It's become a cliché. A caricature of itself. Buying bread and milk before a winter storm hits is the stuff of legend. It's so ingrained in our heads that pop culture met it head on with sarcasm.

As I drove home from work behind a de-icing truck I thought about the logic here.

How much bread does your family go through in one week? A loaf of bread is usually going to last about that long. Even bad winter storms tend not to hamper travel for more than three days. If you already have a loaf, you probably don't need more. Milk? Do you already have any? Do you really need more?

So I researched what experts say we really should be buying and sure enough bread and milk aren't on the list. Neither is frozen food. You know why?

Because if there's a power outage things like milk and frozen food are going to go bad and won't help you.

Here's what they say makes sense to stock up on before a winter storm.


Bottled water (at least one gallon per person per day, for at least three days)

Canned goods, and think of cozy, warming foods like soups and stews

Snacks like chips, cookies and crackers that are in sealed packages

Cereal and granola


Anything jarred, from jellies to pickles to meats

Canned tuna and salmon

Peanut butter and other shelf-stable nut butters, a vegan-friendly source of protein

open jar of peanut butter with spoon

Dried pasta and jarred sauce

Wax-sealed hard cheeses

Salted butter, which lasts longer at room temperature than unsalted butter (very smart tip if there's a power outage!)

Stick of unwrapped butter on blue cloth

Dried fruit



pile of beef jerky shot with selective focus

Energy bars

Shelf-stable juice

Coffee, tea and hot cocoa mix (throw in some marshmallows for a snow day)

Extra toilet paper and paper towels

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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