I bought an apartment sized freezer when I was in college, and it was one of the best financial decisions I ever made. I was working at Costco at the time, and every summer they put their freezer on sale. It is this model of freezer. It’s not the largest or most energy efficient freezer in the world, but so far it has lasted me 6 years with absolutely no fuss or hassle, and it has saved me it’s purchase price and more. Here’s how.
Allows Me to Buy in Bulk
When I was in college, I didn’t always have easy access to groceries. I lived within a 10 minute walk of a couple grocery stores, but carrying home large items was fairly difficult. So when I did get access to a vehicle and a grocery store at the same time, I liked to buy groceries in bulk. Most of the time, buying in bulk allowed me to save money, as the volume discount for items that I knew I was going to end up using saved me money over time. The best example of this would be purchasing bread. Once a month or so I would get a ride to a bakery, who had day old bread on sale. I would then buy as much bread as I knew I could fit into my fridge freezer and chest freezer ~ $1-2 per loaf – much cheaper than the original $5-6. Because I was planning on putting it into the freezer right away, there was no worry about the bread going mouldy or stale before I could use it. For the most part, I would then eat the bread as toast, or make the frozen bread into sandwiches for later that day. It worked brilliantly, and saved me tons of money.
Allows Me to Buy Cheap Meat
Currently, a large portion of our freezer space is saved for cheap meat. We have a couple of local grocers who put meat that is about to expire on sale. Usually this meat has a sell by date of that day or the day after – so it’s something that you’ll want to use pretty much right away – unless you freeze it. Meat can be frozen for months and month without any issue, depending on the meat, so it gives you months to take advantage of the sale, even if you don’t necessarily want chicken this week.
Poultry: 6-9 Months
Fish: 3-6 Months
Ground Meat: 3-4 Months
Cured or Processed Meat: 1-2 Months
You can check this website for more details on frozen food storage times.
Allows Me to Make Larger Meals
Not only does buying in bulk save me money, but cooking bulk does as well. Often my wife and I will make a dinner much larger than we need. We’ll then take the leftovers, repackage them, and use them as a next day meal. Or, if we made enough, or if we don’t want those leftovers the next day or two, we’ll just freeze the remainder. Not only does this mean that I am going to be saving money by using less resources creating new meals, but I’m also going to be saving time with meal planning by having ready made meals for the future. A great example of this is once a month where my wife does a Soup Day, where she’ll make a huge batch of soup using inexpensively sourced ingredients, and then split it up into meal sized containers and freeze it all. This makes for healthy, inexpensive meals that are available to be eaten on short notice.
Do you have a chest freezer? What do you use it for?