Back when I was a single gal, my freezer looked a bit like Antarctica—lots of icy cold and oh-so open spaces. But when I learned my freezer was useful to extend the life of things other than just food, suddenly it discovered its purpose and has been strategically used ever since! If you have extra freezer space, why not put it to good use in these unusual cash-saving ways!
1. Prevent runs in your hose
You read that right—frozen pantyhose are less likely to develop runs as you are putting them on. The fibers are constricted by the cold and more resistant to handling, which is how many runs occur.
- What to do: Store your hose in the freezer until right before you need to wear a pair.
- How you save: At anywhere from $3-$10 a pair, anything that prolongs the useful life of a pair of hose is a good deal!
2. Extend the life of your batteries
Here, all batteries can be helped by a spell in the freezer, but rechargeable (nickel-metal hydride) batteries can realize a life expectancy extension of 90% or greater!
- What to do: Store your batteries in the freezer until you need to use them. If your battery-powered items tend to sit for a while between uses, remove the batteries and put them back in the freezer.
- How you save: Life extension will depend on battery type. Regular alkaline batteries may only realize a few extra minutes of use, but rechargeables really show a difference!
3. Store seeds for planting
Seeds stay fresher in a frozen state and often will germinate more effectively after being frozen.
- What to do: Store next spring's seeds in your freezer until planting time arrives. And if you want to preserve seeds from your fall garden to use next spring, into the freezer they go!
- How you save: Your seeds stay fresh and free from mold and mildew until you need them—and you can stock up when the price is right.
4. Extend the burning life of candles
It seems counterintuitive, but candles actually burn better—and for longer—if they are lit after being frozen.
- What to do: Store your candles in the freezer until you want to use them. If you will not use them for some time after a special occasion, place them back in the freezer until the next use. The thicker the candle width, the more freezing will extend burning life.
- How you save: Most candles today will run you $20 or more for a single candle! So you want to be sure you get as much burning life out of them as possible!
5. Experience the benefits of cold moisturizers
Whether for the eyes or the whole face and neck, cold moisturizer has an instant tightening effect on skin and a re-vivifying effect on you!
- What to do: Keep eye, face, and neck creams and moisturizers in the freezer. Remove them to get what you need, then place them back inside.
- How you save: Your creams and moisturizers last longer and work more effectively.
Note: You can also place used tea bags, aloe vera gel, Witch Hazel and anti-itch gel in the freezer for extra soothing relief!
6. Get rid of dust mites
Dust mites are as susceptible to freezing temperatures as the rest of us, and 24 hours in the freezer will effectively do them in.
- What to do: If you or someone in your family has a dust mite allergy, put pillows, curtains, small rugs, pillowslips, stuffed animals, linens and other small mite-infested items into sealed plastic bags and then into the freezer for at least 24 hours.
- How you save: Instead of having to continually replace these items, you can freeze out the mites in items that are not washable.
Note: This also works equally effectively on lice infestations. If your child has lice, you can put no-wash items in the freezer to kill the lice. As an extra precaution, you can also put wash-safe items in the freezer to ensure all lice are dead.
7. Make your clothes last
Some items of clothing (such as jeans made of raw denim) do better with fewer or no washing. But freezing them will kill any bacteria or mites just as well as washing them can.
- What to do: Place your items into a sealed plastic bag. Leave them for seven days. Remove and wear!
- How you save: You will get much more wear out of your favorite items of clothing if you can cut down on washing.
8. Back up your data
If you’ve ever had the misfortune to experience a hard drive crash, you know how upsetting it can be! Luckily, your freezer can come to your aid—at least for long enough to give you a chance to back up your data.
- What to do: Place the hard drive into a sealed plastic bag, then place it in the freezer for 5 hours. Remove, replace, restart your computer and quickly back up your data.
- How you save: Instead of having to pay a professional to retrieve your data (or risk losing it altogether) you can use this free method and get your files back.
9. Salvage a prematurely sealed envelope
Whoops! You sealed the envelope and left something important out (or you forgot whose greeting card you placed in the envelope, or some other envelope-sealing mishap occurs).
- What to do: Place the sealed envelope in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Then gently insert your finger beneath a corner of the seal and open it.
- How you save: You can salvage your mailing and still reuse the envelope (and the stamp, if you have already stamped it!).