Beginning March 1st, while supplies last, both Ultra Foods and Strack & Van Til stores in Chicagoland have a freezer deal running: Buy a 5.0 cubic foot Haier chest freezer for $169.99 and get $230 worth of FREE product coupons to fill it with!
If you’re looking for a chest freezer, I believe that buying one during a sale like this is the best way to score extra freezer space at the best possible price.
Longtime readers may remember when Jewel-Osco did a similar annual freezer deal. Jewel no longer does, so if you’re looking for a freezer, it may be worth the drive to one of these stores’ locations to get your freezer. (Call first to make sure they have freezers in stock.)
IMPORTANT: If you do this deal, do not buy all of the frozen food in the same shopping trip! The best way to use free-product coupons is to pair them with a Buy One Get One FREE sale. Instead of getting one free product, you’ll get TWO! You can always use any remaining coupons up before they expire. (The only exception to this would be if any of the coupons are store-specific to Ultra or Strack & Van Til. If they are, and these stores aren’t your regular grocery stores, you may want to use those up.) Several readers have done this Ultra freezer deal, then used the coupons at Jewel or wherever else they shop.
March is Frozen Food Month, so we typically see good sale on frozen foods all month long. When I did my freezer deal, I was able to take home two free items instead of one for over half the coupons given during the deal.
Each year, I’ve shared a great list of tips compiled over the years from readers and cashiers during freezer deals. Here’s that list again:
- Freezers should be kept upright at all times during transport. Do not lay the freezer on its back.
- Plug freezer in for 24 hours, empty, before filling it with items. It takes a full day to reach its coldest temperature, and if you fill it immediately, your food will not be kept frozen.
- The freezers during tehse sales are typically manual defrost. This is not a bad thing. Food kept in a manual-defrost chest freezer will last longer than food stored in a self-defrosting freezer. Self-defrosting freezers circulate warm air around the perimeter to keep the frost out, and this warm air is what causes your ice cream to crystallize and the “freezer burn” taste, among other things. If you keep the freezer full, you’ll likely not need to defrost it for a couple years or more.
Most chest freezers’ documentation will state that it shouldn’t be kept in the garage, but that’s where mine lives. I purchased my 5-cubic-foot Igloo chest freezer during one of Jewel’s freezer deals years ago, and it’s still going strong! It lives in the garage right outside our kitchen door, and it’s about the size of a washer or dryer, but shorter in height. It’s true that the compressor runs more in summer and infrequently in winter. However, the way I look at it, the freezer was such a great deal to begin with that if it’s longevity was shortened by keeping it in the garage, I was okay with it. I purchased mine in 2009, and here we are, eight years later, and it’s still running like a champ.
If anyone does the deal this year and wants to share the list of coupons values and expiration dates with me, I’ll be happy to post it for others who may be considering this deal.