Monday, March 26, 2012

Downsizing-Rethinking The Freezer (and other things as well)

I am not particularly into the simplicity movement. For lack of a better phrase, I like my stuff. I want the pillows and the rows full of books. I appreciate being able to have two closets full of fabric, just as an example.  That said, possessions require care, storage space, and on occasion energy (both human and otherwise).

Lately, I have been considering getting rid of my large, upright freezer. This has been as much of a shock to me as it has to anyone else. In the past, my freezer has been well used. Meats purchased in bulk, other sale items that were "freezable", homemade backed goods and bulked cooked meals have filled my freezer. In fact, I've blogged about my freezer love on more than one occasion. What changed my mind?

In the early fall, my  membership to Costco ran out and did not renew it. I purchased many bulk items at very good prices at Costco. At the same time (where the cause and effect is here), I stopped cooking so many meals in bulk. One of my favorite appliances is a slow cooker that cooks the equivalent of three (or four, depending on appetite) servings. I no longer need my large crock in order to cook slow meals and it has been relegated to times when I entertain or have a church event. I also find myself more and more just shopping for a single week and getting some sale meats in large containers here and there. So far this has all fit into my side by side freezer.  The end result is that the freezer has been almost empty for quite awhile.

Granted, this is a nice energy star freezer, but still, paying for electricity without use makes no sense. My hesitation has been in terms of my "preserving" if you will, and my holiday baking and gifting.  These two concerns have made me think twice regarding the freezer. I could unplug it and let it sit until the holidays, but that seems like a waste. and frankly, most of my holiday food gifts are canned. If they have to be refrigerated, I usually make them at the last minute.

My final concern is preparedness, that is having a backup plan for emergencies (monetary, weather, and general).  An online friend recently suggested that in a case of natural disaster, unless I have a way to cook all that food at once, I'm looking at a loss.  I can stock a pantry with most items, by shopping and using canning and drying techniques. I need a pantry, I'm not sure I need a freezer.

As with any such decision, I'm sure I'll be mulling on this one for awhile. My son suggests that if I decide I REALLY need a freezer, then at a later date I could always get a small chest freezer-one that might even fit into the kitchen instead of out in the garage. It's a thought.

Do you have a separate freezer? Is it worth it? Does it pay for itself?  Lifestyles change, and I need to decide if this freezer still fit's mine.

16 comments:

  1. We have one. I have considered getting rid of Ot as well. We have lost hundreds of dollars in food three times after a storm.
    Maybe I will think of getting rid of it again.

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  2. I've often thought about getting a separate freezer, but we already have a second fridge in the garage and it handles the overflow beautifully. I don't order large quantities of meat so I don't think I would need it.

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  3. I wish I could have a freezer but it is not a possibility. I live in a condo and don't have the additional space for one.

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  4. We do have a deep freezer & I'm so thankful for it! Can't imagine not having it!! There are times when we're able to take advantage of great sales because we have extra freezer space. I also buy organic meat in large quantities, so it fills my freezer as well.

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  5. Hey carla....but you are what five?? I am one and, once in awhile two people. when I was feeding four plus the neighborhood, it made sense.......now not so much.

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  6. Janette, I have lost one freezer full of food since I was here. I mean, without electricity it would be almost impossible to cook off everything in a dead freezer......

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  7. HIs Way, have you looked at the really small apartment sized ones? If I get another one that is what I will do. it's what my sister has.

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  8. I've debated getting a freezer but have held off for several reasons - chicken breast seems to go on sale fairly often in my area(and I cook for myself and possible leftovers), I'd 'lose' track of what I have, and I'm in hurricane territory where the electricity goes off or days/weeks if we have one - now granted this has only happened 2x in the past 12 yrs but I've been without electricity for partial days and I've already had to toss out a bunch of stuff. I'm even considering a much smaller refrigerator next time so I don't overstuff it and have a bit more space - width isn't the problem so much as the depth -w ould like one more flush with the cabinets.
    someone told me a long time ago that the seals can go bad if a fridge isn't plugged in - not sure if that was for the older ones or how long it could go unplugged but might wanna check into that.
    Susanna

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  9. We have an outside fridge/freezer and I often think we are wasting money on it but always appreciate it when we have big family gatherings. When it is empty I keep big plastic bottles of water in it....they are my emergency drinking water but also keep the fridge/freezer cooler and the power usage down. I have heard that front door opening freezers suck up a lot more power than the top opening ones so a smaller top opening one might be a good idea.

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  10. We just recently sold our upright freezer and I don't really miss it. Since our household is down to just the two of us we have a side by side fridge in the basement that suits us just fine when we have a large gathering. I'm canning more and freezing less because of the loss of electricity at least twice a year here in Tn. Still trying to get my head wrapped around down-sizing in other ways also.

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  11. Hi. Old habits die hard. We made regular trips to Costco to fill up our basement freezer when we had two or three kids around. Now there's just the two of us, but somehow we still make regular trips to Costco and our freezer is full.

    Hmmm, maybe we gotta rethink this!

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  12. I don't have one and have NEVER had one but am actually thinking of getting one when I retire! How's that for reverse logic!

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  13. We don't have a separate freezer. We're pretty good at packing the one in the fridge, LOL!

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  14. I feel like you changed your blog background, looks good! We have a freezer in teh garage that's big becuase we also buy in bulk. It's cheaper overall and with 2 girls, it's always worth it. i think when they grow and leave the house, that my wife and me will probably fall back to just one regular freezer (that's attached to the fridge)

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  15. One of the first "rules" of living in Phoenix is to not put a refrigerator or freezer in the garage, unless the space is insulated and heated/cooled. Even the most efficient freezer or frig will be a huge energy waster if it has to sit in a 120 degree garage all summer.

    The point about losing all the food after a storm is a good one. That has got to be real mess to clean up and very frustrating to lose all that money.

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  16. Bob Im just getting to some comments- is that true even of the new energy star freezers? I realize that Dallas is not phoenix, but we had over forty five days of triple digit weather last summer and my freezer did VERY well and was a godsend (one of the reason I am rethinking said freezer).

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