In your average kitchen, one refrigerator with a built in freezer, combined with a well-stocked pantry, is all you need to keep plenty of food on hand. Heck, sometimes a tiny fridge will do. But there are plenty of situations when a standard set up just wont cut it. This might sound a little strange coming from someone who spends a lot of time talking about energy efficiency and greening your home, but adding a second freezer is not only a viable option for an earth-friendly family, it can actually be a very smart one.
Stock Up On Sales
Shop Freezers by Summit Appliance:
The number one best reason for opting for a second freezer like this Frost Free Freezer from Summit is to be able to stock up on large quantities of food at sale prices and keep it frozen until you’re ready to use it. That can mean anything from a bulk bag of chicken to an extra gallon or two of milk – just pop it in your freezer and thaw as needed. You’ll end up spending more at once, but needing to shop less often, and spending much less on food you’d normally buy every week that only goes on sale once every six. If your nearest supermarket is particularly far away, this can also help save on gas and long car trips.
Locally Source Your Produce
Going green is more than just a home design trend. Many people are starting to look more closely at the food they buy and question where exactly that food is coming from. Especially with questions about the humane treatment of animals (and the effect some of this treatment might have on our health), many people are starting to look for things like free-range chicken and grass fed beef. If you can find a local supplier, you can not only find out exactly where your meat is coming from, how it’s been treated, and what it’s been fed, but purchase it at a fraction of supermarket prices. The catch? You usually have to buy a whole lot more in one go. A second, large-sized freezer like this Lift-Up Freezer can allow you to store a whole side of locally-raised beef for a long period of time, meaning your family eats better for less.
Year-Round Garden Fruits And Veggies
In the same vein, many people are starting to find new rules to eat by, and are beginning to grow some of their own food right in their own yard, with gardens slowly overtaking water-guzzling turf grass. Now, many home-grown fruits and veggies produce abundantly in the summer months, and while canning is one option to preserve them through the rest of the year, flash-freezing is often more effective for fruits (especially berries) and some smaller vegetables, like corn, peas, and beans. Even a smaller secondary freezer like this Compact Standalone allows you to stretch that produce out long term, trapping that summer flavor without a lot of added sugar or salt.
Energy Efficiency (Or: Keep Your Climate In Mind)
One of the main reasons that people shy away from adding a second freezer (and why many people have been swapping in their existing in-the-garage-refrigerator and freezers for years) is that they do cost money to run, roughly in the neighborhood of $15 a month (give or take). In a day of home energy audits and ruthless energy consumption paring, it seems like a wise expense to cut. But “going green” is a complex matter, and to make that decision, you need to factor in some of the costs I’ve mentioned here (including the ones that don’t have a price tag). It’s also important to consider the size, type, and placement of your hypothetical second freezer. A freezer placed outside in a warm climate is always going to have a higher operating cost than the same freezer inside in a cooler climate, and the larger the freezer, the more expensive it is to run. If you live in a hot climate and don’t have a basement, look for something like this Undercounter Freezer, which has a slightly lower capacity but won’t have to work as hard against the heat.
When NOT To Double Up
Of course, even with a lot of home grown produce, a local ranch, and lots of hungry mouths to feed, adding a second freezer isn’t always a good option. To figure out if it’s right for your family, the first thing you need to do is take a good hard look at the freezer you’ve got. Is it mostly full of staples, or old half eaten leftovers? If it’s the former, can you reorganize and repack the stuff you’ve got to make more space? Freezers always work more efficiently when they’re full, so it’s always to your benefit (both in terms of your electric bill and in the event of a power outage) to keep your freezer or freezers as stocked as possible. If your current freezer is partly empty, or mostly full of junk, you’re probably better off just reorganizing than adding a standalone Chest Freezer in your garage.
Feeding A Bigger Family
Adding a standalone freezer like this Upright Freezer probably isn’t a great option for singles or couples – they take up a lot of space, and use more energy the less food they have in them. But where they really shine is with big families that eat together often, and especially for families that like to buy – and cook – in bulk. Whether that means having an ample supply of your picky eater’s favorite frozen dinners, a side of local grass-fed pork or beef, or big ziplocks of left-over soup, a spare freezer ensures that you’ll always have ready-to-prepare food immediately on hand. And because that food is often cheaper to buy and in no danger of spoiling in the fridge, the money you save on groceries and transportation can easily offset the added operational costs of the second freezer you need to keep them.
Have you ever had a second, standalone freezer? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences. If not, what size freezer are you considering, and for what part of your home?