers are running in short supply of wood for furniture making and home-building.

Earlier this year, lumber prices had skyrocketed. In May, prices hit an all-time high of $1,686 per thousand board feet, according to NC State. They eventually went down to around $400 but the price was still higher prior to the shortage. As wood burning increases during the holidays, we may see a worse shortage again, but as it stands, good luck making any special furniture pieces for the holidays.

Pet Food

Pet Food

Although you may not have too much trouble finding pet food at the major pet supply retailers like PetSmart or Petco, smaller businesses are struggling to keep up their inventory of pet food. Prices are going up for these businesses and that’s getting extended to the customer as well.

So why is there a shortage of pet food? Well, that has to do with the resources needed to make the pet food in the first place. Meat, soya and corn are all in short supply right now, which has brought down the production of pet food. That being said, it’s probably best to give your pet only what they need and not keep them filled to the top.

(Image via Unsplash)

Ketchup Packets

Ketchup Packets

If you’ve been to any fast food establishment, you may have noticed them getting a bit chintzy with the ketchup packets, and that’s because of the shortage. And what are fries without ketchup? Well, they are still fries, and honestly, ketchup is kind of gross and overpowers everything it touches. Honestly, we are better off.

However, the real crime is the shortage on ranch and BBQ sauce at fast food places. What are you supposed to dip your chicken nuggets in? How can you have jalapeno poppers without ranch? You can’t and it’s sick to even think that you could truly enjoy those things without the proper dipping sauces.

(Image via Wikimedia)

Canned Goods

Canned Goods

It’s always a good idea to have canned goods in your home. When you are looking for some quick sides for holidays, some simple dinners or ingredients for some hot soup or chili, canned goods have their uses. They are also good to have around in case there’s another lockdown.

Last year, people stocked up on canned goods and they are continuing to do it this year as well. Canned fruits, vegetables, beans, tomato paste and all the usual canned goods are sure to be in low supply. We don’t recommend hoarding, but when you do need these items, be sure to snatch them up.

Lunchables

Lunchables

There’s a shortage on Lunchables, currently. With kids back in school and the hectic holiday season around the corner, parents are looking for some fast snacks they can serve up to their kids, and meals they can stuff in their school lunches. Lunchables aren’t the healthiest snack but they are incredibly convenient.

With Lunchables flying off the shelves, you’ll have to think of some alternatives. You could always back your kid a bologna sandwich or meal prep and make your own Lunchables with perhaps some more nutritious meats. It’s not like you have to send your kid to school with a gourmet meal is all we are saying.

Bottled Water

Bottled Water

Bottled Water is seeing a pretty significant shortage right now. Costco, the wholesale retailer that sells that stuff in bulk, has been reporting shortages of bottled water. Jugs have also been in short supply as well. This is bad news for offices that stock up on water but there are alternatives for people at home.

If you don’t want to spend more money on bottled water, it might be time to start thinking about investing in a water filter. Filters that can be attached to your faucet like Brita or filters integrated into a pitcher are great options for having cool, clean water at home. There’s also another alternative: it’s called drinking tap. It won’t really kill you.

Toilet Paper

Toilet Paper

In 2020, buying toilet paper was a disaster. People would be lining up before stores opened to get to the rolls first. Then they would hoard it. They would hoard toilet paper as if they were never going to leave the house again and for the most part that was why the shortage was so bad.

While not quite as bad as the toilet paper shortage of 2020, there’s a shortage here in 2021. Toilet paper has limited availability on the shelves and some businesses have put a limit on how much you can buy. Nevertheless, you should be able to find toilet paper, it just might not be your preferred brand every time.

Soda

Soda

There’s a shortage on soda too. Sure, it’s not the best thing in the world for you, but nice cold soda every now and then hits the spot. Like, who wants to drink water with pizza? Gross. And for guests, it’s always good to have soda in the house, particularly around holidays.

