Over the last few weeks, my wife and I have been dealing with a slightly annoying situation at our home that in total, has put us about $100 in the hole. Usually on this site, our non-stock annoyances are a result from the expenses of owning a car or some service provider unexpectedly increase their bill. Not this time though and unfortunately, my wife and I had to bite a $100 bullet and accept the loss.
A few weeks ago, I was out of town for work in a warm and sunny location. I just received word from my wife that Cleveland was experiencing storms with wind gusts over 60 miles per hours at times. In my head, I was doing back flips that I dodged the nasty weather. The next phone call though quickly turned those back flips into aggravation and guilt. My wife called and told me that our power went out for an extended period of time and I was mad that I was not home with her during the storm.
Fast forward two hours that evening and I received a call letting me know that our power was back on and everything was okay. In fact, the power at my in-law’s house was going to be out for a few days because a tree branch fell on a power line and this caused them to be without power for a few days. So she invited them over and they spent the night. All is well….right?
Well… not so much. Despite the fact that our power turned back on the night before, our refrigerator that was older than we were decided that it was its time to go. While the power was running, the refrigerator was not cooling or freezing any of the food. Since our fridge was running, we thought everything was okay and we didn’t bother to check the freezer for over 12 hours. When my wife finally opened the door, she realized that all of our frozen meat, soups, and other items had thawed out and were room temperature. It was the same story as well for our refrigerator.
My wife had just gone to the grocery store as well and amassed quite the collection of food in our freezer based on a new meal plan she was giving a shot, so there was a lot of food that we were not able to salvage. The aggravating part is that it was really cold in Cleveland too when this happen; I’m talking below freezing temperatures. So if we would have realized this prior to falling asleep, we could have easily put the food outside and salvaged as much as possible. Unfortunately, the food sat at room temperature for too long and had to go. In total, I estimate that we threw away approximately $100 of food. Darn!
I’m trying to find the positive out of all the situations that life throws our way and I was able to pinpoint two from this experience.
1. We are very fortunate that we rent and do not own a house. In this situation, we were ale to call our landlord and let him know that the refrigerator was beyond repair. By the end of the day, he placed an order and we are expecting a new one to arrive shortly (There were some unforeseen delays due to a nasty snowstorm last week). Instead of having to panic and purchase a new fridge at full price without having the necessary time to search for the best deals for the highest quality appliance, my wife made a two minute phone call and BAM, it was taken care of. not having to worry about having an emergency fund set aside for moments like these is one of the main reasons why we are not in a hurry to purchase a home.
2. This taught us a lesson about overstocking your freezer because you have the room. We took the extra space for granted and made the assumption that we could over-purchase food and simply store it in our freezer because we had the capacity. It never crossed our mind that our refrigerator would break and we would lose it all. We are going to think twice before buying the Costco sized frozen items going forward and storing stuff just for the sake of storing it. Hopefully we will take a much more minimalist approach to grocery shopping going forward.
In the end, nobody was hurt by the storm and my wife and I were only out of pocket $100 plus the cost of new groceries. I can’t complain too much about it. However, it was definitely an annoying life situation that was thrown our way and one that we definitely could have done without! But I think we learned two very valuable lessons from this experience that we will carry forward for as long as possible. thanks everyone for listening to my rant here.