Author Topic: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?  (Read 12270 times)

GermanMom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« on: March 04, 2013, 01:57:19 PM »
I have an erxtra freezer and fridge in the garage. I am wondering if it is really worth it to buy in bulk and freeze or store in an extra fridge compare to just buying what you need for the week and therefore save the extra expense on the appliance. Of course it depends on how much energy the aaliance uses and the deals you get in bulk. I was just wondering if anyone has ever done the math on this for there own situation?


MountainFlower

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 278
  • Location: Colorado Mountains
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 02:12:37 PM »
I would love to know too, but I think it all depends on what's in your freezer and your eating habits.  If you're saving 10 cents on frozen vegetables...probably not worth it.  In my case, I live 35 minutes from the nearest grocery store, so a freezer is a must.  Also, I like to bulk cook and freeze.  When I can have a homecooked meal on the table from my freezer in 5 minutes, I'm sure I save money.  A fridge for me would not save me any money. 

tmac

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 472
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 02:56:05 PM »
The math is fuzzy, I think, but I agree that it can be worth it, depending on your situation and how you'd use it. I'm budgeting for a chest freezer at the moment. We have a standard (U.S.) size fridge/freezer combo in the kitchen. Now that I'm buying in bulk once a month (which saves me about $300 a month on food, even accounting for a 60-mile round trip), and baking/cooking from scratch a lot more, I need the space.

Right now, I can't do the following:

1. Cook meals ahead for busy nights in the future, which means probably more take-out. Frankly, even cooking enough to give us left-overs for lunches causes a storage problem.
2. Buy flour and grains in bulk and then freeze to kill any pests. I have to buy smaller quantities, which means higher prices.
3. Buy meat in enough bulk to realize economies of scale, which means either higher prices or lower quality.
4. Store enough perishables to get me completely through the month, which means I have to decide if I shop at our local store (higher prices) or drive back down to the Costco (wasted gas).

mobilisinmobili

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 217
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Montreal
  • Advance daily
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 03:08:42 PM »
I'm planning on buying a small chest freezer as my next purchase - so I can bulk cook paleo meals. If I'm short on time I always eat out which means - money wasted and bad for my health.

The paleo part of me also wants to buy bison in bulk as well as some other meats. Looking forward to having a freezer full of healthy food that I can dip into at any time in a pinch.

Christiana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 173
    • Zatera Ul
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2013, 03:59:02 PM »
I'd rather pressure can food to store in the pantry than pay for the electricity (and the local utility taxes) to run an extra freezer.  We already have the equipment, basic know-how, and time to do that.  Canned food keeps a lot longer than food in the freezer does, especially when the power goes out.

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2013, 04:31:45 PM »
Depends on a lot of things, like how many people in your family, whether you have a big garden and grow lots of stuff you can freeze, and how old the extra refrigerator is.  (Older ones generally use a lot more electricity.) 

In a lot of places, if it's an older refrigerator your local utility company might haul it away and pay you $50 or so for the privilege.  That's what I did with the old refrigerator the previous owner had in the garage.

MsSindy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 535
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Philly Burbs
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2013, 05:49:27 PM »
I never did the actual math, but I'm convinced it's worth it for our family of just two.  We have a normal size fridge/freezer in the kitchen and then a small freezer (~3' X 1.5') in the basement.  I do a lot of cooking in bulk and then use my Vacuum Packer to freeze into 2-meal size and company-meal size portions.  I always have a fabulous meal on the table within 20 - 30 min from getting home from work.  I also use it to buy in bulk - I will often make up various marinades and then portion off my bulk-purchased meats into the marinades and vacuum pack.

I have a fairly decent-size garden in the summer, so I also do a lot of pressure-cooker canning for the pantry - in fact, just tonight we had a delish bowl of pork spaghetti made at the height of tomato season!

Most freezers will tell you approx how much it costs to run - combine that with the upfront purchase price/life of the appliance - that will get you a rough cost of yearly ownership.  My guess is, that if you can be a lot more prepared and it saves you from eating out even once per month, then it will probably be worth it!  Financially a good return, eating healthier foods, and the mental boost for being able to "stay on track" and meet your goals.


