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It will be a long time before I’ll be able to eat another hamburger

Remember that I said we were going to use our economic stimulus check to buy a 1/4 of a cow from a local farm that specializes in hormone-free grass-fed beef? I was so excited to tell you about the great deal we got on this and how we found a freezer to store it in for a steal off of Craigslist.

However, that was not to be.

Oh, we bought the meat alright–all $614 worth of it. And we bought the freezer, too. We were thrilled with the whole experience and were looking forward to lots of great hamburgers and roasts and steaks over the next number of months.

We didn’t get a chance to eat any before we went on vacation, but I couldn’t wait to get back and get cooking. I had visions of all these various dishes I could make and all the great grilling we could do. Since we’ve cut back on our meat consumption for years in an effort to keep our grocery budget low, this high-quality meat was going to be a real treat.

We arrived home from our week-long excursion to Arkansas refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to get back to real-life. As we were unpacking our bags, I went to throw something into the recycle bin in the garage.

I noticed a somewhat-strange smell when I opened the garage door and went to investigate.

You guessed what it was… our whole entire freezer full of meat was off and completely thawed! Not only that but it was room temperature and wreaked of spoiling meat!

Apparently, it rained while we were gone and the electric outlet our freezer was plugged into was shut off as a safety mechanism. (We didn’t know that our garage outlet did this or we sure as ever wouldn’t have hooked our freezer full of meat up to it!)

Gratefully, since we had just purchased the freezer, it wasn’t also full of other things, too. Had it been a few weeks later, I very likely could have had it full to the brim with food in addition to the meat. It was still quite a big disappointment, though, not to mention being disgusting.

I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say it will be a very long time before I’ll be able to eat another hamburger again. So much for our bright idea of buying meat in bulk.

Note: It looks like we’re going to be able to recoup about $140 from our renter’s insurance, but since our deductible is $500, that’s all the recourse we’ve been able to drum up. Oh well, at least it was our economic stimulus check and not money we’d worked hard to set aside for this purchase.

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  • FoxFire says:

    Oh…I hate it when that kind of stuff happens!!! So sorry to hear that!

  • Lynn says:

    It is very common for garage outlets to be like this. I think it is a code thing. In the houses we have lived in my husband always changed the outlet out after we bought the house and before we plugged the freezer in. Since you rent this may not be in option. Sorry about the meat. That is too bad. I had a freezer go out that was full of food one time. It happened in the middle of the summer and even though I found it pretty quick we lost most everything becaue it was so hot in the garage. I guess freezers can be a huge help but also occasionally when things go wrong,they can be a headache.

  • Karen says:

    I am SO sorry to hear about this! Are you still going to use the freezer when this is all over? I was thinking that maybe you could have the outlet re-wired, or maybe another outlet nearby doesn’t function in that way.

    How do you dispose of all that meat, anyway?

  • Kimberly says:

    The same thing happened to my parents. They had a HUGE freezer for holding extra meats, veggies, fish, etc. and it was in our out-building. During a thunderstorm, the building’s power went out, but the power in the house did not. So we went WEEKS without knowing; all the while the meat was out there rotting in the hot SC-in-July heat. Needless to say, I know exactly what you are going through…right down to the smell. I’ll see what I can find out from my parents and try to email you some tips of getting rid of the stink. What a “rotten” way to come home from vacation!

  • Nancy says:

    Crystal, I just wanted to cry when I read your post. It is SOOOOOOO disappointing when stuff like that happens.


  • Renee says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear this. How frustrating and disappointing. I’ve always been somewhat nervous that something similar will happen to us with our extra freezer, especially when I’ve just stocked it with pricey items.

  • Catherine says:

    OH CRYSTAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so sorry! I can’t even imagine how frustrating that is, and I hate that you didn’t get to enjoy your special beef! That is just terrible, I’m really sorry.

  • Sandra says:

    Oh no! How sad! All that expense and work getting the meat and freezer! Hope you find lots of chicken on sale! 🙂

  • anna says:

    I can smell it now. So sorry to hear that. Renters/homeowners insurance is great it is just a shame you can not recoup more.

  • Trixie says:

    Oh Crystal!

    I am so sorry this happened. What a giant disappointment.


