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View Full Version : Buying a deep freezer - any advice/rec's?


NYEmomma
06-26-2011, 01:58 PM
I could have sworn that there was a thread about deep freezers, but I searched & couldn't find it... so if there is already a thread like this, feel free to point me to it & close this one. :goodvibes

After a couple weeks of seeing some great sales/coupons on freezer food, I've convinced DH that a deep freezer would be a good purchase.

So does anyone have any recommendations or advice? Since this is the budget board, I'm looking for a budget-friendly option. We're a family of 3 (one of those 3 is a toddler) so we don't need anything massive.

Chest vs upright? Manual vs auto defrost? Brand preferences?

mrudman
06-26-2011, 02:03 PM
Subbing, cause I've also just about convince dh we need one, lol!

I've been set on an upright, for various reasons, with auto defrost... but looking forward to seeing other's people opinions.

StephMK
06-26-2011, 02:06 PM
We bought a chest, manual defrost Kenmore freezer 12 yrs ago & it's still going strong *knock on wood*. We usually eat up the freezer stuff about once a year to defrost it, which takes about a day to defrost, wipe out & turn back on. I love it!!!

We're tall so the bending into it is not a problem and it's so nice to get bulk size items & store them there. It's definitely great to have to stock up on stuff. I think we only paid about $130.

ilovepete
06-26-2011, 02:06 PM
We got ours at the Sears Outlet store for a good price and it's been really great. We have a chest freezer with dividers in it and that is something I would definitely recommend! :)

NYEmomma
06-26-2011, 02:37 PM
I don't think I really have a preference, at this point, to a chest or an upright. DH & I are on the average-to-tall side so we won't have a problem getting into a chest freezer & it seems like you'd be able to fit more stuff into a chest freezer??? Though my parents have an upright & really like it.

Which is cheaper to operate -- chest or upright?

Ideally, I want an auto defrost. That might be out of our budget though. But I'm not the greatest with housework/home maintenance and the odds are VERY high that I'd never defrost the thing. :rolleyes1

Muushka
06-26-2011, 03:50 PM
We have always had uprights. Well, 2 anyway. I think it may be a tad more to operate, but nothing beats not having to hang over an ice chest. Plus the upright takes up less floor space in our garage.

We opted for manual defrost for a couple of reasons. One is that if the power goes out, that ice buildup will help keep things colder longer. Another is that the self-defrosting goes through heating cycles (the way I understand the way it works) and I don't want my frozen stuff to have those temp changes.

The upright is a snap to defrost. Empty the stuff out, get a box fan and let the air blow into the freezer. I can do it in less than 90 minutes.

ErinC
06-26-2011, 04:16 PM
We have an upright that we have had for about 13 years. Bought it at a Sears scratch and dent outlet and it's still going strong. We really need a larger one and have been looking at them recently. The big thing that I want is one with a door alarm. We have had "several" incidents where a "mystery" child of ours (no one takes responsibility) didn't get the door all the way shut and we lost a good bit of the items in the freezer due to defrosting that occurred. Not too long ago, it went a couple of days unnoticed in the garage until stuff was melting on the floor in the garage. The smell was horrible. I swore there was a body in the garage!:rotfl: Anyway, you may only have a little one now, but if your getting an upright, get the door alarm! You may need it in a few years.

karice2
06-26-2011, 06:03 PM
I have a body casket freezer that came with my house. I am looking for a smaller one because with just me in the house it is way too big. I want one that has more shelves and one that is energy efficient.

So here is what I am looking for energy efficient, manual defrost chest freezer.

goofystitchfan
06-26-2011, 06:21 PM
My only advise, get the upright. We have an upright, and have had it for 15 years, my mom had one for 25 years. A friend who has a chest has gone thru 3 since we have had ours. They also have forgot items at the bottom. Not sure which is cheaper, just more convenient.

kent285
06-26-2011, 06:27 PM
We have a chest that we purchased at Sam's Club. We unplugged it last fall when all 3 kids were in college and didn't need that much space. It was great having the extra space.

DawnM
06-26-2011, 06:55 PM
We have a Fridgidaire we got from Lowe's about 6 years ago. It is auto defrost and we love it. It is an upright and about 6 feet tall I want to say? Maybe a little less.

We looked at Sears too as we have other Kenmore appliances, but Lowe's had a good deal going so we went with that.

Dawn

Muushka
06-26-2011, 06:59 PM
We have an upright that we have had for about 13 years. Bought it at a Sears scratch and dent outlet and it's still going strong. We really need a larger one and have been looking at them recently. The big thing that I want is one with a door alarm. We have had "several" incidents where a "mystery" child of ours (no one takes responsibility) didn't get the door all the way shut and we lost a good bit of the items in the freezer due to defrosting that occurred. Not too long ago, it went a couple of days unnoticed in the garage until stuff was melting on the floor in the garage. The smell was horrible. I swore there was a body in the garage!:rotfl: Anyway, you may only have a little one now, but if your getting an upright, get the door alarm! You may need it in a few years.

We have an alarm on ours. It is not quite loud enough, but better than not having one. We can hear it during the day, but not when our BR door is closed at night.

