Save your Lunchmeat: Insurance for your Fridge
I stumbled into the kitchen during the early morning hours last week to find my fridge door slightly open. Confused as to how it got that way, I opened it further and was met by a draft of hot air and a slight sour smell. I immediately noticed the stalk of celery that had found its way into the gasket of the fridge door, and knew that it was all over. The $200 of groceries that I had just bought the afternoon before had spoiled, and it all could have been prevented!
We often protect our computers, TV’s, and sound systems with special power strips to protect against power surges. Most families I know go the extra mile to stain-protect their living room furniture against stains. Have you really stopped to consider investing in protection for the food in your fridge?
If you haven’t, now is the time to do so. While there isn’t much you can do if a storm knocks out power to your fridge, you can insure yourself against the condiment bottle that keeps your fridge door from shutting completely. Renter’s insurance will not cover such things usually, and would you really want to file a claim for the 8 pounds of sale hamburger you just purchased?
After having this type of thing happen to me TWICE in the past month, I decided to look into options for food loss-prevention. The first thing I did was disable the light bulb in my fridge. Aware that the heat coming from the 25 watt bulb was a major contributor to the rapid spoilage the night before, I just put a piece of electrical tape over the button that turns it on when the door is opened. Now if the door happens to stay lodged open somehow, there will be more time to notice before something goes bad. (You don’t really need your fridge light anyway. If you’re snacking after 8 p.m., you are probably doing yourself an injustice – If you work the night shift, just ignore me.)
The second thing I did was to buy a fridge alarm. Available in many styles, this simple thermometer attaches to the fridge wall and constantly monitors the temperature. As soon as the fridge wall drops below a safe level, an alarm will go off. Hopefully I will be home to hear it, and I can find out what the problem is before my food reaches that same temperature! The cheapest model I found is also the one I use. (You can also use this in your freezer for similar purposes.)
If you have children in your home, a fridge lock or safety clasp is also a very good idea. I have a feeling that some of the problems were caused by unsanctioned juice runs in the late evening. Not only do you not want your 3-year-old getting into your prized Havarti, but there is also a greater chance of them not getting everything put in place for the door to completely shut.
Even if you are a bachelor with little more than a box of baking soda and a stale jar of pickles in your fridge, following one or all of the above tips is a good idea. The money you save in wasted electricity alone just might spot you a pack of baloney.