Milk and bread! Milk and bread! We don’t know why, but for many Idahoans the natural reaction to the words “Winter Storm Warning” is running to Albertsons or Winco to panic buy groceries. 

Personally, we don’t grocery shop like normal people. We live near the Parkcenter Albertsons and have to drive past it on our way home, so instead of doing grocery shopping for a week at a time, we’re at this store every…single…day. (Which honestly, really cuts down on the amount of food that spoils before we can eat it, but we digress.) 

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With the very real potential of Boise receiving up to 13 inches of snow thru Saturday night, we decided to take a walk around the store on Thursday night BEFORE the next round of snow arrived. It appears that our neighborhood took advantage of the break between storms to do their panic buying. There were certain shelves that were hit HARD by shoppers! 

Why Do People Panic Buy Before a Snow Storm?

The likelihood that this storm is going to leave us stranded at home for days, possibly without power, is low but we can learn something about our urge to stockpile from folks who DO experience snowstorms of that magnitude. New York based psychotherapist tells “How Stuff Works” that the urge to stockpile items like milk and bread ahead of a winter storm may have something to do with our desire to be in control.

You can’t control how many inches of snow we get and you can’t control when the snow plows reach your neighborhood. But you CAN control the amount of staples in your pantry and that can bring you a little comfort. 

What Items Do People Stockpile Before a Storm?

The practice of stocking piling before a storm is so common that multiple websites, including All Recipes, put together of the best things to have in your pantry during a storm. Bottled water, canned soups, crackers and oats were all on the list. Those sections WERE picked over at Albertsons, but so were some other items that sort of surprised us! 

Large Winter Storm Brings Snow To Seattle
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Here’s a look at what people in Boise are ACTUALLY stocking up on as we gear up for a snowy, snowy weekend.

27 Grocery Items That Are Really Difficult to Find During Boise's Big Snow Storm

We walked through a Boise Albertsons ahead of a major winter storm to get a feel for what for what people are stocking up on. Here's what we found!

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

KEEP READING: 10 Foods You Can No Lounger Buy in Idaho and 1 That You Never Could

LOOK: These Are the 50 Biggest Retailers in America; 2 Are Based in Idaho

Stacker recently put together a list of the top 50 biggest retailers in America using retail sales data from Kantar, provided by the National Retail Federation. They were ranked by the dollar amount of retail sales they did in 2021. We took it a step further to see how many locations they have in Idaho and across the United States.

Total stores were based on figures from Scrapehero. The number of Idaho stores is based on information collected from a brand's website. It was easier to find that info for some and difficult for others. So cut us some slack if we're off by a store or two. It was hard to count all those little dots on the map. (We're looking at you Ace Hardware.)

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart


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