I was wondering if anyone would be able to give me some advice on the purchase of a freezer. Buying a freezer would allow me to buy food in bulk when it goes on sale and also store veggies and fruit from the local pick-your-own farm. Does it really matter if it is a manual defrost or a frost free? The freezers with the Energy Star rating seem to be a lot more money. Is it worth the extra dollars? Thank you for your advice.
By Homesteaddreamer from MD
First go for a new freezer, a used one is not a saving. Check out how efficient it is power wise. Also check to see if there are any rebates with the government in your area for buying an energy efficient appliance. Do your homework before buying. They come in so many different sizes these days. A chest freezer is the best bet power wise but can be a pain to keep clean since you have to bend over as well when you need something from the bottom. They are a great and handy appliance.
Up here in Canada when the snow falls I go grocery shopping in my freezer and I can't even start to add up how much it saves me through out the year since I've had 2 freezers in the last 40 years. A note on usage. When it starts to look empty fill it. Don't freeze air, that costs more. Fill it with plastic bottles of water or do what I do, bake, that fills it quickly and I don't have to go out and buy my bread, etc.
Manual you will have to scrape the ice off yourself maybe two or three times a year. A frost free keeps itself free of ice but cost more to run. You can get more food in a chest type and buy the biggest you can afford. You will be surprised how soon you will completely fill it.
I bought a used freezer a few months ago, when I got my electric bill the following month I almost fainted, the bill doubled! I went to Lowes and bought a new freezer that same day. This time I made sure it was energy efficient! Now my electric bill is back to normal. It was definitely worth the money I paid. Also, if you shop around find the deals that allow you to pay 12 months interest free. I buy all of my appliances that way. Lowes and Home Depot are two stores that offer that program. Just make sure you get it paid within that allotted time or you will pay all of the interest at the end of the term.
Like the other posters said, a used one will eventually cost you more in the end, with higher costs of running them. A chest freezer is more economical.
The decision to get a manual or frost free one is up to you. Be prepared for a manual one, with lots of towels, old newspapers, a shop vac if you have one, a fan that you can use to blow into the freezer to help speed melting, and lots of patience, AND somewhere else to store the food when you do it. It is best to wait till it is almost empty to do so.
The last freezer we bought was from Sears. They also have the 12 months interest-free deal. Of course, you'd have to be approved credit-wise, and do your best to pay it off within the year to avoid paying 22% interest or better!
And yes, the Energy* appliances cost more up front, but they eventually pay for themselves and then some in savings on the electric bill! It should do that within the first three years, and last about 20+, so you'd end up way ahead.
Last but not least, invest in some wire baskets or bins of some sort, if you buy a chest freezer. That way you can compartmentalize items like you would in the refrigerator, and things won't be so hard to reach. If there's extra room at the bottom, that would be a great place to keep milk jugs full of whatever: milk if you buy it on sale and freeze it, or water if you don't. In the event of a power outage, you can shift one or two to your refrigerator and keep everything colder, longer.
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