To start the new year, we saw two major Winter Storms hit Illinois and the Midwest region. Extremely dangerous cold temperatures followed the storms and thousands of people were stuck without power.

If you were one of the unfortunate people who were without power during and following those major winter storms, you probably were left with some nasty, thawed-out food and didn't even know it. There's a trick you can do to save you from food poisoning the next time that happens.


It's a simple trick that you can do at home today. Because when you need to know if you lost power and for how long, you don't need to trick to do math using your flashing bed-side clock.

All you need is a quarter, a mug of water, and your freezer. That's it.

This Homeowners Trick Can Help You After The Next Winter Storm

Jake Truemper, Canva
Jake Truemper, Canva

If you have lived through the 2020 derecho, all of 2023's weather events, and through these past two major snowstorms to start 2024, you know that this quarter in the freezer trick can be a lifesaver.

The trick is simple and has been helping people who lose power for an extended period of time make sure that their food is still good, according to Business Insider. It takes ice a long time to unfreeze so if you're not sure how long you've been without power, this will tell you.

The concept is super simple. Place a quarter on top of a frozen mug of water in your freezer because if you lose power and the quarter sinks, you know everything else has defrosted, too.

This Trick Isn't Only For Winter Storms

The quarter on a frozen cup in the freezer isn't just a trick for winter. Remember 2020 when we lost power for days, some for weeks following the derecho? In Illinois and the Quad Cities, we get storms all year long.

Ryan McCredden
Ryan McCredden

Whether it's winter, spring, summer, or fall, the quarter in the freezer trick could help you from eating spoiled food. No, you don't have to use a lucky quarter or a quarter at all. Anything that would sink in water if it was placed in water.

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