I've been wanting a freezer for YEARS now.
I live in texas so outdoor freezer seems like an ill suited plan. However I have an area in my kitchen that I can fit an upright into (funnily enough directly across from my fridge), and growing up we had a HUGE upright so thats what I'm used to. I'd prefer easy access, and again width is more of a concern for me.
I have 8.5yr old and 5.5yr old boys who easily eat more than I do. Since i'm divorced my ex has them a decent amount of time so there are times where I don't have them for several days or sometimes weeks (holidays) at a time so it's hard for me to buy FRESH stuff since it will sit around while they are gone.
I currently have a side-by-side and my freezer is STUFFED and I don't have nearly enough stuff in there. plus side by sides are so darn hard to store efficently in sometimes!
I used to OAMC until my old fridge freezer started acting up. just a side note I work crazy hours, and until recently 8hrs of sleep in a week wasn't abnormal as well as traveling quite a lot. a new job has given me a slightly more normal schedule but I don't often have much time to cook let alone to shop!
What i'd like to keep in stock is several bags of frozen fruits (I firmly believe my kids are part fruit bat!), frozen veggies, and ready prepped meals. Trader joes just opened up in my neck of the woods and i'm in LOVE....plus we have aldis here now too.
I hardly EVER buy meat, mainly because i'll buy it and end up too tired or having to work and by the time I get around to going "oh yeah, I bought beef to make tacos" it's already questionable. I plan to buy frozen meats to fill it so I don't have to plan around trip to store. I'm making a rough list of what i'm going to hit my butcher up for - somewhere around 60ish lbs. Mostly ground, stew, a few roast type cuts (albiet in smaller sizes for just the three of us) and a few whole fryers.
I also buy bread at the bakery outlet. right now I have several loaves taking up about half my freezer. I usually pickup around 12 loaves or so (often there are buns, bagel thins for sandwiches, and english muffins in this count however) when I go.
I also anticipate buying cheese and things and putting them away.
so thats er...
60ish lbs of meat
12 bags frozen fruit/veg
24 bags prep meals (chicken, pot stickers, mac and cheese etc from TJs)
12 loaves of bread
6 frozen pizzas
plus probably 6 8x8 cassaroles, 12q stew/soups, and probably around 6 gal ziplock bags frozen flat from OAMC
So i need something that will store the above, with a little wiggle room to grow, but will probably be my "at fullest" point amount.
I've decided lowes has best price/free delivery, and whirlpool has best review and prices.
I'm torn between the 20.5 for 670 (plus tax) or the 15.8 for 540
I'm sure like when I went from cooking for 8 (eldest of 6 kids) to cooking for just myself or two....that comparing against a 25ft freezer the 16 seems tiny but will be more than enough?
I called my mom and to my shock and awe it seems like hers is more like a 16cft! wha??
we'd store a full half cow in the sucker since my stepdad got half a cow for his xmas bonus when he worked at a grainery. we payed for processing but I think it was like 200 bucks for close to 1K lbs of meat. only way they could have fed the 8 of us on how little we made...
Mom also hitup the schwanns man on the regular (stepdad has serious problem with sugar, ice cream in particular) and we usually had a few boxes of pork cutlets, cheese curds, onion rings, etc in the freezer along with 2 or 3 containers of ice cream (the 2.5 gal buckets) and a few boxes (half gal?) of flavored ice creams.
I'm thinking now that I know mom's was smaller than I remembered/expected I should be more than good with a 16ft one too!
We have a 17 upright freezer and it's big enough for us (family of 5). I don't think I can fit 1/2 a cow in it plus all our usual stuff (bread, freezer jam, stock, ice cream...etc.). 1/4 is possible, though.
We have a 21ish cubic foot upright and even with a family of 7 it seems like too much space. It drives me batty to have it so crammed that I have to take out a dozen things to get to what I need or that I end up forgetting about things. It doesn't run efficiently when partly empty. Most of it has meat but I also keep pre prepped meals, cookie dough, bulk purchases of nuts, lots of chicken stock, and some baked goods in there. The thing is that I find no one wants to eat bread out of the freezer unless there are no other options. I have about $500 worth of meat in there, enough to last us two months. I don't really want more than that in case of a power outage. They're not common in our area but I'd feel awful if $2000 worth of food thawed.
my mom used to buy and freeze super cheapo bread, I think she'd get it on sale 4/1.00 or something crazy.
it wasn't great for the first few loaves, and by the end the bread was rock hard even when thawed. gross.
I swore I'd never buy and freeze bread (still don't do much leftovers unless stew which tastes better leftover!)
then I bought a couple loaves from baird bakery outlet and tried freezing and made my now ex eat first :D
Seems that better quality bread that is double wrapped already (orowheat) holds up reasonably well to freezing. with the 3 of us we either eat an entire loaf in a sitting since both my boys will eat 2+ pb+j sammitches, or i end up tossing the loaf because it's questionable. it's nice to go "oh, we are out...pull a new loaf"
the big test is will *I* eat previously frozen orowheat breads? answer is yes!
anything else tho...i'd be leary of.
lucky for me I can get 12 loaves of the orowheat bread for like 8 bucks?
The 15cf would would be fine for your family of 3.
I have a family of 6, have two fridge/freezers, one 13cf upright freezer and one 7cf chest freezer. Much more than that (unless we start raising our own chickens or manage to find a pig), and things would get a big crazier here. Stocking up on things for the year definitely takes up space - jam, chickens, a half (soon to be whole) cow, cider we pressed, all that fun. But if price isn't a huge concern, totally get the biggest that'll fit in the space you've got. Worse comes to worse, you put jugs full of water in there, just. in. case. :)
(If you're curious, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, and yes, it's a busy house)