Sometimes a little bit of preparedness is the difference between “no biggie” and “oh, this is bad!” I’m a planner and preparer at heart – the girl who always has stuff like dental floss, Advil, cough drops and bandaids in her purse. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve given someone an Advil or a bandaid or a cough drop. Sorry – my dental floss is only for peeps who share my DNA or last name! 🤣 😁 Anyway, always having a few simple things in your car can keep you safer on the road, prepared for an emergency, or simply ready to get your shop on. Believe me, it definitely feels better to be prepared than scrambling to make-do! So with that in mind, here are 5 things I always have in my car, and you should too!
1. A Small Cooler
A small cooler is about the most useful thing I keep in my car at all times. The one I use is big enough to hold 2 half-gallons of milk and a few other things. When I go grocery shopping, I grab a few ice packs from the chest freezer in the garage and pop them in there. No matter how hot it is outside or how many stops I need to make, my frozen items, meat, milk, whatever, always make it home in great shape. An insulated cooler is also a great place to keep your takeaway food hot or cold for the ride home, too! A little guy like this one is inexpensive and the perfect size. (Note – not an affiliate link, just a product I like)
2. A Quilt or Blanket
A clean, old blanket has lots of uses! I keep a soft, old quilt folded up in the back of my SUV and use it all the time. People in the backseat freezing on a car trip? Grab that blanket. Bought more cold things than will fit in your cooler, but have a few more stops to make? Tuck your grocery bags underneath the folded blanket to keep them insulated (you’d be surprised how well that works, even on a HOT North Carolina day). Found the lamp of a lifetime or some other large, delicate thingamabob at Home Goods? Wrap it in your blanket to arrive home unharmed. Car emergency on a cold day? You’ve got a blanket!
And a blanket can also come in handy if you are ever in an accident or stop to help someone else. In fact, I keep an extra blanket (an old crocheted throw in the ugliest 70s colors ever) for emergencies like that where I won’t be getting or wanting my blanket back!
3. A Hand Towel
I love my old CRV. It has all these neat storage cubbies in the front seat. And in one of those cubbies I always keep a clean hand towel. Dump an entire XL Chick-fil-A iced tea in your lap (it happened 🥶)? You’ve got a towel. Coffee go flying all over your dash? You’ve got a towel. Get soaked running to your car in a downpour? You’ve got a towel. Get mud or wet grass all over your shoes and you don’t want to ruin your floor mats? You’ve got a towel! You get the picture! 😁
4. An Envelope of Cash
Okay, I’m not talking like $100 here. I’m talking $20 in small bills. I never have cash in my wallet, and every once in a blue moon that is a problem. Even tho we’re well into the 21st century, sometimes you need a little cash. Stop at a farmstand that only takes cash? Need to tip the tow truck driver or the nice kid from AAA who just fixed your flat? Unexpected toll or parking fee? Now you have some small bills.
5. A Backup Pair of Glasses (or Two)
I always keep a backup pair of sunnies in the cubby above the rearview mirror in my car. Every once in a while as I’m ready to back out of the garage I realize my sunnies aren’t in their case in my purse. No worries. I grab the backup pair and go. No turning off the car, going back inside, taking my shoes off (no shoes in the house, y’all!) and hunting for my glasses. Win! I also always have a backup pair of reading glasses in the glove box. Can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sprinted out to the car on Sunday morning or when we’re out to dinner and I discover my readers aren’t in my purse. Crisis averted!
Here’s a bonus tip on this point: when you travel, ALWAYS take a back up pair of glasses, whether they are prescription glasses or just readers. We were on vacation in Mexico several years ago and on a boating trip my hubby’s prescription glasses went overboard. The rest of that trip really sucked for him! Now I tuck an old pair of his glasses in a backpack, just in case.
There you have it – 5 things to always have in your car
Did I leave out your favorite must-have item? Share it with us below!
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