UNITED STATES—If there was ever a lesson I learned about 2020 it is that you should always be prepared. The pandemic kicked so many of us in gear about taking care of our health and being more conscious of the things we do and the things we do not. In addition, we discovered that things that we have come to expect and plenty of our major retailers are not always guaranteed. Why? I recently ventured out to a retailer looking for some items for Halloween and I was stunned.

Why? There was limited stock. I mean it was only the second week (technically first full week of October) and so many Halloween costumes were already sold out. In addition, Halloween items were limited. So what does that mean? If you didn’t already get it, you might not be getting it. There are major shipping delays and stock limits as a result of the pandemic and worker shortages. We’re being told this situation might get worse as we head into the upcoming holiday season.

So what does this all mean? If you see an item that you absolutely want, you better get it while you see it. If you don’t you might be regretting it in the long run. I mean I normally start my Christmas shopping a lot early, but not this year. I just didn’t have the energy or push to do it. I was however, encouraged to start some after stumbling upon a sale at a store. The problem all the items I wanted were already out of stock and the sale started the same day I went to the retailer. Frustrating? Um, yeah, but at the same time it made me realize when it comes to children’s toys if you see it, it’s a great price, get it NOW because it will not be around later.

I have also seen skyrocketing prices on household essentials at many retailers. One retailer was completely out of stock on a popular brand of toilet paper and I saw the same thing with paper towel. In addition the cost of goods is on the rise. I mean a small bottle of bleach costing $3 to $4 is crazy, whereas the large bottle is about $6 to $7. I’m talking about goods that used to value at $1 to $3 tops have nearly doubled and tripled in some cases.

The same is happening at the grocery stores as well. Things that used to be staples are running on limited supply. This does NOT mean go out there America and purchase every single package of tissue, boxed goods or whatever item you feel you need to have in abundance. It simply means if you’re at the store and you know you’re low on a particular item at home; pick up that item while you see it. Why? It means you have the item in your pantry or closet if you happen to run out.

Retailers are being hit strong in the midst of this ongoing pandemic that so many people think is over (it is not people). They are struggling to stay afloat with workers and the demand from the public. With that said prices are on the rise and are likely to keep rising. I mean the infamous Dollar Tree is about to raise prices on their goods where nothing in their stores cost more than a $1. Yes, it’s a true deal, but that will soon come to an end people. So with that said, be prepared to spend more and be prepared to adjust to a time frame where you may not always have access to the items and things that you want. These are just the changing times America, so we all have to get used to it.

Written By Zoe Mitchell