A freezer can be a great investment for storing food long-term. I love my extra freezer space as it allows me to jump on sales and stock up on essentials to save me running to the store.
That being said, most people are lost when it comes to deciding on an ideal freezer size for their family size and storage needs.
I’ve found the best way to calculate what size freezer you need is to multiply the number of people in your household by 2.5 cubic feet. Go ahead and round up from that number or increase it to 4 cubic feet if you’re known to grab a lot of meat and other freezable foods when on sale.
This means that if you’re a family of four you’re going to want a freezer of around 10 cubic feet – these freezers usually cost between $300 and $500.
Meanwhile, if you’re a family of seven you’re going to want a freezer of around 17.5 cubic feet – these freezers usually cost between $400 and $800.
How To Determine the Size Freezer I Need?
While calculating what size freezer you need based on the number of people in your household is a quick and easy way to go. There are some additional factors you might want to consider.
This is especially the case if you’re a single person, a couple, like stocking up on low-cost meat, shop at the likes of Costco or are conscious of the cost of running a freezer.
As such it’s often worth considering multiple factors when deciding on your freezer size.
The Cost Of Running A Freezer
While it may seem like a great idea to buy the largest freezer you can afford, there is a catch.
Running a larger freezer costs more money in electricity.
As such the cost savings of buying foods on sale and storing foods long-term can be offset by the cost of electricity.
If you’re using solar panels then this won’t be an issue. However, if you’re paying for your electricity then purchasing a 4 cubic foot freezer instead of a 2.5 cubic foot one could be a costly mistake long-term.
How Long You Plan To Use The Freezer
A freezer can often be a ten-year investment, and while the extra cost of electricity may be a waste in the short term, long term it may not be the case.
For that reason, if you’re planning on having more children in the next couple of years, starting a small farm, buying offcuts of cows etc. then purchasing a larger freezer than you need right now may be worthwhile.
Your Shopping Habits
Not everyone likes purchasing frozen food or in fact freezing food.
As such if you’re not someone who purchases or freezes food regularly then it’s likely you’ll only want a small freezer.
Meanwhile, if you enjoy grabbing a lot of food when it’s on sale and storing it and freezing it to save money long term, then having a larger freezer is likely going to assist you in saving money in the long run.
Freezer Sizes & Prices
From my notes above you may have a freezer size in mind. However, those plans could change based on the current freezer sizes available and their associated costs.
For example, you may have determined that you’d like a 3 cubic foot freezer, but found that actually a 4.2 cubic foot freezer is a standard size and is mass produced and therefore more affordable.
Of course, you’ll still want to consider your long-term plans and the associated long-term electricity costs.
However, this may in some cases make adjusting your plans worthwhile to save money upfront.
These same principles can be applied to the type of freezer with freezers attached to refrigerators or chest freezers when compared to size-opening freezers.
Overall it’s about balancing these different factors both in the long-term and the short term to find a freezer size and style that best meets your needs.