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Ask the Readers: Is a chest freezer worth the investment?

Today’s question is from Corrie:

I am thinking of purchasing a chest freezer. I have a family of six and the refrigerator in my apartment is so small. In fact, it is shorter than I am and I can only fit enough food in it for one week. I wish I could get a bigger one but the cabinets above it won’t allow anything larger.

My question is, is it worth it to buy a freezer so I can stock up on sale items?  Am I going to pay the difference in electricity for a five-cubic-square-foot chest freezer?

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  • Kristi says:

    Yes, I think it is totally worth the investment. We found ours on Craigslist for cheap and it has paid for itself several times over! You will love being able to stock up on meat when it is on sale, berries when in season can be frozen to use in the colder months and all sorts of other frozen items you can buy in bulk at warehouse clubs!

    • Jeannie says:

      Check craigslist and local classifieds. We scored a HUGE freezer for our polebarn for $50 as long as we hauled. The people were moving and didn’t want to bother. We rarely ever get it filled up, but now are considering buying a cow. I think we could fit the whole cow inside w/o having it butchered!

      • Growing up our family would buy a cow, it was awesome!!! We LOVE our deep freezer and it has been well worth the investment. I cannot count the number of times we have had people over or surprise guests and I was able to pull something out of the freezer for a meal. It allows you the opportunity to stock up on really great deals and I have found it helps stretch the budget.

        We have been doing several weeks of “No Grocery Shopping” only purchasing basic necessities such as milk and we still have stuff in our freezer. We couldn’t have made it 8 weeks so far without a freezer full when we started. My vote is “Yes” it is worth it.

  • AmyLauren says:

    My fiance and I love our chest freezer! It lets us stock up on groceries and meats, plus it’s pretty small so it doesn’t take up too much room or use much energy. They have small ones at Target and Walmart. Plus, our regular freezer isn’t that big anyway, so we just use it for the items we’re going to use in the next few days.

  • Jenni says:

    I LOVE my chest freezer! It has saved us so much money because I can prepare larger batches of food and freeze the extra for later — so instead of running to the store (or restaurants), we run to the freezer. =) Our freezer isn’t an energy saver, but I know that I save more money than I pay for the cost of running it.

  • Deana Cruse says:

    I think it is a good investment. We purchased ours almost a year and a half ago. If it is an efficient one, the electricity bill will not increase much at all. Thanks to my freezer, I can go without purchasing groceries for a week or 2 on occasion and still have enough stockpiled frozen meals to get us through. That’s not really that easy to do with a family of 5 but when you are busy, you don’t always have the time to shop! Hope this helps and I do hope you find yourself a really good deal on one. We actually used a coupon to purchase ours!lol

  • Cat says:

    Ours would have saved us TONS except our toddler shut it off while it was full and we lost over $300 in food. If yours has an exposed on/off switch, tape over it really well so it doesn’t get shut off accidentally.

    • Jennifer says:

      Most homeowners insurance cover this.

      • Heather says:

        Yes, but most people have a deductible higher than $300.

      • J says:

        I don’t think it would be worth making a claim against your insurance. We had one claim accepted for replacing gutters knocked off by a storm and another claim (that our agent filed when we called to ask a question about our policy but hadn’t requested a claim) rejected for another minor weather-related house repair. After that, our large, well-known company dropped our house policy because we had “too many claims”—long-time customers dropped because of a single payout of less than $1000. Save insurance claims for major incidents.

        • Carrie says:

          I work for an insurance company and this is covered by your homeowner’s insurance and there is no deductible for spoiled food with most companies. I know on our policies, they cover up to $500 in food spoilage with no deductible, and it wouldn’t be something that would count against you (it has to be over $1000 to count against you) so I definitely think it would be worth it. If the food is already thrown out though, it’s probably too late. They usually make you make a list of everything that is in there before you throw it away and then go to the store and write down the current prices of everything on the list and that’s how they reimburse you.

          On another note, we have a deep freezer with an alarm that buzzes at us if the temperature gets above 10 degrees which is nice because we have 1/2 of an organic angus cow in there! 🙂

  • Sara says:

    No regrets on the chest freezer!!!

  • Nikki says:

    I agree with the previous comments. With a family of 6, I believe a chest freezer is a great investment!

  • Rae says:

    Completely worth it. When buying, you can look at the labels to see approximately how much electricity you will pay per year. Stocking up on loss leader meat alone, I more than make up for the electric bill with the savings. And they last for years so initial cost will get made up for very quickly also.

    • Rae says:

      Oh and with a large family I am sure you won’t have trouble keeping it full but if it is not full for some reason, make sure you keep it full by putting bottles/jugs of water (saving a bit of room in the top of the bottle for expansion) to save on electricity. Then when you go shopping again, just take the water out 🙂

      • Thanks Rae – had no idea about the water jug/saving electricity tip!!

        • Rae says:

          No problem. Keeping your freezer (and fridge) full cuts down on your electric costs because every time you open them, the cold air goes out and it has to work to cool it again. If you have things like water jugs filling in the empty spaces, that coolness does not go out quickly so the freezer/fridge does not need to work as hard. The fridge does need enough space for the air to flow but no empty shelves 🙂

      • Kelly says:

        the water jugs also help keep your food frozen for longer in the event of a power outtage!

      • Kim says:

        And those jugs of water work good in the summer when we go camping! It keeps the ice chest cooler longer than cubes, it doesn’t melt all over the food in the chest, and you can drink the water too!

        • Regina says:

          I have to reply here because I had no idea about the savings by putting jugs of water in. However, we typically have about 6 gallon jugs with frozen water because we have our own landscaping company and each morning, we grab a jug and fill it the rest of the way with water (we leave a few inches for expansion) and it melts slowly throughout the day and provides us with fresh ice-cold water for free. If you’ve ever purchased water in a little bottle from a convenience store, then you know how much it can cost to keep hydrated. BTW, we love our freezer but we make a point to check it once every other day to be sure it hasn’t accidentally been turned off. It’s an expensive lesson and I still bemoan the loss of all of my beautiful serrano and jalapeno peppers.

  • MLK says:

    Would anybody happen to know an estimate of how much a chest freezer increases your electricity bill?

    • Heidi says:

      I believe at the appliance stores, they have good estimates of how much it costs to run it right on the freezer. We have 2 chest freezers and 2 refrigerators, plus a septic which runs and our bill is only around $70.00 per month. The septic takes up most of that cost.

    • Patti says:

      Contact your electric company … it will differ according to where you live.

    • Ms Pink says:

      I just read an article about an energy efficient smaller model and I think they said on average $26 per year. I wish I could remember what it was!

    • Stephanie says:

      We used to have one (sold it when we moved – didn’t want to move it. There’s only two of us, anyway). It used only about $50 worth of electricity a year. And I think that figure is on the high side – I *think* most use around $35 a year now.

  • Jennifer says:

    I would definitely recommend one; I’ve got a family of six as well and actually went without a freezer for about six months after our hand-me-down died. Our food budget took a major hit cuz I couldn’t stock up on items when they were on sale. Even a small apartment has room for a small chest freezer about the size of a dishwasher.

    As for electricity costs, my 14.8 cu chest freezer is about $40/year which I save many times over with all my great deals on meats/cheeses/milk and berries.

  • cheryl newsted says:

    We love ours as well, but you have to figure if you’ll use it enough. Craigslist is a great place to look for one (we got ours from my aunt)! If you don’t keep if full enough it does cost more for electricity. I love to make freezer jam in the summer and I load the bottom of my freezer with those as well as fresh frozen fruit. I also started freezing corn (a lot of work). PLUS my kids don’t go in there so I can “hide” pizza rolls and ice cream until we really “need” it. Besides the cost of electricity, where are you going to put it (unless there’s electricity in your storage)? They do make small compact freezers you could consider. If you’ve got room and would fill it more than 1/2 full it’s a great investment. PLUS you can make freezer meals! NOTE: If you have a small one, you can easily forget what’s buried in your freezer.

  • Emily Jo says:

    I personally think it was a good investment for us! We have been able to buy our meat half a steer or hog at a time and I have also been able to freeze a lot of fruit and veggies during the summer.

  • Lynda says:

    We got ours for free and we keep it out in the garage so all winter we don’t pay for any electricity (in Iowa) because the temperature is so cold it keeps it from turning on. Well worth it if you can find an inexpensive one.

    • Nicole says:

      I am from Iowa and I also have mine in the garage. I have been debating on bringing it in my house but after reading your post I don’t think I will. I have an upright and LOVE it. You can see exactly what you have and don’t have to search through everything. I also have a trunk one and tend to forget what is in the bottom of it.

    • Diana says:

      I hope you don’t keep that freezer in you garage in the summer. My brother had a freezer in his garage and the compressor exploded and burned down his garage. The insurance adjuster said you should never keep a fridge or freezer in a hot garage. The summer heat causes the compressor to work too hard and sometimes explodes.

      • Tami Calhoun says:

        Last Valentine’s Day (2010) a fire started behind the chest freezer I had in our mud room. The fire inspector couldn’t determine if the fire started with the freezer or within the wall itself. Our house was a total loss and 3 of our pets died. We made it out of the house with only minutes to spare.

        That being said, I now have a brand new built house and I keep my 2 chest freezers in the basement.

      • Grace says:

        I am planning to get one but the garage is the only place where I can put it. I live in Southern California and it gets really hot here during summer. Any suggestions?

        • Diana says:

          I wouldn’t put it in the garage. My brother lives in Illinois. It get hot here in the summer but not as hot a Southern California.

        • Susan says:

          I’m in San Antonio which is about as hot as Southern California and humid to boot – and my upright frost-free freezer is in the garage. It is a Kenmore and about 9 years old. It has been in a garage in South Texas for 6 1/2 years. The only time we’ve had a problem with it was when the drain plug was blocked – I had to take a blow dryer to it to thaw out the built-up frost. I don’t know how much it costs to run and don’t care – I have three very hungry males at my house and couldn’t keep up with them without the freezer.

          • elizabeth says:

            This is good to know. I am in South Florida and would have to put it in my garage. I had been wondering if that would be ok.

        • peever says:

          I have always had mine in the garage. I don’t have room for it anywhere else. Honestly, there are SO many things that could do damage to your home. There’s potential fire and water damage, natural disasters, etc. You just gotta pick your battles and cross your fingers. I know I shouldn’t run the dishwasher, washer, or dryer when we’re not home, but I do anyway because sometimes that’s the only way I can stay caught up. I know I probably shouldn’t have the toaster plugged in at all times, but I leave it plugged in because we make toast almost every morning. I should probably unplug everything that I’m not using to save on electricity and reduce the risk of fire, but the thought of plugging and unplugging everything all the time is exhausting.

          Anyway, I live in SD so our deep freezer never runs during the winter, but it does get pretty hot here during the summer. Our deep freezer was free from a friend and it’s HUGE and super old and we’ve never had a problem with it. We’ve probably had it for about 8 years. I don’t know how much it costs to run ours either, but our electric bills always seem cheaper than everyone else’s around here so it can’t take too much. It’s totally worth it to me. We save so much money stocking up on freezer items when they’re on sale and by buying a half of a cow at a time.

          • erica says:

            somewhere i thought i read that the Gladiator series (lowe’s probably) was actually designed to be put in a garage— they look like that fancy diamond plate metal. They are built the opposite of a refridgerator-the big part is the freezer and the little part in the fridge.

          • Joy says:

            I live in S.E. Texas and for the past 10 years I have kept an extra fridge/freezer in my garage. It has never had a problem with our heat and humidity. The unit is about 13 years old. It may run a little extra, but its worth having. The refrigerator is always used and the freezer is always full. It is very convenient as I pull my car in and unload most of the frozen items directly into that freezer instead of taking it into the house.

          • Cathy says:

            We also keep both our extra freezers in the garage and are in SW Oklahoma, where we typically have 100+ temps in July and August. We’ve had them for 4 years now and done fine. It might be worthwhile to double check wiring if putting them in an older house, though.

          • Grace says:

            Same here, I’ve nowhere else to put it but in the garage. Thanks so much guys! I really appreciate it! 🙂

      • Wendy says:

        We got one from a friend, but it died because (as I later found out) keeping it in a non-temperature-controlled area is just too much for the motor. We live in Alabama, so it’s HOT in the garage in the summer!

        I think the original poster who asked the question probably could use more freezer space, but we never bothered getting ours fixed. Our current freezer holds about 2 weeks worth of food, if we eat everything, so I just have to be more creative with recipes and be smart about how I pack up leftovers and meats to store long-term.

