Of Dogs and Deep Freezers

Can we talk about the freezer for a minute?  So, we live on a farm, some 20km from town. Have to have a decent sized deep freezer, right? Got to have lots of food on hand, right? Never know who might rock up for anything from a cuppa through to a three night stay. You get the picture.

But really, I have been thinking, how much of that freezer space do I use?  Really use? All the time? The answer is not much.

I pretty much use about the top 20cm of the freezer and every now and then I clear out everything else below that and the chooks and the dogs live like royalty for a couple of days.

It’s an older freezer so runs at around 400 watts an hour, 24 hours a day. That’s 9.6kW a day. If we pick an energy price point of 20c/kW (and it’s usually a lot more…!) and take that out over a year……yep, I’m looking at a cool $700 in royal dog food. And that’s on top of the regular dog food bill.

The point I’m making is that I’m running a machine that absolutely guzzles energy, and the way I’m running it I’m getting about 20% performance. All because of this mindset that I have to keep kilos of unidentified frozen objects – when in fact I can usually produce a meal for up to ten from the pantry and the fresh meat and vegetables I have to hand.

Time for a change of mindset, and some big energy savings. I’m going to downsize the freezer capacity to just the couple of deep freezer drawers under the kitchen refrigerator and switch off the chest freezer, wheel it out to the shed and leave it there for six months to see how much I miss it. In the meantime, with a bit of old fashioned cost-shifting, the supermarket can pay the power bill to store those odd frozen goods for me, and I’ll pick them up when I plan for meals each week. Sorry, dogs.

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