The hot, dry summer people experienced across most of the country means that this winter is likely to be a more extreme one. You and your family need to be ready for big snowstorms, ice storms, days of sub-freezing temperatures, and all of the other challenges that come with a big winter. Start thinking through what you need now and gathering it all so you are ready for the winter when it arrives.
Stock the Pantry
Grocery store sales run in cycles, and many of them have price wars as cold weather nears to get you to stock up with them instead of competitors. Take advantage of low prices on pantry staples and buy enough to get you through much of the winter, or at least to feed your family for a while without having to head out to the store in bad weather. Dry pasta and jarred sauce are always good to have on hand for a simple, healthy dinner. Milk powder can be a meal-saver for those times when you run out of milk and can’t get to the store.
In addition to getting food that you need to cook, remember some pantry staples that you can eat if the power goes out in a storm. Peanut butter and jelly, canned vegetables, canned beans, tuna, dried fruit, nuts, crackers and other similar foods are perfect for this. Save them in a special location through the winter, and then eat them in the spring if you didn’t need them during the winter. Last but not least, make sure you have an emergency supply of toilet paper.
Stock the Closets
Now is the perfect time to get your closets ready with all the warmer clothing you’ll need. Choose some affordable staples that will keep your whole body warm and layer easily for those times when one layer just won’t cut it. Make sure every family member has a hat and pair of gloves that fits, and stash away a few spare pairs, for when one left glove goes mysteriously missing. Then stock up on scarves, fleece jackets, chunky sweaters and maybe even some thermal underwear. If you store seasonal clothes elsewhere, now is a good time to make the switch so you’re ready for cold weather when it arrives.
Stock the Garage
You’ll be much more able to handle the harsh weather when it arrives if your garage or shed is equipped with all the most important winter tools. You definitely need a snow shovel or two and some salt to get your front walk cleared. If you have a driveway, it’s worth investing in a snowblower to save time and avoid the sore muscles as you clear it out so you can get to work. You’ll also want to have an ice scraper for each car and some de-icer in case you end up with ice on your walk or stairs and it’s too cold for salt to do its job. In addition, if power outages are common in your area, it may be good to have a portable generator ready to supply power for the essentials until the electric company makes it out for the fix.
Minnesota already had an unseasonably early snowstorm, so you never know when winter will arrive in your area. Save yourself from fighting the crowds before the storm and driving on treacherous roads in bad weather by getting ready now. When the winter weather arrives, your household will be prepared to ride out the storm without needing to make dangerous trips to the store or deal with cleared shelves as everyone else buys out the things you were looking for!
Holly is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys blogging on behalf of Sears and other reputable brands. She enjoys running in marathons, doing yoga, watching horror movies and baking healthy treats for her kids.
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