      • Kathy says:

        Living in Florida we have no choice but to keep it in the garage … have had one in my garage in northeast FL for over 22 years … before that our freezer was in my garage in Maryland (summer and winter) for 11 years … no different than a house without AC …

  • Bethany says:

    Definitely worth it!! Prob one of the best money saving things out there – I buy meat on sale and in bulk and then freeze it. I also buy multiple loaves of bread and freeze them so that I almost never run out. I freeze fruit, pans of things like lasagna, and stock up on ice cream when it’s on sale. Go for it! 🙂

  • Samantha says:

    I definitely think it would be worth the investment!

    It is just me and my boyfriend here but we tend to entertain a lot and really enjoy the convenience of having a stocked freezer full of meats, veggies, etc. that we can pull out when we don’t feel like running to the store. I also found the freezer on Craigslist for a great price so I would definitely recommend taking a look there before you shell out big bucks for a brand new one. I definitely have thrown out less food since we’ve had the extra room to freeze things. Absolutely worth the investment in my house!

  • Sabrina says:

    Definitely! Especially for a family that big! We bought ours new at costco (bought used first, didn’t work). The tag said it used about $25 a year. That isn’t much at all. We stock up on meat a lot, so the extra room is useful. I also stock up on fruit and veggies to freeze. It is also great for my freezer meals (Casseroles fit great!). I have a side by side freezer/fridge, and the freezer is really narrow, so I can’t easily fit casseroles. I also use my chest freezer to store my flour, so it doesn’t get bugs. I bake a lot, and my mom gets lots of free flour. If you have a chest freezer, you may be more inclined to meal plan and have freezer cooking days like Crystal does.

  • Dani says:

    Most of the new one’s will say on them how much it costs in Electricity for them to run for the year. Mine said it was under $30 for it to be running for a year. I would say that it’s definitely worth it. I am always stocking up on markdown meats and free frozen veggies. Not to mention all the apple sauce that I made in the fall that we just finished a few weeks ago! I didn’t want to purchase a used one because I wanted to be sure it was energy efficient and in good working order. What we did is our local furniture store has a “scratch and dent” clearance center store. We went there to buy it and saved over $100 because of a minor mark on the outside of it.

    • Abbie says:

      Thanks for this tip, Dani! Random question- do you have a good homemade applesauce recipe? I use the crockpot and add water and brown sugar, etc. Is yours different? We love applesauce around here and I’m looking to tweak our recipe. Thanks!

      • Elizabeth says:

        I just put apples and enough water to make it mash properly in the crockpot. We don’t like our applesauce very sweet and we find it sweet enough without sugar.

      • Katie says:

        I make applesauce using my Kitchenaid and attachments. No peeling or coring required. Just cut up the apples, cook until soft, then run them hot through the grinder and strainer attachments. The peels, stems, & seeds get “spit out” of the strainer cone and the applesauce drips into a waiting bowl. No other ingredients required! The apples are sweet by themselves.

        • Abbie says:

          Oh wow! That’s a great idea. I get sooooo tired of peeling and coring all those apples. I may have to invest in those attachments. Are they expensive? I have a Kitchenaid.

          • Katie says:

            I actually bought a 3-pack of attachments at a yard sale for $45 a few years back. That 3 pack retails for about $150 but you might be able to pick it up on sale if you keep an eye out. I definitely recommend it. Canning applesauce is a breeze since I started this method.

  • Monica says:

    It’s totally worth it! I don’t know what your budget is, but if you have a HyVee near you they will be running a promotion soon where you pay $199 for a freezer and get $199 in free grocery product coupons.

  • Yes I think so. I actually have a 5 cubic foot deep freezer. It is smaller so it fits nicely in my small kitchen. They are also cheaper than the bigger ones, we got ours on sale for about $100 and that was almost 10 years ago now. I love being able to stock up on frozen veggies and such when they go on sale. It was frustrating for me with a family of four and a standard size refridgerator after we moved and didn’t have things organized to put the freezer in the house for a few months, I can’t imagine trying to survive with a smaller refridgerator freezer and a family of six.

  • Eddie says:

    Yes! Ours is about the size of our washer and dryer. And we purchased ours from a place the sells appliances at a discounted price because then have dent or a scratch on them.

    We use ours as we go in with some friends and purchase a “cow” every year. So we get all of our beef for a year at 1 time. (steaks, hamburgers, roasts, soup bones, etc.) It is soooo much cheaper to purchase our meat this way, and we get the added bonus of knowing that the farmer doesnt feed his cows artifical growth homones… and the butcher shop isn’t “treating” the meat look more “red”.

    • Chandler says:

      I have just started hearing about this and really thinking about going this route. Are there anythings to keep in mind when looking to purchase a cow?

      • Katie says:

        For me, it’s important that the beef is local and grass-fed. If you’re looking for beef in your area a good place to start is, as well as asking around at local vendors at your farmers’ market(s).

    • Karen says:

      How large of a freezer do you need for 1/4 of a cow? Will a 5.7 cu ft be large enough? or do we need a second freezer?

      • Eddie says:

        Hi Katie,

        Our freezer is 5.something cu ft and we fit in a quarter cow. But it is tight. We usually know a month before hand when we are going to get our meat and try to empty the freezer as much as we can. And for us the size of the cow amount changes from year as our farmer doesnt raise many… he is retired and just raises a few cows at a time. This last time was the largest cow we have ever had. It was 880 lb cow (dress weight) so our 1/4 was 220 lbs (dress weight). From here the butcher shop cuts is all up and our 1/4 trim weight was 71 lbs.

  • Bethany says:

    Agree with the majority here. With a family of 6, you can freeze meats, breads, and cheese when they are on sale. Even fresh fruit and veggies when they are in season, lots of instructions online on how to. Also agree that it’s will be nice for you for freezer cooking ahead of time. Casseroles, soups, etc. You can make them ahead and just thaw out the day you need them and pop em in the oven!

  • Abbygail says:

    absolutely. check Craigslist for good deals. We got an large upright for $125. less floorspace and easier to see what is in it rather than just piling things on top of others and finding something that has been in there for 2 years.

    • Lana says:

      My grandparents moved when they were in their 80’s and when my parents cleaned out their freezer they found many packages of expensive steaks that were 20 years old in the bottom! I have an upright because I am short and would not be able to reach the bottom.

  • Tara says:

    Several of my family members currently live together and when my brother and sister-in-law first moved in, she came with a freezer. At first I wondered what on earth she was doing with a chest freezer, but we started pooling our grocery resources and couponing in earnest, I really understood the value of it. (Also, she used to work at Dinner Done, one of those meal preparation services, and they gave her alot of free food, which is why she had it in the first place.) I try to eat organic and grass fed when it is affordable, so when I see a good deal, I know I have the space to store a healthy stock. Now, I really think I will want to keep a chest freezer around even when we don’t all live together.

  • Laura says:

    We got one as a wedding gift and I love it!!!! It is great for storing extra meat and veggies. Not to mention extra freezer meals!!! I would definitely get one.

  • crystal says:

    like the dugars would say…… buy used and save the rest ;)!!! we lucked out and got one for $25 from a friend a little over a year ago. it’s still going strong. totally worth it even if we had to buy new because we freeze EVERYTHING. when milk goes on sale for $1 we buy tons and freeze. the bread store here is about 30 mins away so we buy $1 loves of bread and freeze them!! we have bountiful baskets here and that has saved us TONS so when we get our food i quickly prepair what can freeze well and then we eat of the rest for the week that way nothing goes to waste and we have yummy food all the time.

    • Chandler says:

      What is the secret to freezing milk? I am always finding mark down milk for a little over a $1 a gallon, but only buy about 2 galloons b/c I am not sure what I need to do to freeze

      • Kathy says:

        It’s just my husband and myself so when I buy a gallon of milk on sale, I divide it up into SOBE bottles that I’ve saved. I don’t fill them all the way up because the milk with expand when frozen. I thaw them in the fridge for a day or two as needed and we always have milk when we need it.

      • If it is in a plastic gallon, just freeze it as normal, and allow to thaw for a few days in the fridge (it does take awhile to thaw a gallon!) I sometimes open it and pour a little out to allow more room to expand as it freezes.

      • Katie says:

        I don’t like the taste of frozen & thawed milk so I use our freezer milk for cooking only. I just pull out a gallon and plan to make a creamy soup and something with gravy that week.

      • Jessica says:

        I can’t tell the difference in taste after freezing. I just stick the whole thing in the freezer. It does need a shake as it’s thawing. We don’t go through too much. We use about the amount that thaws in the fridge every day. It’s perfect! I do the same with coffee creamer.

        • Meme says:

          Once you freeze milk make sure to shake it up before you drink it. This helps with that odd taste it gets because of seperating during freezing. Shake it each time when using it afterwards

  • Lisa says:

    I also have a family of 6 and our freezer saves us tons of money. I primarily use it for meats and freezing jams and things like spaghetti sauce that I make. When I find meat on sale for a good price I stock up and keep it in my freezer. Without my freezer and I would be paying for my meat weekly which would add up to a lot over time.

  • Sabrina says:

    I just answered and it dissapeared (I am holding my baby in my lap and she wants to type) so if I already posted, sorry! Yes, a freezer is worth its cost! The tag on the one we bought at costco said it used $25/year. Not much at all. You can stock up on great meat deals, as well as fruits and veggies. Also, you may be more inclined to do freezer cooking days, since you’ll have more room to store food. With a family that big, I’m sure it will save you lots of money, and time (not so so much shopping if you can stock up and freeze).

  • Kimberly in NC says:

    I love my chest freezer! I highly recommend getting one second hand to save money; I think they are easy to come by in good condition. I definitely save money by having one.

  • Mindy says:

    I think this is totally worth it! My husband and I purchased one from craigslist for $10 and we spray painted it and it is as good as new!

  • We love ours! We got it at a “dented appliance” store when we bought our house and haven’t regretted it a bit! We’re a family of four – going on five – but when we first got it we didn’t yet have children. Still no regrets.

    My advice: keep an inventory of what is in your freezer so you don’t lose track! I did a post on my blog about my method for this, if you’re interested:

  • Yes!!! Yes.. and YES!!! I have cooking days where I make a bunch of food, and then i’m able to freeze that for use for the next week or so. It has also provided extra space for things I can get with coupons for great prices. I have saved in groceries what I spent on my freezer a dozen times over. Watch for sales, check out your local thrift stores, used appliance centers, craigslist, and freecycle. They also have very small chest freezers that could fit just about anywhere!!! Good luck.

  • Jen says:

    The upright will also allow you to see better what is in your freezer. We have ours in our basement at our current home and will be putting it in the garage at our new home when we move.

  • Kelly says:

    We love our chest freezers! Got them used on Craiglist for <$50. Started with 1 5 cu ft when we were in an apartment, then added another 5 cu ft when we bought our house. It's great because when my stockpile gets low, I can just unplug a freezer!

    From what I could find online, if you get one that's 1997 or newer, it shouldn't be an energy vampire.

  • Deb says:

    I would get an upright if possible. “Stuff” gets lost at the bottom of our chest freezer and I’m looking for an upright. Also, the chest freezer is more difficult to move around for cleaning, etc than my dad/mom’s upright.

  • Elisha says:

    We bought our with Swagbucks and it was completely worth it.

  • Amber in Maine says:

    For us (family of now 4) the small chest freezer has been GREAT. I got it initiatially because my pumped milk for daughter 1 had filled the regular freezer !! Since, it’s great for stocking on meats, frozen meals, veggies, etc. as others mentioned.

    What I didn’t see, though, is storing flours recommended. This fall our grocery stores had HUGE flour promotions w/ $1 white and ww flour at the same thime there were coupons, making some free. I bought about 20 bags! I make our bread, but that’s only about 1-2 loafs a week, not time to use it all before expiring or critters invading (we have moth problems). SOOO… we store it in the freezer. It takes of space, lowering the bill, but it also keeps it fresh and keeps moths and such out.

  • Lisa M says:

    We love our chest freezer! We buy a half a cow each year, stick it in our freezer and it lasts us a year! And this year it only came to about $.65 a pound. We have T Bones, Porterhouse, sirloin steaks, cube steaks, rump roasts, chuck roasts and hamburger, plus soup bones and some other things. We eat very well, all because of our chest freezer. And the freezer wasn’t that expensive. I can stock up on frozen veggies when they are on sale as well as other items. The chest freezer is totally worth it!

