This Fall my sister in law gave me a chest freezer she wasn't using anymore. She had purchased a new model, and I was only too happy to give the freezer a new home. To be honest, I had already been in the market for a freezer. Because I grow an abundance of fruits and vegetables, which I flash-freeze to preserve, I have needed extra cold storage. So, when my sister in law made the offer, I was thrilled.
But after using the freezer for a while, I have been surprised to find that it helps me to save money on my regular groceries. In fact, our food budget has gone down by around $300 a month.
Because I have a freezer, I can over-purchase freezable items when they're on sale. I bring them home and freeze the excess. In addition to standard frozen food items, I have frozen
- garden vegetables
If I'm not in the store, I'm not spending. My snack-avoidance willpower isn't tested on a weekly basis. I can decide what kinds of sweets or snacks to have on hand each month, plan them into our food budget, and stick to the plan. At the end of the month, we even have food left over. So before I shop again, I take inventory and make a list. I read the sale papers and pay a visit to our local butcher. I buy meat on sale and go to the store that has the lowest milk prices. I have been buying more of what we need and making fewer impulse purchases. (That is, if you don't count Christmas decorations...)
The thing is, using a freezer to stock up and save money is nothing new. My mother raised 6 of us, and pulling bread out of the freezer (or meat or pumpkin for pumpkin pie) was part of our routine. She used to go once a month to a grocery store that was an hour away, just because they had lower prices. I would wake up at 6 am on a Saturday to go along. (Now that's bargain-hunting!)
I'm just grateful to have a chance to do a little saving now for my own family. It sure has come in handy these past couple of months. And with Christmas around the corner, it feels good to know we'll have a few extra pennies to rub together.
Now, I'm wondering...
Do You freeze?
Do you have any money-saving freezer tricks to share?
- Midwest Mom