  • What an absolute bummer! I’ve just ordered some beef myself and plan on having it in the garage, I better make sure nothing like that can happen!

    How are you disposing of all that meat? I’m sure your garbage guys are gonna love you!

  • Lisa says:

    I am so sorry! That is so heartbreaking. We just went this weekend and got a whole hog, so I know the excitement you had. I will be posting about my trip to my sister’s farm on my blog soon. I love your blog. It has really helped me and my family so much. Thanks for all you do.

  • April says:

    I so worried about something like this when you said you were going on vacation right after hooking up the new freezer and picking up the meat! I’m not even kidding. I can’t believe it actually happened though, what a bummer!

  • That is awful. We had a huge storm last week and thousands of people have been without power for almost a week. Most of those lost so much meat.

    Maybe if you call the meat company and explain they might give you a good deal on purchasing more. Not that it sounds enticing at the moment.

  • Michelle says:

    This has happened to me three times. It is a heart breaking experience!!!

  • Kim says:

    Crystal – the stimulus check might have something you didn’t count on having, but it IS your hard earned money being returned to you. Not a bonus or gift from the government, but YOUR money paid in taxes.

    Sorry you lost your freezer though. Hope your vacation was great.

  • pam says:

    Oh no!!! How disappointing! We once had a similar situation with chicken. Whoa! Have you ever experienced bad chicken? That’s horrifying.

  • Laura Leigh says:

    UGH! That sounds awful, but I agree with you that at least it was the stimulus check money and not something you saved up to buy.

  • Anne says:

    Well you certainly have a good attitude about it. I probably would be crying! 🙂

  • Lissa says:

    I too, had this happen about 4 years ago. Unfortunately, my freezer WAS filled to the brim with about $1000 or more worth of meat and other items. Not knowing anything about renter’s insurance…needless to say…we didn’t have any…and the loss was devastating to our budget. If you don’t have any homeowner’s or renter’s insurance I highly recommend it! Most people don’t think about it, as we didn’t in the past! If you rent and something happens…you are NOT covered for any of your personal belongings…yes the owner’s have homeowners insurance but this only covers the structure itself…not your stuff. I use to work in insurance and renters insurance is very cheap. It is based on what coverage you want it to be. If you have $10,000 worth of stuff then that’s all you need. If you need more…get more! It covers everything from vandalism..theft…fire…water damage…etc. Check with you current car insurance carrier to see if they offer this type of insurance..most do and if not…someone will! It only costs pennies each day for peace of mind!

  • james says:

    I’ve had this happen before. Same sinereo. I had to throw out the entire freezer etc… it was that bad. It boils down to plugging it into a GFI outlet a no no. Oddly my current one is in a GFI breaker and I’ve never had an issue. But I’ll move it soon enough and if I go out of town for more then a day or 2 its something I’ll have someone check in on.

    That hurts the wallet I dunno whats worse the financial loss or having to clean it up. EEEK its every bit wrong.

  • Tami says:

    Oh, Crystal! I am so sorry that happened to your freezer full of meat! I have heard similar stories from others who have done the same thing.

    How disappointing!

  • ElizabethSue says:

    What a bummer! Sorry to hear that happened to you guys.

  • Alicia says:

    Crystal, I’m so sorry that happened!! What a huge disappointment, all that meat gone. I’m really sorry to hear about that.

  • Amy says:

    Oh, Crystal. That’s awful! We’ve always had at least a quarter of beef in our freezer. I would be SICK if something like that happened.

  • Rachel says:

    Oh no!!!! I am so sorry to hear about that.

  • SH says:

    If you haven’t already reported it to your renter’s insurance I suggest you hold off and get some more information. I’m not sure how small claims like this affect renter’s insurance, but I know for homeowner’s insurance it’s a sure thing they’ll raise your rates and very likely make it difficult to get new homeowner’s insurance if/when you move. We had a “small” ($2,000) claim from wind-damage at our previous house and then 2 years later when we moved many companies would not insure us.

    I STRONGLY suggest you do some more research before you report it.

    Money Saving Mom here: Thanks for the input. From what we understand, renter’s insurance is different from homeowner’s insurance. We talked with our insurance agent–whom we’ve had for years–and they’ve promised we won’t have any raise in rates so went ahead and reported it. If it were homeowner’s insurance, I doubt we’d consider claiming it, but since we don’t own this home and this wasn’t completely our fault, renter’s insurance was glad to cover the extra after the deductible. We’ll see if it effects anything in the future, though!