Soda has been pricier than normal this year and limited in availability at many stores. While sometimes you can catch a decent deal on multiple 12 packs, the regular cost of a single pack is higher than in previous years, but it really depends on where you buy. Nevertheless, you can see plenty of empty shelves in the soda aisle and that’s usually not a problem.

Semiconductors

Semiconductors

Nerds may only know what these are but this shortage really affects everyone because everyone uses some kind of electronic device on a daily basis. Semiconductors are included in various types of devices which you may know as computer chips. Currently, there are not enough being produced to meet the demands of the industry.

The short supply of semiconductors has led to the shortage of new video game games consoles, while also affecting the auto and mobile phone industries. Gamers are suffering from server delays preventing performance. And all of these problems you can expect to extend well into 2022.

Diapers

Diapers

Bad news for parents: there’s a diaper shortage. You may have started to notice this already, but when it comes to shopping for diapers, the shelves aren’t quite full. A decline in diaper production is going on now thanks to companies facing a shortage of labor. This is not good considering how many babies are out there that need diapers.

Of course, there are alternatives. Some parents use reusable diapers that can be thrown in the washer. This is better for the environment and obviously more cost-effective than buying huge packs of diapers every month. It can also be a faster way to potty train young children since they are more aware when they have soiled themselves.

Chicken

Chicken

Chicken is just about one of the healthiest sources of protein and if you are going to eat meat, it’s the best one you can eat, besides fish. Chicken works well in so many dishes and you can make it taste like pretty much anything you want depending on how you season it.

The downside is that there is an increasing shortage of chicken going on right now that is bringing up the cost of chicken at the store and reducing the available supply. The world needs more chicken and fast food restaurants are really suffering from it - enough to the extent that they are cutting back on the number of chicken items offered.

(Image via Wikimedia)

Oat Milk

Oat Milk

Oat Milk is quickly becoming one of the biggest health food crazes going on right now. This beverage is high in protein and packed full of fiber. It’s ideal for people who can’t drink regular milk or people who just want a more nutritious alternative. While it promotes digestive health, the downside is that it packs more calories.

But it matters not, because soon you may not be able to get your hands on it. Even big chains like Starbucks are being affected by the oat milk shortage. As for oat milk in your coffee and chances are they will tell you they are all out. And as for small businesses – well, they can just forget about it.

(Image via Wikimedia)

Alcohol

Alcohol

Let’s face it: in a lockdown, there’s really nothing to do except get drunk alone in your own house. And that’s not just me saying it, because there’s been an increasing shortage on alcohol that’s only getting worse. The demand for it has climbed since the 2020 lockdown, and once again, businesses are suffering.

Many liquor stores have been forced to shut down due to the low supply of alcohol and many states are still seeing this shortage, which is undoubtedly frighting to the small businesses that are still open. Will it get better? Eventually, but for now maybe you’ll have to cut back on the drinking.

(Image via Unsplash)

Bread

Bread

Bread is among one of the most basic foods that pretty much everyone has in their home and it’s really difficult to imagine life without it. Bread is something you’d never really expect there to be a shortage of but it all goes back to the grain shortage mentioned earlier.

Although, this doesn’t necessarily have to do with the pandemic per se. There’s been a scarcity of wheat crops due to the erratic temperature changes and droughts that have occurred over the past year. As a consumer you are seeing this shortage with a rise in the prices of bread.

(Image via Wikimedia)

Nurses

Nurses

Prior to the pandemic, there was already a bit of a shortage on nurses in hospitals, but COVID has certainly made it worse. While there are plenty of people looking to become nurses and get the proper education, many of them are not staying in the profession and the biggest reason is burnout.

According to research conducted by the University of Arizona, 67% of nurses under 30 have considered leaving their job within the next two years. Among the issues cited are moral distress and a lack of support. KGW News says that the vacancy rate of nursing positions has risen from 8.2% in 2017 to 9.9% in 2020.

(Image via Unsplash)

Juice Boxes

Juice Boxes

Like Lunchables, with kids returning to school, juice boxes are selling like hotcakes…or like juice boxes. The shortage itself, however, doesn’t just have to do with the availability of fruit, or rather juice, but with issues regarding packaging and distribution as well. Supermarkets and retailers across the country are suffering because of this.