Hotstreak

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 776
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2013, 07:13:30 PM »
My freezer was a great decision!  Since I bought it I have purchased 2 cow shares @ 1/4 cow each, which came out to about 100lbs of meat for just under $300 each time.  Including steaks, roasts, liver, hamburger, etc., all of which was natural organic grass fed meat.  This stuff at the store is more like $10-20/pound.

I have also been able to store other frozen items.  Turkey at the store yesterday was for sale at 1.19/lb for a bird, but around thanksgiving it's a loss leader.  I bought two for a fraction of the price, and stored them in the freezer.  When I cooked one I was able to split the meat in to 3 containers, one for this week, one for next, one for the week after, and store those. 

Two summers ago a friend gave me a 30 gallon trash bag full of bell peppers from their garden (they overplanted...).  I ended up having to throw most of them away, but that's a year worth of peppers that I could have frozen if I owned the freezer at that point.  Around here people give away apples, plums (oh geeze, so many plums), and squash quite a bit. 

Why do we even have small freezers over our fridge?  Why do we have a fridge?  The economies of scale that make these appliances money savers for us doesn't stop at whatever pre-determined hole in the wall came with your house!

GoStumpy

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 243
    • YNAB = The ultimate budgeting software
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2013, 09:38:11 PM »
I love my chest freezer, if nothing else, so that I can buy the 10 for $12 bread deals at our local McGavin's Bread Basket, and buying 4kg boxes of chicken breasts when on sale!

MrsStubble

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 169
  • Location: West Chester, PA
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2013, 08:05:12 AM »
If you are considering getting an extra anything I would stick with the chest freezer, rather then a fridge.  We are a family of two and we buy in bulk, cook and freeze the big stuff  (meat, cooked meals, etc) to save money on groceries.  A little tip from my mother-in-law, also keep some frozen bottles of water in there to help keep things cold and the energy costs down.  They also double as a back-up system if you lose power for short time.

I've never run out of room in my fridge, but the freezer really helps if you are trying to cut costs by buying meat in bulk, or if you are like my husband who goes fishing a few times a year and comes home with a big sea bass or tuna.   Also, if you grow your own food (or buy in season when it's cheap) you can pretty much store a year's worth of frozen veggies, herbs, fruit in the freezer to save money off-season.  Plus they taste so much better then the store brands.   Good luck - hope it helps!

Use it up, wear it out...

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
  • Location: Brooklyn, NYC
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2013, 08:36:41 AM »
we're a big fan of the chest freezer. We live in an NYC apartment, so ours is in one of the bedrooms! We're totally saving money now by cooking big batches and reusing. For example, I was away all weekend and DW didn't do the grocery shopping, so we're eating out of the freezer this week. Minestrone soup, yum!

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2013, 08:47:40 AM »
We have both:
1) a stand alone freezer: mustacian (IMO).  We buy meat in large quantities (entire lamb, entire pig, half/quarter beef, etc).  I've measured it with a Kill-O-Watt and with my electric rate it is about $4/month.
2) extra fridge: probably not mustacian.  Ours sits in an out building and acts as overflow for occasions that the main fridge is bursting at the seams (holidays, celebrations, etc.)  This fridge is probably 25 years old and probably not terribly efficient.  I haven't measured kwh usage on it lately.  I did measure it back when it was our primary fridge, but it was getting opened/closed and running an ice maker then.   

jnik

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2013, 01:02:54 PM »
Once I started reading MMM I was looking around for places to save and the "free" beer fridge (there's nothing as expensive as a free fridge...) stuck out. So I plugged in the kill-a-watt and discovered it was costing $5/mo. Rather than ditching the fridge I'm continuing to enjoy homebrew on tap and making sure to keep the freezer full: if having good ready-to-eat food right on hand keeps me from a "let's just eat out" or "let's just have a frozen pizza" once a month that'll cover the $5.

I don't use it to stock up on ingredients, though.

igthebold

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 470
  • Age: 40
  • Location: NC Piedmont
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 01:29:42 PM »
We have a chest freezer and appreciate having it. We also can stuff, but not reliably. I wouldn't be inclined to have an extra refrigerator.

