Saturday, November 12, 2011

Food Storage – Freezers & Refrigerators

When you are predominately a once a month shopper appropriate food storage is important.  Living in a small home means space is at a premium around here so I have to make the most of it.  I decided early on that parking in the garage was not going to be a priority if I could better use that space for other things.  When my girls joined the family we needed another bedroom.  We turned two thirds of our garage into a bedroom for my son and the remainder into a storage room with floor to ceiling shelving and an area for a refrigerator. 

We are a two refrigerator household.  The one in the garage is our “overflow” refrigerator and stores my stock up items.  The one in the kitchen is for everyday use. 

The garage refrigerator has a freezer compartment on top for frozen foods.  The bottom area stores other items like: 

·         Potatoes and onions (in the crisper bins)
·         Extra gallons of milk
·         Soda
·         Flour & cornmeal (keeps weevils at bay)
·         Yogurt, cottage cheese (turn it upside down and it lasts a long time), butter and cheese
·         Leftovers at the holidays! 

About six months ago I took the plunge and added a deep freezer.  I found myself passing up a lot of good buys because of a lack of freezer space and I had no place to store turkeys.  I would have to let my freezer run low to make space for the bird every November or time my shopping trip until the last minute which created its own set of challenges.  Plus, if I wanted to take advantage of the low prices and get another one to keep for Christmas or Easter, I was out of luck. 

After a lot of research I settled on an energy efficient upright instead of a chest because I could better organize it (that is very important to me) and I would be less likely to lose items in the bottom and have them freezer burn.  I figured the extra expense of an upright versus a chest would be negated by lower food waste and my lack of frustration, which is invaluable. 

It is sized appropriately for our family at 8.8 cubic feet because we all know a half empty freezer does not run efficiently.  I also didn’t want one so big it compelled me to fill it with so much food we couldn't use it up.  It also needed to fit in the space we had available.  So far I haven’t really seen a change to our electric bill. 

I bought my freezer at Home Depot.  They had the one I wanted at the best price.  I also financed it (gulp!) for “12 months same as cash”.  The reason I did this was because they would give me an additional 10% off and, quite frankly, I don’t mind using their money. 

After making the purchase I calculated the payments I need to make for ten months to pay it off (well ahead of the deadline for no interest) and I have the cash set aside in my savings account just in case something should go awry.  Have you ever seen what they charge for interest?  It’s a lot!  You definitely want to make sure you get it paid off in time if you decide to do this. 

The new freezer currently resides next to the garage refrigerator.  They are very happy together.

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