  • I am so sorry this happened – what a total disappointment.

    Thank goodness you had renters insurance and will get a small amount back – Maybe go buy some fish and chicken? (just kidding) Most people don’t carry renters insurance, they don’t think they need it but everyone needs some kind of insurance to protect your belongings.

  • HOW FRUSTRATING, Crystal! I feel your pain. (This is one of the reasons my dh is reticent to purchase 1/4 cow ourselves.)

    I didn’t have an outlet go out, but “someone” in our house left our freezer door open one day about a year ago. We didn’t see this until midday the following day, by that time, I had a stream of water running towards the garage doors & a freezer full of room temp meat, etc. It isn’t the full size, so I estimated we lost about $400. in food. Our deductible is also $500, so we just chalked the loss up to life lesson #__ (fill in with appropriate million digit #) and constantly push the door closed whenever we are near the freezer.

  • Jaycie says:

    I am sooo sorry to hear about this! This is my biggest fear with stocking our freezer so full. It would be devasting to lose it all! I’ve only had it since Christmas and it’s been a dream to stock up on some great sales. I hope you can find a way around the outlet and that you get to keep using it. It’s really quite the budget saver when it keeps working! We just lost our fridge(compressor went out) three weeks ago and I can feel your pain of losing your stock pile.

  • Lori says:

    Oh no. No, no, no. That is just so frustrating.

    It WAS a great idea to buy the meat. It’s just too bad about that outlet.

    Live and learn, I guess. It would just be nicer if we could learn a little less expensively.

  • Annie says:

    Oh my! I am so sorry this happened to you. Our garage outlet has the same feature, which is also where our big freezer is plugged in. We’ve come home to a shut-off freezer before, so I can sympathize (or should it be empathize?). I don’t know how much peace I’d have if there were $614 worth of meat in it though… That stinks! (literally)

    PS – I just started reading your blog last week on my sister’s advice and have to tell you that you’ve blessed me already. I will be a regular reader now! God bless.

  • Colette says:

    Ouch!! A similar thing has happened to us (twice) so we got rid of the freezer in our garage and have never replaced it. So frustrating! I applaud your positve attitude! 🙂

  • christy says:

    oh no you poor thing thats so horrible!!! i often worry that will happen to me cause we have a huge deep freeze full of food so i am always checking it and making sure the light is on almost every morning and evening one night i forgot and my 6 year old son got a yogurt pop out and forgot to shut it and i woke up to it being open and a lot of the stuff on top being thawed but thankfully not everything i was so upset thou and then not an hour later the cops and an ambulance was at my neighbors house and it really made me think about how thawed out food is no big deal and can be replaced ya no!!

  • Jennifer says:

    I can’t even imagine how you are feeling right now. How frustrating, infuriating, disappointing, etc. I am so sorry!

  • JadeMerie says:

    I’m so sorry that this happened. I guess God had other plans. I never would have thought that this would happen if we would have put our freezer in the garage.

  • Penny Raine says:

    Oh Crystal I am sooo sorry! We have had two big freezers full of meat completely die in the last two years so I know how that feels. At least your freezer isn’t broken. The Lord will restore.

    blessings, Penny Raine

  • Crystal says:

    I had this happen a couple of months ago too. Dh had knocked the cord when plugging in some lawn stuff to charge. I got an alarm now. It works great!
    You need lithium batteries which can be expensive so if you order one be on the lookout for some battery deals.

  • Melissa says:

    That is really a shame, I am so sorry. We have bought and ate that type of beef before and you wouldn’t believe how much better it is; I think your family would have really enjoyed it. I know that you probably feel like it was a horrible idea right now, but I would recommend that you give it another try if you have the opportunity again. Keep in mind that when you take meat to a processing facility you get to choose how you want everything; what cuts you want, how you want the cuts and what size packages you want. Also, people around here often buy their beef and pork that they’re going to have processed from the Amish because they don’t feed their livestock commercial feed, only organic grains and hay from their own fields. Again I am sorry, but if anyone can recover their budget from such a disaster it would be you.

  • Oh no! I’m so sorry Crystal. It was a great idea though.

