deep freezers- are they worth the savings?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by clovis, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    My wife is a bargain grocery shopper. She double-triple coupon shops. You wouldn't belive the amounts of free frozen foods she brings home. We are running out of freezer space in our refrigerator, and is passing up free food. Last week she could have gotten 6 bags of frozen bagels, but didn't because we had nowhere to store them or no one to give them to. This happens alot.

    We are considering buying a small deep freezer from Lowe's for a $137. Is it worth the money in electricity? Can we unplug the unit when it is empty, and then plug it back in when we refill it?
    clove
     
  2. Ann-NWIowa

    Ann-NWIowa Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, they save money. Yes, you can unplug when not in use. Just be sure to clean it out thoroughly, make sure its dry, put in soda or you will have a moldy mess.
     

  3. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    I have a really old freezer- would it be worth it to get a newer one - do they use quite a bit of less electricity?
     
  4. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    I just bought a new freezer to replace an old-timer. It still worked but the difference in electicity usage was huge. The new ones are much, much more efficient. This new one is 21 cubic feet and at my electric rate will supposedly cost about 30 dollars a year to run. Pretty dang cheap, when you consider the savings you can get buying stuff on sale and whatnot.

    It's been my experience that freezers will last much longer if you leave them plugged in. If you don't have enough to put in it, just fill plastic milk jugs to fill any empty space and you can swap them out when you have stuff to take it's place. Freezers are more efficient if they are full. It also helps if you are short and have problems reaching all the way to the bottom without falling in. You can use the jugged ice in the summer for coolers and I guess if you are really frugal, you could put them in your referigerator to help keep stuff cool.

    Another word of advice, go for a larger freezer, you'll soon fill your new one and be wishing you'd listened that bare feller!
     
  5. Bob Mc

    Bob Mc Member

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    If you unplug it, prop the door open. Otherwise it will develop a terrible odor.
     
  6. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    We have a couple of old uprights with the shelves that have the freezing tubes under them. They freeze things fast. This year we got a new chest freezer that is energy efficient. We found out it freezes stuff very slowly. It ruined some large cuts of pork. I think it's like running a semi with a tiny engine. It will get it up to speed but will take forever to get there. We now freeze in the old freezers and transfer to the chest freezer. As soon as the old ones are empty, we unplug them.
     
  7. ChristenaTN

    ChristenaTN Active Member

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    My hubby just put in my new deep freezer tonight so I can pipe in:) We bought a 20.3 cubic feet frost free (appprectiative of that) upright. It can hold 710 pounds of food and I"m aiming to fillerup.LOL! We are looking forward to deer and racks of beef and pork, etc.. along with next years garden stuffs. I have a large family and am looking forward to having the freezer space. Living in the country it will save me on gasoline alone those trips to the grocery every week. I just got a Sams Club card for other bulk shopping .
     
  8. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    More importantly than any freezer (to me anyhow) is how your wife does what she does. How can she get 6 bags of frozen bagels free? I've never double-triple coupon shopped. How does one do this? We use coupons, but only on the things we really would use. Usually, we find it cheaper to buy the store brands.
     
  9. janandkenny

    janandkenny Well-Known Member

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    yes I believe a freezer will save you money. Last weekend we butchered two hogs at the neighbors house. we were expecting a half, but got a whole instead. Thankfully I had enough room in our chest freezer for it. Then the local grocery had turkeys this weekend for 19 cents per pound and we bought eight. Gave one away, and then realized we really didn't have the room for all of them, so we farmed them out LOL to relatives freezers temporarily. We needed another freezer and I got a call from a friend saying she had one we could have for free. Its an upright and its huge! An older model, but thats ok. Hooked it up and it freezes beautifully, so we went back to the store and bought more turkeys. I have 14 sitting out there, and there is no way I could get a better deal... thanks to our freezer.
     
  10. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    I like our older model, very old, not frost free, and if it dies I will probably pay serious money to have it repaired rather than get a newer model. Yes, the newer models are "more efficient" but my understanding (from the sales people) is you can't use them outside. They need to be in your house.

    Our freezer stands outside in an unheated garage. It does build up frost in there, needs cleaning, etc... but when it is -30 outside, I figure the little cooling motor just isn't working very hard to keep that food frozen!

    We don't have space in the house for a freezer, but more to the point, I can't see paying for electricity to cool something down in my heated home when the whole world outside is one big deep freeze!

    Oh.. and I LOVE my freezer!
     
  11. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    We have always had our freezers in an unheated building.....old ones and new ones and never had a lick of trouble. We also found that the newer ones, although very energy efficient, did a very poor job of freezing and use the old upright to freeze in and then transfer to the newer chest type. We have found that keeping three freezers is very efficient for us. We have the old upright and two smaller chests. In the fall after butchering all three might be completely full what with all the fruits and veggies etc. As the food gets used we consolidate into the smaller chests and unplug the old upright first. By spring we are down to one chest freezer and start the whole cycle over again with asparagus etc.

    edited to add........yes.......even if you are buying all your food I think you will save a bunch having a freezer and buying in bulk during sales.
     
  12. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm really interested in this idea of keeping the freezer in an unheated building. We have a small non-frost free model, about ten years old we keep in the house. I've always wanted to move it out to the garage but was told it would be damaging to the freezer. Don't remember anyone having the particulars about why that was so. Anyone know why it wouldn't be good for a freezer to be in an unheated building?

    BTW janandkenny, where are you buying turkey for .19 a pound? Cheapest I've found it here in northern Maine is .49.
     
