Dealing with a power outage the FRUGAL way

I was at work when a freak summer wind storm blew through the Pacific Northwest on Saturday August 29th.

I came home to a dark house. (from what neighbors say we lost power about 1 in the afternoon) well it wasn’t exactly a dark house because it was 6PM and still daylight. I was without electricity until 9:18 Sunday night (about 32 hours)

I love a good wind storm I wish I had been home to watch this one. But I was at the bakery where the lights flickered several times but that was the extent of it.

I heard on the news (battery operated radio) that Puget Sound Energy predicted power would be restored to the 73000 residences affected by September 2nd. I was prepared to be in this for the long haul. As I write this 34000 are still without power.

Sunday afternoon I had a wedding cake to deliver. IMG_0814My plan was to purchase some ice while I was out. I hadn’t opened my fridge or freezer so I expected that my food was still cold if not frozen but adding dry ice would be insurance.

Driving out my street I stopped to talk with a couple a few doors down from me. While Jan and I chatted Steve came up with his cell phone saying PSE says we are back on. So, I didn’t bother to buy any ice. However when I came home a couple of hours later, still no power.

The nice thing about our storms is that damage is often localized. A drive of 10-15 miles will get you to stores and restaurants that are open. I talked to a lot of people who went out to eat or buy supplies such as batteries. Restaurants had long lines of powerless customers wanting a hot meal.

Being FRUGAL going out to eat wasn’t my style. I ate cold cereal (without milk) for dinner Saturday. Sunday morning I made my coffee on a gas burner. making coffeeI snacked on CHEX mix during the day and had a sandwich for dinner.

I have a gas water heater, so I could take a hot shower, and offered one to a friend also.

I entertained myself by climbing over the many downed trees in my neighborhood park and watching the repair crews work on the downed lines.IMG_0816 I talked to a young man who was not more than 10 feet away when this tree came down. IMG_0822He came to the park on Sunday to get a selfie of the tree that almost took his life.

While I was walking, I had a nice conversation with a couple and learned that they live on my street.

I talked to a lineman who came up from Oregon to get us power.

I remembered to charge my cell phone in the car when I did my delivery.chargeing phone

My laptop batter held up until late Sunday evening, although I didn’t have an internet connection.

When the power came on Sunday evening I opened the freezer to check on the food. Some bread, fruit and cheese that were near the door were soft but still partially frozen( thawing and refreezing won’t hurt them)

I was worried about the trout and steak I’ve been saving for a special occasion. They were deep in the freezer and still ROCK HARD.

The only thing in the refrigerator that I’m concerned about is an open gallon of milk. I used it to make bread pudding.

32 hours without electricity.

ZERO dollars spent.

No Food lost.

Now that’s FRUGAL.

After the Chanukah Eve storm several years ago when I was without power for 10 days I had to throw away almost everything in the fridge ( I didn’t have a freezer at that time). Did that ever hurt, but it was better than risking food poisoning.

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