  • Oh no, that’s horrible! Like you said, at least it was “found” money rather than something you’d been saving for. And I can only imagine the smell – I accidentally left a pound of stew meat in the freezer once during a horrible week-long blackout here in NYC a couple years ago, and the stink I came back to was unreal.

  • Susan says:

    I feel for you! We had this exact thing happen to us. It makes my stomach turn to think of the loss of the food and money. I only will keep breads, mixes, and things like frozen veggies in our garage freezer now for fear of this happening again! So Sorry!!

  • marli says:

    Aww Crystal, I am SO sorry!!! I pray that your money (and/or meat!) will be replaced SOMEHOW!

    We had a fridge to put in our garage and a guy told us we couldn’t b/c the outlet would trip but I have seen many other houses with fridges in their garage so I wanted to do it anyway…now I know why!

  • Emily says:

    That is absolutely horrible! And disgusting! I am so bummed for you!

  • Maria says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your meat. Glad to see you trying to find a positive side to the issue.

  • Hilary says:

    Your rates won’t go up, but it might be harder to get homeowners insurance. They always ask you if you’ve had any claims on your insurance in the last 3 (or something like that) years…

  • MR says:

    Hi Crystal,

    I’m sorry to hear that this happened. If I remember correctly, your family rents your home, right? If so, you may be eligible for compensation from your landlord/lady. I live in Chicago and, as renters, we have a lot of rights. If the problem was caused by an electrical issue, the owners should be responsible.

    Again, that’s such a bummer.

  • Cassandra says:

    GASP- THAT’S AWFUL! I would have thrown up. From the smell, and the awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I have that awful feeling now, and it didn’t even happen to me. I would have sat down, cried, and then thrown up. In that order. You have such a good attitude about it. Did you cry?

  • Melissa says:

    That’s horrible luck, I’ve had similiar situations happen… but at least one good thing that is coming from it, it has sparked a good discussion about renter’s insurance on here… so many people neglect to pick it up… I have always carried it, from the time I moved into my first apartment at 19, and that was when I didn’t have much that was worth insuring! Regardless of how tight the budget is, this has been one thing I haven’t skimped on… there are plenty of policies that are very affordable. I always tell friends, if you think you can’t afford to have it, then you really can’t afford to NOT have it… if you’re on a tight budget, this is exactly the sort of thing that protects you. People forget about things like… Pipes bursting, fires, etc… that your rental company is not responsible for… Several years ago, there was an ice storm that knocked out power to my home for over a week. I lost all the food in the fridge/freezer (which was ironic with an ice storm outside) and had pipes burst, had to stay in a hotel for over a week, renter’s insurance picked up the tab on everything, even kennel boarding because we had pets!

    So, I do hate to hear about your freezer mishap… and I don’t envy you with the fun that came from cleaning that out… but hopefully some people reading about it that didn’t have renter’s insurance will pick up the phone and call their agent!

  • Ruth says:

    I am very sorry to hear that! Not only were you looking forward to it but $614 down the drain. At least you were able to get some money back.

  • Cherilyn says:

    Crystal, I am so sorry to hear about this. It’s incredible that you can be so optimistic about it though. God bless you guys!

  • jan says:

    Oh I am so sorry! I was so excited for you getting to buy the cow! Things will work out.

  • Cindy says:

    Oh no! How disappointing! And I know what one package of rotten meat smells like… I can only imagine what a whole freezer-full smells like.

  • What a bummer, especially since the insurance won’t help to get it all back. I’d consider lowering the deductible. It’s just as bad when you realize that you had your son get something out of the freezer in the basement & he didn’t push the door all the way closed, ewwww. Thankfully, that time the freezer was almost empty because I was going to defrost it.

  • How horrible. I am so sorry. We had the same issue but our freezer was full of wild huckleberries, raspberries and blueberries. They didn’t cost anything as we picked them ourselves but rather tons of picking hours lost. But cleaning up spoiled berries sounds better than to spoiled meat!!!! yuck!

  • Krista says:

    My heart goes out to you! I know how much you were looking forward to enjoying the beef.

  • Sherry says:

    Ugh! I’m so sorry, Crystal. Praying that you might be able to get some more money back and replace what was lost.

