Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Money Crashers: How a Stand-Alone Freezer Can Save You Money

Back when we bought our new fridge in 2016, one of the things I was happiest about was having more and better organized freezer space. This was actually one of my most important criteria for choosing a new fridge: it had to have a shelf in the freezer (which our old one lacked) and no ice maker, which would take up much-needed space. In the 20 months we've owned the new fridge, we've made good use of this extra freezer space, sometimes filling it to capacity, but never actually feeling the need for still more.

This helped me settle a question I'd sometimes wondered about: whether we would benefit from owning a separate, stand-alone freezer. My parents have one, and I knew that they could be useful for all sorts of purposes, like storing bulk grains, bulk-purchased meats, and extra garden produce—but I'd never felt sure that for us, the money we could save with this kind of purchase would be enough to offset the cost of the freezer itself and the electricity to run it—not to mention the space it would take up. Now that we've had a normal-sized fridge freezer for over a year, I finally feel confident in saying that it's big enough for our needs, and a separate freezer wouldn't be a good investment for us.

However, for other people, the math could be different. If you have a bigger family than ours, for instance, buying meat or grain in bulk could be a better deal for you. Or if you hunt or fish, or just have a much bigger garden than ours, you might have much more surplus to store.

My latest Money Crashers article is all about how to figure out whether a separate freezer does or does not make sense for your family. I go into the many uses of a stand-alone freezer, the costs of owning one, and how to decide whether it's a good deal for you. Then, for those who decide it is, I offer tips on how to get the best deal on one.

So if you're wavering over whether to buy a freezer, check out the article. It's not quite as thorough a test as buying a bigger fridge and seeing how much you really use use its freezer, but it's a lot cheaper.
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