  13. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    .49 Here in Vermont too.

    My understanding (again, via the salespeople) is that the way a modern frost free freezer works is that it periodically brings the temp up to get rid of the frost (like the one on the top of a fridge) then rapidly cools back down again. In an unheated space during a New England winter, the little motor which heats the freezer up so it can be frost free just keeps chugging and chugging trying to get that freezer "up" and it is bucking against the outside ambient air. So it burns out.

    At least, that's how it was explained to me.
     
  14. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    Mine is outside also in an unheated shed. Ours is not a frost free though. I would not have a frost free one. I do not like the idea of it warming up enough to keep the frost out. That also means the food is warming up. I just defrost mine once a year when it is at it's emptiest.
     
  15. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    Since I just bought a new Kenmore from Sears, I have the paperwork and manual sitting right here on my desk. Ya'll got me worried about leaving it in an unheated building like my old one.

    Mine doesn't appear to be frost free, which is ok with me. I sorta like the frost, it makes me empty and sort the thing every couple years so I can defrost it.

    More importantly, it doesn't warn anywhere against leaving the thing outside, so I imagine if it was a problem, they wouldn't warantee in that situation. Guess I'm good to go.
     
  16. janandkenny

    janandkenny Well-Known Member

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    BTW janandkenny, where are you buying turkey for .19 a pound? Cheapest I've found it here in northern Maine is .49.[/QUOTE]

    pricerite. they are a division of shoprite?
     
  17. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It seems everyone who lives in the country has a freezer. Upright or chest is a matter of preference. If you have children, get the upright. My nephews played a real fun game of climbing into the chest freezer when it was almost empty, and having one of them sit on the lid. Thank God we didn't have a key to lock it with.

    We now have a small upright, which is a good size for us. It holds half a steer and a a small pig. It is easy to see where things are and to pull out what I want. Before buying from Lowes, investigate freezers and find out which is going to work best for you. It might be worth it to spend and extra ten or twenty dollars on a model that is a little bigger, or more energy efficient, or has a higher consumer rating. Check out a local appliance store, you may find that you aren't paying any more for a better quality than Lowes sells. A good salesperson will be able to tell you how much meat, that is how many pounds, will fit into each freezer. Bread and bagels are pretty light compared to meat, so if you are going to be freezing that sort of thing, you will need more cubic feet.

    At our old house we kept the freezer in an unheated garage, but it is not frost free. Frost free is a waste of money in my opinion; however, if you have kids opening and shutting the door all day, or opening and not shutting the door, frost free may be a good option for you.

    Guess I'd better go defrost that freezer now, before the 1/2 steer arrives :yeeha:
     
  18. breezynosacek

    breezynosacek Well-Known Member

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    We got an upright freezer with the house we bought and had a chest freezer which needs some freon.

    That upright sure saves us money. Not only from produce but Hamburger goes to 99 cent a lb. sometimes and that's when we make our spaghetti sauces, ect. We make a kettle of it, pour four dippers into one bag, twist tie it and put it into a freezer bag. 4 of these goes into a freezer bag and we usually put up about 4 freezer bags of spaghetti sauce or soup at a time. The bags don't get jambed up and frozen together because we squeeze the air out before putting on the twist tie.

    We picked a froze a lot of corn on the cob last year. It is wonderful! Here it is winter and we have fresh corn on the cob! We were so used to not having it when the prices went up, we almost forgot about it and found it when we were moving things around the other day. MMmm good!

    Turkeys go on sale in the off season. We stock up on those and then Keilbasa and such gets pretty cheap at times and we've stocked up on that.

    I love being able to pick berries and freeze the things when I'm bogged down with canning.

    Ice cream gets really cheap at times and we stock up on that instead of paying $4. or $5 a pkg. we will get it at about $2 or $2 and a half.

    Last season, I also froze homemade condensed tomato soup which we also use for making our barbecue sauce. We poured it into muffin tins and sit it on the shelves until solid and then dump them into freezer bags. This gives us single serving sizes and it takes two to make barbecue sauce.

    Last year we put up 5 turkey breasts when they were on sale for like $3. ea. and country style ribs were 98 cent a lb and we put in about 5 trays of them.

    When we make kettles of soup we bag it up and I mean kettles! There's only two of us here but we save a lot of money using that freezer!

    We don't have to worry about money short months when something happens that requires a big expenditure. We always have a reserve in our pantry and freezer. And we have a generator so we don't lose what is in it!

    We currently have two cans of coffee, three lg. coffee creamers, 70#'s of sugar, two large boxes of instant nonfat milk powder plus one in use, extra oatmeal, spices, 12#'s sweet potatoes, 20#'s potatoes, plus instants, 10#'s flour, 2 1/2 jugs vinegar, homecanned baked beans, pear butter, pickles, tomatoes, ect, toilet paper, paper towels, we always back up what we have and rotate it.

    We consider what we have currently as running low.

    We always save big bucks when buying on sale instead of supply/demand buying for a small refrigerator freezer.
     
  19. seraphima

    seraphima Active Member

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    Dear Breezy,

    Sounds like you have a great storage plan in effect, very time- and money-saving!
    Now if you just add a few sacks of assorted dry beans and rice, you can stretch your food supply waaaay out.

    You might enjoy a food drier- DH found one for me at a garage sale, and it is especially good for fruits and veggies...

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  20. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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    I can't imagine life without freezers. We have two, & they stay full. The next time we have to buy a new one, it will be the biggest one they have.
    I'd like to hear about the triple coupons, too.