Have your digital clocks ever flashed the wrong time when you returned home from a trip, whether for work, pleasure, or a weekend getaway with the family?

It doesn’t take long for you to realize that there was a power outage while you were away, but it’s virtually impossible to pinpoint its timing or duration. Additionally, it is impossible to determine how long the food in your freezer may have thawed, been ruined, and then frozen again.

Otherwise, is it?

Sheila Pulanco Russell shared a brilliant idea for anyone who had to leave their home during Hurricane Matthews in 2016, which devastated regions of the United States. Russell posted the trick on her Facebook wall.

The tip can relieve your mind about whether or not the food in your freezer is safe to consume or is best to be thrown out right away, but it’s also useful to know in case you must leave your home for an extended period.


A mug, a penny, and some tap water are the magic trio of three basic but useful items that every household already possesses.

Source: Sheila Pulanco Russell (Facebook)

Sheila outlined the steps in a Facebook post that garnered thousands of reactions and shares. “I just heard a terrific advice,” she adds, “for those fleeing from the coast. The one-cup tip is what it’s called. In your freezer, you put a cup of water. Put a quarter on top after it is completely frozen, then leave it in your freezer. By doing this, you’ll be able to tell when you return from the evacuation if your food was still frozen when you left or if it had fully gone bad.

If the quarter has reached the bottom of the cup, all food has defrosted and should be thrown away. The food may still be fine if the quarter is either at the top or in the center of the cup. Keeping this in your freezer at all times would also be a wonderful idea, giving you a backup plan in case you experience any power outage.

Because you don’t need to waste a lot of food, this method is easy to apply, efficient, and undoubtedly cost-effective.

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