Every household with working parents NEEDS to invest the money and space in their home for freezer storage. We are in too many places each day not to come home to some back-up supplies. Weather its an extra couple loaves of bread or a cozy casserole, you will be sooo happy to have extra "stuff" on hand.
COST: Depending on size and model expect to pay between $200-$1000. I think 15 cu.ft is a good starting point for size and they run about $300-$400.
ENERGY COSTS: Expect an estimate of $10 a month or $150 per year TOPS.
WHERE TO STASH IT: Mudroom, basement, garage, laundry room, storage closet. Closer to the kitchen the better.
Let me break it down for you and highlight 5 awesome things I can do with my chest freezer that you can’t do with your fridge/freezer combo.
I can buy in bulk or buy multiples if things are on sale. When you buy high quality (ahem, expensive) food, taking advantage of sales in the meat or frozen food aisle is a must. You can even freeze blocks of cheese and other dairy items don’t cha know. Embarrassingly enough, I usually have 5 Lbs. of butter on hand at any given time.
Freeze the fall harvest from our garden. This equals months of fresh frozen veggies, and marina sauce for us. I hate canning, so I toss things into mason jars or freezer bags and pop them in the freezer. Easy peasy. Don’t garden? Gardeners loveeee to give away their extra goodies. All you need to do is ask “hey, if you have too much of anything feel free to throw it my way” You will make their day, I swear.
Cook ahead a few (or in my case a few dozen) meals that are ready when you need them. Goodbye take out, hello whole wheat Mediterranean pizza that takes 20 minutes to re-heat. Take-out is for absolute desperation, not for your every Tuesday and Friday night dinners.
Store large amounts of game meat. I used to be squeamish and judge-y about hunting. Yeah, that was until I took a cruise around my local co-op’s meat department. I prefer not to have to re-finance our house every time I need a roaster chicken. My husbands moose hunt produced 150 (!) pounds of burger and steaks. Can anyone say “free organic meat”.
Buy half a cow. If you don’t happen to have any hunters in the family, this is the other way to afford fresh meat that isn’t factory farmed (and nobody should eat factory farmed meat). Buying the whole cow (or even half) is a fraction of the price, and is honestly just really convenient. You always have the cut on hand that you want. Still too much meat? Ask a neighbor if they want to go halfsies, you may be surprised how many people would want to go in with you.
Do you like to prepare in advance for the big holidays? I sure do, it makes me both happy and smug in equal measure. With your beast of a freezer you can: store dozens of pre-made christmas cookies, make the green bean casserole or store peeled diced potatoes weeks before Thanksgiving, make a bunch of casseroles for all the company heading to your house, make or store batches appetizers for a holiday soiree( think stuffed mushrooms, spanakopita, or mini quiches. Basically you can have have half the legwork done weeks in advance and without the crazy pressure and stress.
Final take away: A small investment of space and money will pay off big for you in the long run. If you need more ideas to fill that freezer of yours, keep checking in with us and we will do our best to keep you inspired!