This will be our last post of 2012! We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We’ll see you again the 2013.

This week, I (Dawn) read a post by Lisa Aberle over at Get Rich Slowly that made me laugh. “Avoiding freezer burnout” is all about the downfalls of using a freezer for food storage.

I personally have never been a fan of using a freezer to store food long term. I’ve read plenty on the subject—it can save you money by buying in bulk, it can save you time by prepping meal ahead, etc. I’m sure all these reasons are sound, and if you are an avid freezer user, I’m sure you have your reasons, but this post by Aberle made me think of the reasons I don’t stand by it.

It doesn’t save money if you never use what’s in there

Seems pretty logical, but when you’re stocking your freezer, unless you have a specific plan for what’s going in, it may not come out again. I’m all for putting some meat in there that you know you’re going to be using for a dinner in a week or two, but just managed to catch it on sale at the store. However, sometimes things get lost in there, even if it seems to be a small space.

When my husband and I bought our house, we were given a refrigerator/freezer. It was great, one less expense to have to worry about when dealing with our fixer-upper. The only problem was the previous family member who owned it decided that the shelf in the freezer (top freezer) wasn’t needed. So, we have an open space freezer where everything has to be shoved in on top of each other. Unless I go in there and pull everything out, I would never know what’s in the back underneath all the visible stuff. Which I’ll be honest and say I don’t often do.

So what goes in may never come out. Especially things wrapped in foil. After a certain amount of time, I’m not sure I really want to know what’s in that foil.

What happens when you lose power?

Aberle doesn’t specifically talk about this, but this is the issue that really bugs me. Even if you are a diligent freezer user and never waste any money losing food in there, what happens if you lose power? Even if you don’t see that as a potential threat, it can happen, and it can mean the loss of your freezer stock, which depending on your usage, may mean a lot of money wasted.

I have had this happen to me before, and I live in an area where power outages are rare, and when they do occur, are short lived. However, a year or two ago, we had a power outage that lasted more than a day, and resulted in the loss of almost everything in our freezer and the fridge. For us, it wasn’t too damaging, but I can imagine what it would have been like if we used the freezer more often.

Use at your own risk

Aberle gives her rules of thumb while using the freezer after realizing how much money she was wasting in food:

  • “Don’t make so-so dishes! With more experience, I am a better cook and a better judge of which recipes will be good ones
  • Don’t make so much food
  • Barter the food we don’t like
  • Honest appraisal of what we really eat.”

If you want to use the freezer, go ahead and do so. But don’t be surprised if you find a foil wrapped something in the back that you can’t recall putting in there in the first place.


  • Disclaimer: The information on this blog is not meant for specific financial advice. The ideas/opinions stated are not suited for everyone, and readers should use their own judgment in applying them in their financial lives.