Sadie22
06-26-2011, 07:00 PM
I prefer the upright frostfree styles. When the kids were little we always kept the freezer locked. Frequently used items like popsicles are in the refrigerator freezer anyway so we've never had a problem with kids leaving the door open. Our newer freezer does have an alarm but it's not loud.

mjantz
06-26-2011, 07:12 PM
We've had an upright, self defrosting for about 11 years. My mom had a chest when I was growing up & I hated having to lean over it with my feet barely touching the ground to get something. I love the shelves & drawer in my deep freeze as well as the shelves in the door (which is pretty much wasted space in a chest).

walkdmc
06-26-2011, 08:29 PM
Three things:

1. Upright
2. auto-defrost (why oh why would anyone even consider a manual defrost?)
3. Energy saving rebate options

For #3, we bought a $675 upright Frigidaire at Lowes. It was on sale for $50 off AND, our local electric company offered a $50 mail-in rebate for big energy star appliances. So, I got a $675 freezer for $575. So far, we love it.

Some features I came across that are not standard but helpful were, an interior light (yes, some freezers do not have these), an outside temp. controller and display and an open-door alarm. Mine also has a lock but I can't imagine ever using it.

EPCOT is a verb
06-26-2011, 08:50 PM
We have a small chest freezer. It is just the right size for our family of four, but it is really hard to keep organized and remember what is at the bottom. I keep thinking I should keep an inventory sheet, but I never get around to it.

NYEmomma
06-26-2011, 08:53 PM
Thanks for all the input! A couple questions:

1. If our budget limited us to a manual defrost, is there any benefit to upright over chest or vice versa? Is one easier to defrost than the other?

2. Do the uprights still come with locking doors? I know a PP mentioned an alarm for little fingers that don't push doors shut (ok, and I'm NOTORIOUS for leaving my parent's freezer door open even at 30 years old :rolleyes1)... my parent's older model deep freezer has a lock on it.

Natalie's Mommy
06-26-2011, 08:57 PM
we have 2 chest freezers, a small one that we got as a x-mas present when we bought our first house, and a larger one that we got when we moved into our 2nd house 9 months ago. we went with chese freezer because they are more energy efficient and are less expensive. one thing i will say is if you go chest go a size bigger than you think you need so you have room to move stuff around in it! we often had our tiny one crammed sooo FULL that it was a 2 person effort to get something you needed in the bottom! also get one that has dividers or a coule large baskets to help organize! :thumbsup2

hoffmann2828
06-26-2011, 09:26 PM
We have a cheap chest, manual defrost that we love. Yes, you sometimes have to "dig" food out, but it has an added benefit...we lost power a couple years ago for 2 days and lost NOTHING. We put our refrigerator freezer stuff into the chest freezer and filled the rest with ice. Acted like a hard sided cooler and we saved hundreds of dollars in food.

To keep it more energy efficient, we purge twice a year. We take everything out, throw away old/badly frozen, etc, and move it to a different location. We have a big laundry room only steps away from the garage. After it's empty, we clean it, move it to the laundry room and restock. We are people that always have the air on. In the garage, it sometimes hits 90-100 degrees or more. Inside the house, it is always set on 73. That's about 20 degrees less it needs to work hard on keeping cool. In the fall, we reverse the process and put it back in the garage.

As far as a tip of what to put in it, call every butcher shop in a 50 mile radius. Most sell 1/2 pigs, 1/4 cows, etc. Much cheaper than the grocery store and I always feel like God-forbid DH lost his job, we will eat well for a while!!!

NYEmomma
06-26-2011, 09:40 PM
As far as a tip of what to put in it, call every butcher shop in a 50 mile radius. Most sell 1/2 pigs, 1/4 cows, etc. Much cheaper than the grocery store and I always feel like God-forbid DH lost his job, we will eat well for a while!!!


.... I've never seen or even heard of a butcher around here. :confused: I figured they only existed in large cities or farming communities.

Now I'm thinking some investigation is in order if it's a way to save money! Though I'd have NO idea what to order. I don't eat or cook any red meat aside from occasional ground beef (though we typically go with ground turkey). We also don't eat much pork except for ham at Easter and bacon every now and then. Though now that I think of it, we eat turkey bacon. Maybe I should be looking for a place that butchers turkeys!! :rotfl:

MineMail
06-26-2011, 10:07 PM
Three things:
Mine also has a lock but I can't imagine ever using it.
I only used the lock with young children or when there was a blackout and we didn't want anyone opening it to see if it was still cold.

I've had two upright freezers. I inherited my mother's when she passed and it was manual defrost. If you are a planner who can empty the freezer to defrost as needed, that works fine. If you're not a planner, get the auto defrost, which is what we did with our second freezer. It was easier than unloading everything into coolers or the small freezer so we could defrost/drain/dry the freezer.

I second the "get a light" suggestion.

Our current fridge has a bottom freezer drawer and it's okay, but I have to keep it organized or things get lost or missed. I try to use up everything once or twice a year so I can clean and restock, but it doesn't always work out as planned. Good thing it's frost-free, lol.

We're getting ready to buy a new stand alone freezer and we're going to get an upright. It's more our style.

I keep my blue ice packs in the freezer as a bit of extra cold should the power go out.

StitchFanZ
06-27-2011, 01:36 AM
We bought the biggest chest freezer we could find - it came with sliding baskets so its real easy to find stuff. The baskets prevent you from needing to stack much stuff and helps to keep stuff organized. Plus the door never gets accidentally left open. The food also keeps better in the chest freezer if you have power outages.

I also bought a food saver sealer as I love buying in bulk and saving portions to use later. i.e. I just bought 40 lbs of fresh sliced strawberries and sealed them up for those months when we don't have fresh inexpensive fruits. You can fill up a large freezer real fast with healthy inexpensive stuff when it is in season.