Before we had kids, we never gave much thought to needing additional freezer space. I did some stocking up, but the freezer above our refrigerator (Kenmore, of course) was always sufficient.
Recommend this product?
Well, after you have kids, and you start the coupon-clipping, you start to stock up and buy lots of things that you wouldn't normally do when you're just cooking for two.
My husband had pulled a couple of side-jobs, and we had some money burning a hole in our secret stash, and I kept insisting we needed a stand-alone freezer, because we were running out of room for his ice cream. That did it. No ice cream?!?! That's tantamount to tragedy.
He started looking at Best Buy, Sears, Maytag, and Goedeker's for the best value for our money. Of course, the shopping around was just to clarify what we already knew - Kenmore would be the brand we get.
Just to make sure, we even consulted a family member's Consumer Reports magazine and found positive reinforcement.
So off we went, to Sears. We looked at the uprights and the "other" ones. We even considered getting a baby-size one, so we wouldn't have to finance what we were short.
The benefit of not absolutely needing something right now was to our advantage. We found what we wanted, then waited. Pretty much the same thing when we recently redid our kitchen.
What we ended up with was a model clearance, and we got about $200 off, plus free delivery.
A delivery truck showed up about a week later, which allowed us to find just the right spot (near the Kenmore Washer and Dryer)in the utility room, to put it. 24 hours later, we had freezer space and nothing to put in it!
In our freezer, we have just the one basket on the bottom, but it's a deep one. I keep the bagged stuff down there, like Create A Meals, and frozen veggies. This leaves my 4 full-size and 1 1/2 size shelf free for things like meats on sale, ice cream and novelty treats from the Schwan's Man. I also buy a couple loaves of bread and store them as well. This way I'm not having to run to the store ever week for milk AND bread. Right now, I have two 12-pound turkeys in there, along with two pies for Thanksgiving.
The door has a convenient lock and a key, to keep curious 2-year olds out, when you remember to lock it. I did forget to do this the other day, and found The Pook eating a bombpop on the utility room floor. GROSS! We've lost the key a couple of times, until we got the brilliant idea to put a NAIL up on the edge of the shelf, and hang it on there.
We have NEVER had a problem with our freezer. It stays very full, all the time, and as a preventive measure, we put it on a GFSI. We've had our power go off a couple of times, due to storms, and never had a problem with the freezer not coming back on, or losing it's "cool".
There could have been a problem one time when we (I!) piled up a bunch of boxes around it. Thinking that it would need air circulation, my DH read the manual, and sure enough, it was proof enough that I had to get rid of some of those boxes. Keeping your freezer free of clutter on top and around it will help to extend its life.
Only a couple of times have we had to use the "Quick Freeze" feature. Usually it's after a power outage, or after we'd bought a gross amount of food that needed to be frozen.
As a former Hotel Manager, I was always trained to "rotate your stock", and this applies to your home freezer as well. Just because you freeze it, doesn't mean it will stay forever. Freezer burnt meat tastes awful, so make sure you date everything you put in it. Put your older stuff in the front, and the newer stuff in the back. You can write on your packaging with a Sharpie, or Tupperware makes these neat peel and stick freezer-able labels for containers that you can write on.
A stand-alone freezer is such a necessity in this household, it's hard to believe there are people out there that can get away without having one! Overall, I would recommend a standing freezer over the standard one - and a frostless one at that. Then you'll understand the excitement the rest of us feel when we talk about that "side of beef"!
*****UPDATE ON OUR FREEZER!*****
Monday, November 22, 2000 2:00am. I awoke to the sound of beeping. Cell phone? Nope. Laptop? Not there. Phone system (remember, DH is a phone man and we don't have a simple PHONE in our home!)? Nah. It was THE FREEZER!! Our temperature alarm was going off, and sure enough, the motor wouldn't come back on.
Called Sears Brand Central on Monday morning and asked for an Emergency Visit. $55 out-of-pocket, but if you could see just how much stuff is in that freezer.....
The guy shows up two hours later, and finds our motor is completely frozen over. Said it's highly unlikely that a Kenmore would just die on its own after only 4 years.
He found something in my freezer was falling over everytime the door ws shut, creating a break in the seal of the door, allowing air in, which created all the ice on the motor, thereby preventing the motor from running.
He chipped off the ice, and the motor started like a champ. We threw out the offending product (a $55 box of Toaster Strudel), and I have to say, he could have charged me ANYTHING, but he honestly told me he used no tools, no freon, nothing other than his fingers, so he wasn't going to charge me anything other than the Emergency fee.
I would have spent that and more in dry ice, while waiting for a scheduled visit!
So, our freezer had been off sometime on Saturday or even late Friday, for the temperature alarm to go off Monday morning at 2am. The only thing that showed damage was the orange sherbet, so that went in the trash. Both turkeys, all the meat and ice cream were showing signs of thawing, but the Quick Freeze option on the freezer took care of all of that.
Even more reason to own a Kenmore!
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Amount Paid (US$): About $500