    • Jennifer says:

      Where in the world are you getting a half cow for $0.65/lb? Please let me know, my husband and I have been considering this for a while, I would love a deal that great!!

  • Krysti says:

    Absolutely! We had a chest freezer for the longest time and then when we moved to a bigger place we got a stand-up freezer. Since we are on teacher pay and only get paid once a month it is an absolute necessity.

  • Ashley P says:

    We got ours because we loaned a friend/neighbor some money during a bad time for his family. When things got good again, we mentioned about him paying us back so we could buy a freezer to put on the back porch of our apartment. He said since he needed to buy a bigger one anyway, he’d let us have his old one, and he’d just pay us back the difference in the value from what he owed us. (We affectionately call it our “Meat Freezer” because hubby keeps his steak in there.) We buy meat from bulk stores like Sam’s and divvy it up into 2-people servings in freezer bags. We’ve been known to make a single brisket last all month for Sunday roast.

    Being in Florida (AKA Hurricane Central) We ALWAYS have one jug of frozen water in each freezer. Cuz if a hurricane comes through and you lose power, you’re gonna want something to keep your food cold as long as possible. It might help keep the cost down. I never really checked. We do have to defrost it once a month, so we usually have “Pantry/Freezer” meal week. Sometimes so much so, we invite the neighbors for barbecue. If you check around, though, you might be able to get a self-defrosting model cheap enough. Check freecycle, craigslist, or even your friends and neighbors. You never know who’s going to be upgrading theirs! 🙂

  • Sharon says:

    We have always kept a chest freezer since we got married 33 years ago. My grandfather had a large farm and my dad always got half a beef each year which he kept in a chest freezer. When I got married, my husband and I kept the tradition of getting half a beef. We also started gardening and I would freeze produce. We have continued to by beef from farmers we know over the years as store meat is full of undesirable substances. I like to stock up on bread which I freeze and I also stock up on flour at Christmas time when it is on sale and keep it in the freezer. I purchased enough flour the end of 2009 to last until the end of 2010 when it went on sale again. I wouldn’t know how to live without a chest freezer.

  • K says:

    It’s totally worth it!!! Milk, butter, bread, meats, certain fruits/veggies, leftovers…all freezable. I don’t have as large of a family, but we could eat for half a year just on what can be stored in ours.

    Our garage runs on a separate electric meter from the house. The only thing we plugged in out there is the freezer, and our bills are steadily $5.54 per month. (On the garage, ha, I wish the house meter was that low!) Granted, ours is a fairly new model, so you may see a slightly higher amount per month if you purchase an older appliance.

    The only downside, they can break. And that’s a lot of food to either spoil or for you to find a new home for asap. Ours broke during the last winter storm, so by the time I got out there and figured out what happened…it was too late to save any of the meat.

  • Joy says:

    I agree with everyone else. Every summer we buy a quarter cow from a local butcher, and that beef lasts us for an entire year. We also use it to stock up on frozen veggies and other frozen goodies. Freezing fresh fruits when they’re on sale to use in smoothies later is another huge money saver. We bought a reconditioned upright freezer at a used appliance shop and have never regretted it.

    • Erin says:

      Joy – how big is your family? We are going to buy beef for the first time this year. My husband is pushing for 1/2 of a cow but I don’t think we need that much. We have the two of us and two young girls.

  • Kasee says:

    I think it is worth it I don’t have a chest freezer but I did just buy a new energy saver upright freezer as the one I had was not going to last much longer…I love that I am able to stock up on food on sale as we are a family of 5 it helps a lot.

  • Paige says:

    Oh, yes! My hubby actually surprised me with a chest freezer for our anniversary, and I was so happy (yes, I love appliances that much :)! At first I did not know if I could keep it full all the time, but I have had no problem with that. Between all the sales I come across & the deer meat we get, it is a piece of cake.
    My advice is to invest in one – you will not regret it!

  • Sarah says:

    Is there a difference in energy consumption or cost between a chest and an upright freezer or is it just a space/make it fit in your home thing? We were blessed to be given a standup freezer and I love it! I would think that, with a chest, I would fill it, forget it and never excavate all the way to the bottom ever again!
    I know that, in the case of the original post, it’s a space issue so I guess my question is a little unrelated. It’s just something I’ve been wondering about. 🙂

    • Heather says:

      I’ve heard that uprights use more energy, since when you open the door the cold air falls down and therefore out. But when you open the door on a chest freezer, the cold air doesn’t have anywhere to fall – sure, some will go out out, but not as much.

    • erica says:

      yes, just what Heather said. i have a chest freezer and keep mine organized by buying more bins to put in it. One bin for meat, one for vegetables, one for breads, one for juice and butter, one for other small stuff like cheese, choc chips and pepperoni.

      • Sarah says:

        That is an idea I need to yoink for my upright!! Even though I know where everything is in my mind, I can’t send my husband out to get a bag of veggies or cheese because he comes right back in and says he can’t find it! I end up making the trip anyway! I see an organizing post in my future!! Thanks!

    • Sarah says:

      Another thought that crossed my mind way, a couple of times, our door hasn’t shut all the way or a bag of flour fell forward and cracked the door a bit. I came out to the garage to find a puddle of water and some of the meat had to be tossed. We do have an alarm but, since it’s in the garage, you sure can’t hear it from inside. With a chest freezer, gravity would be a friend!! Maybe something to keep an eye out for!!

  • Jackie says:

    Well, I am going to be the voice opposite to everyone else, but it was not for us. My husband felt like everything tasted freezer burned no matter how well I wrapped stuff and I hated having one more thing to keep organized. (or items get lost in it and you don’t know what you have) However, we are a much smaller family than yours and we both work full time, demanding schedules. If you are going to try it I would say start small(and cheap) and make sure it’s right for your family.

  • Mandy says:

    Totally worth it! The new ones are much more energy efficient than they used to be. The impact on our energy bill was only a few dollars, I think. Truthfully, I didn’t really notice. (When you have a $300 electric bill in July and August because it’s 115 outside, you don’t notice a couple of dollars from a freezer in the garage 🙂 We live in Arizona.)

    In fact, I love my freezer so much that when my Father-in-law offered us an upright freezer he wasn’t using last May, I jumped at the opportunity! So now I have two additional freezers and couldn’t image life without them. I am planning some major freezer-cooking days in April in anticipation of our new baby’s arrival.

  • Teresa says:

    Please consider looking at other options for acquiring a chest freezer. Freecycle, Craigslist, the newspapers and such. You can quite often pick up very current chest freezers of varying sizes for free to very inexpensively. We wanted a chest freezer but no the cost when we shopped at stores. We found chest freezers are ‘free for the taking’ quite often because people move and cannot take them. If you can pick up a freezer this way then it is DEFINATELY worth having.

  • Katie says:

    LOVE ours! We got one from my in-laws for a wedding gift- I still think it was the best gift we received:) I stock up on things (like the AMAZING sale at target this week) every few months and then I don’t have to stress about where our meals are coming from all the time.

  • MrsD05 says:

    According to our government my husband & I should spend around $400.76 to feed both of us ( I used June of 2010 as my reference since according to that page that is what they use to determine the amount for the year. I chose to use the low-cost plan since that is what we were doing before I started couponing. I added up the amount to feed a 31 yr old man & a 28 yr old woman. Then I multiplied by 4.3 (that is the # used when determining monthly cost based on a weekly amount).

    We actually spend $45 a week to feed both of us and we eat basically anything we want with lots of fresh fruits & vegetables, meat etc. That is $193.50 a month.

    My full size upright freezer (that is as big as a freezer & refrigerator put together) cost $200.00. In one month’s time, according to our government, I made up the cost of my freezer. It certainly costs us less than $200.00 a month in electricity, and we eat much better quality of foods than we would if I didn’t have it.

    So, the very long answer is that yes, it is worth it but it does take time to fill it to use it to its maximum benefit.

    • Andrea Q says:

      That’s an interesting link! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Rae says:

      wow those are ridiculously high. For my family, it says $123.30 per WEEK for the “thrifty” plan! Seriously?!? I spend $35 INCLUDING pet, household, diapers, etc. Now granted I buy very little organic but we do have lots of fresh fruits, veggies, etc. Even if I wanted to eat 100% organic, I could do it for less than $123 per week.

    • Ashley P says:

      Fascinating! I’m sharing this link with my friends!

      Hubby and I beat the thrifty plan by $20/week! And we still manage to fund a neighborhood barbecue every Sunday afternoon, complete with home-made dessert! 😀

    • Sarah says:

      What a great comment! So informative and interesting, thanks for sharing!!

  • MrsD05 says:

    p.s. I also include food, treats, littler, etc for our dogs & cat and all over the counter medicines, toiletries & household supplies in the $45 a week. None of that is included in the amount that our government says we “should” spend.

  • Tammy L says:

    Good question! I’m looking forward to seeing just how useful a chest freezer is, as our family received one as a gift recently (still haven’t plugged it in).

    Ours is a chest-style freezer, ~7 cubic feet, and the label says that on average it costs $30/year to run.

    I think where it will be most useful is when we are able to get a great deal on seafood (from my husband’s employer) and stock up! The most we’ve been able to fit in our above-the-fridge freezer was 50-60 pounds of meat (fish) — starting with a practically empty one.

  • corie says:

    thank you christal for posting this. and thanks everyone for your input. i will be keeping my eye out for a freezer now, now that i know its gonna be worth it… 🙂

  • Ali says:

    My post is a prime example of why you should have a chest freezer. The savings are sooo worth it.

  • Courtney says:

    Like many others have said, having something in the freezer and saving on eating out is probably more valuable than $40/yr electricity.

    I don’t recommend cheap, used freezers from craigslist. Be VERY picky and buy a newer one if you do, having a freezer that can die on you and you not only loose your stock but have to pay to have it removed completely defeats your goals! If you buy a new, small chest it will resell well if you need, and will be reliable.

  • Tammy L says:

    Also, we’ll see how this plays out, but one of our plans is to stretch the time between trips to Costco (since we get a lot at Costco vs. using coupons weekly at numerous stores).

    I am thinking if I can freeze some milk, butter, store extra bags of frozen veggies and fruits, etc. that we may be able to go to Costco once a month instead of every 2 weeks, and somehow shopping less frequently just seems to save us money (plus TIME!). 🙂

  • Mike says:

    OK, I’ll post some cautions. However, yes, yes, yes, awesome invaluable appliance. I like the water jug idea… I modify it… I freeze individual water bottles (refilled with tap water) which stabilize temperature fluctuations when you open & close the chest, but also I use those water bottles as my ice for the cooler when I go to the beach/park/etc, then when I get home, I put them back in the freezer… I also put certain liquors from my bar in there to “take up space” and to have incredible vodka martinis anytime!

    OK, for the few times you open it, and for the short period of time you have it ope, all the cold stays in the chest (uprights dump it to the floor, chests contain it… think of a grocery store), and chest holds far more product… so chest is the way to go.

    Cautions: check with your insurance company, some will void your fire insurance if you have a deep freezer, moreso if you have 2 or more units, and mostly if it’s in your garage (don’t ask me why)… but mostly, it shouldn’t be a problem. I already told you about chest versus upright. Yes they store awesome amounts, but it’s easy to over purchase (I have a ham from 3 years ago deep at the bottom, and my wife and I are trying to dig out of the unit to prevent spoilage. Yes, things get old and spoiled, even in the freezer, it just takes much longer… and we have had some freezer burn issues… however, it allows us to buy bulk, which saves boku bucks, and if you keep an inventory of what’s in there and consume the items timely, it’ll stay fresh. BTW, we freeze our bread, and it works just fine for limited time, and artisan and sturdier breads last a gooood long time. I’d recommend it strongly, and (I must admit) I have THREE 8-foot units (but I’m in the food industry, so 2 are for commercial samples and overruns).

  • Zombiemommy says:

    You must buy one! But buy used on Craigslist or even ask around.

    I go to Aldi’s once a month for things and buy my milk there in bulk.
    I buy my grass fed beef from the processor for cheap.
    And I get my organic bread for $1.25 loaf from the bread company.

    I don’t know how I survived without it.

  • Emily says:

    YES! I love having mine so I can stock up without cluttering up my regular freezer. My chest freezer freezes bread great so I get 3 or 4 loaves at a time so I’m not always running out to get it. Got mine new at Lowes for a reasonable price. Used is fine, BUT note that some older models will use a lot more electricity!!

