When my husband and I first got married, we had a large, counter-height dorm-size fridge. It worked for us, but we had to shop fairly often. Buying ice cream was pretty near impossible.
A year later, we upgraded to the smallest "full-size" fridge in existence. Albeit small, it had a full-fledged freezer compartment. With careful planning and packaging, I could cook a month’s worth of meals for the two of us and store them in that itty-bitty freezer. I might have had to eat all the ice cream before I did it, but it worked.
Today with a family of eight, we have a large side-by-side refrigerator in the kitchen as well as a big chest freezer that we bought used 16 years ago, serving time in the garage. While I know we can do just fine with only the fridge freezer, having a deep freeze helps me save more time, money, and brain cells. Some days I wish I had a second refrigerator to hold all the produce that six kids can go through!
7 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Second Freezer
Each kitchen and household is different. You may be pining for the biggest frost-free, upright freezer on the block. Those suckers are pricey! And honestly, you might not need it.
Answer these questions to see if a deep freeze (or a second refrigerator-freezer combo) might be right for you:
- Do you live far from a grocery store?
- Is your schedule so busy that a weekly food shop is hard to fit in?
- Do you like to buy direct-from-the-rancher meats?
- Would you like to step away from processed foods, make more homemade, and still have "convenient" foods at the ready?
- Do you feed a lot of people on a regular basis?
- Would you like to do a large cook-ahead session to save time during busy seasons?
- Are you constantly playing Tetris in the fridge-freezer, trying to cram everything in?
If you answer “yes” to more than one of these – and have the space for another large appliance in your home — now might be a good time to be pricing out new and used freezers. They come in a range of sizes and styles, so there’s plenty of options to choose from.
→ More on buying a freezer: Buying a Freezer (Reader Q&A) at Life as a Mom
I’ve never regretted the $200 we dropped on our deep freeze and it’s still serving us well.
Love Your Freezer
Using the freezer wisely can save you time and money and help you cook better and smarter. Jessica Fisher, our guest expert this month, is the author of Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook and Good Cheap Eats: Everyday Dinners and Fantastic Feasts for $10 or Less, and she is one of the savviest people we know when it comes to the freezer. Follow along with her advice for making the most of your freezer and loving it more!
→ Read the intro to Jessica's column: Why My Freezer Is the Most Important Part of My Kitchen