With everything going on in the world, you’re likely staying home more and cooking a lot more often. Even if you’re ordering meal kits, it’s nice to cook things on your own every now again. Variety is the spice of life. And we could all use something different to shake it up a bit.
And, if you’re like me, the trips to the grocery store are far less frequent. That means I try to load up for what I might need so that I’m not running out to shop all the time. I’ve been buying a lot more proteins (meat, chicken, fish) and freezing them. I’ve also been doing some meal prep so that when I don’t feel like cooking, I have food that can be grabbed from the freezer and popped into the oven or easily cooked.
But my freezer was looking like a Tetris puzzle. Everything was carefully placed with precision and if you took out one item, it was a hassle to fit everything back in just right. Plus, It was nearly impossible even to see what I have because my freezer was so jam-packed.
I would often make cooking decisions based on how full my freezer was. If I cooked chicken and then wanted to make stock from bones, I would need to think about whether or not there was room to freeze that stock.
I would also read food blogs and see how pros would talk about freezing items flat on a sheet tray and then transferring them to a freezer container or Ziploc bag. You gotta be kidding me. How the heck would I ever fit a sheet tray in my freezer? There’s barely enough room for the extra pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food that I was thinking about buying.
That’s why I bought a second freezer. A deep freeze. It was life-changing. Seriously!
If you’re a family of four or more it’s a no-brainer to have a second freezer. But even if your single like me, there are so many benefits:
Cost Savings – There are often great deals on meat and proteins that I couldn’t previously take advantage of. Pork chops on sale. Nope. No room in the freezer. And many food purveyors (local too) have pivoted and expanded beyond their restaurant customers to offer bulk meats, seafood, etc to regular folks. I want a whole salmon and 5 pounds of bacon. Yes, please.
Buy in Bulk – Now I can make one trip to store and buy two or three of an item (hello, frozen berries for my smoothies) and not worry about running out.
Less Waste – I like to use everything I can when it comes to food and I felt like I was wasting so much not being able to freeze. I’m a single person, so one loaf of bread is too much, and often I’d end up throwing away more than half the loaf. I also like to save the tops of carrots, onion skins, herb stems and more to make veggie stock and now I can just keep a freezer bag and add it to and then make the stock when I’m ready.
Meal Prep – I’m busy during the week but love to spend a few hours on the weekend prepping meals for the days ahead. Now I can do that and have everything labelled and organized. I just grab it from the freezer when I need it.
Convenience – I love to cook, but some days I’m truly lazy. Having that frozen pizza or Lean Cuisine makes life easier. Otherwise, it might be wolfing down crackers and peanut butter for dinner.
Considerations When Buying a Freezer:
- Size: I didn’t need a huge chest freezer. I also don’t have a garage or room in my kitchen for that kind of space hog. I wanted something to hold a reasonable amount of food. I considered a mini-fridge that has a separate freezer door. If you go that route, you can always use the fridge part as your beer fridge. Very cool, indeed. I opted for a standup/upright freezer that is 5.8 cubic feet. It might be a little bigger than I need but the footprint works perfectly for my space.
- Price – New freezers were pretty pricey for me. So, I looked for close to 6 months for a used one. But these appliances are in high demand. Every time one was for sale, there would be 20 other people interested and I kept losing out. Often there were bidding wars But I was persistent – looking every day. I finally snagged a used one on NextDoor (I was also searching on Facebook for sale groups and Craigslist). The used one was a fraction of the price and in excellent condition. The sellers were getting rid of it because they were moving.
- Location: I really needed the freezer to fit in my kitchen, but not be an eyesore or take up too much room. You might find it more convenient for yours to be in the garage, basement or another room. If so, I’m jealous that you have so much space and all of those options.
The way you cook, eat, and shop for food has changed. Make your life easier and more convenient by investing in a dedicated freezer!