Financial Freedom Sloth

achieving financial freedom one lazy step at a time

A most frugal purchase

If you look at my expenses in December you will have noticed that food is my second largest expense.

We could trim this some more by shopping more at Aldi and Lidl (and me snacking less at work!). But this whole financial freedom journey isn’t only about getting a big enough stash as quickly as possible. It is also to try to improve the quality of our life.

Part of that is eating healthier (and losing weight). Reaching financial freedom as a burnt out, overweight husk of a man with no hobbies does not appeal to me.

So I want to:

  • lower my food bill
  • improve the quality of food we eat
  • spend less time cooking on average

Luckily there exists an appliance that makes all of the above possible.

It’s called a chest fridge!

Waste less money, less time and eat better with this new magical contraption!

It will lower our food bill since we will now be able to buy in bulk, which often gets you a nice discount. I will also profit more from temporary promotions. We already do this for non perishable goods (toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo) and stock up on these items when they are 10% or 20% off.  Thanks to the chest freezer we will be able to do the same for food as well!

Especially our meat will be better quality as we will now be able to participate with sites like share a cow. This way we get our meat directly from the farmer and are sure of the quality!

We will also spend less time cooking since we will be able to do batch cooking. Cooking 4 portions does not take twice the time it does to cook 2 portions. So now we will cook more portions. Freeze them and thus save time at a future date.

The frugalwoods just posted a very timely article about eating healthy for less and they seem to be completely in love with their chest freezer!

The chest freezer is also a good example of cheap not being frugal. There was a cheaper, slightly large model available. And I almost pulled the trigger on that one. it was a savings of 100 euro!. And then I looked at the energy efficiency. Our final pick is 40 euro a year cheaper in use than the cheaper model. A 100 euro expense that results in a 40% annual savings? You can sign me up for that type of return every day! We did wait until January to buy it as January is the traditional sales promotion period in Belgium. We off course did compare prices on various sites to find this model. Even buying brand new and not going for the cheapest model, you can still be frugal about it 😉

So tip of the day from this sloth: check the energy efficiency of your freezer and fridge and compare it to the newer models. The energy efficiency really improved over the last years. It might be that the most frugal option is be to buy a brand new A+++ model to replace your old energy hog as it will make up for its purchase price in a few years.

10 Comments

  1. I’m not convinced this will present you with as big of a savings as you might think. The bulk discount is true, but you have to be careful with freezer burn. You might also end up throwing stuff away because your stock is getting to big and therefore too old (see freezer burn note). Plus, for actual savings, you would have to consider the cost for the freezer unit (depreciated over say 15 years?) + electricity costs + any lost food items. It that is still cheaper compared to not buying in bulk, you might convince me.

    • finan112_wp

      January 26, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      The cost of the freezer was 500 euro. So even an amortization on 10 years would be 50 euro a year.
      I think that is something we will very easy get back via bulk purchases. We spend around 400 euro a month on groceries for the two of us. A 2% savings on this amount would already put us over the 50 euro cost.

      Electricity use is the big unknown. The site gave the difference between this model and the cheaper one but did not provide how much it actually uses.

      Food waste: I would call this a wash. There might be some food waste but we waste food now also which will be reduced because of the freezer. We have a tendency to make big portions, now we will be able to freeze this excess. The freezer is not just about chucking stuff in the freezer but the intent is to completely revamp our buying of groceries and cooking of meals. We want to be much more focused in our whole approach of this. The main goal is to reduce the money spend but as I said, we also want to eat healthier and free some time by bulk cooking. My parents had a freezer my entire life and freezer burn/food waste is something they rarely encountered. You do have to regular clean out your freezer: go through everything in it, put the oldest stuff in a separate basket and finish that first!
      It should save us money (and time). It should also reduce our trips to the supermarket and thus gas money and wear and tear on our car. I’ll be eating my first freezer meal this evening!

      • Fair enough, if you are very well organized and do clean the freezer every year or so, then it may be more cost efficient. But you are a sloth! So will talk again in 5 years. You tell me then if it really works 😉

  2. share a cow is so great!

    We use our freezer to store bulk fresh food we made. When we make spaghetti, it is enough sause for 4-6 time. All made with fresh vegetables and good meat. The effort lies in cleaning that all, the rest is pure a time gain.
    We also buy frozen, prepared vegetables. These are, according some studies, healthier that freshly bought. Reason: the frozen ones get harvested when it is the right time, and processed the same day. The one you buy fresh are harvested so that they appear fresh when you see them in the store, a couple of days later.

    • finan112_wp

      January 30, 2017 at 8:42 am

      We are slowly changing our habits now. Looking at ‘share a cow’ and local farmers doing the same. Yesterday we made 6 portions of a chicken dish: 4 for the freezer and it indeed did not take any longer than just making the normal 2 portions. I have heard the same about the frozen vegetables as they are indeed processed immediately thus keeping more of the nutritional value. Soemthing to keep in mind. We will do a price check as well: buy fresh and freeze them our self in handy portions or buy big bag of frozen vegetables… Will require a period of adjustment.

  3. A chest freezer. Interesting way to try and save on food costs by buying in bulk. Of course, you need the room to store one of those things. Where I live I couldn’t fit something that size anywhere. It can work out to your advantage but like TCF said above it’s important that food waste doesn’t ruin your food purchasing efficiency. Thanks for sharing.

    • finan112_wp

      February 7, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Room is not a problem for us. It currently resides in what will be the office room (a.k.a. my man cave) when finished. I really should do a post about the folly that is our house (from a financial view point). About food waste: we should be a lot more conscience about our food purchases now which should reduce our food waste actually (well, I hope …)

  4. A nice purchase I did last year close to Hasselt: go to local farms to collect myself the fruits. I still have in freezer 2 bags and 3-4 pots of jam.
    I regret I didn’t do same thing for apples ( too busy weekends).

    • finan112_wp

      February 7, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      We actually have about 30 fruit trees on our property but it are mostly our two pet pigs that enjoy the benefit of those …

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