I’ve lived a renter’s life since the glory days of college…. 17 years ago. From third floor apartments, to town home rows, and single family residences with itty bitty yards, I’ve been-there-done-that. In Summer 2019 we (my husband, Dan, and I) moved into our largest home rental yet. One that included an actual laundry room attached to the actual house! Hey, sometimes movin on up in the world is as simple as having a laundry room with AC/Heat in the comfort of your own home 🙂
I had been waiting for this moment. A room with electric, with extra space, and I knew exactly what we were going to do with it. After Christmas, we’d save up some money and finally purchase a deep freezer (also known as a chest freezer). Then Spring 2020 happened and well, deep freezes flew off the shelves and remained on backorder for months quicker than you could say Apocalyptic Purchasing 5 times in a row.
Like so many I lost my job, then I lost my other job. Our state went into lockdown and BOOM I had “extra” time in abundance. All things sourdough became a thing as did cooking every meal, every day. In order to make our budget stretch I started capitalizing on sales, utilizing my time and resources by doubling meals, and pre-preparing ingredients instead of buying ready-made. Almost immediately it became more clear than ever. I needed that deep freezer.
Deep Freezers Hit The Shelves Once Again
After months of searching, calling, randomly showing up at warehouses and showrooms- deep freezers hit the shelves once again in October 2020. Based on available inventory and our research it was easy to settle on the 7 cubic feet Magic Chef Deep Freezer. The perfect size. Not too small. Not too big. Extremely energy efficient. Positive reviews. And much cheaper then I had planned for… clocking in at $300 at the time. I could hardly contain my excitement as I stood in the middle of Home Depot! I stood next to that sucker (with my don’t you dare look) until Dan returned with a cart so we could carry it off to it’s new home.
The rest of the evening was spent unboxing, wiping down all the parts, and getting it situated in the perfect spot. With the flip of a switch and turn of a knob a little green light popped on letting us know the cooling process had begun. 24 hours later, and I was finally able to start going through my overly stuffed freezer drawers, transferring certain items to their new resting place…my beaut of a deep freezer.
Easy To Stock Up On Deals
Just like I hoped it would, this deep freezer has been the answer to so many of my struggles, including financial ones. Every time there’s a BOGO on our favorite frozen pizzas I stock up. Good deal on meat? I have the butcher prep in .5 and 1 pound increments making it easy to just grab what I need. Steal of a deal on fruit like pineapple, mango, or peaches? It’s time to buy and chop them up and freeze for smoothies, stir frys, and sauces.
When we go berry picking in spring and fall, I no longer have to worry about how I’m going to maximize our haul. The berries get hulled, washed, patted dry, and frozen immediately. To be used later for compotes, pancakes, jam bars, smoothies, and more.
*Side note: Berry picking is such a great way to save on farm fresh produce. Strawberries can cost you $5 a pound at the grocery, and often only ring in at $2 a pound at your local farm. OF course, times and inflation and situations are always changing, so please don’t assume your local farmers are only charging $2 a pound. Give em a call first to confirm before you make the drive.
Maximize My Time In The Kitchen
I can now spend an day baking and stock the freezer with homemade biscuits, sandwich bread, shortcakes, and sourdough baguettes. At this point in life, a day of baking like this will keep us going for a whole month, meaning my time can be spent elsewhere.
I never have to worry about whether of not there’s enough room to make a double batch of roasted vegetable soup. I can easily triple a batch of chocolate chip cookies and freeze the dough for cookies on demand. Seriously! I can take 6 balls of frozen dough and pop straight into my toaster oven, and we’ve got a ooey-gooey sweet treat for the night in 10 minutes.
There’s nothing like quickly heating 2 servings of my creamy pumpkin bison chili on a busy weeknight. Dinner done. Just add toppings and call it a day. Freeing up time is always on my New Year’s Resolution list… because there are so many other things I could be focusing on! Like writing for my blog, filming for social media, gardening at my community plot, or taking an extra long walk with Sullivan, our dog.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE TO COOK AND BAKE. This is not so that I don’t have to cook and bake. It’s so I don’t have to be stressed about cooking and baking. Believe me… there IS a difference.
Holiday Prep Is Now A Breeze
Don’t get me started on holiday prep. Thanksgiving and Christmas 2020 were the first holidays I felt an immense weight lifted off my shoulders. Which I honestly attribute to having a deep freezer. Even though our family gathering was super small, and then non-existent for the other, I was able to plan and prep in a way I never had before. Simply because I had the space. I experimented with making our family’s favorite crescent dough and freezing them into discs so all I had to do was roll out and let them rise. I made a big batch of pie crusts and froze into discs so I could do the same- just roll out and fill.
