Americans Stop Buying Appliances… Except For Freezers

Consumer Reports says that despite an overall downturn in appliance purchases, one category is up 13% from last year. Freezers!

CR guesses that a jump in the cost of food is encouraging more families to buy in bulk from warehouse stores– and they need more freezer space to do it.

Rising food prices could be a factor in the growth of freezer sales. From 2005 to 2008, the overall cost of food for home consumption was projected to climb 4 to 5 percent, according to this Wall Street Journal report. The ever-increasing tab at the checkout line has spurred more Americans to buy in bulk at warehouse clubs such as Costco and Sam’s Club, likely creating a need for more freezer space.

Stand-alone freezers can be really helpful. You can buy meat and veggies in bulk and save time and money. You could even consider buying a side of beef.

Interested? Consumer Reports has a buying guide ready to go.

U.S. freezer sales buck overall appliance downturn[CR]
(Photo: mandysuemccaul )


Edit Your Comment

  1. DeleteThisAccount says:

    Appliance Direct!!! See it all and SAVVVVE!

    • EBounding says:

      @AngrySicilian: If you didn’t buy direct YOU PAID TOO MUCH!

    • valleygirl_18002 says:


      You can’t get the full effect unless you’re smacking the appliances while saying “SAME DAY DELIVERY!”

      No wonder it’s scratch and dent…

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @AngrySicilian: wow. it’s been 4 and a half years since i have seen one of those commercials and i can hear it in my head again now… thanks….. in a real special way!

    • ReadLine says:


      White porcelain!

    • davere says:

      @AngrySicilian: YES! I have to stop whatever I’m doing and watch the commercial each time it comes on. Wakkie Nu Nu!

    • bubbledumpster says:

      OMG! It’s SAM!

      I love these commercials. I spent the first week in my first apartment w/o cable, watching this and the Brady Bunch, because that was all they showed on the only channel that would come in.

    • firestarsolo says:

      @AngrySicilian: These commercials are still around as of August 2008 – I watch them when I’m on vacation in Florida. I personally hope they never go away.

      • The Porkchop Express says:

        @firestarsolo: The girl in the sun dress with the knee brace was doing commercials for scratch and dent world in south florida for a while without the wakie nunu guy.

        Is she still with appliance direct? or is their scratch and dent stuff shipped to south florida?

        • firestarsolo says:


          She’s still with appliance direct. I always just assumed that she was his wife.

          Doesn’t she look like Steve Irwin’s wife?? I once thought they were the same person.

    • idx says:

      @AngrySicilian: Do you know the difference between good quality freezer and bad quality freezer?

    • AlexDitto says:

      @AngrySicilian: I spent one year in middle school with the daughter of the guy in those commercials, the poor thing.

      Good heavens, I think there’s still a high-numbered channel in my hometown devoted to playing these commercials 24/7. It’s literally painful to watch. I think at one point the guy puts an entire birthday cake in a dish washer.

    • ealexand says:

      @AngrySicilian: We used to play frinking games to these infomercials in college! Awesome!

    • RedwoodFlyer says:


      I want to kick the girl in the green leprechaun suit..IN THE BOX

      Screw them and their choppy cuts between scenes. They started trolling youtube posts of their videos with comments like “Sam is a really nice family guy”…ugh.

      God bless the commercial skip hack for Tivo

      (select play select 3 0 select while playing any recorded program..listen for the bong bong bong noise…and now the -> button jumps 30 secs, and the pig tail looking arrow jumps back 8 secs.

  2. silver-bolt says:

    I rather keep a cow out back and shoot it every other month, while selling the excess to a local butcher >_>

  3. peepytweep says:

    Awesome pic. I used to work for Appliance Direct and hated seeing the commercials all the time on local tv.

  4. AD8BC says:

    It makes sense. People used to buy a new fridge because it looked pretty or had some claim of being more energy efficient. Now people will only buy if they need it.

    • lockdog says:

      @AD8BC: While the death of the stainless steel trend makes me giddy with “I told you so” glee, if there was one feature that would make me go out and get a new fridge it is the UV LEDs they are putting inside the fridge compartment. Much like the UV water filter I take camping, it kills the little beasties and buggies, reducing spoilage.

