With all these below-freezing temperatures and winter storms coming through the US, many people might encounter power outages a few times this season.

So, as forecasts predict another Arctic blast this weekend, it seems like the perfect moment to refresh everyone's memory about a simple, handy trick.

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The Quarter Freezer Trick

This technique is often referred to as the Quarter Freezer, an oldie but goodie that has saved many a fridge-full of food from spoilage after storms or heavy snowfall.

Curious about why one would place a coin atop a frozen water cup in their freezer? It's not as peculiar as it sounds.

How Does This Trick Work?

This method, also known as 'the one-cup tip', is straightforward: Freeze a cup of water, place a quarter on the top, and keep it in your freezer.

Residents in hurricane-prone regions frequently employ this method to keep their food safe. On returning home after a hurricane evacuation, the position of the quarter serves as a sign of the food's safety. If the quarter remains on top, the food is still edible as it remained frozen throughout. However, if the quarter has sunk, it's an indicator that the freezer experienced a prolonged power loss, and it might be wise to dispose of the food.

For those who forget easily, you can employ this trick immediately and leave the cup in your freezer, ready for the next storm.

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How North Carolina Residents Could Use This Trick:
When a power outage occurs, we often avoid opening the freezer to prevent food spoilage. But when the power returns, we have to rely on our judgment to determine if the food is still safe to consume. This situation can lead to expensive grocery trips, especially with rising food costs.

It doesn't matter if you're in the mountains, or if you're by the ocean, this trick could save you from getting sick in a power outage - whether that's from a winter storm or a hurricane.

However, if you've placed a quarter in a container with water in your freezer, you can use it to determine the extent of the thawing during the outage. This is especially useful if the power resumes while you're sleeping. This way, you can estimate the safety of your frozen food.

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