Due to COVID-19, labor and supplying issues, the availability of both juice boxes and bottles of juice are much lower than normal. Additionally, there’s been a shortage of apple concentrate due to volatile apple crops. However, there are alternatives such as cranberry juices that you can easily buy, but these are generally less popular with kids.

Drivers

Drivers

It looks like people are going to have to do their own snow shoveling this winter as there is a shortage of plow drivers. This will undoubtedly have a negative impact on many counties, affecting people’s ability to travel or even get to work. There was a shortage last year too, but since people were on lockdown, it was hardly noticeable.

On that same note, there’s also a shortage of truck drivers. Drivers are getting fed up with frustrating working conditions, long hours, and on top of all that – low pay. Many drivers are retiring and it is difficult for shipping companies to find new ones. It’s affecting just about every industry.

(Image via Unsplash)

Bicycles

Bicycles

Bicycles became one of the most popular activities during the pandemic. It proved to be an excellent activity you could do with friends while still social distancing. It’s also a great form of exercise and while your gym memberships were paused, cycling was a great alternative for people looking to avoid that lockdown weight gain.

Of course, due to more people buying bikes, while fewer bikes were getting made, this inevitably has caused a shortage on bicycles. Whether you are buying for yourself or for someone else as a gift, you may have to do some shopping around to find that perfect bike. And you may not find it if you don’t look now.

Gaming Consoles

Gaming Consoles

Gaming consoles have been a struggle to find for the past year and that’s only going to get worse with the holiday season. The latest generation XBOX consoles, the PS5 and even the Nintendo Switch have been in short supply. Once available, these items sell out fast, so you have to act fast if you want one.

The bad news for the kiddos who have one of these consoles at the top of their list is that they might not get it from Santa this year. They might after to settle for something else or at the very least accept an “IOU.” So, for all the gamers in your family, big and small, good luck and godspeed.

Frozen Food

Frozen Food

With people stuck at home, cooking every day, it’s no surprise people are eating more frozen foods, TV dinners and the like. After a while, cooking a fresh meal each night can be quite tedious, especially when you have a busy work day. Grabbing some frozen dinners to heat up whenever you are hungry can really prevent you from getting burnt out.

The issue is that with everyone doing it, the cost of getting a TV dinner is more expensive and your options are fewer. Sometimes it can just make sense to get some fast food if you are willing to take the risk, provided the fast food joint is taking all the necessary precautions to avoid spreading the virus.

(Image via Wikimedia)

Bacon

Bacon

What is life without bacon? Nothing, it’s just an empty shell, and with that said, the bacon shortage is just about the worst thing that could happen to anyone. Can you even imagine having pancakes or eggs without bacon on the side? I can’t do that and I don’t want to.

Nevertheless, that may very well be a harsh reality for many people going into the future. The cost of bacon is going up and finding it in the store is becoming increasingly difficult. Will there ever be an end to this madness? God-willing, but for now be sure to enjoy every morsel of bacon you can still get your hands on.

Turkeys

Turkeys

Thanks to the holiday season, the shortage of turkeys is only made worse. Turkey is in hot demand right now and factories cannot keep up with that demand. Why is that? Well, let’s rewind back a year, because raising turkeys obviously takes time and the COVID pandemic really messed things up for farmers.

Many factories were forced to shut down in 2020 due to the pandemic as you may remember. Grain was one resource for which there was a shortage and because of the grain shortage, the turkeys could not be fed and that meant it was more difficult to acquire turkeys, which has been a tremendous problem for small business owners.

(Image via Wikimedia)

Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese

Sorry bagel lovers and cheesecake lovers, you’ve just heard the worst news imaginable: there’s a shortage of cream cheese. It’s a problem just about everywhere but cheesecake makers are especially suffering considering the amount of cream cheese needed to make a cake.

