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Our garden did not do well this summer. Our freezer has more bottles and jugs of ice in it than it does food.
This is hurricane season. In my lifetime, I have been through 3 hurricanes and we lost electricity for a couple of days. Keeping the freezer full, not only saves electricity but in case we have a storm and lose power for a few days, the food will stay frozen if the freezer if it is not opened until the power is restored.
When we are expecting a lot of wind and a power outage, I transfer the frozen food in the freezer portion of my refrigerator to the larger freezer. I take jugs of ice from the large freezer and put them in the refrigerator freezer.
During the power outage, if needed, the jugs of ice can be used in coolers to keep our food fresh. Also, the jugs of ice come in handy to use in the cooler when we travel.
Here is a way to be green and prepare for an emergency at the same time. I rinse out 2 liter soda and juice bottles and fill them 2/3 full with clean water. I then lay them almost on their sides (without the lids on tight), leaning against something, in our large freezer. The next day I screw the lids on tight. This keeps my freezer full so that it uses less electricity. The bonus: If we ever have a water outage, I have gallons of water to rely on. I also grab one or two to use in my ice chest when needed.
By Suzy from UT
I used to do this with half gallon milk jugs to keep my freezer full and it truly does save on electricity. However you should never drink water that has been frozen in plastic containers. The cold temperature causes the plastic to break down and that allows it to contaminate the water so while it's good to keep things cold or fill empty space, please don't drink the water after its been frozen in them.
Always use glass containers whenever possible for drinking water. Also be careful where you buy your water from often times you see cases of the water sitting in the hot sun (which also causes the plastic to leach into the water) in front of the gas stations and grocery stores. Yuck!
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Help keep your freezer from running constantly by keeping it full. If you don't have food to fill it with, fill water bottles, or plastic juice containers with water and fill the empty spaces in the freezer with them. Leave at least 1 inch from the top, to allow for expansion.
Not only will your freezer run less, but you will have bottles of ice to put in your cooler, or lunch box. How cool is that? (no pun intended)
By MI Sandi from Shepherd, MI
Don't let your freezer get partially empty, that costs you money. If the empty spaces are large enough to accommodate large plastic bottles (2-liter or milk), fill the bottles 3/4 with water and place in the freezer. This will provide additional cold and prevent frequent cycling of the compressor.
By Cajun from Collinsville
It is so true that keeping your freezer full saves you $$ in power. I found to make an even layer across the bottom for the food to stay more stable and flat, I fill plastic square totes. I measured the size I would need. For me two works great. Filled with water 3/4 full, not to heavy to get out if you want water. However, the better reason to have that ice in there is if you ever have a power failure. The freezer still has a large area that will thaw very slow. Most power companies suggest you place a heavy blanket or comforter on the top of the food keeping the cold contained. This can keep a freezer from thawing for up to 72 hours! (11/30/2009)
I like to have ziplock bags full of ice from my ice maker and put several bags in my bigger freezer. It helps take up space and if needed it is handy for a picnic cooler in the summer instead of buying ice. Also comes in handy to use as a ice pack for injuries and such. (11/30/2009)
Being single, I don't have my freezer full of food all the time. Keeping your freezer full saves money on your electric bill. I now keep empty spaces full by filling milk jugs with water. I also have clean fresh water on hand at all times in case of an emergency.
By April from Buffalo, NY