We’ve discovered during the CV19 crisis that my wife and I have a different degree of devotion to emergency preparation than some other folks do. I thought we were pretty well set with our emergency prep planning from when our son was in Boy Scouts, but we’ve quickly learned we aren’t prepped nearly as well as we thought we were.
Related: Emergency Preparedness for CV19
Our biggest issue is grocery shopping. While we had stockpiled some groceries, we still have averaged going to the store 3x per week over the last 3 weeks. The TV know-it-all’s say that we should be stocking up to reduce virus exposure at the store by going once a week, or even on pace every two weeks. Yet, it seems like we are always running out of something, don’t have much room in the freezer, or the pantry is otherwise storing seldom-used fondue pots and Christmas cookie jars.
Our well-organized friends from Tennessee recently told us that they go shopping once every 4-6 weeks and probably have 3 months worth of food stored up at home. I can’t even imagine that. Their pantry is stocked up and they have a auxiliary freezer with extra stuff in it. They even sent us pictures to show us how much stuff they have stockpiled. (I noted they were a little short in whiskey in the photo they sent of their bar, but otherwise they could make it until 2021)
While it is not something we have ever invested in, I’ve read that about 30% of American households have an extra freezer or refrigerator plugged in down in the basement or garage for overflow storage. People stock up on meat and frozen foods that are on sale, so they save money and never run out of anything they want in a pinch. That might be a good approach right now.
The biggest drawback to having an extra freezer or refrigerator is that the units are often older models that have been banished from the kitchen after a remodeling if they are more than 10 years old, they aren’t the most energy efficient. An average sized, pre-Energy Star freezer might run $200-$250 to power annually. You have to save a lot on food to offset that ongoing cost.
Since there are only two of us in our household, I think we should be able to get by just fine with the space in our kitchen side+by-side and plan out our shopping better. We’ll just wear our masks to get our groceries and let the store do what they do best … ‘store’ groceries for us.
Do you have an auxiliary freezer/refrigerator? How has it worked out for you financially and otherwise?
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