  • Jessica says:

    Have you checked on the warrantee from your freezer? Some warantees give you money back for spoiled foods if the freezer stops working.

  • Alisha says:

    Booooooooooo…Wow, that stinks! What a terrible thing to come home to. I wanted you to know that I am adoring you from afar over here imagining all that you must have had to go through the last few days. You are precious.

  • Sheila says:

    I am in tears myself today. I went into the garage and low and beyond the door on the freezer was left open. I am thinking my 3 year old went out there and well…she’s 3. I keep telling myself “God never gives us more than we can handle”. You’re in my thoughts today. {{hugs}}

  • Kristina says:

    This happened to a friend of mine but luckily, they discovered it when the meat was still cool — completely thawed but cool. She ended up having to fry up all of her hamburger to refreeze and cutting up and canning all of the roasts and steaks! They were so sick about it!

  • Heidi says:

    That stinks, literally and figuratively!

  • Erica says:

    I am so sorry that this happened to you! Our freezer door was left open for some reason and I had hundreds of oz. of frozen breastmilk in there and I was totally freaking out.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about that! And ewww!

    Just wanted to mention that you might want to think through the insurance claim. Sometimes your insurance goes up so much that it wasn’t worth it to make a claim. Of course, renter’s insurance is pretty cheap, but…you might want to check it out anyway.

  • Hannelore says:

    Oh, my goodness! That’s awful. I’m so sorry! On the bright side, I once heard of someone who had a freezer full of prepared meals and her teenage daughter left the freezer open and ruined them all! At least you hadn’t made anything with the meat. God will provide in another way.

  • Kelly says:

    OH MY GOSH!! This has happened to me before! I feel your pain! Completely stocked freezer– gone! :o(

  • Amber (BGH) says:

    OH NO!!! I’m cringing and bummed out for you – all that meat! How disappointing!

  • Sarah says:

    Yep! This happened to my sister. She and her Hubby bought half a cow and even helped take care of her before she was butchered. Then a hurricane hit and they lost power for days. Thankfully, they caught it in time and threw a HUGE block party using their gas grill. Guess what was on the menu…BEEF!

  • Emily says:

    See if anyone in your area feeds their dogs raw food. You can probably find a Yahoo group of locals who do this.

    Depending on how spoiled the meat is, somebody there might be willing (even overjoyed!) to take it off your hands. Dog stomachs are far more acidic than humans’, so they are able to digest spoiled meat without getting sick. (That’s why they can bury stuff and dig it up later and eat it.)

    On the raw feeding Yahoo group in my area, people are always looking for situations like this to get lots of meat that isn’t fit for human consumption, but is still safe for their dogs.

    Just a thought to prevent being wasteful and to get rid of the meat easily.

  • Carrie says:

    Oh, MAN! This is just so frustrating. I’m so sorry to hear it.

    I’ve also been contemplating buying a deep freeze and have been worried about power outages. What with midwestern thunderstorms and snowstorms and very old infrastructure in our area, they seem to happen pretty regularly.

  • Marsha says:

    This happened to me years ago, although not with as much expensive food in the freezer. Now whenever we’re going to be gone more than a day or two, I have a trusted neighbor and friend check the house for me–the freezer being one thing on the list. She also collects the mail so I don’t have to stop it. A few years ago, she discovered that our hot water heater had burst and had the mess cleaned up and a new one installed before we got home from vacation. What a great friend! And of course I keep an eye on her house when she’s gone.

  • Danielle says:

    Boy does that stink!, in more ways than one. I am soo sorry that happened to you!

  • Ruby says:

    First of all, I am very sorry this happened to you. This triggered a question, though, and I’m interested in your take on it. Your ins deductible is $500, but you are only getting $140 from them. Why does it make good financial sense to report it then? It seems to me you are out another $360 doing this. I have always thought if the deductible-even auto ins-was higher than the claim, it didn’t make sense to do it. Thanks in advance for your input!

    Money Saving Mom here: Out another $360? No, I must have not explained myself clearly. We are reporting $640 as a loss ($614 for the meat, and the rest was for bread, blueberries, and cheese I had in there–all great deals that I’m so sad to lose! Oh well!). We are “paying” for the initial $500 and our insurance is reimbursing us for the loss over $500. So instead of losing $640, we’re only losing $500 and getting reimbursed for $140 of it. Make sense? Plus, we’ve maxed out our deductible so if anything else happens while we’re renting this year, they will cover it entirely.