  • Katy says:

    Considering that we own 4 large deep freezers I would say yes.

  • Erika says:

    I could not live without my block freezer. Just in freezer cooking and meat, it saves me tons of money. I’ve had it since we lived in a 400 sq. ft apartment (so I have a tiny one), but I still use it constantly. One of the best investments I’ve ever made. I’m hoping to be able to cash out a bigger one soon since my little block freezer is getting old and my family is getting bigger, but yeah, this is one appliance I would DEFINITELY invest in if I was you.

  • Julie says:

    I have a full sized freezer, and do not regret having it at all. I can’t even imagine trying to grocery shop and get good deals without my freezer. I could never fit everything into a regular freezer. Having a freezer allows you to get much better deals on family packs, sales, freezer day stock ups, etc. Definitely worth getting one! Electricity cost is not much and having a freezer far outweighs in savings from the grocery store.

  • Marsha says:

    So worth the investment! We found our first one (full sized) at a moving sale for $50.00 and used it for 10 years! If you live near a university or college, look around during the spring when seniors are leaving, at lot times in the town I live in, college kids will sell things like that very cheap so that they don’t have to move it back home. I am always amazed at what we find when college lets out for the summer!

  • Kathy says:

    One of the best investments we’ve ever made. It doesn’t use much electricity and I’m able to put all my super bargains as well as made-ahead meals in there. It has paid for itself over and over!!

  • Julie C says:

    YES, great investment! Consider an upright freezer if you are tight on floor space (or garage space in our case.)

    All the money you “save” on a chest freezer might go up in the air digging, digging, digging for the elusive item you need at the bottom of the freezer if you do not have an organization method with crates or built in baskets.

  • Pat says:

    @MrsDo5 I don’t know where you got your info but the goverment standard is $111 per adult per month for food anything over that they will not count towards your nutritional needs (per SNAP). your figures may be from the WIC program which are MUCH higher and are for lactating women and infants/toddlers. anyway, i have both an upright and a chest. use chest for meat and upright for veggies and fruit. i divide the shelves into kinds of produce so i know at a glance what i have. two shelves for fruit from the orchard 3 for veggies in upright while chest is divided into zones for different meat. both are non-frost which causes more freezer burn if not wrapped properly but it is so nice not having one more thing on my to do list. I also like the fact i can hide a treat and the kids don’t find it.

  • Shannon says:

    I don’t have a freezer…yet. But I have read getting a freezer alarm is a good idea, especially is your freezer is in the garage or a place in the house you don’t visit on a regular basis.

  • Lee says:

    yes…yes…yes…!!!!!!!!! We have ours stocked so much we are looking at purchasing a second one next year! We save so much! And I live in a small space too, with a small fridge!

  • Laura says:

    I am surprised by the unanimous response! We don’t have one but wouldn’t mind having a regular fridge/freezer in the garage for stocking up or for a party. I am always surprised what is left in my “over the fridge” freezer and don’t think I would be a good candidate for a chest freezer.

  • Janice says:

    I have an upright (it was left in the basement when we bought our house), and I cannot tell you how handy it is! Just this week alone, with that amazing frozen food sale at Target, I have bought about 30 frozen items for pennies after coupons. And they have all easily fit in our basement freezer. We did unplug ours for a few months just to see what the cost of electricity might be, and I think our bill went down a couple of dollars for the month. More than worth it for our family even if it sat there half empty! You do have to get used to using it strategically and for a while, I kept a detailed inventory on a clipboard (so everyone would know)…Do It!!

  • I love my chest freezer. We have a mid-size one (not huge as we don’t have the space for it). It saves so much money because you can buy on sale and freeze all sorts of things. Cheese, veggies, bread, meat, milk, fruit, pretty much anything! Just make sure you are rotating your stock and using it. It also allows me to be a part of a freezer meal swap group where we swap meals each month! Love it!

  • Katy says:

    I honestly think an UPRIGHT freezer is the best investment. It is easier for me to see WHAT I have and also if I tell one of the boys to get something things don’t get thrown around with them trying to dig down to get something. I have 5 Boys so 7 in our house right now and a little one on the way! I LOVE my freezer and it is a MUST have with a big family!

  • Yes, Yes, Yes! It is so worth the investment. Keep it full to save on electricity and look for an energy star brand. Craigslist is a great place to find a cheap one. Or why not request one for Christmas? We purchase a 1/4 cow each year for our 4 person family and it takes up 1/2 the space in our small chest freezer. We also have a small garden and I am able to freeze the veggies each year so that we can enjoy the m year round. Frozen fruit froma local orchard saves on the cost of buying this when its not in season also. Plus, you can make ahead meals and store them .

    • Erin says:

      You said that you have a 1/4 of a cow for a family of four? What ages are your kiddos? We are going to buy our first cow this year. My husband thinks we need a half of a cow (plus we are buying at least a half of a hog) but there are only four of us! And my two girls are ages 6 and 8. I think 1/4 would be fine. Any feedback for me? 🙂

  • I LOVE our freezer – so many perishable foods freeze well. It is especially worth it when you stock up on a good deal, or mark down. I seldom buy regular priced meat since I normally have reduced or sale meat in the freezer.

    My husband’s job fluctuates seasonally, so he makes significantly less in the winter. I like being able to fill my freezer to capacity in the summer when he is making extra, and then I can skip grocery shopping when things get tight. That has really been a budget saver for us this winter. It also serves as an extra counter top when needed 🙂

  • Karen says:

    My husband and I were wondering the same thing, and we decided to do an experiment to see exactly how much our upright freezer costs us a year. He has a machine called a Kill-O-Watt, which measures how much energy an appliance is consuming, and we estimated the energy use (based on the rate per unit on our electric bill x energy consumed by the freezer x 24hrs/day for 365 days a year) and determined that our large Energy-Star upright freezer costs us about $65/year to use. We got our freezer at Home Depot on sale and with a promotion for about $300. Beware an older, non-energy-efficient freezer, as they can consume significantly more kilowatts and defeat the savings!
    Our freezer is definitely worth it for our family to recoup the savings by purchasing in bulk.

  • Jenn says:

    Like everyone else I’m in favor of a chest freezer for saving money. Besides being able to stock-up on food, I also do a better job of saving food with my regular freezer. I’ve read that up to 1/4 of the average grocery budget is food that gets thrown away and so I do my best to save as much food as possible. Because I have a chest freezer I have room to make my own popsicles and lots of them. I also have room for a soup bucket and a fruit bucket. Leftovers go into the buckets and once they’re full I make soup and cobbler. I have room to save bacon grease and other meat greases that I use to add flavor to foods. I’m also more likely to just stash something in the freezer if I think I won’t use it before it spoils.

  • Cassie says:

    Love our chest freezer! In fact we are getting an upright from my grandmother since she just moved into a nursing home and isn’t in need of it.

  • MrsD05 says:


    As I stated in my comment, I got my figures from the USDA website. Specifically, from the United States Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

    I went to the USDA’s Food Plans: Cost of Food. According to the website, June costs for each year are used to represent the national average. I chose June 2010 (since June 2011 hasn’t happened yet). According to that chart, any child over the age of 9, who eats only enough food to survive, and not all natural, not fresh just the most processed, cheapest stuff you can get would cost $140.61 to feed. I’m not sure where you got your numbers from but there is not one level of adult that costs less than nearly $150 a month to eat. And, again, that is just enough food to survive and not really the healthiest food either.

    In my household there is a 31 year old man and a 28 year old woman. Before I started couponing, I cut corners every way that I could. I didn’t buy cereal, I didn’t buy milk, juice, yogurt, cheese. I put food in us the cheapest way that I could. I chose to use the “low-cost” plan to reflect that in determining the cost to feed us. If you add the numbers for a woman my age and a man my husband’s age (given as a weekly amount) together and multiply by 4.3 (the number of weeks in a month) it is $400.76.

  • meredith says:

    We have loved our chest freezer. When my husband was in seminary and we lived in apartments we had one in our bedroom. I put a sheet over it and used it as an accent table. The little red light at the bottom was a dead giveaway though!

    It has always helped us keep free range meat at hand, which was the main reason we originally bought it. Our first one was one of the smaller chest freezers. We have since upgraded to a large chest freezer.

    We got our first one at Sam’s club and the larger one at Sears. I recommend getting one in good condition or new so that you know the energy costs upfront. Getting an older freezer can be a slow drain on your utilities, offsetting an initial savings you may get on Craigslist, etc.

  • Kristen says:

    A thousand times yes! You can stock up on great sales and get items at the best price if you have a place to store it. We bought our first chest freezer this year and it only uses $23 worth of electricity per year according to the manufacturer. In the three months since we got it we have saved that $23 over many times!

  • Katie says:

    We love our freezer.
    Ask your local butcher if they offer case discounts. We just purchased a 40lb case of boneless/skinless chicken breast for less than $1.50 a lb. (that is at least $1/lb less than at our grocery store here) We just got it home, wrapped everything in meal sized portions and stacked in freezer. I have an upright so we just sort everything by shelves- one for poultry- one for beef etc. Just make sure you label everything and make friends with freezer paper!
    Great for freezing big meals- we used to have a side by side and never had room to freeze a big casserole- but now I can.
    I agree with the comments about keeping it full- really reduces how much it runs.
    I can not imagine life without our freezer. We relocated and had to live in apt. for a few months and it was one of the things I missed the most. It is so nice knowing that I have meals ready to go (most of the time). I very rarely end up paying full price for our meats- which saves our meat eating family of 5 a TON!! We also eat venison- so we have a friend who fills up our freezer for us at least once a year.

  • catherine says:

    I’ve had a chest freezer before and we now have an upright freezer. It is much easier, in my opinion, to find and organize an upright vs. a chest freezer – you have shelves inside and on the door to hold smaller frozen things and then the shelves inside to hold all the larger things. We actually bought our chest freezer on craigslist, had it a year or so, decided upright was the way to go, sold it on craigslist and then purchased an upright from craigslist. As far as, is a deep freezer the way to go? ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!

  • Laura says:

    You also should make sure that if you put it in a garage that it doesnt have one of those outlets that turn off!

  • Addie says:

    yes yes and even yesser.

  • KellyH says:

    I can’t imagine not having one. I grew up in a family where large chest freezers were just something you had, you stocked up on things, froze garden stuff, bought sides of meat, etc. I thought it funny as an adult to realize that not everyone had one 🙂

    As far as electricity goes, I can’t imagine it uses much, but I think the appliances now have stickers that estimate the cost usage.



  • stee says:

    I guess I’ll be the one to ask the question. Do you have room for a chest freezer in an apartment with 6 people that doesn’t even have a full-size fridge?

    • Crystal says:

      I was wondering the same thing!

    • Lea Stormhammer says:

      A friend of mine who liked to hunt put one in their tiny (roughly 500 sq ft) studio appt as a grad student. He adhered a butcher block top to it and his wife then had an “island” in her “dining room”. He had used it as a large night stand when he was single. The trick was not to put anything on it that had to be moved regularly for access.

      There might not be space in the kitchen, but I’m sure they can find a space!

  • Even purchasing one new, we have more than paid for it in sale items, trips to Sam’s club, etc. As long as you have a system and know where things are, go for it. It has been one of the best investments we have made.

  • Miranda says:

    Yes! Buy one used and you’ll save even more $$.

  • Doreen says:

    I have a family of six and we have a chest deep freezer, stand up freezer, and 2 refrigerators. I do not know how I did it before this. We pick our own fruit every year (especially Blueberries) and love that I have the room to place things without smushing them. I keep my big meats in the chest freezer and almost everything else in the standing freezer.

  • Sheila says:

    Yes! When we moved into our first apartment as a couple, I could never stock up on anything! The first purchase we made was a small dorm fridge aka the beer fridge (even tho it holds, juice, water and soda too), which sits next to the couch in the living room.
    Perfect for when we have company and I don’t want folks in and out of the kitchen while I am cooking.
    The second purchase was a BLACK Chest freezer. My husband insisted on paying extra for the black freezer because it was in the dining room and he wanted it to match. <— if you never seen a black freezer and wondering where you can buy one.
    Anyway, I stock the chest freezer with whatever I get deals on and the apartment freezer is the "Snack" freezer. That's where I keep all the frozen pizzas, pizza rolls or taquitos, so DH doesn't dig through the chest freezer trying to find a snack.
    We've moved into a larger apartment, and the chest freezer now resides in the office, and I find it's perfect height for cutting fabric. No more aching back, so I am happy that it serves a duel purpose.

