(Please ignore the peanut butter on my son’s jacket. Hurricanes make him hungry!)
As Hurricane Sandy (a.k.a. “Frankenstorm”) moves steadily towards the Jersey Shore, we’ve all been preparing for the worst. The store shelves are bare,there are lines around the block for gas, and people are hoarding batteries like gold. Generators, at $500 a pop, are selling out like hot cakes. But the frugalist in me swears you don’t have to cost you upwards of a grand to prepare for the storm. Mostly everything you need is right in your home already and the few supplies you need to ensure you make it through the storm comfortably won’t cost you that much. Here are a few tips:
Don’t buy bottled water! I’ve been meaning to write a post on bottled water for a while now about how I HATE bottled water. It’s such a waste of money and it’s bad for the environment (all that plastic agh!!). Just buy a Brita (or any other brand) filter and use the water you already pay for in your house. Anyway, while everyone in our area was flooding the stores to buy bottles of water, we were filling jugs of tap water. I’ve heard recommendations of putting gallons of water in the freezer and the fridge, so we did both. We just used jugs that we just had lying around and saved a lot of money that would have been wasted.
Fill up sand bags at the beach. If you’re preparing for a hurricane, chances you’re probably close enough to the beach to take a drive there (when it’s still very, very safe!) to fill up bags with sand. Don’t buy sand or pre-made sandbags unless there’s no way you can get to the beach. Sand bags are a good investment though – they’ll help keep your house dry and minimize the damage water can cause.
Stock up on essentials. It’s imperative to stock up on medication. When a storm is coming, there’s no telling how long you’ll be stuck inside. Therefore, you need to stock up on your medications. You also need to stock up on food. Think about things that don’t need much preparation (if you’re like me who has everything in their house running on electric, if the power goes out you have no way to cook). We stocked up on peanut butter and jelly. And, of course, bread. Also, be sure you have a first aid kit. If you have a baby, buy enough diapers to get you through a good long time.
Do laundry now. The best time to do laundry is before the power goes out (obviously). You don’t want to be stuck without clean underwear when the electricity kicks the bucket. Do your laundry before the storm hits to ensure your family has enough clean clothes.
Tape your windows. Masking tape is inexpensive. A shattered window is costly. Take the time to tape an “X” across your window to keep it from shattering. It may save you a bundle in the long run.
Charge your cell phone. You won’t be able to use your home phone if the power goes out, so charge up your mobile device. Charge it now so you’ll be able to check on family members and friends throughout the storm.
And stay safe!
Hello! Welcome to the home of practical parenting tips that save you money. I'm Rebecca, the creative mind behind this site.
I am also a professional writer... and I'd be happy to work with you on your next project.
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