Five Frugal Things


Power outage edition

Tuesday 60 mile an hour wind gusts left 230000 homes in the Pacific Northwest without electricity. During the 25 hours I was powerless:

1) I kept the fridge & freezer closed, (no food waste)

2) Used a portable gas stove, gas stove

3) Bundled up, bundle up

4) worked on a craft project right under the skylight until dark,crafts

5) Read by candle light and went to bed early. (I use 3 mirrored tiles to reflect and therefore multiply the light given by each candle)candle light


Less frugal neighbors went out to eat and spent the night at a hotel.

Do you have any frugal tips for dealing with a power outage



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7 Responses to Five Frugal Things

  1. Susan says:

    I’m so amazed at how brave and resourceful you are!
    My longest power outage was last winter – for 18 hours, most of it at night. I live next to the mountains (in central PA), and power was lost for about 5 miles around us. The dark was very very dark, and I admit being afraid, partly because I could hear a lot (too much) noise, sirens and shouts from the large grocery store about a mile down the street.
    I of course didn’t open my fridge/freezer – and think I burned every candle I owned – I wish I had known of your mirror trick – like I said you are very resourceful. I layered up as well – and learned not to pack away blankets where I couldn’t get to them easily.
    The worse part was having to walk my wee dog in the total blackness – I now have a collection of flashlights at the ready, and since I read your tips I will remember to be more prepared. Thank you!

    • I don’t consider myself all that brave. I remind myself that others around the world live under similar circumstances all the time. I really have nothing to complain about if I’m inconvenienced for a few days

  2. Tina says:

    It is thanks to you, Frugal Spinster, that I purchased a butane stove to use during power outages. I read about it in an earlier post. I also live in the Pacific Northwest, and the storm knocked out our power on Tuesday too. But thankfully, only for eight hours. I got to use my new stove though.

  3. Ruby Julian says:

    The longest we were out of power was 5 days after a tornado. Our house wasn’t damaged, but the power lines were down county-wide. We packed the freezer with bags of ice and didn’t open it, and put big pans of ice in the refrigerator. It was early summer, so heat wasn’t a problem, and we had a gas stove and gas water heater, so we fared better than most in our neighborhood.

    My son and I spent a lot of time playing board games and cards on the porch. At night, I’d light candles and use reflectors made of aluminum foil to increase the light. We didn’t lose any food and didn’t check into a hotel, like a friend of mine did. Our only special cost was buying ice.

    • In December 2006 we were without power for 10 days. I lost everything in the fridge & freezer. My neighborhood was one of the last to regain power. I didn’t check into a hotel but I hung out anywhere I could that had power (mostly work or friends’ homes) only returning to my cold dark house to sleep. It was after that I bought the gas stove.

  4. Karen says:

    I found you via The Non-Consumer Advocate blog. That was one heck of a storm, huh? I was lucky that I never lost power, just internet for 5 days (I work from home). We had massive trees down all over the neighborhood. You just reminded me to add an oil lamp to my list of things to look for at Goodwill. =)

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