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 Patty 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.
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.
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.
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I am thinking of buying a table-top freezer so that I can freeze down things and then transfer them to the big freezer. I'm hoping that the big one won't get so frosted up. Does anyone else do this and if so, does it work? Cheers.
We did away with our freezer going on 10 years ago (other than the one that comes with the fridge) because the cost of the electricity was so high it was negating all of our savings from freezing things.
The final death knoll for the freezer was when we lost almost $400 in food after stocking it, and that week having a terrible storm which resulted in no power for 10 days. We cleaned out the freezer after that and the only time we ever use it is if turkeys go on sale for Thanksgiving on Nov 1 and we need to keep it until it is defrosted for the cooking. We don't get many storms in November so the power loss isn't an issue and we factor the cost of electricity into the cost of the turkey to make sure it is a true bargain.
Sad, because that is what thrifty people were taught to do--buy cheap and preserve. Now we do this with pantry staples but not anything that requires freezing/refrigerating.
We did this after careful calculations of what we could lose, vs what we could save, plus the cost of running the appliance--in our case the freezer.
Maybe calculate out the time to defrost and turn it into an hourly wage and the cost to run the freezer and see which is better for you.
Best wishes from Pittsburgh!
Hi Marge from England - I've been reading your postings & comments for such a long time it seems like we are all friends and share some of the same problems & solutions.
Do you cook for a large family or prepare a lot of meals that use mostly frozen types of food? You do not say the type or size of your large freezer or how old (older=less efficient) so it's kinda difficult to give a good reply but since you talk about it "freezing up' I'm assuming it is a chest type freezer.
I keep a small 'student' size refrigerator in one of my sheds because I'm outside as much as possible and I keep water and snacks so they're available without having to go inside. I also use it to store/keep leftovers that overflow my indoor refrigerator.
Cost effective? not sure but very convenient.
I'm just mentioning this to say that families are not all alike in what serves their needs or finances.
Most sites say it costs about $14 a month to run a large efficient chest type freezer but that seems like a very low figure to me.
Are you thinking that freezing food in a small freezer will be better than freezing it in the main freezer? Placing food from one to the other will mean you are opening and closing a small unit several times and still have to open large freezer to place food inside and also to remove it again.
I do not know how you seal your packages before placing in the freezer but there are a lot of types of gadgets available to help remove all of the air so your food will freeze quickly and store for long periods without freezer burn.
Most economists say this step is the most important one to remember when using a freezer effectively.
If you're concerned about your freezer frosting up due to frequent openings perhaps looking at different problems would make it more usable. Not everyone will have the same type of problems.
1) try to keep an open area around the outsides of the freezer walls so there is good circulation and sides will not get hot.
2) check freezer door seals frequently to make sure it closes securely.
3) If there is frost build-up it's best to use food and defrost completely before turning back on. It will take several hours (overnight?) to defrost complete and most people do not allow it to defrost the areas they cannot see. This process will take a lot of newspapers or old cloths according to where your freezer is located. (Same with a refrigerator freezer.)
4) Occasionally clean the condenser coils of dust.
5) Some freezers have a defrost overflow pan that needs to be cleaned occasionally also.
6) most important to have your freezer organized so you do not have to do a long search when you have the door open.
7) Be sure that all food is properly sealed and marked before placing in freezer.
I would think a small freezer might be convenient if you're using it for short term items like bread or fresh vegetables that you intend to use within a few days.
Be sure to check out the true inside measurements of these freezers before purchasing one as they are very small.
Off subject but interesting: