getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

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getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Post: #120659 Big Al
Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:19 pm

Ok folks, I'm thinking of getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Mainly to save electric but also we can't hide processed ready meals that taste like cardboard in there. SOOOOOO the question is how do people on here who don't have a fridge or freezer manage?

I don't want to upset people like I did when I questioned washing up in cold water... something I do all the time now and even my wife has been caught doing it... ( My wife is one of those that doesn't understand a two way switch also switches off,lol.. a 20 minute shower etc)

I was thinknig of making a pantry with paving slabs at different hieghts, buying daily or at max food for 2 days at a time, cooking fresh etc. One question though how long does milk and meat, fish etc keep if not refrigerated ??

Any imput eagerly awaited.

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Re: getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Post: #120671 Mrs Moustoir
Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:57 pm

I've never been without a fridge but my late Gran never had one. She had an old fashioned walk in larder which always felt cold even in high summer and kept her milk (glass bottled - delivered by the milkman) in a bucket with a damp tea towel over it.

She bought her groceries almost daily and kept the Sunday roast in a wire gauze meat safe from Saturday afternoon until it was cooked the next day.

Mind you, I alway think of her when I eat a piece of slightly sweaty Cheddar cheese! :wink:

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Re: getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Post: #120728 Clara
Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:38 am

We are fridge and freezer free in the south of spain, we have a pantry on the north side of our house, it works just fine.

If you look at the main site you will also see instructions on how to make a low-tech pot-in-pot fridge, I experimented with one last year and it really worked - even a friend of mine who had her's in the full andalusian sun was recording a steady 8 degrees inside. I stopped using it only because we didn't really have anything that we needed to keep so cold and wanted the space for something else, but if you like a cold beer (and I mean COLD beer) worth having a little one has a cooler.
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Re: getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Post: #120729 old tree man
Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:42 am

the old style larder usually had a huge slate or marble shelf to help keep things cool this can be up to 2 to 3 inches thick, another must is a small vent with some micro mesh on it in the wall and in the door to allow fo a flow of air and to keep out little nasties, fortunatly i am of the age when we had a wallk in larder years ago and i would swap it now for what we have.
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Re: getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Post: #120755 snapdragon
Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:42 am

Best person to ask about keeping meat or fish will be your local (proper) butcher or fishmonger,
Fish is generally buy, cook, eat as far as I recall unless it's salted or smoked.

from memory (long time back) processed meats (sausages, bacon) can be kept for longer than fresh. Chicken cant be kept as long as beef or lamb.
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Re: getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Post: #120833 Big Al
Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:58 pm

Thanks for the posts. All usefull info. Our kitchen was extended before we moved into the house and we have a downstairs toilet that looks like it has been put in under the stairs. No one uses it as it's too cold and I was talking to my neighbour today and we ended up in his kitchen to get some fresah beetroots he had just pulled and low and behold there in the same place as our downstairs loo is a larder without the door on..... A proper cold larder... no wonder our toilet is so cold..lol.

A bit of digging about and we found the old house plans for the extension and it says on there convert larder to downstairs loo.

As for the keeping of food I was sat out in the garden and my mind wandered as it does and it's probably 4 days out of 7 that I cook daily with fresh ingredients so why not extend that to 7 ?

Mind you I have been thinking... always a costly mistake on my part but the cold shelves in my neighbours larder are concrete paving slabs used for footpaths etc but i'm wondering if this idea will work. your intuitive thoughts if you please. ( I'm a poor inventor I reckon) Anyway my cold water pipe comes into the house in what is now the toilet. Sooooo I'm thinking if i make a flat water coil similar to the grills on a refrigeration coil ( or solar thermal system, underfloor heating) out of copper pipe then bury this into a box, cover with concrete and leave to set then conect this coil up to the cold water infeed and again to the house would the cold water going through the conrete everytime we used the cold tap cool the concrete a bit?? If so I would then have a cooler shelf over and above the concrete alone..... told you I was a mixed up inventor...

found the pot in a pot explination so will bo doing that tomorrow, Tuesday.

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Re: getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Post: #120898 ina
Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:48 am

Can't say anything about your plans - too technical! :mrgreen:

I manage without a fridge for half the year - most of my house doesn't get much above fridge temperature anyway. I keep the window open in the guest room (provided there are no guests in it) and call it my walk-in fridge. I'm constantly trying to prolong the fridge free period. Tried the pot-in-pot cooler, but that didn't really work for me.

And currently I have the freezer off - don't think I'll turn it back on too soon. The garden has been not at all productive this year, so there's no surplus to freeze. I always try to preserve stuff without freezer (bottling etc) first, anyway.
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Re: getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Post: #120900 The Riff-Raff Element
Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:13 am

Big Al wrote:

Mind you I have been thinking... always a costly mistake on my part but the cold shelves in my neighbours larder are concrete paving slabs used for footpaths etc but i'm wondering if this idea will work. your intuitive thoughts if you please. ( I'm a poor inventor I reckon) Anyway my cold water pipe comes into the house in what is now the toilet. Sooooo I'm thinking if i make a flat water coil similar to the grills on a refrigeration coil ( or solar thermal system, underfloor heating) out of copper pipe then bury this into a box, cover with concrete and leave to set then conect this coil up to the cold water infeed and again to the house would the cold water going through the conrete everytime we used the cold tap cool the concrete a bit?? If so I would then have a cooler shelf over and above the concrete alone..... told you I was a mixed up inventor...




Logically, this should work, but I'd be tempted to check the temperature of the cold water supply just in case it's something stupid like 12°C. Friends of ours - for reasons that they have thus far been unable to devine - have mains cold water (cold water tanks in houses are unknown in France AFAIK: everything is off the rising main) that is frequently lukewarm even in winter. The water company claim it is nothing to do with them. But they would say that...

