Extreme Couponing Tip: Use Your Freezer to Save Money!
With March being Frozen Food Month, there are some great chilled deals to be had! Organizing, keeping inventory, and investing in the right freezer can all help you save money on your frozen food stockpile.
Before stocking up on any frozen goods this month, do a thorough cleaning of your freezer. Throw out any questionable or expired items, stack boxed items and lay bags flat, and put like products together. Also make sure to organize by expiration dates, putting the soonest to expire goods at the front and those freshest at the back. If need be, invest in freezer shelving to maximize space. Keeping a freezer full can help regulate temperature and therefore lower energy costs.
While organizing the products that are within expiration date, start an inventory. Write down which products you have, the quantity, and when the product expires or when it was opened/packaged. Knowing how much you have will help you decide which items you need more of or if you have sufficient stock.
If you are thinking of buying a new or extra freezer, you’ll want to consider some points before investing.
Do you need one? If you answer “yes” to one or more situations below, you may like to look further into buying an extra.
- You have a large family and need to buy larger or multiple quantities.
- You always have a full freezer and use all products within expiration dates.
- You take advantage of freezing fresh produce, extra meals, and reduced-for-quick-sale items such as milk, yogurt, bread, and meats.
- You are short on time, and frozen food is often helpful, whether your meals are partially or wholly made of frozen components.
Decide whether an upright or chest style will be the most economical and useful.
- Upright freezers use less floor space and tend to be easier to clean and keep organized. Cons are they are more expensive and use more energy than chests.
- Chest freezers are cheaper, have a large capacity and use less energy. Downsides are that you must bend over and dig through items to get what you need, they often require more floor space, and they are harder to keep organized and cleaned.
Used vs. New
- Previously owned freezers may be cheaper up front but do not have a warranty. When buying used, make sure it’s clean and works well.
- New freezers do cost more, but you will have a warranty just in case something goes wrong within the initial months/years of ownership. Inquire into specifics of warranties available, and be sure to read product reviews before investing.