      • RedwoodFlyer says:


        Those are a gimick…just an FYI. UV LED’s do a crappy job killing stuff….and any UV bulb that can kill germs will also break down any plastic rather quickly.

  5. ADismalScience says:

    Used to be that wholesale was the rule and retail was the rare exception for the truly wealthy. The worm may be turning the other way!

  6. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    Haha…as soon as I saw that pic I figured it had to be the Appliance Direct guy…those stupid commercials are on ALL THE TIME!

  7. Sollus says:

    It’s all the fringe Republicans thinking the Apocalypse is coming since they believe Obama could potentially win this thing. haha.

    • endersshadow says:

      @Sollus: Fantastic. You’ve managed to take an inanimate, seemingly non-controversial object (a freezer), and make it political.

      Next challenge: Relate bubble gum and string theory to Obama’s tax plan.

    • junkmail says:

      @Sollus: Actually, this particular “fringe Republican” just got done spending $6K on all new appliances. I guess the apocalypse will have to wait, eh?

  8. HomersBrain says:

    AND…they’re cheaper than caskets…

  9. HClay says:

    I’m not surprised. I just bought a small, second-hand chest freezer, just in time for Thanksgiving (the Canadian one).

    Half of the raw bird meat, which was cheap, lean protein, is in that freezer. More pre-planned leftovers shall follow. I’ve had to throw out so much food that has gone south before I’ve had a chance to do anything with it.

    Cooking for one is a pain, unless you can do batch cooking and freeze it.

  10. strife1012 says:


    Bought a Floor Standing Freezer at Lowes for $325

    Open Box is where the deals are at.

  11. Starfury says:

    We have a freezer in the garage and when stores have meat on sale I stock up. If I can buy tri-tip roasts for less than hamburger I’m happy.

    The freezer is starting to get a bit empty so it’s time to watch the ads.

  12. ironchef says:

    maybe its for those Buck Rogers type who want to cryogenically freeze themselves until the national banking crisis blows over in about 2 or 3 more centuries.

  13. 92BuickLeSabre says:

    Damn straight it’s time for a freezer.

    I read The Road; I know what’s next.

  14. dreamsneverend says:

    Only downside to a nice big freezer is making sure the stuff is packaged well with little or no air so you don’t get freezer burn on your goodies.

  15. Anonymous says:

    We’ve got a freezer and an extra fridge in the garage. Great for overflow, but you can easily forget what you have. One day I cataloged 35 pounds of meat dating up to a year. We didn’t need to buy any meat for a month.

  16. mzs says:

    The time for break even on a freezer is not worth it for our family. You need to figure that it costs $6-8 per cu ft per year to run in addition to the loss of space in the garage and initial cost.

  17. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    Stand-alone freezers can be really helpful. You can buy meat and veggies in bulk and save time and money. You could even consider buying a side of beef.

    Nuh uh! Walk in freezer + side of beef = BIG TROUBLE

  18. legwork says:

    Do serial killers count in their stats or are those considered commercial sales? Cause ya’know, recession or whatever, ya gotta keep the customer “comfortable.”

    //wonders who’s knocking at the door

  19. 2Wheelsor4: The Moto-Stig says:

    That’s why I took advantage of sales-people’s desperation to sell appliances, in the last two months, bought a deep freeze, range, dishwasher and fridge. Good deals to be had all around!

  20. bohemian says:

    We have two freezers, an upright and a chest freezer. We run the upright all the time and stockpile deals on meat, frozen veggies and leftovers made into meals. The second one gets turned on when we go in on a cow with some other people. At least one of the grocery stores runs 25 cents per pound turkeys or free turkeys with $50 purchase around T-day. I plan on stocking up.

  21. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    I’m getting a freezer! My husband has put my basement back together and I am SO getting a chest freezer now! I’m going to unclaimed freight!

  22. madanthony says:

    I’m guessing part of the reason that appliance sales as a whole are down is that people were buying kitchen stuff because they either bought a new house or were flipping a house.

    Since most people keep their freezer in the basement, the housing crisis isn’t really an issue.

