Another Pandemic Shortage: Propane for backyard barbecues tough to find

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about all sorts of food and home supply shortages — try buying disinfectant hand wipes if you don’t believe that. I stumbled across the latest shortage just before July 4th — propane tanks for backyard barbecues are non-existent at most of the usual places.

I went to five places one day, mostly Walgreens that carry the propane brand I usually buy with rebates it offers, and none had any. I then started calling places instead of driving, and was told much the same thing, whether it was a local home center or my neighborhood CVS — tanks are scare and stores never really know when a delivery is coming or how much they’ll receive.

Grilled vegetables
I do most of my summer cooking outdoors, so I use a lot of rpopane.

Two days before the 4th, I happened to be at a CVS picking up medications and was discussing it with the clerk when he said, “oh we just got some.” I’d called that store the same morning only to be told it was out. The delivery had literally just been made.

I quickly drove to my house, grabbed my empty tank and headed back to buy a full one.

I’m not sure if this is just a Chicago-area shortage, a Midwest one, or a national issue, so let me know what you’re seeing in your area.

In the meantime, I’m set for the summer, between the new tank and the one I was already using in my grill. And, if need be, I’ve seen charcoal in stores so I can always use one of my charcoal grills too.


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