One retailer, according to CNN, known as Junior's Cheesecake, makes cheesecake that is 85% cream cheese. The company was forced to stop production. It reopened but had to stop production once again due to the low supply of cream cheese. And at the holidays, this is just about the worst time it could happen.

(Image via Wikimedia)

Toys

Toys

For kids, Christmas is all about the toys. So, when there’s a shortage on toys for the holidays, it’s not a good thing. Sometimes it can already be a struggle to find the hottest toys in demand, and in 2021 that problem increased exponentially. And no, it’s not like if you miss out on buying it early, you can get it last-minute.

During the holiday season, if you can’t find the toy, you may not be able to cross it off your shopping list at all. Many stores are struggling to restock items in high demand, and it’s only going to get worse thanks to COVID. Toys like Tonka Trucks, the Magic Mixies Magical Misting Cauldron, and the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar are all selling out or available in backorder, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get them before Christmas.

Baby Formula

Baby Formula

Parents are panicking due to the formula shortage happening right now, with parents concerned about rationing while keeping their babies well-fed. And this time Covid is not even to blame for the crisis. Due to a deadly bacteria outbreak at Abbott Labs over equipment failure, the supply of formula has been short for a while now and we are finally realizing how bad it is.

Abbott Labs detected bacteria in their formula eight times between 2019 and 2021 and the number of recalls on formula is really starting to catch up with us. Some people are relying on formula donations just to feed their kids, and so others are being encouraged to donate unused formula as well. Among the brands that have been affected are Similac, EleCare and PediaSure. 

Teachers

Teachers

It goes without saying that we’ve had a teacher shortage for decades now, but lately, it’s gotten a lot worse. It was difficult for teachers to transition to working and teaching from home. It was harder to reach students, so a lot of them have decided to retire or switch professions.

On top of that, with the recent events in Texas and other parts of the nation, some teachers just don’t feel safe. The teacher shortage is getting worse and worse every year, so schools are having to offer higher salaries, sign-on bonuses, and referral bonuses. Unfortunately, not all schools can do this.

Sterile Water

Sterile Water

Those who work in the hospital field have noticed a massive shortage of sterile water. At first, this may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a massive issue. Sterile water is used for IV bags, injections, and irrigation. It’s also used for humidification in low-flow oxygen therapy.

Overall, it’s used in a lot of places, and the shortage is hurting those in the medical field. The stock has dropped below 50% (according to Becker’s Hospital Review), and we’re one emergency away from not having enough sterile water to keep operating. The medical field isn’t where you want a lot of shortages.  

Cement and Concrete

Cement and Concrete

One of the most recent shortages is cement. The demand for construction has exploded, and things are only expected to ramp up in the coming months. Unfortunately, the cement shortage and labor shortage have really put a halt to a lot of projects on both a big and small scale.

On a greater scale, buildings cannot be built without a concrete foundation. On a smaller scale, it may be hard to do backyard renovations from paths to pools. As demand increases, we can only hope that the availability increases. Until then, we’ll just have to wait.

Gas and Diesel

Gas and Diesel

We’ve all seen how gas and diesel have become exorbitantly expensive. Gas prices during the pandemic hit a dollar and sometimes even cheaper, but now? Now, we’re looking at paying nearly $6 per gallon in some states! That’s tightening many people’s budgets, but what’s happening?

A big part of it is the war between Russia and Ukraine, and there’s not a lot America can do about it. The average person in the states is stuck with few options. The panic has caused a lot of people to stock up on gas, sometimes using dangerous methods that could cause a catastrophe.

Tampons

Tampons

There is a shortage of tampons this year that is now affecting women in the United States. Many of the top brands and retailers are now just acknowledging the shortage after complaints from customers. It was also brought to attention by media outlets like Time.  As a result, prices on tampons have gone up significantly, as much as 10%. 

It seems the shortage has arisen from a supply deficit in materials used to manufacture the products, including cotton and plastic. They had been in high demand since the start of the COVID pandemic, and now the scarcity of materials has inhibited the steady supply of feminine hygiene products.