    Getting reimbursed $140 is definitely worth something in my book and was worth a few phonecalls to get. Plus, our insurance agent has promised us this won’t in anyway affect our rates. This is why you have insurance, after all!

    Hope that makes more sense!

  • Jennifer says:

    I can totally relate, unfortunately. Our dog attempted to get something off the top of our freezer in our garage last spring and caught the electrical cord in the process and unplugged the freezer in our garage. My husband and kids are big hunters so we had it full of venison, fish, and then a boat load of blueberries from a friend who owns a blueberry farm. We also had some ducks, geese, and fish waiting to be brought to the taxidermist. It stunk SO bad. I am guessing it had been unplugged for about 6 days from when we remembered finding the mess of everything being pulled off the top of the freezer by the dog. GRRR!

  • Shannon says:

    Oh no!!! I am so sorry this happened to you! You have such a great attitude about it, I could learn a lot from you! Here’s hoping you get some kind of windfall to balance this all out.

  • Tina says:

    This has happened to me too, but fortunately we caught the freezer in time, and it had only been a few hours and we were able to save everything, and alos able to purge out the old. What disturbs me a bit, is the price you paid for 1/4 beef? I know you indicated you bought hormone-free, etc, but that is alot for a 1/4 beef. We usually raise most of our own pork and poultry, or by local, and butcher ourselves, but we do usually buy beef, and have never paid more than $700 for a 1/2 beef, including all the processing and wrapping.

  • Karen says:

    I’ve never commented before but I enjoy your blog so much.

    I am heartbroken for you on the loss of your meat. What a mess, on top of the financial pain it caused.

    One reason I like your blog is that your positive attitude shines through, even during hard times like this. Keep up the good work!

  • DeDe says:

    I am SO SORRY!!!!!!!!!! I feel so bad for you! 🙁


  • Michelle says:

    I’m so sorry! That’s awful!!!!

  • Martha says:

    I’m not sure I would’ve even thought to file a claim. I once came home from a business trip and lightning had gotten my phone and TV. It was right after that that I got renter’s insurance and have had it ever since. I am soooooo sorry you had to come home from vacation to this. So sad. 🙁

  • Melodie says:

    This didn’t happen to me. It was someone I knew. A hurricane hit the area, and after caring for her own property damage, my friend decided to check the home of a vacationing friend. Not too much damage, but she didn’t expect what she saw when she went into the kitchen. The freezer was moving. Literally. It was covered with maggots inside and out because of all the spoiled meat inside. Cleaning up that kind of mess for a friend is what I would call real sacrificial love!

  • Jess says:

    oh no that’s horrible! I’m so sorry that happened!

  • Lauren says:

    How awful! I have learned so much about frugal grocery shopping from your blog, and I have been contemplating getting a freezer but I am afraid of the same thing happening- losing power and losing all the food. You seem so calm in the face of such a thing happening… I would be through the roof!
    I’m sure in some way you will recoup this loss… things always seem to happen that way.

  • Courtney says:

    I am not sure where you live but you might look into a Meat CSA. You don’t have to worry about having so much meat in your freezer so you don’t incur such a loss.

    Sorry for this to happen to you.

  • Wow, what a huge bummer. I am so sorry that happened. Hopefully you aren’t ruined from meat forever 🙂

  • Tara says:

    I’m so sorry that happened. Just remember all the fun you had last week as a family on vacation. Maybe that will ease some the trouble you are having now.

    We bought a 1/4 cow a few months ago and we live in NW Florida about 30 from the Gulf of Mexico. I can’t tell you how concerned I have been since hurricane season started. I don’t normally worry about that, but with a freezer full of meat and food I am nervous of our power being out for a week (typical outage for us if hit). Hopefully we could borrow my FIL’s generator.

  • Patti says:

    Crystal, I am sorry, too, to read about this! We have lost power from ice storms and lost the freezer contents (not rotten, though) so I kinda know how you feel. Even though it is heartbreaking, with your skills and positive attitude, you will have that freezer filled again in no time.

