I am asked frequently during my classes how I can stockpile or buy in bulk (see Trick of the Trade #1) when it comes to perishable items. Whenever things go on sale that are perishable I look for ways to store them for later and my go to is my freezer. I am obsessed with using my freezer as a stockpile tool. Over the years I have come to rely on the freezer to store everything from Dairy to Wheat. I have gotten some great ideas from class attendees too I want to share these as well as my own. There is so much to share however that I am suffering from blogger overload! I just want to share everything right now. This is the third revision of this post, in fact, because I am trying to keep it simple not only for you but for me and my family. Once I find something to share I have a hard time stopping (OCD mind you). So with my natural tendencies, business, and personal goals. I (to my own chagrin) have decided to post a little at a time on this subject. (Heaven help my brain from exploding with all I want to say!) So watch for my new post series called:
In Honor of National Frozen Food Month (March) and my favorite stockpiling tool, the Freezer. Today I will start with addressing the Freezer.
Fridge Freezer- The fridge freezer is the icebox attached to your kitchen refrigerator. I use my fridge freezer like my upstairs pantry by keeping the things I need or use daily for meal preparations, baking, guilty pleasures aka, ice cream, ice packs for wounds, and ice for drinks. It is not very big but I certainly can keep it full. Sometimes I find things that have been hiding for quite a while (another post on that one later).
Stand Alone Freezer- This is a separate unit from your kitchen refrigerator. When we built our first home I had a desire to own a stand alone freezer. I just knew it would help me feel more grown up because my parents always had one. It took a few years of convincing my DH of the same though. Finally after saving and using a tax refund we purchased our first freezer from Sears. We keep it in the garage next to the door leading into the house. It holds all the “extras” or stockpile items like meats, veggies, tv dinners (this mom needs a break from time to time -don’t judge me , dairy products, more guilty pleasures-ice cream and popsicles, ok and maybe some Cadbury Mini eggs I got on clearance, and more secrets to be revealed later.
What to look for when purchasing
Stand alone freezers come in either a chest type (you know the one you see in creepy movies with body parts!) or upright types. They also come in differing sizes. I am partial to the upright for these reasons-Takes up less horizontal space, I can see everything in it clearly without have to dig and run the risk of falling in, my parents, and grandparents use the same kind (makes me feel like I am keeping the fam together), you can’t keep a body in it! Seriously the chest ones freak me out! There is nothing against people who have them though just to be clear. Chest freezers are nice because- they keep your food frozen? Well, readers feel free to comment and let me know about that one…
Think about your family situation. Are you students, maybe purchase a smaller more portable freezer unit. Or “rent” space from mom and dad, when you go to visit you can take stuff home or put things back in. Are you in the military or considering moving soon? If so decide how often you expect to move and if needs be how much you can take from move to move. Consider a freezer that would not be too burdensome to not only move from place to place but find somewhere to store once you get there. Not to mention the food that you have to pack in dry ice to move, eat or give away. I do not believe that you HAVE to have a freezer in order to be successful at saving on groceries but I do believe it is a great tool that helps.
I chose my freezer for some other options as well. It has a key, I can lock it with a key during the summer months so my freezer stockpile doesn’t turn into the neighborhood popsicle oasis. It alarms me if it is not cold enough. I don’t have to defrost it which is good because I probably never would. It has nice rolling shelves and tip outs in the door. My DH, once on board with the freezer thing, actually did all the research and probably knows more about the exact features our freezer has. I am just happy my stuff is cold and I have plenty of room for food.
Where to buy
We looked in the newspaper for used ones but rarely do people sale them once they have them. Back when we where purchasing we didn’t have tools like online classified; Craigslist, KSL.com(in utah), Ebay or Amazon. We just went down to the good ol’ Sears and browsed looking for the what we wanted. I suggest you do your research before you go out to buy. Search sites like Sears.com or BestBuy.com compare the models and features then try to price match.
How to buy
For a year I took a portion of our monthly budget and put it away to purchase the freezer. When tax time came we made up the difference with the tax refund. I have heard from readers that they have reserved a portion of their weekly grocery savings for a freezer too. If it is something that you think will be beneficial you can find a way to have the money. Save your Christmas and birthday money. Decide with your spouse that you will put the money you would have spent on gifts for awhile toward saving. I recommend that you do purchase with cash when possible. Debt free is the WAY to be!
I believe owning a freezer is a very good investment. I think we paid $700 for our freezer but the time and money saved from having the food stocked in a freezer at our own disposal is at times PRICELESS!
As I mentioned before I am so excited about this series and look forward to sharing more with you but I especially look forward to learning from you the things you love about your freezers.
Do you have a freezer? If so what kind do you have and what is your favorite thing to store in the freezer?
Filed under: Food Storage, Freezer Food Storage, My Kitchen Tips, Training: Shopping | 1 Comment »