PUSHING her trolley through the supermarket single mum Pat Smith, 26, doesn’t just grab one multipack of crisps.
Instead she adds 24 multipacks to her already overflowing trolley which is already laden with chocolates, bottles of booze and meats.
She’s one of a new breed of Brits stockpiling now after Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak warned over the weekend the current delivery crisis could last until Christmas.
Sunak warned shortages “are very real” and that “we’re seeing real disruptions in supply chains in different sectors”.
Pat, from Grantham, Lincs., is so desperate to avoid a rubbish Christmas after the pandemic caused mayhem last year, she’s even got into £1k credit card debt and splurged another £1k of her savings to ensure she has a good day. “It’ll be worth it,” she said.
She has cleared the shelves at six supermarkets – doing two trolley runs in each and said she wasn’t “selfish” but people who didn’t do this were “bonkers”.
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“I don’t want to miss out,” said the mum-of-Rose, 20 months, who will this year be hosting Christmas dinner for 10 including grandparents and close friends.
“I’ve planned and I’m ready. I am buying what I need for the next four months including Christmas Day.
“Last year’s lockdown hit me hard. I ran short of items and couldn’t get to the shops regularly.
“When I did, the shelves were empty. As Christmas approached, I was devastated my family wouldn’t have everything they needed.
I couldn’t get a turkey or the special ingredients I use to make the stuffing. The dolls Rose wanted were not available and my family’s favourite drinks were either too expensive due to price hikes or not available. I ended up serving cold chicken and ham with salad.
“So this year I vowed to make 2021 the best Christmas ever.”
Learning about HGV driver shortages, she resolved to get her Christmas sorted asap – and didn’t think twice about dipping into her savings.
The PA, who is also getting up at 3am to ensure she has a full tank of fuel at all times, said: “I decided to start Christmas stockpiling.
“Now with petrol shortages, more and more supermarket shelves being left empty and parents unable to get their kids’ gifts I am glad.
I’ve planned and I’m ready. I am buying what I need for the next four months including Christmas Day.
“Some people will say it’s selfish; it’s not selfish, it’s organised.
“I think people who aren’t doing this now are bonkers.”
She told how she’d visited six supermarkets in her area to stock up on everything from fizzy pop to sweets.
“I swept the shelves in some shops buying boxes of 12 or 24 items, not just one or two,” she added.
“No one else was buying those items so I wasn’t concerned. I have what I need and that leaves the rest for other people.
“The writing has been on the wall for more than four weeks and we lived through covid shortages so for me it’s logical and not in any way selfish.
“Christmas and the festive season is about being prepared.
Some people will say it’s selfish; it’s not selfish, it’s organised.
“I was terrified I wouldn’t have what I needed and that scared me into action.”
‘I do get some odd looks. People ask me if I’m buying for a family of 30 or having a big party. I tell them I am getting ready for Christmas.
‘At the petrol pumps there are lots of people lining up that early. The station I use compliments me on my forward planning as they know me.
She isn’t worried about spending so much money.
“I’ll focus on paying it off after Christmas,” she said. “It actually makes financial sense as I am thinking ahead.
“And it is worth it – I’ve everything I need.”
Pat keeps the Christmas stash in the spare room of her rented, terraced home – even locking the door. “I have to leave notes on boxes reminding me what’s what,” she said. “It means I can help my friends and family as well if shortages continue.”
And it isn’t just Christmas she is prepared for. She also always has a fuel tank of petrol.
“I always make sure I have a full tank of fuel even if it means getting up at 3am to line up,” she said.
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“Some of my friends think I am crazy to be stockpiling so early while others have rung me in the last few days freaking out and asking me for the best supermarkets to get the best prices.
“I’m always willing to help. I have a special list of my top places to buy and what time of day the shelves are stocked and the pumps are full which I share with them.”
She’s ambivalent towards people who criticise.
WHAT SHE HAS BOUGHT
- 200 loo rolls
- 60 bottles of pop
- 24 bottles of booze
- 200 packs of crisps
- Chocolates, nuts, Christmas decorations and Christmas napkins, homemade pigs in blankets which I have frozen, homemade Christmas canapes, turkey and ham
- Fuel (whenever the tank runs low)
“Anyone who says I am selfish is just spoiling for a fight or looking to moan,” she said. “As a single mum being prepared is essential.
“I’m planning, that’s all.
I learnt the hard way last Christmas and anyone who wants to criticise needs to sod off and leave me be.
I am looking after my family, my mates and doing what thousands of other people are also doing.
“I’ve bought my share and it leaves more for everyone else.”
Previously, a woman spent £1.5k stockpiling for Christmas and got so much food she got a second freezer.
And we previously brought you the story about the stockpilers who, during the first lockdown, protected huge hauls with everything from BB guns to chainsaws.
Plus this mum told us how she had stockpiled goods worth £5k – and was storing them in her spare room.