  • colleen says:

    We struggled with the same dilemma, we found out two things. First, most of the chest freezers that you can buy now are Energy Star rated, which means they use very little electricity… Although you can find some that are on craigslist, you will save more by buying a new one because they use less energy. Second, we have saved ENORMOUSLY by being able to buy meat, bread etc. while its on sale. We probably cut over $50 from our food budget. and the freezer only costs $11 a year to run. Be sure to shop around! We found ours for over $100 less at home depot than what it was selling at a local “discount” place. AND Home depot was offering free delivery as well. my advice, GO FOR IT!

  • Kim says:

    For a family of six, I’d say it would definitely be a good investment. It definitely was for our family of 7. You can get a used one pretty cheaply, or if you don’t want used, go to someplace like Sears Outlet. They have appliances that only have scratches or dents on them and are discounted. If you go used, try not to get a real old model that would drive up your electric bill big time.

  • Robyn says:

    We got ours as a Christmas present. But, even if we hadn’t, it would be worth every penny. I estimate that it pays for itself in the money it saves us every 6 months. It is the single best thing that saves us money each month!!

  • Kim says:

    …And because I’m only 5 feet tall, I like an upright better than a chest.

  • Haley says:

    It is definitly worth the investment. The only downside for me was having to “dig” through the food to get to items on the bottom. We now have an upright freezer and just love it!!

  • Jen Hasseld says:

    YES! YES! YES! I freeze fruit, muffins for breakfast, shredded cheese, bread dough, meat, everything. We asked for ours for our anniversary one year and, while not the most romantic gift, it was certainly the best so far!

  • Nicole B says:

    I would agree with everyone who votes YES it is a good investment.

    Just make sure to buy a freezer that is new(er) and has the good energy ratings so it is as cost-efficient as possible. Older freezers that are not energy efficient could potentially cost more money in electricity.

    Freezers are great for stocking up when food is on sale, storing freezer meals, and keeping you from having to make small trips to the grocery store. I love our extra freezer and don’t know what we did without it!

  • Vonice Hoffman says:

    Most definitely. We both one at Hy-Vee for $200 but it came with $200 worth of coupons to use for frozen foods. We buy meat – pork loins, beef loins, chicken hindquarters, etc. – when on sale and keep the freezer full. Many nights our meal cost us less than $2 for 2 people by buying on sale and keeping in the freezer. It’s a definite yes from me!

  • allison mller says:

    YEP the investment is totally worth it, especially if you got your freezer for FREE!!

    Try looking on Freecycle in your area ( a yahoo group) , or posting a wanted add on Freecycle. That is how we got our upright freezer. It isnt NEW or even pretty, but it works great, and all we had to do was go get it! I often see ads for people wanting a freezer.
    Good Luck.

  • Kerry says:

    I would have to agree with most of the other posts. I am a mom of 2 young children. My husband and I just purchased a second chest freezer after our first one died not too long ago. We looked around and checked prices and found a 7 cubic ft one at Lowes for under $150. It was a great investment as we buy in bulk as well as shop at BJs. It is so nice to be able to have things in stock. Especially right now, as I have a bad back and cannot run out often to the store. I will never regret having the extra freezer.

  • Rachel says:

    I definitely would get one!! I would check craigslist or your local freecycle to see if you can get one for free or almost free tho.

  • Ann says:

    We are a family of 5 and I have had a freezer for years. It has saved us so much money! When items go on sale like sandwich meat, butter, flour tortillas, frozen foods, meats, cheese, ect. I buy all I can afford at rock bottom prices and freeze the rest for use later. I am happy to say I have not paid retail for any of the items I mentioned above in years. I know you have a small apartment but Walmart and Lowes sells some the smaller freezers for around $150. Hopefully you can find a good used one. Best of luck to you!

  • Holly says:

    Yes, yes, yes! So worth it!

  • Sarah says:

    I am going to have to agree with pretty much everyone else. It was a good investment for us! We are only a family of three but have found it great to stock up on meat and cheese and anything else on a great sale instead of missing out because we know we don’t have the room. I would say worth it, even if you go with a smaller one like we did.

  • Kim says:

    An extra freezer is definitely worth the investment. The newer ones are more energy efficient than my old one, and I don’t notice any extra electricity costs because of it! Just think, you’ll be able to have 2 containers (or more) of ice cream at a time!!!! You probably rarely buy any because it takes up all the freezer space!!!

    Do you have room in the apartment for a spare freezer? that is something to consider, and the other things is that if you are short………you don’t want a chest freezer, you’ll need an uprite. I am 5″3′, to me thats short, but its really not all that short, anyhow for me to reach into the bottom of a chest freezer, I need to stand on a milk crate. That can be pretty dangerous.

    Good luck, After you get one, and hit your first sale on meat, pizza, ice cream or frozen veggies, you will be so glad you did.

  • Cindy says:

    YES, YES, YES!!!!

    I have two fridges with freezers, a chest freezer, and an upright freezer! Granted, I don’t know where you live and your power rates (I live where power is cheapest in the Nation), but my freezers have paid for themselves. I have 30 meals frozen in there and ready to go, as well as about 25 gallons of milk, 1/2 a cow, and 1/2 a pig. I’d die without my freezers!

  • Susan says:

    MrsDo5, thanks for mentioning the USDA Cost of Food chart. I looked it up, just out of curiousity. For my household (one adult woman and one child), the range from extremely thrifty to liberal is $291-$577/mo. My actual expense is at the low end of that range. We eat pretty healthy overall, with fresh fruits and veggies, meat, and dairy products as part of our regular diet.

    I love having my chest freezer, and agree with everyone else here that it is a good investment. With the freezer I can stock up on meat and such when it is on sale. I use coupons but I don’t go crazy chasing deals, and I try to shop for groceries only once a week.

  • Laura W. says:

    Yes, yes, and 1,000 times yes. I have two freezers – an upright and a chest freezer and use them BOTH. Last summer when cheese was FREE with coupons/sales I bought 50-60 bags. I bought ~20 bags of frozen veggies at Target this week for pennies. Got over 40 green giant veggies a few months ago FREE. We also butcher our own meat, so the chest freezer is usually spoken for with the meat, but all the awesome sale purchases go in the upright. The chest freezer came with our house and the upright we bought at an auction for really cheap. Not convinced I would buy new, but if you get one at the Jewel deal this week it might be worth it.

  • Maureen says:

    I have a chest freezer and love it for storing food, freezer meals. But if it were to ever break, I’d without a doubt go for the UPRIGHT freezer. A chest freezer takes up too much room side to side, plus it’s hard to see/organize what I have. Things seem to sift all the way to the bottom, never to return. lol If you are making freezer food and have to freeze individually (like pancakes or something) the upright gives you the freedom to stick several cookie sheets of food on the different shelves, where you don’t have that flexibility to do so with a chest freezer. Good luck! Hope you get a bargain. [=

  • Nancy says:

    Get one. It is so worth it. It’s one of the best investments we made. It is very helpful to use for sales to stock up. Also, if you garden at all, you can freeze your produce in the freezer. I like our upright better because you don’t have to re-arrange the freezer every time you want something, but for a first time freezer, a chest freezer will help immensely.

  • stacy hancock says:

    YES! yes yes yes! I’d be lost without my freezer. Not only can you stock up on things but you can double your recipes and freeze leftovers. I feed 5+ most days and there is always so much leftover from the meal that I can freeze it for at least one if not two more, plus send some with my husband to work for his lunch. For a family of 6, I think this is a good investment to make. You’ll save time, money and stress. Possibly will eat healthier(not sure what your diet is like).

  • Maria says:

    A chest freezer is worth the investment. We got our 2 years ago from Home Depot for our family of 8. Great for stocking up on deals and for making and freezing meals. Just make sure to get an Energy Star one. Saves on electricity and you can claim it on your taxes!

  • Heather T. says:

    I think that its a must but I have 3 chest freezers yes 3 one large one and 2 medium ones, they are always used. I totally stock up when I can for great prices. Good luck finding a good deal.

  • Teresa says:

    I don’t know if someone has posted this yet or not. A lot of comments with this one. Anyway, look for one, if they make them in the chest version, that gets frost. The frost free ones have to heat up a bit in order to melt the frost. Over time this will contribute to freezer burn since your food is thawing just a bit and then refreezing. It is a slight pain to thaw the deep freeze. I try to do it in the winter when I can put all my stuuf outside in the snow for a few hours while it thaws

  • Becky says:

    Totally worth it for our family. Two of our local grocery stores (Cub and Hy-Vee) ran deals last year where you could buy a chest freezer and it would come with coupons for tons of free frozen food. I think the freezer was around $100 and came with $100 worth of food (most of which were things we regularly buy, but a few weren’t). Well worth it! (On a similar note, HV also had a similar gas grill deal last year, which was a hit — we donated the grill and kept most of the food).

  • Amy says:

    A chest freezer is a great investment! We got ours used from an appliance store (so it’s guaranteed). If you happen to live by a Jewel, on Feb 27th they are selling a 5.2 cu.ft. chest freezer for $160 & you get $160 in free coupons! The details are at Jill Cataldo’s website:

  • Lea Stormhammer says:

    We have a 5 cubic-foot chest freezer and just love it! We bought it on sale at Menards 3 years ago for $99. Honestly, we never noticed a difference in our electric bill. We keep ours in our laundry/utility room in our basement, which here in MN is cool most of the year so the compressor doesn’t have to work as often/hard. We have plenty of space for veggies, fruit and meat for 4-6 months for our family of 4.

    I organize my food in plastic grocery bags according to type – corn in one, peas in another, chicken in a 3rd, etc. and that way I’m able to lift them out as I’m “digging through”. We do have two hanging baskets (they sit in the lip of the inside) that came with the freezer that provide a layering effect and make it easier to work with. I am tall and don’t mind the digging. I keep meats on the bottom so that if things thaw, I don’t lose as much (the veggies, fruit, cheese, etc in the basket might be okay depending on how fast we get to them.

    It’s been my experience that if you have your freezer in a cool place (i.e. a basement or other area similar that cool without climate controls) you can keep things frozen in a shut off freezer for approximately a week as long as you don’t open the door/lid. We had an upright freezer growing up (my mom is short!) and had 5 day + power outages regularly living in the country. Our freezer was always fine as long as we didn’t open the door! Even in 90+F summer heat. Go figure.


  • Cecilia says:

    According to a report I read a few weeks ago, the typical refrigerator uses about 20% of a household’s total electricity bill per month. So, you can figure out what your fridge uses now, divide it by however cubic feet is in it; and then figure out what the freezer would use from your fridge’s estimate — then add that estimated freezer bill to your typical monthly energy bill’s total — then you will see how much more you’ll be paying per month, and if it’s worth it for your particular household. :+) I say if it saves you the same amount in fuel costs from driving to and from the grocery store so often, it’s probably worth the investment. If it saves you more than your typical fuel costs from driving around so much to do spot shopping here and there and everywhere, then it’s definitely worth the investment. (IF your power rarely if ever goes out — and if it does, you need to factor in a back-up generator.)

    • Rae says:

      Yes but the difference is that freezers are packed way tighter than refrigerators so refrigerators have to run a lot more often to keep that air cold (whereas once the food is frozen, it doesn’t take as much to keep it cold). They are also opened a lot more often which lets out the cold air from the empty space which also makes it run more.

  • Jennifer says:

    I agree it is totally worth it! We use it to stock up on meat that is on sale or ‘you pick’ fruit. And a deep freezer will keep things fresher longer.

  • Erin says:

    I can’t imagine how you’ve managed without one! I have a fairly new freezer, and I can’t imagine that the electricity outweighs the sale savings. I have a smallish newer model, and I believe it cost only $150 new.

  • Christa says:

    We’ve had both a chest freezer and an upright freezer for our family of 8. Though I know chest freezers are more efficient, I would not trade having my upright for anything! SO much easier to organize and so much less wasted space. Even with hanging baskets, there’s a lot of stuff that has to sit on the bottom of a chest freezer. No fun for a shorty like me trying to reach down that far (esp. when pregnant!)

    If you can afford it, price shop and then buy a new upright freezer that is very efficient. The new efficient ones use much less electricity than older models. And you’re much more likely to use your food if you can find it and reach it easily! Just my two cents 🙂

  • Danielle says:

    We are a family of 4 and it was the best investment we ever made. I tried to find a used one first and a consignment shop or craigslist but there werent any in our area for a few weeks. Then lowes had a sale i got my 10% military discount PLUS free next day shipping i ended up saving almost $100. We are able to only buy meat at rock bottom prices and stock up, plys take advantage of tons of free frozen veggies and other frozen stuff we weren’t before. It’s packed and the biggest thing i the meat! saved a ton just on that!

