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.