F.A.Q: Freezer Recommendations

Today’s frequently asked question is from reader Lori.  She is in the market for a freezer and needs some guidance.

Here is her question:

I am in the market for a small upright freezer, and have never owned one before. I’m thinking upright is easier to navigate in than a chest type. I figure that since so many of your readers stockpile, maybe one or more of them have a freezer and could make a recommendation.

So let’s help Lori out. If you have a freezer you love let her know.  Of course we are always looking for deals so if you scored a freezer for cheap, let us know that too.

If you have a question you would love an answer to, just email livingrichwithcoupons @ gmail.com (remove spaces) and we will post it up.

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  • Jennifer

    Try your local Habitat for Humanity resale store. Often people donate because they are upgrading. Score for you!

  • Lori

    I would suggest getting a freezer a little bigger than your original intentions. When we purchased our extra freezer I thought it was huge and that there was no way I would ever be able to fill it. I was totally wrong! With a good sale and items you use, the space goes quickly.
    I would also suggest checking out “scratch and dent” places. You can usually find a good deal on a perfectly good freezer.

  • Adrienne

    I am in the market for a freezer too…so looking forward to hearing the reponses.

  • Melissa B.

    We got one as a present after my husband and I got married 4 years ago. My parents bought us one. Until about 9 months ago when my huband got layed off I had no clue why they bought it for us. Now I realize the importance of stockpiling. 🙂 Thank goodness he has been working for about two months. Now though the thought of stockpiling and saving us money. We look forward to the future where we are saving even more $$.

    My recommendation is an upright not a chest. My parents got us one that was on sale. Definately look for sales!! We purchased it at Lowes. Also look where they sell the store models that will also save you $$. A chest is very hard to organize to get the most food into. You are going to pay a little more, but in the end you will be glad you did.

  • Victoria

    I was able to find an upright freezer for $30 on Craigslist. It’s about 30 years old but it works GREAT, it’s one of my best frugal buys, to date, lol. 🙂

  • Christine

    We just bought one this year for out anniversary. (I bought the Hub a watch, he bought me a freezer. I think I made out on the deal eventhough he thought he should be buying me a piece of jewelry lol).

    A few things: if you are going to put it in the garage, be aware the garage can get colder than freezing an today’s freezers do not do well with that. Apparently their energy efficiency changed some coil or whatnot that make it run. If it freezes, the freezer will stop working and it is not covered by the warranty (even if you buy their extended warranty). So you’d either have to bring it into the house or it would not be repaired.

    We ate lucky because our garage has heat that come from out furnace that keeps it warmer than freezing. It’s still cold in there but it will be ok thankfully

    If you need a garage one, there is one avail for almost 1k that is durable and is for the garage. Also, you cam make the top a fridge or keep it as a freezer. It looks like a fridge but its actually a freezer

    Onto chest vs upright:

    When I was in an apt, I had a small chest. Most of the real small ones are manual defrost. Not a fan of that!! Also, to get around the “I want the thing on the bottom darnit!”, we bought small plastic baskets and filled them an stacked them. This way, you just needed to pull out the baskets to get to the bottom. The hard part was knowing what was on the bottom lol. We kept a list so we knew but it was hard

    What I have now is an upright that is auto defrost. It’s 17 cu ft frigidaire. It’s got 4 shelves and a sliding drawer for the bottom and 5 shelves/sleeves on the door It was about $500 at lowes. It’s my favorite one. Too little shelves and you have to stack everything. Too many shelves and you can’t fit off shaped stuff. I actually picked my 17 over the 19 because of the shelves that were changed. I also didn’t like the other model moveable door pockets. It didn’t allow me to store long stuff I have easily like frozen ribs or detain boxes. I preferred the frgidaire because of the door design too

    In the end, you know what works best for you with your fridge now. Think of what frustrates you and what you like. This will help when you are shopping. Bring notes 🙂

    If you decide on a chest (because you do get to store more in there because there is not a door to contend with), be sure to buy similar sized plastic baskets for the freezer. We bought rubbermaid ones and it cost an extra $30 for us but it was worth it. Try to get then to be the size of the bottom or 2 side by size to be the same size. This way you don’t waste space

    Good luck!!

  • Rachel

    I have a small chest freezer that I bought brand new 2 years ago from lowes for around $150 – I had a 20% off coupon and got free shipping. The chest part can be annoying, but at the time, I decided that the savings in cost was worth it. Honestly, its not so bad – baskets are a great idea – but a cheaper, and just as effective idea is grocery bags. I place small items (like cheese blocks that I stockpiled) in a grocery bag – its easy to lift out and you dont have the ridged plastic of a basket or bin taking up unnecessary space. A freezer is BY FAR one of the greatest and most necessary larger purchases essential to couponing and frugal living!

    About the garage and freezing – mine is in our mudroom which is DEFINITELY below freezing at times, but we have never had a problem

    • Rachel

      my post ended early for some reason – we have never had a problem with anything freezing and not working. But, I do wish I had a larger one, so its definitely worth buying a little larger than you expect to need bc you WILL use it!

  • Kelly

    CRAIGSLIST!!!! We got a great deal on an upright freezer.

  • Sally

    We got our upright on freecycle. I just waited for someone to be giving one away and my husband went and picked it up. We have an upright and a chest. I like the upright better because I can see more of what I have but the chest does hold more.

  • Lori G

    Wow! Thank you to all of you for your responses….I am checking my area Craig’s list now, and will watch my Lowe’s, PC Richard’s (etc) circulars . Keep the ideas coming 😉

    Lori “G”

  • Dacia

    There are some good tips here already about purchasing one. We have 2 chest freezers in our basement! Of course, we have a larger family to boot too and purchase beef by a whole steer and pork by the hog. One thing I believe to be true about chest freezers as opposed to uprights is that you also seem to loose a lot of the “coolness” whenever you open an upright freezer door, as opposed to the “coolness” staying down in the freezer in a chest type freezer. You know, the whole “hot air rises” “cool air falls” concept. Have fun deciding!

  • Stephanie

    We have a 14 cubic foot upright, Kenmore, that I quite like. I especially like having the narrow shelves along the door for small items. I freeze a lot of 1-cup containers of homemade pesto and pizza sauce and it’s nice to be able to put them somewhere within easy reach. I also keep my bread-baking ingredients in the door (all-purpose flour in the pantry, but various whole-grain flours in the freezer). The shelves are great for visibility and organization.

    One thing to consider- some freezers have an alarm that will sound if the interior temp drops below a certain level, and/or some have a door-open alert. These might be worth it for someone who is stockpiling to save money…I say this having once lost a freezer-full of food due to the door being somehow left ajar.

  • Lori G

    Hooray! I have found a medium sized chest freezer that someone is looking to get rid of! I haven’t seen it yet…I know it is an older model, but for now it will be fine. I really want a big upright, but they are very expensive…Not too many deals going on. I think a lot of people have taken to the idea of stockpiling, and freezers are now a hot commodity. Anyway, I will keep my freezer in the garage, and use it to hold meat, cheese etc., and use my fridge freezer for the meals, sauces, oatmeal etc, that I have frozen myself. Many thanks for all your ideas…and keep looking for sales…I really do covet a big, beautiful upright 😉
    On a similar note…I have been trying to employ the “cooking in bulk”, or “cook once, eat twice” method when I have extra time lately. It is not difficult to just cook extra and then stash in the freezer for another day. I have found some great recipes. Maybe we could dedicate a recipe post to freezer cooking?!

    Lori G