  23. booboolee says:

    If I didn’t live in a teeny tiny apartment, I would be buying a chest freezer too. I need the fridge freezer for my ice cream, but my boyfriend’s bulk pork tenderloins and the chilis we make in bulk are taking all the space! Aaarrrgh, need chocolate ice cream!

  24. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    Time to plug in the chest freezer…it’s deer season! I love a freezer full of venison.

  25. Keter says:

    I just bought a chest freezer at Sears last month. Why? Stocking up on food, especially meat, in anticipation of runaway inflation after the election.

  26. NiGHTSSTUDiO says:

    I can’t believe no one posted this yet:

  27. Taed says:

    The word “Stop” in the title is misleading. Sales are only down 7.4%. Not even double-digit! While that’s signficant, that’s hardly a “stop”. A train going 100 MPH which slowed to 92 MPH certainly did not stop — it’s still going quite fast.

    But, I suppose we can at least safely blame the consumer here (for not buying as many appliances).

    Oh well.

    Lovingly yours, Mr. Picky. :-)

  28. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    The economy is down, organized crime is on the rise..where else are Mafia members going to keep their dead bodies? In a side-by-side fridge? I don’t think so…not in a dishwasher either.

    Plus.. many energy-conscious hit-men have traded their three-bodies-in-the-trunk Lincoln Town Cars for Toyota Priuses, so the stiffs have to sit on ice for a while until Benny “the bull” Sicialano shows up with the garbage truck to pick them up.

  29. MightyDwarf56 says:

    Sweet, more work for me!

  30. ottawa_guy says:

    Ah that was a good reminderof my vacations in Florida…. buy APPLIANCE DIRECT and SAVE SAVE SAVE…. only at Appliance Direct…we have the waki nu nu :)

  31. dewsipper says:

    We’re going to get our new upright 20.1 cuft freezer tonight after work. It has nothing to do with the economy – it has everything to do with our old freezer being at least 40 years old. We figure we’re a bit past due.

    I just wish the manufacturer was still around. That many years of good heavy use (we got it used from an American Legion Post), and we have to replace because the door/seal is no longer working. That’s a darned good compressor there.

  32. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    My parents have a large chest freezer and don’t use it very well. It’s basically just a hold-all for food that my mom buys and then forgets about until she runs out of room and has to clean it. I’m pretty sure there’s still Schwan’s food from my high school days in there…and I’ve been out of college for 4 years. It makes me kind of sick to see the food go to waste.

    My boyfriend and I are considering buying a small freezer; we currently rent and are debating whether it’s worth making the purchase before we decide to buy a house. Our issue though is that most of our freezer is taken up with frozen mice and various other foods for our reptiles and fish. Rats sharing freezer space with our Boston Market dinners is a much bigger deal to him than it is to me.

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      @h3llc4t: as long as one or the other is in a bag, I see no problem keeping frozen rats, mice or pinkies in with people food.

      Just make sure you mark the bags, very clearly.

      • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

        @Lo-Pan: Oh, always. I am a good herper girlfriend. I keep them triple-bagged (Ziploc from RodentPro, plastic shopping bag, then large brown paper bag) and only in one section of the freezer. It’s a conceptual thing for him, I think he can’t get over the image of tiny pinkie particles boring their way into his ice cream.

  33. admiral_stabbin says:

    I bought a new fridge and a new dishwasher this year.
    Apparently, I was the only one…

  34. IrvCrapper says:

    Great picture with this story. That’s that asshole in Florida with the lady in the green dresses and big black leg brace. Those advertisements were annoying, but strangely entertaining.

    He’s “Wacky Nu Nu!”

  35. Bryan Price says:

    Oh God! mandysuemccaul is a neighbor!

    “Right smack in the middle of Palatka! On Highway 19! In the MIDDLE of Palatka!”

    /me faceplants.

  36. chicagojim says:

    Don’t be a Whacky-NuNu!

    I have spent hours of my rain-soaked Disney vacations watching these commericals.

    Seriously though, having a deep freeze saves me big bucks. I just processed the garden vegetables over the past couple of weeks and can laugh when tomatoes are $3.50 a pound in January . . .