Conventional wisdom says that running an extra freezer saves money, because you can take advantage of sales and bulk-cooking. But it’s not a wise investment for everyone. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you decide.
- Do you keep track of your current freezer? Take a look in the back. If you have mostly little bits of leftovers and half-empty ice-cream containers, your second freezer will likely contain more of the same.
- Can you rearrange the food in your current freezer? Shallow, square, stackable containers take up less space. Try putting items like chili or cooked beans in a zippered plastic bag, arranging the food so that it lies flat. Then let the air out gently, leaving room for expansion. You can then lay one bag on top of another. The food freezes and defrosts quickly with this method. Zipper-type plastic bags can be washed and reused.
- Are you willing to maintain the second freezer? You will need to clean it and defrost if necessary.
- Do you frequently buy or cook in bulk? Freezers work most efficiently when they are nearly full. As you use up the items you will want to add more, or combine what’s left with your refrigerator’s freezer unit.
- How often do you shop? People who shop frequently have less need for a freezer.
- Do you have a place put it? Freezers should be in a convenient location, out of direct sunlight.
- Do you travel regularly? If the house is empty for longer than a week or so, the freezer should be emptied or checked on by a neighbor to make sure it’s working.
- What is the climate in your area? Freezers cost more to run in hot weather.
- Are you in the market for a new refrigerator? Newer refrigerator models contain more freezer space, which may turn out to be enough.
Before buying a second freezer, be sure you are making the most of the one you have. If you aren’t, work on keeping track so that the freezer remains full, but nothing gets forgotten in the back.
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