Struedles got mixed and frozen raw, so all I had to do was sprinkle on my sweet potatoes. All the vegetables for stuffing were chopped and bagged, so all that was left was sautéing with cornbread and filling the bird. Because I had so much freezer space it meant I had extra fridge space. Best part… this wasn’t a fluke. Every holiday since then it’s been the same. A deep freezer equals sanity.
*Bonus: when you’re able to prep meals, whether they’re for weeknights or holidays, you’ve also decreased your dirty dish load. One of the most frustrating things for me has always been cooking and baking several dishes at once, trying to keep dishes clean, and then serving a crowd when exhausted. Eliminating mountains of dirty dishes during high stress, super busy, supposed to be enjoyable moments is a game changer!
Gift Giving Without The Stress
This one goes along with holiday prep. After all, we tend to give gifts around the holidays more than any other time of year. For those of us who love to bake and make as a part of our love language, trying to squeeze in Life Group treats, neighborhood goodies, friend and family bakes, along with all the other holiday activities can… frankly… make you never want to bake or host or give again…
You know I’m not wrong! It gets to be- a lot.
A deep freezer changed all of that for me. No joke. In 2021 I started holiday baking in September. With no real plan other than properly sealing and freezing my treats after they’d cooled. I was relaxed. The complete opposite of stressed. An extra batch of biscotti here, an extra set of ginger snaps there, an extra set of pie crust… because why not? Before I knew it, November had rolled around and everyone on my list had been taken care of. Leaving me time to focus on creating memories with my family and baking because I wanted to. Not because I had to. Talk about a life changing experience.
Breaking Down Cost
This is important to consider. Hundreds of dollars is nothing to sneeze at, no matter where you fall on the socioeconomic ladder. However, when I sat down and did some basic calculations, considered how much I cooked at home, how much we saved not going out to eat, and factored in the time I would get back to focus on other things…I decided a deep freezer was an investment for our family. So I figure I’d share the absolute basic math with you, based on what I spent for this deep freezer.
Our 7 cubit foot deep freezer clocked in at $300, which equaled out to $1.21 per day for the first year. After that, the freezer was “paid off” in a matter of speaking. I then took a look at the estimated energy usage which stated use at $60 per year. That’s 16 cents a day, and obviously reoccurring and subject to any rising costs of energy. Another factor to consider is where you live. Warmer climates will pay more for the energy it takes to keep a chest freezer frozen, and cooler climates will pay less for that same energy.
To nerd out even more, if I took the daily cost of $1.37 (for the first year) and divided it by 3 (for 3 meals a day) and then divided it by 2 (members in my home), I’m looking at a whopping .11 cents a meal in freezer cost.
I don’t know about you, but if you told me 11 cents a day would make meal prep, holiday gatherings, gift giving, and overall sanity possible… I’d literally throw the money at you. No regrets. In fact, I’ve now owned a deep freezer for 1.5 years and have no regrets other than not being able to get one sooner!
If you’re realizing that a deep freezer might be the answer to many of your frustrations but feel a bit overwhelmed with how to pick one out… I can suggestion taking a look at this How to Buy the Best Chest Freezer article. It covers the basics, asks some important questions, and covers the need-to-knows of the deep freezer world.
Frustrations Of Using a Deep Freezer
I’d be lying if I promised you owning a deep freezer was all rainbows and butterflies. It’s an adjustment like anything else “new-to-you”. You’ve got this big, deep box just waiting to be filled. It’s equal parts awesome and overwhelming. And if you don’t approach filling it with some sort of method to the madness, you’ll be pulling random bags and jars out months from now wondering what the heck that is and when the heck you put it there.
*clears throat as she speaks from experience*
- For plastic bags, use a sharpie. Be sure to date, include how many cups, pounds or ounces, and what the actual meal or ingredients is.
- For silicon bags or plastic lids, add a strip of scotch tape or two, and include the above information in sharpie.
- Designate zones. To the right is meat, to the left is produce, in the hanging baskets are baked goods etc etc. Additional baskets, dividers, or containers might help you with this as you grow your stash.
- Rotate your frozen goods. Grab from the bottom first, although it will be super temping to grab from the top. Just remember the top is newest.
- Invest in some quality glassware for freezer storage purposes. I settled on the set below and LOVE that they are freezer, microwave, dishwasher, AND oven safe.
I've used these containers for well over a year and the rubber seals and lids fit and lock just as well from the fist day I used them! Love that they are stackable, freezer safe, microwave safe, and even oven safe. Great for storing leftovers, sliced veggies, sides etc.
Let Me Know
What part of owning a deep freezer sounds the best to you? Is it the potential savings? Easier holiday prep? The ability to meal prep without worry? I’d love to know!
If you found this helpful, I’d appreciate you saving to your Pinterest and sharing on Facebook. Every comment, like, save, and share helps me grow this small business of mine. And I would so appreciate it!
Hugs, because handshakes are awkward~