Rethinking Refrigeration: The Benefits of a Smaller Fridge


| 11/28/2017 2:28:00 PM


Tags: Jennifer Tuohy, Home Depot, mini refrigerators,

Small Fridge 1

Downsizing is on trend. While we may not all be rushing to join the “tiny house movement,” there is a growing consciousness among today’s consumers to make the most of our resources, waste less, and eliminate clutter—it’s good for the Earth and for simplifying our lives. When downsizing your home or merely trying to cut back, one significant way to increase this impact is to get a smaller refrigerator.

If you’re a family of four or more — or you have teenagers in the house — a big French door refrigerator can be a lifesaver. But there’s room to simplify in even the most bustling households. And for smaller families, empty nesters, singletons, and retirees, opting for a smaller fridge can almost go unnoticed. These “alternative” fridges use less energy, take up less space, and encourage you to waste less food. They’re also a much better fit for small kitchens and can help you add counter space.

Here are the reasons to consider an alternative to a big refrigerator.

Take Up Less Space

Whether you’re downsizing to a condo after raising a family, living in a small apartment in the city, or just trying to make more room in your kitchen, maximizing space can be a challenge. A fridge that is smaller than its full-sized counterpart can allow you to find extra room in your kitchen for seating, cabinetry, and other appliances.

Use Less Energy

Not only are smaller refrigerators less expensive, but they’re also less expensive to run. Appliances are responsible for 13 percent of a household’s energy use, and after the heating and cooling system, the refrigerator is one of the biggest home-energy hogs. Refrigerators take up a lot of valuable space and energy in a kitchen, but they’re often working harder than they have to, cooling food that you don’t ever need or use.

Lily
3/7/2018 1:06:32 PM

We are a two person family, and we downsized to a fridge similar to that shown in the image about three years ago. The freezer size we did find a bit prohibitive, especially when some bulk sales that required a larger freezer couldn't be utilized. We bought a 3.5 chest top freezer last year during a Black Friday sale we're keeping in the cellar because we don't need to use it every day, and can keep the setting lower since the cellar is not conditioned so it uses even less power. This has helped even though we don't keep it nearly as full as it could be so far. It likely will see more use this year as our fruit trees/shrubs keep growing and our kitchen garden might finally see some use (the grounds were in bad shape when we bought last year and we are still working on this issue.) Having a smaller fridge did help us focus on what we were refrigerating unnecessarily, as well as kept food waste down. Leftovers and other fridge foods in general get lost much less easily. Having the additional freezer also helped planning and food budgeting, especially during winter when we'd much rather only do one large shopping trip a month, with maybe another trip for any staple like milk we've run out of or the like. At first, we weren't great with rotation of items in there, but over time we found a system that works well. Having such a set up has allowed us to keep our small 1935 galley kitchen very workable as is, without having to spend additional funds to move a wall just to make room for larger appliances. (We also have a wonderful older Country Charm stove we found on Craig's List nearby that which is wider than some, but has a shallower depth.)


Lily
3/7/2018 1:06:21 PM

We are a two person family, and we downsized to a fridge similar to that shown in the image about three years ago. The freezer size we did find a bit prohibitive, especially when some bulk sales that required a larger freezer couldn't be utilized. We bought a 3.5 chest top freezer last year during a Black Friday sale we're keeping in the cellar because we don't need to use it every day, and can keep the setting lower since the cellar is not conditioned so it uses even less power. This has helped even though we don't keep it nearly as full as it could be so far. It likely will see more use this year as our fruit trees/shrubs keep growing and our kitchen garden might finally see some use (the grounds were in bad shape when we bought last year and we are still working on this issue.) Having a smaller fridge did help us focus on what we were refrigerating unnecessarily, as well as kept food waste down. Leftovers and other fridge foods in general get lost much less easily. Having the additional freezer also helped planning and food budgeting, especially during winter when we'd much rather only do one large shopping trip a month, with maybe another trip for any staple like milk we've run out of or the like. At first, we weren't great with rotation of items in there, but over time we found a system that works well. Having such a set up has allowed us to keep our small 1935 galley kitchen very workable as is, without having to spend additional funds to move a wall just to make room for larger appliances. (We also have a wonderful older Country Charm stove we found on Craig's List nearby that which is wider than some, but has a shallower depth.)


Lily
3/7/2018 1:03:04 PM

We are a two person family, and we downsized to a fridge similar to that shown in the image about three years ago. The freezer size we did find a bit prohibitive, especially when some bulk sales that required a larger freezer couldn't be utilized. We bought a 3.5 chest top freezer last year during a Black Friday sale we're keeping in the cellar because we don't need to use it every day, and can keep the setting lower since the cellar is not conditioned so it uses even less power. This has helped even though we don't keep it nearly as full as it could be so far. It likely will see more use this year as our fruit trees/shrubs keep growing and our kitchen garden might finally see some use (the grounds were in bad shape when we bought last year and we are still working on this issue.) Having a smaller fridge did help us focus on what we were refrigerating unnecessarily, as well as kept food waste down. Leftovers and other fridge foods in general get lost much less easily. Having the additional freezer also helped planning and food budgeting, especially during winter when we'd much rather only do one large shopping trip a month, with maybe another trip for any staple like milk we've run out of or the like. At first, we weren't great with rotation of items in there, but over time we found a system that works well. Having such a set up has allowed us to keep our small 1935 galley kitchen very workable as is, without having to spend additional funds to move a wall just to make room for larger appliances. (We also have a wonderful older Country Charm stove we found on Craig's List nearby that which is wider than some, but has a shallower depth.)





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