Tuesday 7 July 2020

You CAN afford a deep freezer, and you probably have room for one if you're not homeless

A deep freezer is worth its weight in gold; Maybe even worth its filled weight in gold!

Because when you have one, you can buy in bulk at massive savings, always have meal ingredients on hand without frequent trips to the store, have plenty of delicious, healthy, home cooked meals ready to heat and eat at pennies a serving, and never have to worry about running out of things, even if you can't get to the store (or the store shelves are all bare! Like... I dunno, maybe during a global pandemic?) for a while - even weeks or months at a time! Most properly packaged foods stored at 0°F or less (Home deep freezers will be somewhere around the -6°F range) can be stored indefinitely, without losing their original flavour or quality
(Freezer burn is the result of improper packaging, not deep freezing!).

There are a lot more details and reasons to add, but those are for other posts. This post is to help you figure out how you can reap those benefits, even on a budget (Yes, even in qualify for food assistance level poverty budget!) and/or living in tight quarters. 
It IS doable in most situations!

The first step is to figure out where you could put one. 
If you get an upright, it will take up about the same space as a small card table or easy chair/recliner. That isn't much, considering the benefits.
Be creative. It doesn't have to be in the kitchen, or even indoors, necessarily! It can go in a corner of the living/dining room, or bedroom, on a porch, patio, or balcony, in the yard, driveway, garage, in a in a storage closet/shed, etc. As long as you can run an appliance extension cord to it and there is around six inches of air space around it, it's all good! 
If it goes outside, it's a good idea to protect it from the weather, but not mandatory. If you are worried about it being unsightly or getting flack from management for having it outside/on your patio or balcony, you can easily and cheaply disguise it with a couple sheets of garden lattice and some 2x4s to make a frame, or you can even go extra simple, foldable, and portable by zip-tying the lattice pieces to one another. Put a couple potted, trailing plants (real or fake) on top, and it will look like a mini garden project. 

There are also a couple other DIY disguise ideas running around the internet. Here's one originally using a small fridge, but easily used for a freezer. There are custom made fridge wraps available, but you can get the same effect with a $20 shower curtain or two! 
Again, get creative and make it your own! You've got this. I have faith in you!

While chest style freezers are usually cheaper and slightly more energy efficient (in theory), an upright will be MUCH easier to keep organised, so you can get to things quickly, meaning it is not hanging open for extended periods of time, thus negating any energy savings. Since they take up less floor space, and you can store things on top of them too, that is like double space saving, and, using one is way better on your back!

A brand new one, if you get about the largest home model, will run you around $600-$800, which is a lot, BUT will easily save you at least that much in the first two years or less. 
If that price point is unattainable, even with saving up or (ugh!) renting to own (A freezer is about the only item I feel is worth going the rent to own route. That's how important I think they are.), look for dented/floor models to get significant savings on a new unit, go a little smaller, and/or check local want ads, Craig's List, Freecycle, and Buy Nothing to see if anyone is selling one at a price you can afford or even giving one away. You'd be AMAZED at the things people are willing to give away for free or sell massively cheaply.  

The bottom line is that, for lots of reasons, especially if you're poor, you can't afford NOT to do your best to get a deep freezer.

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