Does Size Matter? Let’s Talk Freezers!

This Food Waste Friday, let’s talk freezers.Est. 2010 (1)

As my family grows older (and the kids take on more sporting activities) there is a definite increase in the amount of food that is being consumed.

My grocery philosophy has always been to buy just what we need for the next 7 days – and this has worked to date. But I’m noticing a change in the volume of food the Wright’s are working their way through.

In particular rather than fridge food, it’s the store cupboard items that seem to be disappearing at the speed of light.

Bagels, crumpets, croissants, crackers, granola bars and the list goes on…

The most frequently asked question at Chez Wright is ‘do we have any bagels left?’ – and the most frequent answer is ‘no sorry, you ate the last one earlier’.

Time to utilise the freezer more me thinks. Just one problem, it’s not very big and also I use it predominately to reduce food waste not to store additional foodstuffs in case we run out.

Currently it’s holding frozen fruit, vegetables, a few bread rolls plus frozen veggie scraps that I keep to make homemade stock for soups and casseroles.

(Image below is of a typical freezer for me it’s not todays… )

Optimized-Freezer

The question is, as my family grows – should the size of my freezing capacity?

An addition of a chest freezer may solve my problem – in there I could freeze additional breads, soups and get in a routine of batch cooking certain meals to keep for emergencies.

My dilemma is whether the additional space will be truly useful, or whether additional storage can make a person lazy and ultimately lead to more food waste as items are stockpiled and not used up.

So I’m looking for some advice on freezers. How do you use yours? Is it a valuable appliance that makes life easier, or does it lead to unorganised stockpiles of food that just go to waste? What do you put in your freezer? How do you keep it organised? Particularly chest freezers where a mountain of indistinguishable items can easily develop?

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Noreen June 17, 2016, 10:33 am

    Bit of both here. I love my chest freezer and wouldn’t be without it. But it does sometimes get a little overstocked with the same thing… “Ooh that’s on offer I’ll get some… ” Completely forgetting that that’s exactly what I did the shopping trip before! So every now and again I have a clean out. And make sure I’m using up everything.

  • Jenny Smith June 17, 2016, 12:13 pm

    We have always had a chest freezer and our regular freezer. Here in the US I shop in bulk and fill the deep freeze with sale items, and convenience foods. When I make soups I usually freeze any left overs for a quick lunch. My kitchen freezer is full of things that we use everyday and that the kids (also growing and constantly eating) can make themselves – bagels, frozen burritos, calzones etc. In order to prevent food waste every couple of months we have a week of “freezer eating” where we try to use up things that are getting older. I don’t worry too much about this, as our turnover is pretty quick. When our kids were smaller I would date everything when I put it in, and only take out the oldest. It takes a little more work, but if you follow First In, First Out and don’t just dump the groceries in you will see savings in time as well as money.

    Now that it is swimming season I have had to make trips to Aldi multiple times a week to keep enough snacks around the house. I hate doing it, but I admit I am outnumbered 3:1 and I would rather spend $5 at Aldi instead of $15 at the pool.

  • Julie C June 17, 2016, 1:04 pm

    I love my chest freezer and feel like it saves me quite a bit of money, at least now it does. My method used to be to buy all kinds of extra stuff when it was on sale, throw it in the freezer and then promptly forget about it. Earlier this year, I did a big clean-out, used up what we could, moved random bits to the freezer over the fridge and pitched the rest.

    Now, I’ve modified my plan so that I use the chest freezer mainly for meats, berries, butter (goes on sale around Christmas), garden produce surplus (when I just run out of time and/or energy to can anymore) and a just a few random items (like big bags of fish sticks from Costco).

    Right now, most of the space is taken up by an extra turkey bought around the holidays when they are dirt cheap, bulk ground beef and chicken breast bought from zaycon.com, the rest of last summer’s berries & tomatoes. Occasionally, I’ll throw an extra gallon or two of milk, or loaves of bread in there, but I don’t do that near as much as I used to. For me, limiting the big freezer to only certain higher-valued items, and only buying random extras if they fit in the smaller freezer, saves more money in the long run.

    Since I won’t have to buy ground beef or chicken breasts for several months, my plan is to save back some grocery money each week, and when the freezer is empty or near-empty, purchase a side of beef, half a pig, and some local organic chickens. I’m thinking of getting a second deep-freeze mainly to use in the summer when my garden is producing faster than I can keep up with. I would unplug this one when it gets empty.

    As far as organization – there is none, lol. I wish I could get it better organized, and maybe it would be easier with an upright freezer, I don’t know. I do have a list of most of the stuff in there, but have no clue where it’s at. Sometimes, my meal plans are just based on what I can find first in the freezer, lol.

  • Clare June 17, 2016, 9:52 pm

    I’ve actually just bought a bigger freezer as part of our kitchen renovation. We freeze bread, berries, ice cream, vegetables, meat, etc! My 2 drawer freezer hasn’t been big enough to keep a weeks worth of bread and growing tweens eat a lot of bread! Mine is a side by side fridge freezer so it looks like a two door fridge. Can’t wait to start using it this week! We get back in our house on Wednesday ?

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