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Re: getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Post: #120911 Big Al
Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:18 am

The water temp is 10 deg c out of the ground and the "larder Temp is 20deg c today. Are these temperitures going to work against me ??

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Re: getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Post: #121479 Annpan
Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:29 pm

welcome to the site... the pot in pot cooler would work for your milk, check out the main site for instructions... the link is at the top of the page :mrgreen:
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Re: getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Post: #121623 Flo
Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:06 pm

azjh77 has just shown that there are times when it is almost impossible to manage without a fridge/freezer - some of us don't have the privilege of having a home which we can adjust to manage without one - can't see my social housing association being interested in the suggestion :mrgreen: :wink:

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Re: getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Post: #121641 Big Al
Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:55 pm

Flo wrote:azjh77 has just shown that there are times when it is almost impossible to manage without a fridge/freezer - some of us don't have the privilege of having a home which we can adjust to manage without one - can't see my social housing association being interested in the suggestion :mrgreen: :wink:


No one says you have to give up your F/F Flo, My questions are of the experimental nature, a kind of "what if". Also it's not that you CAN'T do without a fridge / freezer just that you need to be able to accomodate the lack of one in your life. I could not go and buy a new one tomorrow if my current one packs up today and if we have power cuts what do we do??
I started looking at this to see if it was possible to do without one as my fridge and freezer, 2 seperates and under counter cost over £337 a year to run without the recent price increase. This recent increase will take my bill for a F/F up to over £440.

From my theoretical research so for ( I'll be trying it in practice as phase 2) I feel that it will be attainable to live in todays lifestyle without a F/F but it won't work for everyone.

Speaking with butchers, fishmongers etc their advice is that poultry can be kepts for at least 5 days providing it is out of plastic, kept dry and kept on a cold shelf covered with a muslin cloth or mesh net against flys etc. Beef, pork and lamb will keep for 4 days and fish is buy it cook it eat it the same day.

Milk can be kept for around 2 days on a cool shelf but in a double pot it should last up to a week.... However as I say these are theoretical and I will report back as I try them out.

As for vegetables these love a cool dark place as in a larder but the basic thing to remember is that you change your lifestyle to suit the home. I appreciate this cannot be done in general for a lot of people by being at home all day I can adapt and shop daily so I can buy all my provisions daily if I want.

I am concerned that the temperiture in the "larder" area has not fell below 18Deg c over the last 3 days but that is without a cold shelf and an air brick in place.
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Re: getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Post: #122061 Odsox
Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:24 pm

Yeah, you can't beat a larder, but you definitely need a through air flow though.
As to your water bed idea :lol: it does depend how much water you draw during the course of the day, but during summer should make quite a difference I would have thought.
I know of an old Victorian country house that has it's larder built over a well, and it was always cold in there ... made you shiver when you walked into it.
I think though that your cold water supply is probably at a constant 52 degrees F (12C) if the pipes are deep enough, so winter time it may not work so well.

Giving up your fridge does rather depend where you live of course, we would find it difficult as our nearest shop is 15 miles away and we only go shopping once a week.
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Re: getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Post: #122086 Big Al
Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:28 pm

Odsox wrote:Yeah, you can't beat a larder, but you definitely need a through air flow though.

Giving up your fridge does rather depend where you live of course, we would find it difficult as our nearest shop is 15 miles away and we only go shopping once a week.



quite apt today.... becasue we were away last week I took the decision to shop daily and all that from yesterday, monday. As the freezer is still off I omly had milk in the fridge ( waiting for the pots for the pot in a pot) I done too much yesterday and totally knacked up so today I couldn't move a muscle and consequently had nothing to eat until 4 pm and the local corner shop is only about 70 yards away.....

Still perserverence, planning and a bit of pacing myself might do the trick.
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Re: getting rid of the fridge and freezer.....

Post: #122149 LBR
Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:29 pm

When I bought my mobile home, it had a lovely and way-too-large refrigerator/freezer. Very fancy contraption. As soon as I could, I gave it to a neighbor. The thing matched my kitchen cabinets, but I knew I'd fill it up with stuff I didn't need and wouldn't use up.

I bought a small fridge with a freezer large enough for two packages of frozen veggies. It has a good effect on my diet. The freezer is too small to put a pint of Julie's organic ice cream in it. I don't eat the regular kind, so the tiny freezer helps me get sleek!

The fridge is on a set of shelves I picked up at a church thrift shop. I don't have to lean over, crouch on the floor, or sit in a chair to reach the bottom shelf. It has no irritating drawers to pull out or clean. It has no light and does not self-defrost. It holds enough for me and I'm quite attached to it.

If the labels are correct, the electricity savings paid for the fridge in a year and a half.

When I lived in Germany, I had a fridge just a tad larger, and sometimes shared it with a flatmate. I noticed that many a family used a fridge that size. I almost got one that "large", but wanted one that wouldn't look big sitting on top of shelves. I can also pick up this one by myself when it's empty.

I've never had a separate freezer. I wonder if keeping food frozen costs more than going to the store more often. I can understand wanting the convenience of a lot of frozen foods on hand, esp. if one can't get to the store. My mother can't drive these days, and really appreciates having her freezer in the kitchen now. My parents keep a lot of food on hand, so they don't feel the pressure to go to the store.

I could imagine having a spring house, root cellar, or some other cooling system. Or, just eating things according to the season. People at campgrounds use metal canisters to store food to keep varmints out.

My little fridge is my step on the way to no fridge. I don't miss having freezer space. I used to store grains in the freezer section of the fridge and have gone to a grain-free diet, except for some teff now and then. It took some time to adjust, but it's worked out very well.


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