    One thing I have done is to put cleaned milk cartons filled with water (which freeze)between my foods so that if the power goes off, we have a little more help to keep the food cold. We take these ice filled cartons in our cooler when camping or going on a picnic -they provide both ice and fresh water. You can freeze smaller bottles of water,too – great for school or work lunches. And it helps save energy as your freezer works best when it is full.

  • Rachel says:

    I am so sorry Crystal! How heart breaking! I’ll be praying for you!

  • Katie says:

    We just had this happen to us too. Except we had two freezers that went out and both full of organic meat, organic milk, and organic berries. It was about $2000 worth of food. A very sad day!

  • Tasha Via says:

    That is so sad=( I can’t imagine how I’d feel after finding that in my garage!

  • CC says:

    I got back from vacation last week only to discover I had accidentally turned off our fridge and freezer too! I was trying to save money by using the circuit breaker to turn off most of the house. But I guess I went overboard. Had to throw away all the meat in our freezer too (luckily though we didn’t have a cow inside!!).

  • Iva says:

    Oh no! I’m sorry this happened to you.

  • Brandy McClarin says:

    What an unfortunate turn of events! I know we’ve had similar situations at our house during hurricane season (we’re in Tampa)when the power goes out. I think it’s fantastic, though, that you can remain optimistic and say at least it was the stimulus check……best of luck next time!!!

  • Natalie says:

    I can completly sympathize with you! Our freezer somehow came unplugged from the wall while we were on vacation. The freezer had been plugged into that wall for over a year so we have no idea how it came unplugged! We lost everything in our freezer too!

  • Sheri says:

    I’m very sorry that happened! I was so excited to have just got a large freezer for my garage. I’m rethinking it’s location now.

  • Amy says:

    Ughhhh! Nothing worse than bad meat, except cleaning up said meat. Gag.

    My first job out of college was on a cattle farm where a perk was all the free meat you wanted from their freezer. Now imagine that you are the first woman to ever peek in said freezer and that it has been ‘maintained’ by a bunch of single cowboys and is kept in a barn with iffy power supply. Not so much of a perk after all.

  • grnmtngirl says:


    Just wanted to share our condolences. On the bright side we’ll look forward to reading lots more innovative vegetarian recipes from you this year.


  • Erin says:

    I’m sorry to hear about that! I know how much meat that really is since my mom orders her meat in bulk as well. Unfortunately I’m not sure how great of a deal you got paying over $600 as my mom pays $400 for 1/4 cow at a meat market in our area.

  • Margaret says:

    Ooooh no!! What a disaster! I’m so sorry to hear that!

    When I was a teen we had a similar thing happen, although the it was a fridge/freezer and had less food in it. But there was *fish* in there. Yuck!

  • cherie says:

    Oh no – I am SO sorry! That is just heartbreaking – sigh.

    And having to clean it all up too – AUGH!

    That’s a double whammy!

  • Oh no! This happened to us too. We bought 1/2 cow, beautiful organic, grass fed beef… oh it was so good 🙂 We bought the cow at the beginning of August, 2005… just 3 weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit, oh did I mention that at that time we lived n SE Louisiana. Oh, it was bad. My dear Hubby couldn’t get back to the house for 2 weeks after the storm. Ewww… I’m just glad that he dealt with that.

    I am really wanting to get another freezer and side of beef. But, he’s a little gun shy – I can’t blame him I guess.

  • When we moved into our house, the company told us to use the outlets that were for the light bulbs in the garage (you can add an attachment if they don’t already have it.) Those ones don’t have safety switches.

    I am so sorry about your meat! How terrible!

  • Wendy says:

    Something you could possibly look into is a generator. We always buy meat in bulk (beef,pork, and chicken) and I freeze a lot of stuff to have on hand when I need to take a meal to someone who is sick or just needs to be blessed. So our freezer is pretty full, but it is also hooked up to a generator. Obviously this isn’t something you are going to run right out and buy, but it would be a great addition to your home and I think stocking your freezer can be a great way to save money. Just what works for us!

  • Stephanie says:

    You can also can meat (look it up on Gildebrook homstead) that way it’s safely cooked and preserved….but you wouldn’t have had time to do that before you left. We lost almost $500 in books when our basement had a minor flood. Not as nasty a cleanup, but still heartbreaking for some of the books I got in grade school (30+ years ago)

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