14 Tips to Stop a Power Outage From Draining Your Wallet

Whether from a blizzard, wind storm, flooding or heat wave, power outages can be a nuisance for families. In the peak of summer and winter, when blackouts are likely, they can also be dangerous, cutting off access to air conditioning and heat.

And if you don’t act fast, downed power lines and other outages can also be costly for your family.

So how can you save money during a blackout? Our power outage tips cover everything from protecting your expensive groceries to cheap ways to stay cool or warm.

14 Power Outage Tips to Keep Costs Down

Power outages can be a drain on your patience — don’t let them drain your finances too. Here are 14 ways to save money when the power goes out.

1. Keep the Refrigerator and Freezer Closed

Even without electricity, the interiors of your refrigerator and freezer can keep food cold — temporarily. They’ll need electricity to maintain their cold temperatures, but their insulation can trap in the cold air for a little while:

  • Four hours: A refrigerator will keep perishable food safe for four hours.
  • 24-48 hours: A half-full freezer can protect food for 24 hours. If it’s full, the food is generally safe for 48 hours.

The problem? As soon as you open the refrigerator and freezer doors, that cold air isn’t trapped. Every time you open the door, you reduce how long that food will be safe.

Do you absentmindedly check the fridge for snacks? When the power goes out, place a chair in front of your refrigerator as a reminder not to open the door.

2. Invest in a Large Cooler

If you end up in an extended power outage but you don’t want to throw out a week’s worth of groceriesyou can load all your perishable items into a large cooler. Budget-friendly brands retail for as little as $60 and can keep ice from melting for up to five days.

Keep a bag of ice in your freezer. If a blackout affects more than just your neighborhood, you might have to drive farther to find a store that has ice.

3. Throw Out Bad…

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