The reason I like the chest freezer is that we're more likely to preserve stuff long-term. If we had to can, we'd be more likely to let stuff go to waste. I know we should just be more diligent, but that's like saying, "You should just pick up after yourself," as advice for keeping your house clean. :)

Plus, it's available for the times when we stock up on things.

startingover

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2013, 03:28:45 PM »
I love the freezer idea, especially when I have a garden.  I would freeze veggies such as gr. beans, peas, and broccoli.  Then I would can tomatoes, cuc's(pickles).  We have a meat market up the road that we got a ton of deer meat from last year.  It is worth it!

sheepstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2424
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2013, 12:47:49 AM »
Hm, the spouse and I had an argument about this.  He was saying how great an extra freezer was for all the reasons others have listed.  I agreed but we were talking about it in the context of Louisiana and I was like, but don't you lose power for long periods of time during hurricane season, so you would lose all your food in the extra freezer.  And he was like, oh, no, that's why you have a generator.  Seemed like costs piling on top of costs.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2013, 07:40:45 AM »
Hm, the spouse and I had an argument about this.  He was saying how great an extra freezer was for all the reasons others have listed.  I agreed but we were talking about it in the context of Louisiana and I was like, but don't you lose power for long periods of time during hurricane season, so you would lose all your food in the extra freezer.  And he was like, oh, no, that's why you have a generator.  Seemed like costs piling on top of costs.

Stop me if I am rationalizing toys. 

But, yes, this was my plan as well -- to buy a generator.  I have already wired the house for it, but haven't actually pulled the trigger. 

I'm not talking about a huge automatic transfer genset that handles the whole house.... Just one big enough to run fridge/freezer and a handful of circuits throughout.

I also have plans to use it to do welding with a small welding rig.  To me this was a compromise between a gigantic gen/welder combo.

In the past, we lost power for a little more than a week.  I picked up the freezer with a tractor/front end loader, put it in the back of a truck, and drove it across town to where there was power.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14046
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2013, 11:20:17 AM »
We've had a chest freezer unplugged in the basement for three years now.  The wife and I just don't eat enough meat/frozen to require the extra storage space.  When we were using it stuff would migrate to teh bottom and just stay there for years forgotten.  This may all change if we have a kid though . . .

MsSindy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 535
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Philly Burbs
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2013, 02:24:50 PM »
Stop me if I am rationalizing toys. 

I think whether you need a generator or not depends on where you live.  We live in a heavily wooded area and lose power about 3 times a year - depending on the storm, it's usually for 3- 5 days, so a generator is quite handy.  We had ours from when we built the house before we had electricity hooked up.  DH keeps talking about getting a whole-house system.... now that just becomes "a toy" - our portable one is just fine for running the fridge/freezer, well, and a couple of lights.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2013, 03:47:36 PM »
Stop me if I am rationalizing toys. 

I think whether you need a generator or not depends on where you live.  We live in a heavily wooded area and lose power about 3 times a year - depending on the storm, it's usually for 3- 5 days, so a generator is quite handy.  We had ours from when we built the house before we had electricity hooked up.  DH keeps talking about getting a whole-house system.... now that just becomes "a toy" - our portable one is just fine for running the fridge/freezer, well, and a couple of lights.

That describes me exactly.  I live in the woods on a power company leg that powers 4 houses.  I am not at the top of the list when it comes to repairs.

Mine plan is to be "whole house" in that it plugs into the panel and I can shed the load of what I don't need.  I have no plans to power things like the air conditioner compressors, etc.

rue

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Extra Fridge and Freezer worth it?
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2013, 04:12:04 PM »
just echoing what's been said sorry!  Were thinking about an extra freezer but weighing up the running costs versus the savings from buying bulk.  I also factor in that while frozen meat is OK (we eat a lot of it!) it still reduces in quality and nutrition compared to fresh.  We are also worried about buying half an organic grass fed cow only to lose power so will have to invest in a generator too, which has also been mentioned .  Although the house insurance does cover some of this but then there is the no claims loss!  I think what is swinging it for me is that I want bigger freezer storage for another reason (I am a bee keeper and need to freeze used honey frames).  Let us know what you decide and how it goes!