  • jessica says:

    I love my freezer, used it to store 200oz of breastmilk for the milkbank, cant imagine what i would do without now any why we waited so long to get a deep freezer!

  • Janna says:

    I love mine! I stock up on meat sales, and other frozen food sales. I also like to put leftovers in there and meals that I double.

  • Amanda Y. says:

    I forget where but I’ve seen the actual electricity cost breakdown and if it’s inside (not a garage for example), it was very cheap–like $50 for the year to run, so it’s almost always worth that in savings! It may have been on or The ability to buy in bulk (either a sale price meats or part of a cow, etc.) would save you well over the cost, especially if you find one used…but even new.

  • KimH says:

    I’ve had every sort of stand alone freezers you can think of for the last 35 years and my family did before that too since I come from a long line of farmers & gardeners.

    To start with, I personally would recommend if you are going to get a freezer..
    1. Get a brand new energy efficient one with Star ratings. It will also tell you approx how much it will cost to run it per month/year. This will save you MUCH over time..time & energy. They are cost & energy efficient and you will have no insulation/seal issues for many many years. This isnt so on older models.

    2. Make sure its frost free. Absolutely no ifs, ands, or buts.

    3. Buy an upright freezer. Chest freezers are the worst for your back and losing stuff in the bottom. If it is full, you have to pull up & out so much frozen food, its easier to let stuff die in there than dig around in cold blocks of ice food falling around on top of itself when you’re digging around for something.
    I used to keep stuff in milk crates in mine and that helped but with an upright freezer its much easier to organize and keep organized and dig around in. I will NEVER EVER own another chest freezer even if someone wanted to give me a brand new one. Honestly. Ok.. I might take it.. but I’d sell it and go buy an upright. Seriously!
    An upright also takes way less floor space.

    4. If you can afford more.. get more. Many people buy a small one to start then decide they wish they’d gotten a larger one. Also if you can afford one with alarms on it, its worth a few extra dollars.
    If the door gets left open or if the temperature inside the freezer fluctuates beyond 5 degrees the alarm will go off to alert you to a problem. Beats losing $1000 worth of meat if you leave the door open overnight or the motor in the freezer goes down.

    Yanno.. I just went back to reread the question.. I didnt read you were in an apt the first time.. and 5 cubit feet..a small dude.. I had one.. it was convenient to a degree.. but I still hate the chest types, even the small ones. If you get one, go for a new energy efficient one if they make them. You’ll have to do the math.. the labels on them will tell you the elect usage. It’d be better than none I think.. but still not optimal.
    Good luck!

  • Jaime Grimes says:

    YES YES YES! Okay I guess my enthusiasm showed. Even when I was a single mom with only 2 kids I bought a small chest freezer. SO SO SO worth it. I was in a small 2 bedroom and it fit nicely in the corner. Now I am a Sahm to 3 plus one more coming in 19 days. We live in the Pacific Northwest now and the cost of living is crazy! My husband is military so we did get rid of our 15ft chest freezer (we thought we were all going overseas)and I miss it! I had always wanted an upright and now have a 7.5 ft chest and 6ft upright. If I had to do it again I wouldnt get the upright but would get another chest. Yes it’s hard sometimes getting stuff from bottom (esp 9 months pregnant!) but it is so much more space efficient. We are purchasing a half a cow next month and it will help our budget so much! Definately invest in one!

  • dee says:

    Just like everyone else…. yes. It is worth it.
    I had a older, used upright, but gave it away on FreeCycle. Then I bought an energy star chest freezer for my family of 7. A lot more room and much, much, much more energy efficient. I did a lot of research and bought the best rated one I could find at the time new. (Sears at the time – 6 years ago)

    Even though my nest is empty, I still stock that freezer to the gills. (Of course, my kids raid it to stock their own freezers when they visit.)

    To keep from items getting lost in the bottom, I bought small plastic baskets at Target on clearance after the “back to college” season ended for $1 each. They look like little laundry baskets. I organize my freezer by basket, keeping like items together. If I want something from the bottom, I just lift out a few baskets. It helps me keep track of when I’m getting low on something, too. Or have too much of another item.

  • Jaye says:

    TOTALLY worth it. In fact, I live in Florida, my freezer is in the garage, not the most cost effective place to put it… huge $$ saver for us… between stocking up and freezer cooking.

    And in response to using water bottles to fill it if it’s not full – totally true. A full freezer uses less power than a not so full one – same thing with your fridge. So, if it’s not full fill empty milk jugs and put them in. However, I don’t have to do that anymore, since my freezer is always full.
    HTH – happy shopping! OH and I am not a huge advocate for warehouse stores (BJ’s, etc.) because I can get better deals using coupons, HOWEVER – they usually have great deals on chest freezers! We got ours at SAMS for a little more than $100.

  • Sarah says:

    I agree with all the positive comments here. My family has used a chest freezer for twenty years and we love it.

    Tip: Make a check list for every time you leave the house for more than an hour and put on the list to ALWAYS check your freezers. This will cut down your chances of losing all your stored goods to an accident such as leaving the door cracked open or the freezer coming unplugged. I share from experience! If you catch an accident in time, you can cook your meat and re-freeze it and share frozen cassoroles with friends or needy people you know.

  • Karen says:

    I would definitely do it. We stocked our freezer full of chicken and ground beef 91/9 for a total of 170 lbs. We will have meat for at least 6 mo probably more with a family of 5. I believe that this is the best way to save money and still be able to feed your family in these difficult times. A freezer is expensive only when it is not full. Get one and fill it up and the extra electricity will not be bad, I promise.

  • Allison says:

    When I had one, I used it. But when we came home from the hospital with our baby boy in May, I went to get a previously-prepared freezer meal, and discovered the freezer had quit working! Luckily everything was still cold, but thawed, so we ate all my made-ahead meals that week. Since then, I’ve managed with our above the fridge freezer. But we are just a family of four, so I can see how bigger families might not have enough space there. There have been moments when I’ve wanted to stock up, but have been unable to because of limited space. If I ever have time to shop again, I will probably buy another if I see a good deal.

  • Penny says:

    YES!!! We are a family of 5 and we couldn’t survive without ours! We shop at Costco and buy all of our meat and frozen vegetables in bulk. We cut up the meat and package for meals and freeze. We also buy bread in bulk and freeze. We got a great deal at sears several years back, found one on clearance for $100. Check out their (Sears) scratch and dent stores too….we found a stainless steel refrigerator there a few years ago for $350 (reg $1200). There was a big scratch in the side, but it was the side that was covered by the wall!! So…great deal for us!

  • Betty says:

    I had a small chest freezer for about 10 years and spent much of my time searching for items on the bottom. I changed to an upright and it’s a world of difference. If you can fit an upright in… go with that. If you do go with a chest freezer… make a diagram of where you put stuff, ends a ton of time unloading to find items!

  • Lynn says:

    Yes, definitely worth it. I’m a family of one and wouldn’t be without it. I hate it when my refrigerator freezer is packed too full. I’ve got a variety in mine: veggies, fruits, cheese, pies, bread, flour, oj concentrate, butter, noodles, meat (so much easier to keep whole turkeys), and lots of frozen meals. I could never use all the produce from my garden if I didn’t have the extra freezer.

  • Kathy says:

    I have been married for 38 years and have had an upright freezer (not frost free … prefer to defrost myself … food keeps better) for most of that time. I prefer an upright as it takes up less space and is easier to access items. To me it is a great investment … it is an appliance that you will have for many, many years. Not sure about how much electricity it takes for a year but the convenience surpasses all of that. So nice to take advantage of sales on meat … particularly turkey in November … I budget to be able to buy several when they are at their cheapest. Freezers are great at Christmas for storing baked goods … both baked and unbaked. We like to make our own “TV Dinners” from leftovers and store them in the freezer for a night when I don’t feel like cooking. Think of stocking up on cheese when it is on sale … so nice to walk to the freezer and “shop” for what I want. I make soup ahead and freeze it. I see my freezer like a savings account. If I have too much of something, I generally can extend it’s life by freezing it. Wishing you much enjoyment with your new freezer-to-be!

  • Rebecca Grayson says:

    Yes! When we purchased our home, one of the first purchases we made was an upright freezer. It is still working 20 yrs later. I keep homemade stock, sauces, you name it I have it on hand. Great to have on hand when you see a great sale on meats or frozen foods. I purchased an upright so I would’t have to bend over so much. I would not know how to survive without having my freezer to prepare a little something for those unexpected guests. Grab it, defrost in microwave and in no time I have a nice snack or meal ready without having to go to the store and use up expensive gas.

  • Laura says:

    An extra freezer is definitely a plus, especially for a family of your size. As far as a chest freezer goes, I would think twice. Chest freezers are NOT frost free. That means you have to allow your supply to clear out enough at least twice a year if you use it often. Each time you open it, ice will start to build up. If you can find an upright for a good price, that’s the way to go. They’re more economical and energy efficient in the long run and do not require a defrost. Either way you choose, it’s a win win for you though. Just remember that wrapping your meat as soon as you get home and writing the date wrapped is a must too. Good luck!

  • Trista says:

    YES! YES! YES! I was so happy to get our chest freezer a couple of years ago. It has paid for itself over and over. I love being able to make a months’ worth of food and keep it in the freezer. It is so convenient to be able to stock up on things when they are on sale. (I just 16 bags of frozen vegetable at Target today, and without my chest freezer I wouldn’t have been able to do that. ) Plus, when we got ours, I barely noticed an increase in our electric bill. It is totally worth it!

  • Robin Froelich says:

    Yes, I think a chest freezer is an excellent investment. I don’t know what I would do without mine. I have found though that labeling items, for me, is essential or organizing so that one side is all vegetables and another side fruits and breads or whatever works best for you. Hunting for items in a chest freezer is a little trickier than an upright so the effort that you take to label or keep things organized helps to ensure that you will find what you need when you need it. Enjoy your chest freezer!

  • Beth says:

    Get a freezer!! We have two and fill them constantly either with coupon deals or leftovers. When I make larger meals (lasagna) I make several and freeze them. If you live by a Jewel Osco, they are getting ready to have their freezer deal…buy a small freezer and it is filled with coupons. These coupons are then used over a year when things are on sale or buy one, get one free. I haven’t done this as I already have two freezers but I have heard it’s tremoudous….check out for this freezer deal. Hope this helps1

  • Sharon Feinman says:

    I have one in the garage and it really only costs a few cents a day…totally worth it for me because I like to prepare 3x the amount I’m making for dinner and freezing it for other nights when I don’t feel like cooking. I like to make soups, breads, and stock up on BOGO’s too….I wanted one for a long time and finally spent the money and it has been soooo worth it. You do have to keep it pretty stocked so you aren’t wasting electricity though 🙂

  • Dominique says:

    Absolutely a chest freezer is worth the investment. Just make sure that if you buy a used one you try to get a power-smart model. Make sure the seals are all intact, and if you can, keep it in a cooler area of your house. To cut down on the electricity required, you could even wrap it (the lower part of the freezer) in that silvery insulator material. But it shouldn’t be necessary.
    The extra money that you’ll pay for electricity isn’t nearly as much as you’ll be able to save by stocking up on freezeable items. I found it was a good idea to keep a list of what was in my freezer (when I had one) taped to it (a sheet of paper inside one of those plastic page protectors works very well), with the purchase dates on the list – or on the packaging itself. Make sure to rotate the food you use – oldest in means first out. If you end up with freezer-burnt food, you’ll be wasting all that money, which rather defeats your purpose. 😉
    I’m a little envious, actually. My husband & I would dearly love to have a small chest freezer, but we have no room inside for it (believe you me, we’ve gone over every inch of our apartment, trying to figure out how to make room! LOL) , and living in Phoenix, AZ, it’s really not practical to store it outside on our patio. The energy costs would skyrocket. 🙁

  • AJ says:

    Yes, and the fuller you keep it the less electricity it uses (less empty space to keep cold). Buying in bulk and freezing numerous dinners saves you money. You will need a deep freezer to keep all your yummy money saving dinners in! Every 3 months I make at least 15 casseroles and 10 various pot pies that keep for at least 6 months. You will find that you will no longer have to worry about how little your fridge can hold because you won’t need it as much!

