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Food Storage & Saving Money on Groceries (Frugal Friday)

Years ago I had shopped and shopped, scrimped and saved to fill my freezer with all kinds of great deals. Imagine my horror when I found out that we’d had an electric failure and everything in the freezer was ruined! I sobbed.

While I didn’t lose that much actual money, I had probably only spent about $50 total, it was hours of coupon clipping and deal finding that had gone into that beautiful stockpile of food. And if I had replaced everything at full price, I would have easily paid several hundred dollars to do so.

Since that fateful day, I’ve invested in a freezer alarm that will sound quite loudly if the temperature gets anywhere close to an unsafe level in our freezer. It was a $10 investment that gives me peace of mind and is insurance against losing all the freezer meals that I’ve diligently prepared and saved for the coming weeks.

That freezer melt-down taught me some very valuable lessons.

How you store your food matters as much as what you buy and how much it costs.

Last month some fantabulous bloggers and I brought you a series on how to eat well and save money on groceries. We’re back this week with the low-down on all kinds of food storage tips and tricks.

These are smart cookies, these ladies, so I highly suggest checking out the wealth of ideas and good eating inspirations. Not only will you eat well, but you’ll spend less.

Now, it’s your turn.

How do YOU save money?

Post your money saving idea in the comments or link up your post in the linky below.

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Comments

  1. Helpful post! I’ve never heard of a freezer alarm! What a good idea.

  2. I’ve had 2 freezers die – one just last week. Luckily, we’ve caught them in time to save all the food except the ice-cream. I know how you feel. :-(
    I linked up with a post about making my own bread with freshly ground flour. Per my calculations – I paid for my wheat grinder the first year!

    http://simplifylivelove.blogspot.com/2011/05/keeping-low-grocery-budget-5.html

  3. The last time we lost power was nearly 2 years ago and we lost absolutely everything in 2 refrigerators, the pantry and the deep freeze. We were on a family vacation, a state away. The power was out for 5 days; the house was 109 degrees inside when we got home.

    Thank goodness for great friends who came to the house, opened it up and threw out every single item while we were gone. The first night back, I had no plan except to get the very, very basics – eggs, bread, mustard and ham…we ate our first 4 meals out of those. It was humbling…

    It was also a moment of freedom – I realized there were things I didn’t want to throw away, as it would be wasteful. Starting over turned out to be a good thing for our family. And now we have an amazing, organized food plan – and our world is much calmer for it!

  4. That happened to my brother’s family with their deep freeze — the house cleaner accidentally shorted a fuse while they were on vacation. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of frozen organic berries and grass-fed beef. I still feel sad just thinking about it. Can’t wait to check out those other pantry posts!

  5. What a useful idea! Our freezers have a little light, but who looks at that?

    I also really, really need to empty our freezers before our summer holidays. That will save bundles on our food budget, too.

    Thanks for a great post and for the link up.

    Annie Kate

  6. Sharing my newfound recipe for Homemade Taco Seasoning.

    Regarding the freezer issue, our appliance salesman told us that it is really important not to have the freezer plugging into one of those special outlets that shut off during a surge. I suspect that is what happened to you. He said it would be best to replace the outlet w/ a standard outlet asap.

    Hope that helps!

  7. I’m looking into getting a freezer this year, I’ll have to keep the freezer alarm in mind. Thanks for the link-up.

  8. I am a newbie in the grocery saving arena..I know what has taken me so long? I have been reading feverishly your tips and others every week trying to learn all I can to cut my grocery bill. I don’t have any big saving tips…just yet..but just wanted to let you know that I do spend a lot of time learning from the links and tips you post.

    I never heard of a freezer alarm. Where did you get that Home Depot or something like that. I am going shopping today so I will have to look for one. Thanks!

  9. This is so weird! I just went down to the freezer to get out dinner and noticed that the alarm light was on. Everything looks fine in the freezer, but I’ll be keeping an eye on it. We do have another freezer which is turned off right now. I was planning on turning it on this weekend in preparation for the new gardening season.

    Speaking of freezers, I’ve been looking at how to save money on electricity in our home using information from my local electric company. I shared about it in the linky.

  10. I’m going to have to look into a freezer alarm. I’ve never heard of it before.

    Thanks for the link-up.

  11. We’ve only lost food once due to our freezer going out–the cord wiggled its way out of the socket just enough to lose the power source. But that would have been well worth the 10 bucks for a freezer alarm.

    We’ve lost food more often due to crazy weather that’s caused widespread power outages–I always keep that possibility in mind now before I purchase huge quantities of anything for our frozen stockpile.

  12. I included my recipe for an iced chai, so yummy!

  13. I remember you mentioning a freezer alarm before, and bought one soon after. Thank heavens! About three weeks later one of my precious gems left the freezer cracked open. It’s in the garage and I wouldn’t have noticed until the next day. I had forgotten who shared the idea, and now I get to say thank you!

  14. Where do you purchase a freezer alarm? Last year my son thought he closed the freezer and it didn’t close right everything thawed we had an all day bbq.

  15. I remember you mentioning the freezer alarm before. We really need to invest in one. It would be so disappointing to lose it all.

  16. Green Soup! It’s a great way to work in more vegetables, including the eternal grocery store deal: cabbage!

    A really adventurous mom could take her kids (older & knowledgable) outside to pick wild greens like dandelion greens, violet leaves, lamb’s quarters, etc or take a little field trip of quiet time to herself.

  17. Thanks for another great roundup. I shared a recipe for Quesadillas – super fast, and super cheap. Oh, also healthy!

  18. Is it bad that I feel discouraged that the small kitchen featured is twice the size of mine? My kitchen is teeny, and while I have adapted to make it work for me, I get overwhelmed after big shopping trips with where to put stuff. :(

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      @Rachel, when I lived in France, my kitchen was smaller than most public bathroom stalls. I hear ya! But, don’t feel bad — don’t let it beat you. How can we help you?

  19. Our freezer also has a built in alarm, though I’m not sure if it is a sounding alarm or just a light that goes out. Hope I never have to find out! We save by couponing and one of our grocers does a red tag mark down in the meat dept.

  20. A freezer alarm – what a great idea! I can’t believe I’ve never heard of one before. Thanks so much for posting about them! My refrigerator/freezer is getting to the 10-year mark, and it makes noises every so often that I wonder about, so an alarm like that could be very good idea for us.

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