Save your Lunchmeat: Insurance for your Fridge

Photo: 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.

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Guest's picture

Last summer I got home from a grocery shopping trip to find that everything in my refrigerator was warm. I panicked and checked to make sure the outlet was working. It was. I called the landlord to report that my fridge wasn't working.

When the landlord got there, he discovered that the refrigerator had been turned OFF by my son!

I might have to look into a fridge alarm and/or safety lock!

Guest's picture

You make an excellent point about how easily we protect our other electronics, but tend to overlook such simple things as the fridge and freezer. Thanks for doing the research on the temperature monitor. I'll have to look into that.

Guest's picture

Ok, well, I'm finding that I'm liking this blog very much and will have to add it to my bookmarks. :) Anyway, when I redid my kitchen I got very lucky on finding a great deal on the fridge I really wanted. (I bought it as a floor model and saved about $300!) What I didn't realize when I bought the thing was that it has this useful/annoying feature--a door alarm. My boyfriend came over one day and grabbed something out of the fridge. A short while later, we heard this strange beeping. I followed the sound directly to the fridge and discovered the door was slightly ajar! I closed the door and went about my business and suffered no loss of food. It can be annoying if I need to have the door open for a little while in order to put groceries away, but after reading this post and the comments, the annoyance is worthwhile!

Guest's picture

Most fridge clasps or locks are ill-advised with children because of the risk of them getting trapped inside the refrigerator.

Guest's picture

Most fridge clasps or locks are ill-advised with children because of the risk of them getting trapped inside the refrigerator.

Guest's picture

Having to waste your food for the reason of being clumsy I thing is more of a personal adjustments. Being careful is a means of insurance. Having to protect your foods for further damages is somehow a way of self discipline. Learning to create an environment that has the control over uncertain destruction may be the most beneficial tool.
But your tips are very helpful considering the facts of certain situations. Nice article though, this may be simple advice but definitely counts a lot.