Alexis Abell recently walked out of a BJ’s Wholesale Club outside Buffalo, N.Y., with 24 boxes of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, a box of 50 frozen mozzarella sticks, a 40-pound bag of basmati rice and a 12-can pack of garbanzo beans.

“I don’t want to be in a position again where I can’t get something,” says Ms. Abell, a 41-year-old mother of five, who was laid off from her retail job at a quilt shop in 2020 and decided not to return to work.

She estimates her family is now spending about 25% more a week on food and staples than before the pandemic, and she is buying more than twice as much of some staples and household supplies.


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