While a chest freezer can seem like a huge purchase, the investment pays off in the long run with lower food bills as The Vintage Mom shares today.
A few years ago, my in-laws gave me one of the best Christmas gifts that a girl could ever want…a chest freezer! Yes, this was on my Christmas list (right at the top) and yes, I was very excited when I got this beautiful, white box filled with, well, nothing but possibility. 🙂
Since then, our family has more than gotten its worth out of it and it has far exceeded our wildest dreams for it. Having an extra freezer in our garage has allowed us so many opportunities when it comes to food storage. Each year it seem as though more possibilities come to fruition, and we find additional ways to utilize it.
One of the very first benefits that we realized with our chest freezer was the ability to buy in bulk. Depending on what kinds of food your family eats, buying in bulk can save a lot of money! As far as our meat consumption, we have done our research and have been buying grass-fed. We buy half of a steer, a pig, and some chickens. I have come to find that buying this organic meat in the grocery store every would week would certainly be more expensive than we could afford.
However, by buying in bulk we are able to spend about the same price as non-organic (actually less) and save money on grass-fed, organic meat. Now that we have experimented with many different farms and varieties of meat, we know the cuts of meat that we use the most (which is pretty much ground pork), and buy that directly from the farm. We generally buy upwards of 20 lbs. of meat at a shot and save a large amount of money that way.
If your family eats a lot of frozen food, a chest freezer is also a money saver. Actually, March is Frozen Food month, so right now there are many “stock-up” sales at the grocery store and great coupons to use. Plus, in the summer you very easily become the “cool” house that ALWAYS has a large stock of freeze pops. 🙂
My family certainly eats healthier by buying organic meat in bulk, and having the ability to freeze many of our CSA (community supported agriculture) extras throughout the summer is also another big bonus of having a chest freezer. Without that added space, we would just not be able to save all of that yummy goodness! As soon as I get extra tomatoes (and there are a lot of extras), I blanch them, peel them, and off to the freezer they go to use in tomato sauce and chili throughout the year. This way, we have been able to decrease our canned goods use tremendously. I do the same for carrots, green beans, corn, and a bunch of other veggies that you would normally spend a bunch of money on at the store throughout the year. I love that it came from the farm, and that the food waste is so minimal.
Throughout the year, there are many meals and side dishes that I often freeze for consumption during a busy week. Homemade breads and muffins are great for freezing as well as sauces and soups. There are many times that we are running all day, and it is just easier to defrost a meal than make it from scratch. We end up saving time and our health skyrockets by using these homemade “frozen dinners.”
There are many types of second freezers available, so do the research to see what you have room for and what your expectations are. We have a chest freezer which can be a bit more difficult to sort through when it is full, but it is one of the cheaper varieties, so it was the right choice for us. While researching chest freezers, also make sure to look into a CSA as well as local farms that provide a way to buy meat in bulk…these are other ways that we have saved lots of money while improving our health!
Whatever variety you choose, I am sure you won’t be disappointed when you start saving money and are able to reflect about the large step you have taken for your family’s health!