The following post is Melissa Batai
Contemplating what to do with the tax refund you just received? Or, do you have an extra few hundred dollars in savings or in your budget this month?
If so, why not buy a deep freezer?
I know, it’s not the most exciting purchase you can make, but it does have the potential to save you hundreds of dollars a year and pay for itself rather quickly.
We have two deep freezers for our family of five, and we save money so many ways by using them.
Here are some of the ways we save:
Buy meat in bulk. Twice a year we buy ¼ side of beef. This is grass-fed, locally raised beef, and we get it for approximately $6.50 a pound. The quarter includes about 1/3 ground hamburger, and the rest is divided into steaks, ribs, roasts, etc. There is no way I could buy this quality of meat at this price from the grocery store.
Stock up when there are meat sales. Our local Sprout’s frequently has high quality, grass fed lamb on clearance when it’s close to the expiration date. They reduce the price from $7.99 a pound to $1.99 a pound! I stock up any time I see it reduced to this price. As a result, I currently have 15 pounds in my deep freezer. My plan is to never pay full price for lamb.
Grains. We’re on a mostly Paleo diet now thanks to food intolerances, but before we had these issues, we’d buy a 25 pound bag of oats from Azure Standard and freeze it. The price was cheaper than the grocery store, and we had enough to last us half a year. You can also freeze your flour this way. In fact, it’s recommended that you freeze flour for at least 24 hours to kill any weevils that might be in there.
Make freezer meals. We all seem to be getting busier and busier, which makes stopping for fast food or easy (expensive) grocery store food appealing. Resist this urge by making your own freezer meals. You can just double a recipe you’re already making and freeze it, or you can have a specific day to cook freezer meals. However you do it, you’ll be glad to have the meals in the freezer.
Freeze in season fruit. At Costco, a bag of frozen, organic strawberries costs approximately $3.50 a pound. Right now, my local grocery store is selling fresh, organic strawberries for $1.50 a pound. Because I have space in the deep freezer, I can buy them in bulk and freeze them myself for a $2 per pound savings!
Mini emergency fund stash. Of course, you should have an emergency fund in the bank, but I also like to think of my freezer stash as a sort of emergency fund. If my husband suddenly became unemployed, we wouldn’t have to buy groceries for at least two weeks thanks to the meats, fruits, and veggies in the freezer. After that, we could probably last another 4 to 6 weeks just buying fresh fruit and veggies at the grocery store to supplement what we have in the freezer.
Although buying a deep freezer isn’t the most exciting purchase you’ll ever make, if you have the money and the space for one, it will pay for itself over and over again.