Thursday, March 19, 2009

Freezer: to buy, or not to buy?

Lately we have been seriously considering purchasing a small (5-9 cu. ft.) chest freezer. Although our apartment space is very limited (6 of us in 800 sq. ft.), it is tempting. Not only will I be able to stock up when I find a great sale, I will also be able to cut down on my baking and food prep by preparing in bulk and freezing. Right now I am baking bread at least once a week and I usually bake something else at least once during the week (muffins, biscuits, cookies, etc.). I make dinner about 6 nights a week (leftovers the other night). I occasionally cook extra meat to freeze, and usually keep some prepared black beans in our little freezer. But the little freezer is constantly full! With summer approaching, I know the baking will taper off. It is just too hot around here to bake. Afternoons are already in the 80s. Baking our own food saves us a lot of money over buying prepared foods. But it will also cost money to cool the thing. But how convenient it would be! I would make 3 lasagnas or casseroles at once, make big batches of soups, spaghetti sauce, etc. and only have to cook dinner maybe twice a week. I really have no doubt we can fill a freezer of any size, but I am worried about wasting food if we have a power outage, if I don't rotate well, or if the freezer dies. At first, I thought we might buy an inexpensive one second hand (I've seen them around $75), but I worry about the quality and lifespan of a second-hand freezer (especially when we will be risking spoilage of expensive food). I found we can purchase a tiny one (5 cu. ft.) from Sams for $170. It is manual defrost. With the humidity around here, my neighbor warned that causes a lot of frosty buildup inside. The frost-free kind are over $1000, however. Don't think I can get one of those unless I find one much cheaper. We will probably only live here another year or two.

Any advice or insights from freezer owners out there? Help me decide if this will be worth my while!


The Campbell Clan said...

I love my freezer and it was about $75 more to buy a new one w/ an energy star rating than buying a used one in good condition. I think it is worth buying a good one that you know is efficient and has great seals...we got ours on clearance at Home Depot and I plan to move it with us after two more years of school... I rotate my food and buy in bulk--I LOVE having it and recommend spending $ to get one you know will keep the food you put into it without killing your energy bill.

Joseph said...

I'm pretty sure Ivan and Alexa have a small one. You could ask about their experience.