For the health of you and others, it is recommended we avoid public places. One way to reduce your trips to the grocery store is to invest in a freezer. Not only can a freezer reduce trips to the store, but it can also help you save on groceries, save you time, and is an investment that usually gets you your return within one year or less.
When looking into purchasing a freezer, there are three things to consider: space, energy, and cost.
If you are like me, when you think of a freezer, you think of a sizeable fridge-sized container tipped on its side, which was en vogue way back when. These traditional 15-cubit foot chest freezers measured roughly four feet wide by three feet tall by three feet deep. I recall the huge one my grandmother had in her house in rural Manitoba, where she stored everything they grew and raised on the farm. Today’s freezer options include compact options that fit in condos and apartments. So do not rule out a freezer thinking you can only get them in that large size.
o ensure you have enough space, in addition to the footprint of the freezer, make sure to allow a few inches around it for air circulation and room for the door to swing. All freezers require access to an electrical outlet, so make sure there is one nearby. Don’t forget to confirm there’s enough room to get the freezer up the stairs and through any doors. You would be amazed by how many people purchase and then have to return items because they cannot get them into their homes.
Freezers are available as mini freezers, chest size, or upright. Mini freezers range from just over one cubic foot to five cubic feet, which are smaller than the size of most refrigerators. They will give you some additional room if you have limited space and do not have large amounts to store. Chest size freezers take up more floor space. Many upright freezers have the same or slightly more capacity than chest freezers but take up less floor space in a room. You could even squeeze one into a closet!
The other option is to go with a smaller freezer. Do not let the concept of smaller fool you. A five-cubic foot chest freezer that is 30 inches wide and 21 inches deep can hold 175 pounds of food.
Generally, chest freezers tend to be more energy-efficient than upright freezers. When it comes to energy consumption, look for a freezer with the Energy Star label. An Energy Star label means it is guaranteed to be at least 10% more efficient than the minimum federal standard. The best way to reduce energy use is to buy the right size freezer. There is no point in having a freezer half full and paying the energy bill for unused space. To help you calculate the best size freezer for your needs, a single cubic foot of freezer space holds about 35 pounds of food. Another way to calculate is to allow about three cubic feet for each person in your home.
You can find mini freezers on the market for about MXN 4,000 or less. Chest freezers range from 4,000 MXN to MXN 20,000, depending on size. Upright freezers run between MXN 6,000 and MXN 30,000, also depending primarily on size. A couple of other tidbits to consider are that not only are chest freezers less likely to cause freezer burn, and they also tend to stay more consistently cold than upright freezers. I prefer the convenience of an upright freezer because I find it more convenient to open the door like a fridge rather than lean into the chest freezer.
One of the biggest decision makers for me centered around defrosting. Upright freezers don’t require defrosting. Chest freezers need to be defrosted manually about twice a year. Granted uprights are less efficient and louder, but the benefit of not having to do a manual defrost was a big plus on my list.
Some freezers come with additional options such as safety locks, shelves, quick-freeze cycles, and soft-freeze sections. Since we tend to have power surges and outages in the summer months, its also a good idea to look for freezers that can keep food frozen for at least 24 hours if there is a blackout.
For those interested in ordering a freezer, El Tio Sam has a shipment coming in around the middle of May. You can order online at www.eltiosampuertovallarta.com. If you are on Facebook, join our fun Facebook Group: Mexico Furniture & Décor.