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A trip to the grocery store continues to take a big bite out of family budgets. That’s why many shoppers prefer to shop in bulk at warehouse clubs such as Costco. Nearly one-quarter of shoppers in the U.S. regularly buy groceries and other items at warehouse clubs each year, and they spend more than $4.5 billion there, according to Statista.
But, to take full advantage of buying items such as frozen foods in bulk, or stock up when these items are on sale, you need to have plenty of storage in your home. Getting a garage freezer or stand-alone freezer for your basement is the perfect solution to keep your family stocked up on frozen foods and meals that will save you money, cut back on your food prep time, and help you put healthier meals on the table.
If you’re in the market for a garage freezer or stand-alone freezer, there are a few things you should know before going out to buy one. Putting a freezer in the garage might be convenient because it’s out of the way of the main living area of the home, but experts from Consumer Reports warn that freezers need to stay in a place without wild temperature swings.
“You need to make sure that the unit is not exposed to temperatures above 110 F or below 0 F, because that may damage the freezer,” said Larry Ciufo, who oversees the ratings for Consumer Reports’ freezer tests, in a report from CR.
Wide temperature swings can cause the freezer’s compressor to work too hard to keep the appliance cold enough, which can lead to inefficient cooling and higher energy costs. Also, if the compressor works too hard, it can shut down and cause all of the stored food to thaw.
As far as types of stand-alone freezers, you can choose from a chest freezer and an upright. If you’re looking for a garage freezer or one for the basement, Consumer Reports recommends a chest freezer. If you’re looking for extra freezer space in your kitchen, an upright freezer will be your best bet.
If you’re ready to bring a new freezer into your home, then here are seven options for you to consider.
The Midea 13.8-cu.ft. Frost Free Convertible Upright Freezer/Refrigerator is a clever invention that allows users to choose between two functions. Just put the switch on either freezer or refrigerator to keep your foods at the perfect temperature. An interior LED light makes it easy to find items, and its frost-free technology makes maintenance simple. This convertible appliance is available at Lowes for $699.
Like the smaller version listed above, this Midea 17-cu. ft Convertible Upright Freezer/Refrigerator offers flexibility in function. However, you get a lot more space to keep your bulk frozen food items. The durable metal shelves will handle heavier items, and the freezer also has easy-to-use exterior electronic controls to monitor and control temperature. This freezer is available exclusively at Lowe’s for $849.
The GE Garage Ready 15.7 cu.ft chest freezer has been tested to withstand temperatures from 0 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This means you can store it in your garage with confidence that it will perform under any conditions. An audible temperature alarm will sound if the temperature gets too warm inside the appliance. It has a 5-star overall rating on Lowe’s website, with reviewers praising its energy efficiency and storage capacity. You can buy this freezer from Lowe’s for $979.
The Magic Chef 8.7 Cu. Ft. Manual Defrost Chest Freezer is an ideal purchase for someone looking for a smaller stand-alone freezer on a reasonable budget. With nearly 6,000 reviews on the Home Depot website, this garage freezer has a 4.5-star rating has an interior LED light, slideable storage baskets, an adjustable, external temperature control and the drain in the front of the freezer. You can buy this freezer at Home Depot for $288.
This Danby 7.2-cu. Ft. Chest Freezer is listed as garage ready and has a 4.5-star rating on the official Walmart website. It comes with a 5-year warranty and free shipping with a 90-day return policy. You get a front-mounted thermostat and drain, an adjustable wire storage basket, and rear rollers and front leveling legs for easy installation and set up. You can buy this Danby freezer from Walmart for only $419.99.
The Frigidaire 15.5-cu. ft. Upright Freezer has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon thanks to its ample space and numerous bells and whistles that make it stand out. Customers wrote they appreciate the numerous shelf placement options, large interior, and the open-door alarm. The freezer also has an auto-defrost function that makes maintenance easy. Amazon sells this freezer for $799.
Not all chest freezers have to be big, beastly appliances. Anyone looking for just a little extra space to store extra frozen foods should check out the Hotpoint 3.6-cu. ft. chest freezer on Amazon. Don’t let its smaller exterior fool you. This freezer holds plenty of your favorite frozen items, including pizzas, turkey breasts, bags of vegetables and more. It has a removable basket, a power-on light, and an easy-access front drain. Amazon reviewers say the size is comparable to a dishwasher but has more than enough storage space for couples and smaller families. You can pick up this freezer on Amazon for only $349.