So, once the dust settles (sadly, a literal description) after the housemate moves out -- this weekend?? -- and we rearrange our kitchen furniture, I might be getting a deep freezer!
I have been wanting one for ages. My grandmother's house, where I lived after college, had a huge chest freezer in the basement (total horror movie recipe), but it didn't work. Something with the freon... I dunno. It was old. And huge.
But I have dreams of stockpiling, of filling up a freezer with bunches of home-cooked food and items bought in bulk. A double batch of lumpia, a potluck-ready lasagna, or a stack of lentil soup containers. Our teeny-tiny top freezer will have a little more room once the housemate's stuff is out, but a small chest freezer -- 5 or 7-cubic feet -- would fit into our kitchen and give us so much extra space to store. Right now we don't even have room for ice cubes.
There's one additional reason that I want to get a freezer SOON if we can. We have a special bonus goal on the calendar for November: don't cook dinner. I want to have enough in the way of slow cooker mixes, homemade soup and stew, and casseroles that the most we'd have to do would be to steam some veggies or throw together a salad and pull a hot meal out of the oven or microwave. For a whole month while we come down from the wedding/honeymoon and have homebody time.
So I've been scouting different models online and measuring the exact space we have in the kitchen (making sure to allow for clearance around the sides and back, so heat and air can escape). We like this model, and it looks like it's available at a number of locations for $200-$250. If we were to find one -- especially one on sale -- nearby, we wouldn't have to pay shipping fees, but we'd have to borrow or rent (City Carshare) a vehicle to pick it up.
There's also the option of buying a used model through Craigslist, where a range of chest freezers is currently listed between $100 and $200. It's likely we'd have to drive about as far to pick one up from its previous owner as to a Home Depot, etc. Because of the nature of that sort of sale, there may be some price flexibility, but there are also downsides. No warranty. Possibly getting a bum unit -- or one that's in reasonable shape, but is just older and needing more maintenance. Freezers aren't as complicated as, say, cars, but I'd REALLY rather not wake up to a puddle of water on the wood floor or come home to find out that our 2-3 months of stockpiled food needs to be eaten or disposed of in 2-3 days. What a waste! Especially when I could have spent a little more and gotten a brand-new unit from a dealer.
So I'm exploring the second-hand options cautiously. Honestly, if we picked up one right now, I don't know where we'd put it. Remember the stacks of boxes? It would be easier to get one at the end of the month after (hopefully!) we've sorted out the kitchen and put away the stuff from storage.
Any tips on buying appliances large and small online? Or direct from owners? Or any good freezer meal recipes / storage techniques?