We've recently reported on declining shipments and sales of major appliances. But as was the case in 2008, stand-alone freezers continue to buck the downward trend. Sales of these appliances increased almost 20 percent in March, while demand for refrigerators, ranges, and other major appliances fell nearly 12 percent, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.
It seems that more American consumers are buying in bulk at discount retailers and warehouse clubs as they try to save money. And when they shop, they're also apparently stocking up on ice cream. "Despite tighter budgets, our customers are buying lots of ice cream," says Caren Epstein, a spokeswoman for Walmart, the nation's biggest grocery retailer. Sales of frozen pizzas at Walmart are up too. (Check out our report to find the best light ice creams.)
If you're in the market for a new freezer, read our buyer's guide to find the model that's right for your home. And be sure not to keep your new freezer in the garage, where high temperatures, say during summer months or in a warm-weather climate, can make the compressor work harder.
Our new report on freezers will appear in the September 2009 issue of Consumer Reports, online and on newsstands in August.—Kimberly Janeway | e-mail | Twitter
Essential information: Read our advice for cutting your grocery bills, and avoid buyer's remorse when you're shopping at warehouse clubs by not giving in to the big-box binge.