When it comes to food waste, I've already admitted that I was horrible. But, that was then, and I'm much better now. The appliance that helps me reduce food waste the most is my freezer. I should say freezers, because I have a collection. I have my big refrigerator/freezer upstairs. Then downstairs I have a small chest freezer (I think probably a 6 cu.ft.), a large chest freezer (maybe 16 cu. ft) and a second refrigerator that has a small freezer up top. Each has a specific purpose and helps me be thrifty, healthy and maybe one day green.
Our upstairs freezer holds the day to day items that we use. In it, you can find leftovers, baked goods, flours (whole wheat and gluten free), flax seed, half bags of frozen veggies, ice packs and the occasional box of ice cream.
The downstairs big freezer is a 1950's model (so not energy efficient). However it works and why throw something away that works? Plus, I try to help it be more energy efficient by keeping it full and opening it as few times as possible (I dig meat out once a week for the whole week). My disclaimer is that every other day or so, I crack the lid, reach in and make sure it is still working, because if it dies and we don't catch it... oh my, I don't even want to think about it! (enter shudder and cry smilie guy here). We store our meat, cheese and butter in this freezer. Currently there is about 50 pounds of ground beef, 3 or 4 whole chickens, about 6 pounds of chicken legs, 12 pounds of boneless/skinless chicken breasts, 7 pounds of shredded cheese, a turkey, a brisket and a couple packages of porterhouse steaks. The freezer isn't completely full right now as I'm getting ready to divide up my 50 pound bag of oats into icing buckets and store it in the freezer. Hopefully that will happen this weekend.
Next to the big guy is my smaller chest freezer. We got this when we were apartment dwellers and needed a place to keep the meat my parents gave us. When we moved into our house, we moved the meat to the big freezer and the smaller freezer became the fruit and veggie freezer. Big bags of blueberries, mango, strawberries, corn, peas, green beans, broccoli, etc. are in there as well as my 50 pound bag of white wheat flour.
The small freezer above the second fridge holds produce from the garden. There are 6 gallon bags of tomatoes and 1 gallon bag of individually packaged shredded zucchini in there, and some odds and ends in the door (miscellaneous bag of English muffins and some boo-boo packs for the dc kids).
And just to round out the group, I'll tell you that the second fridge holds all the extra milk, sliced and shredded cheese (would freeze it but we use it too fast), butter from the freezer that is thawing, and overflow produce that won't fit upstairs or falls later in the menu plan.
You can definitely tell that my freezers help me stockpile foods items, and while that may be thrifty (to buy great quantities when items are on sale), you may wonder how that reduces waste. I'll get to that part tomorrow! I've got some carrots to peel before the babies wake up (if you've ever tried to peel carrots and hold a squirmy baby, you would agree! LOL).