Why You Should Put a Quarter on Top of a Cup of Ice in Your Freezer

Few things are as scary and unpredictable as natural disasters. While all emergencies are terrifying, there’s something about the uncontrollable nature of these disasters that make them especially frightening. Storms to this degree, of any nature, bring up many stressful questions.

How will this natural disaster effect your area? What about your property? Will your friends and family be safe during the storm?

While it’s impossible to know what exactly will result after one of these disasters, the best any of us can do is read up on safety procedures and execute them to the best of our abilities. It always pays off to have some practical knowledge on hand, from the biggest issues to the smallest inconveniences.

When it comes to said inconveniences, nothing is as annoying as trying to guess whether your food has gone bad or not. Often during a huge storm, electricity tends to get blown out, which means that your refrigerator has probably died and left your food to spoil. One of two things will happen: the food will defrost, go bad, then maybe refreeze OR it will stay frozen or refreeze in time to keep the food edible.

In the past it might have been difficult to guess which has happened, but thanks to Ms. Sheila Pulanco Russell from Lumberton, North Carolina, we all can feel a little safer with this practical tip she shared.

Simply titled “The One Cup Tip,” the only things you need are a quarter, a cup of water, and a freezer. Here’s what you’ll need to do to pull off this trick.

The One Cup Tip


  1. Place a cup of water in your freezer.
  2. Freeze the water until it is solid, and then put a quarter on top of the frozen water and return it to your freezer.
  3. Leave it in your freezer.

You’re probably asking yourself, what does this tip accomplish?

It helps you determine whether or not your food has gone bad, or whether it refroze or stayed frozen while you were away.

For instance, if you return after you have been evacuated and find that the frozen water has melted and the quarter has fallen to the bottom of the cup, you now know that all the food has defrosted and it should be thrown out.

However, if the quarter is either on the top of the frozen cup or in the middle of the cup, then your food may still be okay to eat. The top tells you that the freezer was still in tact the whole time – the middle tells you that your food might have defrosted, but later refrosted when electricity returned.

This tip is also useful beyond natural disaster purposes. For example, if you leave the cup in your freezer at all times and your power spontaneously goes out, you will have this neat tip to rely on.

Most importantly, as a general rule, if you feel your food is no longer safe, simply throw it out. Safety is the utmost priority and eating food that may have spoiled can have numerous negative health consequences.

What do you think about this handy safety tip? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.