  • heather says:

    Absolutely worth it- got a small chest freezer for Christmas (energy star certified) and there has been no change in our electric bill. It doesnt take up much room at all (its 24″ x 30″, about counter height) I have in it:a large turkey, multiple pkgs of meats, frozen vegetables, etc. and its not even half full. Love it!

  • Theresa says:

    Definitely! I cannot imagine not having a deep freeze! We’ve had the chest style forever and I kept feeling frustrated at how things would get buried. It was difficult to organize and hard to reach the bottom. We used some xmas money this year to get an upright on sale at Lowe’s. We also had a 10% off coupon which made the deal even better and we are so happy with it! Now we keep our deer meat in the chest style and all our freezer meals and free/cheap veggies, bread, fruit, etc in the upright.

  • My step-dad found our upright freezer in someone’s yard with a free sign on it; that was over 5 years ago, and it’s still working great. We keep it in our garage, and it costs us about $10 a month in electricity, maybe a bit more in the summer. (I know this because our garage is on a separate utility box.) I would think a newer freezer would be cheaper to run?

  • My husband is so picky about ice cream having freezer burn and he was very surprised when he realized that our new chest freezer kept ice cream “fresh” for months. He opened up a container of ice cream that was in the freezer for six months and he said it tasted like I just bought it.
    My freezer has also allowed me to stock up on free frozen veggies and super cheap whole chickens.
    I guess what I am saying is that it is one of the best investments I have made in awhile and I wished I had bought it sooner!

  • Kathy Linklater says:

    Twenty years ago, my husband and I moved from California to Wisconsin. DH wanted a freezer. I didn’t, but I finally gave in. I LOVE it. After we moved back to California, our old freezer was in bad shape, so after I won a $2500 Home Depot gift card, I purchased a new one about a year ago. I love to stock up on meat deals, bread deals, pasta deals–you get the idea. I purchased an upright freezer, because I knew that I wouldn’t be disciplined enough to use the food at the bottom of a chest freezer–though chest freezers are much less expensive.

  • Gwen says:

    I’d say it’s great. There are only two of us and ours is always stocked, whether it be with OJ that I got on sale for $1 (down from $4) or the frozen vegetables that I got for $0.25 each when they were on sale with coupons.

    Since you’re in an apartment, you might not have considered buying a bigger fridge. We’ve made small improvements in ours with ceiling fans, etc. –you should be able to find a larger used fridge that would give you more freezer space.

  • Cori says:

    The convenience alone is worth it for me. Knowing I always have back up meals for my family or others is worth every penny it costs to run it. By, the way, I haven’t noticed even a slight difference in our energy bill and we have an old, upright freezer in the garage.

    • jean says:

      I have a freezer and it is definately worth it. We got an upright and I’m feeling like the deep freezer (chest style) may be a better buy. Every time we open the upright the warm air comes in it. I love it anyway. I wouldn’t want to be without it for the ability to cash in on things when they are on sale.

  • Elizabeth says:

    TIME is money and nowadays with gas running off…think of savings in gas as well, when not having to shop as frequently. I do not know how much extra electricity a small freezer costs, but we have a large chest freezer and keep it full…even with ice if necessary. If you keep it full, it does not run so much. If it is inside in a hot climate, it will run less too. I have had to pass by some incredible deals on frozen veggies, esp. because I simply did not have any more room. We also have to store alternative flours, nuts, etc that others do not, due to food allergies so it is easy to fill up a big freezer.

  • Rae says:

    LOL so I guess the question is not “should you get one?” it is “should you get an upright or a chest?”. I have to give another vote to the chest freezers. They use less energy because the opening is smaller, hold more because you are able to pack in one big compartment not around shelves, and most importantly to me, I hate stacking things like roasts, turkeys, etc (not rectangular stuff) on shelves so I always end up having stuff fall on my toes (with my over the fridge freezer). The only con at all to the chest is obviously you have to be good about rotating food a couple times per year so that you don’t forget about stuff at the bottom.

  • sue says:

    i am looking at buying a chest freezer. I am wondering what is the best way to wrap items so they don’t get freezer burn.

    • Holly says:

      If you can afford to save for one, I’d say buy a FoodSaver vacuum sealer. You can keep meats frozen up to 3 years and it defrosts VERY quickly. You can even wash and reuse bags if you’re into that. The foodsaver website will sometimes run great deals on them as well (I got the older model-which is my favorite model anyway- for my mother-in-law for Christmas for $26! and I got a good deal on the bags at the same time too!) Hope this helps!

      • Judy says:

        Holly, you mention the foodsaver being so inexpensive so I went on their site. Which one did you get? The cheapest one was the mini at 42.00 and I am wondering if this is as versatile as the larger? And you say you can reuse the bags? Please let me know the details.

    • Edith says:

      If you are freezing bread, three grocery bags work well per two loaves. 1 around each bread, then one around the two wrapped breads. Then I only have to buy bread once a month.

  • Camille says:

    We bought a small (5 cu ft or less) chest freezer for around $150 2 years ago. I love it! I love being able to stock up and buy in bulk. We didn’t notice any difference in our electric bill at all. I would suggest Craigslist for a used one, but I’m always leary of buying electric items used.

    • Jenna says:

      Camille makes a good point about craigslist and electric appliances! I am normally a big fan of craigslist, but we had a bad experience with a refrigerator we recently purchased via Craigslist. We soon discovered the fan underneath was broken (something you wouldn’t notice until it’s been plugged in for a little while) which required a 70 dollar part…thankfully, my husband figured out how to fix it himself so as to avoid a labor bill… AND to make matters even worse, it had a horrid fish smell all throughout it- both freezer and refrigerator. Sorry to vent about my bad experience- just be careful!! 🙂

    • Heather says:

      I know there can bad things on Craigslist but my hubby and I found a great deal last summer on a standing freezer and a fridge/freezer combo. It was $75 for the pair! (They’re ugly but they’re in the garage so who cares!) We’re able to save so much by buying and freezing discounted meats or venison that our friends give us. Plus, it’s great to freeze leftovers like soup and then pull them out to use as a quick instant meal a few weeks later.

      • pam says:

        i’m pretty sure Jewel will be having there freezzer sale pretty soon..i saw it somewhere adverised for 159.00 and you get 160.00 in free freezer coupons..i would suggest you call them and ask them when they will get them in…good luck

  • Renee says:

    I couldn’t live without my freezer now that I have one! We got a super deal on, which was a big bonus, and never really noticed a difference in our electric bill since we got it. I don’t know if you have Jewel Osco grocery stores near you but, if you do, you might be able to score the deal we got. Every year, usually in Feb. they have had a special where you pay I believe $200 for the freezer (it is smaller than what you were wanting but has been more than enough room for our family of 5 and we have the small apartment size refrigerator w/ limited freezer space too). When you buy the freezer you get $200 worth of coupons for FREE frozen products to fill it with! I never shopped Jewel because they were usually more expensive than everyone but, this was a fab deal we couldn’t pass up!

  • Mrs. M. says:

    I bought a small upright freezer 13.5 cubic four shelves inside and four shelves on the door $399 and I don’t regret it. A chest freezer brand new costs less than $250 and is worth the investment. Try Frigidare on sale at the big box store or Sears, make sure it has a lock and key. Frozen premade dishes can be stored and make your own TV dinners and freeze them. Yes buy the freezer on sale and get a small one.

  • Nonaa says:

    TOTALLY WORTH IT! But I recommend getting a deep freeze if at all possible! They are more efficient by far!

  • kiki says:

    yes it is worth it. I acutally have two fridges and a freezer (chest) I had one of the upright deals and let me tell you. Stuff fell out on my feet all the time. I rotate pretty well but it allows me to stock up on chicken during the summer for the winter when they are higher and I can freeze. Love freezing whole tomatoes for sauces and soups later…… Mine doesn’t have a lock and key though. But sears was great for a good one. Watch for the sales.

  • VwgasVickie says:

    I had two sons and I could not have done without my chest freezer! Being able to stock up on sale items was great but I also bought beef by the side. The meat company cut and wrapped the meat into the cuts that I needed. At the time, it made the meat cost a little more than stew meat or ground beef for all of it, including the good cuts.

    I also would make ahead dishes and freeze them so all I did was pull something our in the AM and heat it up when I got home. It made my life a LOT easier.

    As said before, it’s not if you should get a deep freezer but which is better for you, chest or upright!

  • Tiffany says:

    We bought an upright freezer 4 years ago after our first daughter was born. I knew we could save some money if I was able to stock up on items while they are on sale but to be honest I haven’t been good about doing so until this year. Now with two growing girls the grocery budget has to stretch even further. I can’t imagine life without my freezer now! I took advantage of Target’s frozen special this week and went in hand with all my frozen coupons. Our freezer is packed!
    We went with an upright for space reasons mostly. Our freezer is in an attached but outside storage closet of our house and a chest freezer would not have fit. But I love it and we did not notice any change in our energy bill when we got it.

  • gayla says:

    we have a family of five i do not know how you do it with a small fridge for six. we have a med size fridge and it seems i dont know how to stack right or pack right i cant get a whole lot of nothing in it. we do have a large chest freezer though the only thing with it is i think it is too big sometimes because things seem to get lost in it. it was given to us, so i cant complain but a smaller one would be the right size.

  • Damita says:

    I have an upright and a chest freezer! I Love them both!! with a family of 5!! Great Investment!! I love stock piling cheese..meats..butter..frozen veggies…

  • Gail says:

    Really good deal at 30% off Kenmore this week. They have a 5 cu ft. for $146.99. FREE SHIPPING when you use the code shipfeb. I also saw this model had great 4.5 star rating based on 54 user reviews, because no one wants to lose a freezer full of food! Sounds pretty good, especially the Free Ship! You might also want to check larger ones while on sale and see if you have the room for one of those while on sale. Hope this helps. Can’t help with electric costs, but you can check with Sears.

  • Kathy says:

    GET ONE! We use ours to store sale items and also our side of beef that we buy every year. The savings alone on the beef has more than paid for the freezer, plus it is better meat than I can buy in the store. I also buy turkeys and hams around the holidays (when they are cheaper) and have them year round. I have a large chest freezer and often wish for another one so that we can start buying a hog also.

    • How does it work getting a side of beef? Where do you get it?From a farmer or a butcher or something like that? My husband was asking me about this and I had NO clue!

      • Kate says:

        We get our’s from a local beef farmer. Just let them know a few months or so that you are interested in purchasing part of a cow. My farmer sells a whole cow, 1/2 cow, and 1/4 cow. This year we bought 1/4 and there’s a ton!!! I love it because it’s soooo fresh and yummy! Our farmer does not add any hormones or gross stuff so it’s practically organic. The price ranges between $2.60lb-2.80lb. Not too bad! Our farmer even delivers & helps me load it into the freezer : ) Buying local is the best!

      • Kathy says:

        We have a local locker that you can buy beef or pork in many different quantities and cuts. You also have the choice to bring in your own animal (or one you bought from a farmer) or they will process one that they have brought in by a local farmer. I love our locker because you can make so many decisions about what you want and this locker will only accept livestock from our county, so I know it is local.

  • Rebecca says:

    We have a 5 cubic foot freezer in our apartment in Brooklyn and I can’t imagine life without it. I love being able to get things on sale, cook all day Sunday for the week (or month) ahead, etc. Once you go freezer, you’ll never go back.

  • alison kauffman says:

    I have to say that ever since we lived in an apartment, we’ve had an extra freezer (when it was just myself and my husband). I’m actually saving up for a larger freezer now. Whatever the extra energy costs are to run it, we save in gas for not having to make extra trips to the store and also being able to stock up on things when they are on sale.

  • cynthia heber says:

    Yes, it is well worth it. I have a small chest freezer downstairs in the cellar. I have it packed with bread that I bought at the thrift store. Meat and chicken, and fish. I also purchase vegetables. I prepare them for the freezer in individual packages. I make sauces, and soups. Right now I cannot fit anymore in. I wish I had a bigger one to fit more stuff for at least a months worth of food. But until I save for another one. This one will do. When that time comes, I will then give this one to my brother-in-law. The top of the freezer is loose(after so many years of use) I put heavy stuff on top to hold the top down so the freeze is still there. good to take advantage of all the sales. Since, the gas prices are going way up. Limit on shopping trips. Conserve wherever I can.

