It’s been more than a week since Hurricane Irene touched down on the East Coast. As I post this, I realize that some have lost their lives, homes, pets, possessions, and more, and I feel fortunate to have avoided all of these losses. Living on the coast of Long Island, we expected far worse, and evacuated with our children before Irene hit.
The only inconvenience caused by Irene for us (and likely many of you), was the loss of electricity. A week later, there are still thousands of families without power. If you are like us, and lost power for several days or more (five for us), the food in your refrigerator and freezer spoiled and had to been thrown away. Many full garbage bags, hundreds of dollars.
In these economic times, the thought of stocking up on perishables can be overwhelming. It’s not just the big stuff, it’s the “use once in a while” condiments and specialty cooking items that add up.
I’ve decided to look at the silver lining here. This is a perfect chance for a fresh start. If you’ve been trying to clean-up your eating habits by going Paleo or just by tossing the junk, now is the time! I’ve always felt guilty throwing away food, even if it’s unhealthy, because it’s like throwing money in the trash. In this case, you’re forced to toss it anyway. DON’T REPLACE THE JUNK!
If you’re looking for a good list of essentials, the Everyday Cookbook has a great list, and Robb Wolf’s website has a PDF of shopping lists for several weeks.
*it is worth mentioning that some homeowners insurance policies and renters insurance policies cover food spoilage in events like this. It’s worth checking out, but ours does not.