Finances & Money

Ways to Save #12: Fill Up the Freezer

Tip #12 of the Ways to Save Money Series is a short and simple one. To save money on cooling your freezer (and refrigerator), keep your freezer as full as possible. This technique is actually called “freezer blocking” and people have made it into a science.

I was looking around for some support of this idea and I found this forum entry on the Saving Advice forums:

Basically freezer blocking is filling up the unused space inside the freezer. The theory is … the less air inside the freezer the less electricity will be required to freeze the food. Anything that lowers the internal volume of the freezer will cause the compressor to spend less time keeping the interior cold. It would be equivalent to having a smaller freezer.

Additionally, the cold air from your freezer goes to your fridge, which is how your fridge is cooled. If you also try to fill up your fridge, your compressor would need to work even less.

The Method

The article mentions using cardboard boxes filled with insulation, but that seems a bit over the top for me. Instead, just fill up some used plastic containers with water and fill in the spaces where you can. Also, you’ll have “emergency water” if you ever need it!

I’m not going to claim whether the science behind this is true, but it’s one of those “It makes sense” things and it doesn’t take much to fill up a bottle with water and throw it in a space so I’m up for it.

So, if you can link to or explain the science here, please do! I’m a bit too lazy for that and I’m saving up energy for filling up the bottles and lugging them to the freezer 🙂

About the author

Clever Dude


  • This is good advice but make sure not to take it to the extreme. Your freezer especially, depends on air circulation to work properly. If you block off the areas where circulation is designed to occur you could prevent the machine from working efficiently. Each model is different but there’s areas where the freezer air is sent to the fridge, usually by method of a fan. Leaving some air space around here will actually increase efficiency, as more air can circulate, making the fan work less, and also extending the life of the fan.

    Another thing to keep an eye on for efficiency of the machine is to vacuum the vents on the bottom at least twice a year, probably more often if you have pets. Since it’s pulling air in, it’s also pulling in dust, and over time, the vents will get blocked, causing the motor to again have to work harder.

  • I’m all for saving money and saving energy but this seems a bit on the excessive side. How much money can you possibly save by going to all this effort?

  • I’m not sure about the inner workings of the freezers, but I grew up always keeping the deep freeze in the garage full of something simply because the more frozen things you have in there during a power outage, the longer everything would stay frozen before thawing.

    It’s always been a rule of thumb for us, but perhaps it’s like the big pile of snow in the parking lot lasting a month because everything under the top 1ft doesn’t need to be cooled any longer to stay there. The only thing you really need to keep cool is the part exposed to the outside. The rest just stays as cold as its surroundings.

Leave a Comment