You grabbed the last frozen pizza but snubbed your nose at the last remaining loaf of bread. The area where rice belongs looks like bags were airdropped in and you have two choices of beans: red kidney or none. This is supermarkets' new normal as millions of people all over the US settle into stay-at-home routines, cooking more meals at home. It might also be the effect a touch of panic buying in response to the coronavirus outbreak will have -- but it's not an actual food shortage.
If your usual Publix, Kroger or Whole Foods seems in short supply, you may have considered testing out alternative options, including ordering online. First, check your local Asian, Middle Eastern, Mexican or general grocer. They might be more fully stocked. You can also shop grocery delivery, meal kit delivery, farm-to-table produce boxes and other online options.
You may not find exactly what you're looking for, but there's fresh food aplenty to fill your fridge and belly. The key is to not get discouraged and to only buy what you actually need so that there's enough stock for others. Read on for more options to fill your fridge and cupboards. (And if you need electronics, fitness gear, medication and household goods, here's where to look when Amazon and Walmart are out of stock.)
Watch this: Coronavirus lockdown: Why social distancing saves lives
Get in-stock alerts, watch stock livestreams
Over the last few weeks, several online tools have popped up that let you keep an eye on stock levels at various stores, including Amazon, Walmart and Target. CNET's Katie Conner takes a more in-depth look at how to track items like toilet paper and Chlorox wipes here (you can also track food the same way) or you can explore one of these sites to see what's available online or near you:
AsianFoodGrocer: Shipping cost varies by order and location. $5 shipping on orders $30 and up.
iShopIndian: Shipping costs $4 to $9, free on orders $109 and up.
MexGrocer: Shipping cost varies, free shipping on orders $60 and up with code SHIP2ME4FREE.
Buy meat and produce delivery boxes
Your local farmers and ranchers cut out the middleman -- the stores -- by shipping direct to you. A quick internet search will yield a list of produce delivery in your area, where you can often select the types of fruit and vegetables you want. The same applies to popular and specialty meats like beef, chicken, pork and even deer.
Meal kits cost more than what you'd pay at the grocery, but that might be a better option if you're solo or part of a small household, or new to cooking. Personally, I think it's fun to learn how to make new dishes, and self-quarantine can get boring, so chalk the extra cost up to entertainment.
Buying food from your favorite restaurants for take-out and delivery can feed you and also support local businesses that are reeling from shelter-in-place orders and other measures that keep people at home. You can order a large amount to feed yourself and your family over the week, or to pad the freezer for an easy dinner down the road.