The first big Mid-Atlantic winter storm of 2016 is on path to arrive this week, and once again people are panicking. The lines at grocery stores are already getting longer. The milk, bread, eggs, and bottled water aisles are being raided. People are filling up their vehicles and extra containers with gas. Stores like Home Depot and Lowe's are watching their once idle generators finally flying out the door. These actions are nothing but confirmation that the annual worry spending and hoarding season has officially begun, and retailers are celebrating.
Before you leave your homes to join in on this annual event, please do yourself a favor and really think about why you're shopping. Why do you need five dozen eggs? How much milk does your family really consume in one week? Are you planning on just eating sandwiches if you find yourself snowed in for a few days? Do you even know how to operate a generator and were you already planning on buying one before the media hype began? You should be asking yourself these questions and more before venturing out, otherwise, you will be a member of the annual post worry spending and hoarding season remorse club. If you'd like to avoid this remorse, check out our top five wasteful winter storm preparation purchases list below, and keep them in mind as you shop.
Here are our top 5 most wasteful purchases people make when preparing for a winter storm:
If you're stuck in the house for three or four days, how much milk are you and your family really going to consume? Unless your household consist of at least four children and two adults, you don't need to buy more than one gallon of milk. Remember, milk won't keep you warm if the power goes out and it certainly doesn't cure dehydration.
Eggs are a great source of protein, but you won't use then for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if you're stuck indoors for a few days. At best they will be used for breakfast and lunch, but not all meals. Cooking eggs too often can also leave a smelly odor in your home, and that's the last thing you need of you're going to be indoors for a few days. Also, consider what will happen to these eggs if the storm doesn't keep you indoors more than one day. Unless you cook breakfast on a daily basis or you love to bake cakes, they will just sit in your refrigerator for weeks. Consider substituting some of those eggs for canned soups. Soups are easy to prepare and a great to have if the power goes out.
3.Meats that require several hours of cooking time
Winter storms often mean power outages, and foods that require slow cookers or can't be prepared quickly are not helpful when your electric oven and other electricity dependent utilities can't be used . If you must have these foods, cook them ahead of time.
4. Gasoline to store away
Unless you have a gas powered generator, buying more gas than your vehicle can use is a waste of your time and money. Remember, you will likely be stuck in the house. How are you going to use all this excess gas if you're stuck in the house and don't have a generator?
5. Filtered water
When you look outside I'm sure you will quickly realize that you aren't likely to die from dehydration. Storing at least one gallon of drinking water will be more than enough.