View Full Version : Tell me about buying a freezer...
06-27-2011, 11:49 AM
So after a look at Mint.com to see how much my husband and I spend on food during a month (OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG), I've decided that it's time (overdue) to take action on cutting our food bills. We've been successful at avoiding dining out in the past when we've had a nice full pantry and freezer so that making dinner didn't require a trip to the store or any real effort. We've got a side-by-side fridge, though, and the freezer space seems very limited. I've been considering purchasing a freezer for the basement, since we've got a BJ's membership and I'd like to try really stocking up and even cooking ahead to freeze, since I'm pregnant with our first and I realize that making dinner daily will become even more of a challenge once the little one arrives.
So, in your experience, are separate freezers worth the initial outlay of money and the additional energy resources? Do you have any recommendations on what to look for in a freezer? Would you consider buying one off of Craigslist, and, if so, do you have any advice for buying one used?
Thanks in advance! :goodvibes
06-27-2011, 12:30 PM
I can help with part of your question. We do have an upright freezer that we keep in our basement. We did not have to buy it; I inherited it 20 years ago when my grandmother died. I swear it is 30 years old and still running great. When I grew up, my family had a chest freezer. I think that chest freezers are a huge PITA. Stuff gets buried in them; you forget what you have; you end up throwing stuff. I like an upright because you can easily see your stock.
I also happen to mark everything clearly with the date I put items in my freezer. For awhile I actually was keeping a spreadhseet on the outside listing everything I had, the date I put it in there, and I would cross off when I used something. This made meal planning super easy, because I never had to look inside, but I must admit I have gotten lazy and have not been doing that lately.
I think that a freezer can be a good investment. It allows you to buy things on sale, and in bulk. My DH is a fisherman and deer hunter, so we use it for his meat/fish too. We purchased 1/4 side of beef about a year ago and it was so nice to be able to buy at a low cost per pound for quality meat.
Just make sure to rotate your items, and use oldest to newest, so things don't go bad and so you don't have to throw out items that get too old. Also, a risk is a power outage. Once we had a bad storm and lost power in the middle of the summer for four days. I lost everything in my freezer, which was a huge expense.
Freezers really force you to meal plan. You have to actually plan ahead to thaw stuff. Sometimes I am not so good at that either!
06-27-2011, 01:40 PM
I had a small chest for about 14 years. I finally got rid of it because DH got station in Japan. It has moved all over the US and I had no problems with freezer burn.
Thinking that there is only the three of you, I would get a small one. Get one that you can realistically stock and use in about 6mos. The small one we had worked great for a family of 4.
If you buy it off craiglist, plug it in and make sure that is works and don't spend more than $100 for it. And is not full of rust.
Bag and mark everything. Things look so differant after a month in the freezer.
The fuller you keep it the better off you will be. If for what every reason you lose power, it will keep longer. I think it runs better full also(strictly my opinion)
furb & dez
06-27-2011, 02:01 PM
I also happen to mark everything clearly with the date I put items in my freezer. For awhile I actually was keeping a spreadhseet on the outside listing everything I had, the date I put it in there, and I would cross off when I used something. This made meal planning super easy, because I never had to look inside, but I must admit I have gotten lazy and have not been doing that lately.Post-It notes are great for this. Also, some ziplock-type bags have spots for you to label/enter a date.
06-27-2011, 02:35 PM
Thanks so much for the replies/tips! I'm going to keep an eye on Craigslist for a while to see if I can snag a good bargain. Luckily, we have until January before the little one arrives so there's plenty of time to patiently wait for a deal. :)
06-27-2011, 05:55 PM
Around here the used freezers go fast on Criagslist and you do not save enough to make it worth buying used IMO. I personally would rather buy new and have some sort of warranty and the better energy savings of a newer freezer.
We bought a large chest freezer last year and are so happy we did. The cost to run it is really low and we do not even notice it on the electric bill and the thing is huge. We buy in bulk and I can freeze a ton of stuff from the garden or pick your own farms. This year we have half a cow coming in the fall and a bunch of chickens.
I keep a list on my fridge of what is in the freezer and edit it as I add/remove things from the freezer.
06-27-2011, 06:31 PM
I was on the look out for a freezer also at the beginning of the year. If I was going to buy new, it would be a chest freezer since it was much cheaper. I looked on Craigslist everyday for about 2 weeks and one showed up that I was interested in. It was an upright and one year old for $100!!! I would have never have bought this new since it has a list price of $600+. It was only located about a half an hour away so DS16 and I picked it up and it really was not that heavy. I told my family that this has everything you can want from a freezer and more! I would definitely recommend trying to purchase one this way. Good Luck!!!
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