  • Lisa S says:

    This is what worked best for me. I was in the same boat. My baby refrigerator that fit in the kitchen fridge spot just didn’t hold enough for our family of 5. I thought about a freezer since we had two in the garage when I was growing up. However, when I sat down to see what things I really was running to the store for most often, I found a lot of it was refrigerated items that I really didn’t want frozen. And we don’t have a garage in this house we are renting, so it would have to go in the house somewhere anyway. So we decided to get a big refrigerator/freezer instead and get rid of the baby one. We put a microwave cart where it used to be, and put the big refrigerator in the area of the house where the kitchen table is supposed to go. Yes this is a small inconvenience as you cannot get in the fridge and sit at the table at the same time. But it has been way worth it to have the extra fridge and freezer space. And this actually saved me electricity as the 1970 model fridge I got rid of was not energy efficient and the new-to-us one we got was energy star rated. So, I don’t think you could go wrong with a chest freezer, but you need to analyze was all you are wanting to house more of, and see if maybe more fridge space would benefit your family more than just freezer space. I found that adding more of each was better for me.

  • Hannah says:

    It’s TOTALLY worth it! We bought ours at our local Habitat for Humanity Restore and they guarantee that their electronics work, I think you have 30 days to contact them with problems. Having a large freezer has allowed me to purchase healthier meats – my parents usually raise a hog for us every year, and I can buy grass fed beef by the half (or whole if I didn’t have so much other stuff!) simply because I have the room to store it. In November 2009, butter quarters went on sale at our local grocery for .99!!!!! I just ran out of the butter that I bought then and I use absolutely no shortening or margarine. (I think I bought like 40lbs) Since that time I have not seen butter at all for less than $2/lb and it has just gone up and up. The money saved on that purchase alone was well worth having the freezer.

  • Molly says:

    Yes, get one! Remember, OLD units use MORE electricity than new units. Therefore, the cost savings to purchase a new one is justifiable. My hubby did the math on this one, he knows energy use numbers, as this is part of his work. 🙂

  • Kristy says:

    Hi there,

    I don’t know if getting an upright freezer would be better for your space, but we purchased one (it isn’t huge) because I was afraid that what was on the bottom would stay there. Having an upright also allows me to organize and easily see what I have and I can also easily send one of my kids or husband down with specific location directions to get something. It also prevents things from getting put on top of it and then having to move things to get into it.

    A freezer is a great investment for a family and I tend to do bulk cooking and then freeze additional meals which really helps on those days that you are either crazy, tired, sick, etc. It is also great because if someone in your community/church needs a meal you may have one already prepared.

  • Allison Pappenfus says:

    We got a medium-sized upright freezer from my grandmother after she sold her house and moved in with my parents. Back then both my husband and I worked and we weren’t very good about planning meals and hated defrosting meat so my husband joked that the freezer was his “ice cream” freezer. Now that we have moved and I stay home full-time with my children, I’ve cut our grocery budget in almost half and can’t imagine life without my freezer. I stock up on meats when they are on sale and freeze fruits and vegetables from my garden. Since it is so cold where I live now in the winter, I don’t think the compressor has to turn on very often to keep it cold so I don’t notice much by way of energy usage (other than the light!). I have heard that chest freezers are more energy efficient but I’m short and have a hard time reaching into the bottom plus I got my up-right for free so that made the decision easy. Just make sure you rotate your food and make a list of what is in there with expiration dates if you can’t see everything like you would on a shelf. Good luck!

  • Holly says:

    We are researching getting one as the summer gets closer (a girl can hope right?) and we found that most 7.0 cft only use between $25-30 electric to run per year! I know that I will save that amount by buying in bulk and freezing plus the health benefits of having food from its peak season is worth it!

  • Spendwisemom says:

    I think a freezer is definitely worth the investment. You can stock up on food when it goes on sale. You can also make double portions or more and freeze extra meals for busy days. You can freeze produce from your garden. If you hunt, you can freeze the meat you get. And, you don’t have to be running out to the store if you run out of something because you have a lot of other food at your fingertips. We have a freezer and I am so glad that we do.

  • Jessica says:

    I have a good size chest freezer in my garage and it looks like it’son its last leg. But it still works great and I have been using it for 3 years now and I haven’t noticed a hike in my energy bill. I went without it full for a couple of months because I moved to a different town and I realized how much money I was losing just by not usung it. It may be pricey to initially fill it up, but in the long run I save so much money…I freeze pretty much everything!!

  • Jean says:

    We bought an upright freezer early in our marriage because I was raised in a home that had a freezer. I have been married almost 36 years. We bought another upright last year so we could buy a side of grass-fed beef and 18 free range chickens. I estimate that we have saved thousands of dollars on food since we bought a freezer. I have never paid full price for any meat, since I could stock up on sale items. I have heard that chest freezers are hard to get food out of, so I have always had uprights. I love, love, love my freezers. You have to have a system to keep track of what you have so you don’t waste any food, but I heartily recommend that you buy one. :o) I also am able to freeze leftovers or complete meals to use on busy days so we don’t have to eat out when we’re overly busy…money savings again.

  • Julie Huey says:

    We bought an upright over a chest freezer because I’m no longer able to get to that heavy frozen turkey or roast sitting at the bottom…or several 5 layers of seafood like I use to due to my aging body (i.e. illnesses). We found that layering the food on top of each other doesn’t allow for very easy access to the food underneath. We’ve always been a fan of an extra freezer ever since we had a family of four. The kids add a lot more food intake to our budget, so we need the extra storage in order to avoid running to the grocery store so often (gas/time). Plus, you can buy more using coupons without worry.

  • Sue says:

    I would definately recommend a chest freezer, and if you’re in an apt and have limited space, I have seen others put a table cloth over it, in their dining room and it serves as extra counter space.
    I inherited a very large one that we keep in our garage/basement but if I had less space, I would have to still have one.
    I don’t think you’ll regret it ! 🙂

  • Debra Lovell says:

    Regarding the Food saver system, I use the Ziplock vacuum system and it works very well. It takes up very little space and is cheap.
    I have a side by side and a small chest freezer. If I had to give up one it would be the side by side. The chest holds more and is less hassle.

  • jennifer says:

    My MIL bought our upright freezer 2 years ago as a Christmas gift. The other two boys got remote car starters. I think we got the better gift!

    Very handy to have. Easy to stock up on bread, frozen veggies, butter, etc when you have the space.

  • sammy says:

    Sure its a great idea to invest into buying a deep freezer I got one it holds all my frozen items like ice cream, hamburger meats and chicken.

  • Shannon K says:

    I have an upright one(big one), and yes I had some things frozen in there(just the three of us)….but with this Target deal it is stuffed!!! love my freezer!!!

  • Lynn says:

    I have a family of 6 and I have 3 freezers with 2 refridges. I could not live without them. We purchase a full beef and when all things are on sale or in full garden season we freeze. Along with our own chicken which are sized as turkeys, we need all three freezers

  • Kathy says:

    I will keep it simple for you. Yes it’s worth it…I read some of the other comments re: chest vs upright freezer. I like my upright because you can see everything in there and stuff doesn’t get buried in the bottom and then “die” of freezer burn before you notice it’s in there. Also I think it’s easier to lift the big stuff off of a shelf than out of a deep compartment but yes a freezer is worth the money. I would suggest frost free because they can be messy if they frost builds up and it also impacts the energy consumption. I say yes…get the freezer so you can stock up on the sales on meat and frozen foods.

  • Mary says:

    I have a family of 3 and don’t always have thefull freezer, so we fill plastic milk jugs with water and freeze them in the bottom. This way the freezer seems cooler and doesn’t work as hard to keep half a freezer of food cold.

  • Christin says:

    I don’t have a chest freezer (yet), only the fridge/freezer combo in the house. Luckily, the freezer is a really good size on the model we have. I just bought 22 frozen food items at Target to take advantage of the gift card deal, and was amazed that they all fit in my freezer that was already “full”. But, I just wanted to remind everyone that you can freeze milk! Buying milk when there’s a really good sale and freezing it is worth it. Just take it out and it thaws back to normal and you can’t even tell that it had been frozen. Also, another tip to get the most out of your money: when a recipe calls for an amount of a seldom used ingredient, but it is only sold in a bigger package, freeze the rest! Don’t put it in the refrigerator thinking you might come across another recipe to use it in really soon. Chances are, you won’t find a recipe, you won’t want a similar recipe so close together, or you’ll forget about it, and it will go bad. I use this rule in particular with tomato sauce in the can, buttermilk, whipping cream, etc.

  • Vicki says:

    We have had both types, I find that I like the upright. It seems that I was always forgetting the things on the bottom in the other freezer and wasting food.

  • Heide says:

    I got a smaller chest freezer (it’s about waist high, but is a square instead of a larger rectangle one) and I have to say that I haven’t noticed a great difference in my energy bill with or without it.

    It particularly comes in handy when thanksgiving rolls around and they have the turkeys on sale. I buy one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. Cheaper prices + storage areas + gas (& extra grocery $ when you go in to buy that one item and walk out with 10) = enough savings to pay any small difference in electricity.

  • armycouple says:

    My husband is a hunter and I haven’t had to buy meat (besides chicken) for the past 7 yrs because of my chest freezer. Without it, I wouldn’t have the room. That alone has saved us a TON of money. I know one person said that with an upright you can see everything and nothing gets lost but if you use the baskets that come in it and maybe even order a couple more, it all stays well organized and you don’t lose stuff.

  • Cheryl says:

    Definitely worth it! We have 5 kids, and this has been a life saver. We buy items on sale and stock the freezer. Right now, I have 99 cent a pound london broil, a free turkey, veggies, bread, coffee and more in there. I buy whatever meat is a good deal, and stock the freezer. Before long you have enough variety to eat a good selection of meals every week. Fill empty milk jugs with water and freeze to fill up empty space, it costs less to run a full freezer than a half empty one. We have an upright bigger than our fridge, but did use a chest freezer when the kids were small.

  • Jaynee says:

    You’ve already got so many comments I doubt you’ll read mine, but we love our chest freezer. We basically stock our chest freezer with sale stuff (we love our vacuum sealer for meats that we buy in bulk), and once it’s stuffed to the gills we do an extended “freezer/pantry challenge” and avoid grocery shopping for as long as we can other than for necessities like eggs and milk.

  • Diane says:

    I think a chest freezer (a NEW one) is a good investment. The new ones use less energy and have LOTS of baskets so you don’t lose things in them (one of the only pitfalls to them, I think). Look for one that has an alarm if the temperature falls too low for any reason and put a list of what’s in the freezer on the outside so you don’t forget what’s in there and when you put it into the freezer! Kenmore makes great chest freezers in all sizes.

  • Crystal, I would say that for us, the freezer has definitely paid for itself, though it may make sense not to get the self-defrosting kind. Those use more energy and actually the freezing and defrosting and refreezing function is what causes freezer burn, which is why things in your fridge’s freezer will get freezer burn much easier than foods in a regular deep freezer.
    I empathize with this woman’s situation since she has so little space.

    We have been able to take advantage of so many sales since we got our big freezer. The best have been banana clearances at Aldi when they have them for 25 or 10 cents per bag, or like today when I got the $5 gift cards at Target for 7 frozen food purchases (thanks to the tip from Crystal :-)). One other is when the Meijer near us had free range lamb legs on sale for $3.59 per pound and $50 gift cards on sale for $45. I was able to get 5 legs of lamb for 3.23 per pound!

    Anyway, I hope that helps!

    Oh – and make sure that your electric system can handle the freezer before you buy it. Ours almost couldn’t and that would be a real shame to have to return the freezer after buying it for only that reason.

  • mary jo says:

    i love my freezer. because im from michigan. i hate buy vegetables and fruit from mexico. and in the winter time if you go to the store thats all you can get. so in the summer time i buy enough to last us till next season. and yes you can tell the difference in a mexico strawberry to a michigan berry. know you might have trouble with the kids stealing the berries. and i go pick mine. strawberries is 1.29 lb the store cost 2.5o pint. blueberries to pick 1.5o lb to the store 2.5o pint.

  • Julie says:

    Once your freezer (or fridge for that matter) is a couple years old, the seal may start to lose some of its grip, which will make it less efficient. Easy fix: spread a thin layer of vasoline on the seal. It makes a huge difference. I need two hands to open my freezer now because the seal is so much better. No more cold air escaping into the garage!

  • Alyssa says:

    Old post, I know…. but just wanted to mention that we got a great chest freezer on Freecycle! I just posted a “wanted” a couple times, and a couple weeks later someone emailed me saying that had one in their house that they never use. It has been fantastic for our family of 6!

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