Friday, February 13, 2009

It's Friday, so it's Buddy's time - freezers

Every Friday over at Margaret's Rambling, she hosts Buddy's, where we all post money saving suggestions.

This week I am going to talk about owning a freezer. We have two freezers at the moment. We have a side by side fridge freezer, like this one, and we have a chest freezer like this one

Now as many of you know there are only two of us in the household, so maybe the one freezer might be a good option for us, but I love the fact we have the two freezers. I buy meat in family packs and split them into portions that suit me and dh. If people come just pull out extra portions. Buying family packs generally saves us a bit of money, as they are cheaper.

I buy bread a few loaves at a time. Infact I go to one store where I know they reduce bread products and this week I was able to buy three packs of bagels and a loaf of bread for super cheap. Popped them straight in to the freezer as we wouldn't have been able to eat all the items before they expired.

Also dh takes sandwiches for lunch, and I buy a dozen bread rolls at a time. If they were left out all week, by the end of the week they would be stale, the way I do it, is pop them in the freezer and just take out what we need each day.

I also still insist on cooking for a family despite the fact there is only me and dh!!! So it is handy to put the leftovers in the freezer for another meal. I also keep a freezer inventory so that way I know what I have in my freezer. I wrote more about that on this post

Some do's and don't on buying a freezer:

1. Capacity Required: Do you buy for 2, or a large family? Are you near shopping areas, or do you have to buy in bulk? Do you have other freezer space available, or will this be your only freezer? Also how much room do you have to place this appliance, as that may limit the size you can buy? The appliance industry recommends 1.5 cubic feet of freezer space for each family member with 1 cubic foot of freezer holding approximately 35 pounds of food. So, the larger your family, the larger freezer you will need.

2. Do you want an upright freezer or a chest freezer?

There are Pro's and Con's to both:

Pros & Cons of a Chest Freezer

More capacity and can accommodate odd sized food items, but foods are difficult to get at, and can be forgotten in the bottom.
Lower profile will not obscure windows, but it has a larger footprint to locate.
More energy efficient - cold doesn't escape easily when lid is opened, and foods keep longer.
Most chest models are manual defrost - using less energy.
Usually more economically priced than uprights.

Pros & Cons of an Upright Freezer

Ease of retrieving, sorting and organizing foods.
Smaller footprint like a refrigerator, but taller profile.
Some models come with automatic defrost for ease of cleaning, but foods can freezer burn more quickly, and energy costs are higher.
Foods are more visible - and not forgotten or lost within.
Easier to relocate; will generally fit through doorways (there are extra wide models).
Usually priced slightly higher than chest models.

There are a number of advantages of having a freezer in your home and they mainly relate to saving time and money:

Shopping can be done in bulk, which will free up time to do other things plus it will reduce money spent on shopping.

Cooking can be done in bulk thus saving time and energy costs.

Items that can be cooked from frozen may be kept for "emergencies" when you don't have time to cook.

You can buy large cuts of meat, joint them at home and freeze them until needed. Larger cuts of meat are much cheaper to buy than already cut and packaged smaller cuts.

If hungry unexpected guests arrive at your house, you will always be able to welcome them and feed them if you have a well-stocked freezer.

Fresh fruit and vegetables may be frozen when in season and consumed all year round.
Food may be frozen until needed and less is thrown out if not consumed by the use-by date, which ultimately save money and time (you would have to go shopping again).

The top of the freezer may be used as an extra work surface if needed.

Consumers Reports says that annualized sales of upright freezers sales jumped 17%, chest freezers 10%.

There is more information in this article, which you may find useful.

I hope this has given you food for thought?


Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I found this interesting Gill - another person's point of view. Have had large uprights and chest freezers in the past but now only have a small upright.

Both retired, living close to shops it works better for us than the others have. I always cook extra portions of most things and have enough room to freeze them but now having more time keep the contents turned round and used within a few weeks. Sometimes I wish I had more freezer space but on the whole the small one is more economical for us. A x

MyBulletinBoard said...

Really appreciate the pros and cons. I have a side-by-side right now. We are going toward a larger garden in the next few years. How to preserve the extra produce is the question. Still torn between a bigger freezer sooner (the expense!) or waiting it out with the smaller garden for a little longer. Thanks for the pointers.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Great info, Gill.. We also buy in bulk to save money, and this past year, we finally bought a second frig/freezer for our garage. AND---we bought one of those Food Savers so that we can freeze things without them getting freezer burn (which I cannot stand). I recommend the Food Saver to anyone who does alot of freezing of food.

We're going to be gone a couple of days--celebrating Valentine's Day doing some 'waterfalling'...

Happy Valentine's Day,

Margaret's Ramblings said...

I found last year that I could have done with more freezer space for harvesting. Intend to buy a small chest freezer this year so we can store more of our garden produce.

Tell me, do you ever just get used to cooking for two. It's been ten years now and I still manage to think I am cooking for an army, LOL.


Scrappy quilter said...

We have one freezer and I wish we had two. I never have enough space once gardening season comes. I can't imagine just cooking for 2. I've been cooking for so many for so long, it's going to be quite a change when it's only 2 of us.

Tan said...

Happy Valentine's Day

Visiting your blog ... and I am happy that I did it ...

Tan :)

Angelena said...

We have both a chest freezer and an upright one. I love them both, but I have to admit I think I can cram more into the chest freezer. lol

Janet said...

We invested in a chest freezer last October, even though there are only two of us in the household. I wish we'd done it years ago, I'm sure it's paid for itself already.

Um Naief said...

we've been thinking of buying a freezer... getting tons of frozen chickens for the dog food.... and we're thinking of a chest freezer.

how does the bread taste after being frozen for a while??? still the same? when you unfreeze it, how is it?