Going without a fridge

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FrugalPatat
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Going without a fridge

Post by FrugalPatat » Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:18 am

I used to eat a lot of meat and diary products, food you need to keep cool. But about a year ago I went full vegan. No more meat, diary or eggs.

Besides that I am bothered by the cost of all the food that I eat. I lift weights so I eat alot. Today I started experimenting with replacing my bread-based diet with an oat-based diet because this would be much cheaper. I normally eat 400 grams of bread a day in 3 meals. About 1/3 of the filling I put on the bread needs to be kept in the fridge. However with this new oat-based diet this would no longer be necessary.

In the end, all that would remain is vegetables, tofu etc which we use for dinner (which is my 4th meal). But from what I read on the web it is not hard to get by without a fridge for storing vegetables. And I can cut the tofu and just eat more chickpeas.

So even though I never set out to go without a fridge, because I went vegan, and because I will probably replace my bread-based diet with an oat-based diet I am in a situation were going fridgeless would require little additional effort.

Anyone live without a fridge?

Jason
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by Jason » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:18 am

We recently purchased a new one. As we researched, I realized how close we were to not needing one. We thought of the Smeg which is smaller but not less expensive.

When contrasting its daily contents in comparison to its size, its admittedly ridiculous. It's like an SUV parked inside our kitchen. But I don't need to go into why we ultimately bought one. Typical bullshit. That being said, I can certainly understand how a simple change in diet would eliminate one's need for a fridge.

DutchGirl
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by DutchGirl » Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:43 am

Like cars, fridges are smaller in Europe. I wonder whether it would be possible to use a much smaller fridge in the US? Like a beer fridge or something like that... Would be cheaper plus you can probably also find an energy-efficient smaller fridge.

BRUTE
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by BRUTE » Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:48 am

brute has been wondering about a smaller fridge, too, as he rarely uses more than one shelf even after a large grocery haul. the thing is that most apartments come with a giant fridge, and electricity is cheap. so it doesn't make much sense to upgrade while the old one is still running.

jacob
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by jacob » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:20 am

@Dutchgirl - That's what we do. We have a 4.4cft fridge that fits under the counter. Not quite beer fridge, but pretty close. It mainly contains condiments (olives, ketchup) and leftovers for a few days. Going without fridge would be entirely possible if I/we were willing to cook each day, so we mainly have it as a convenience.

Mikeallison
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by Mikeallison » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:03 pm

I eat alot of oats. My favorite way to prepare them is by mixing uncooked old fashioned oats with peanut butter, Apple sauce, raisins, and little salt. Sometimes I use olive oil and lemon juice instead of apple sauce and peanut butter for more of a savory dish. You can store all of these without a fridge, and I find it to be tasty and satisfying. I read the recipe in Helen Nearings "food for the good life". It is an excellent book, with a ton of other simple recipes that don't require a fridge.

Campitor
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by Campitor » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:45 pm

@Brute

I've been told that its best to store something in your fridge to make it work more efficiently. Even empty bottles are better than dead air: https://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=1850

DutchGirl
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by DutchGirl » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:35 am

> electricity is cheap

It's funny to read this. In my country, electricity isn't perceived as cheap. Electricity probably really is cheaper in the US ( I know that gasoline for your car is much cheaper there, too), but here in the Netherlands it's roughly 20 eurocents per kWh, so that's 25 dollarcents per kWh.

So for lots of people, say that a smaller fridge is saving you 150 kWh per year in electricity, then that's 37 dollars, and thus for many worth it to just have a smaller fridge (in particular if you don't really need a bigger one). It is true that many people wouldn't throw away the old bigger fridge if it still works, but they will switch to a smaller one as soon as the old one is beyond repair.

I think it is a big motivator for people to use less electricity and that in turn of course definitely is better for the environment.

luxagraf
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by luxagraf » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:13 am

Not sure if this counts as no fridge, but we live in an RV with a small icebox (4cu ft) and 12V freezer. The icebox is basically for leftovers, condiments and cheese. Freezer is 2cu ft, holds enough protein for a family of 5 (not vegan) for a little over a week and draws less than 2 amp hours a day.

The only thing that ever regularly goes bad for us without a refridgeration are leafy greens (mixed green go the quickest, kale is a little better). There are some tricks you can do to make veggies last even longer, check out sailing forums and books about coastal cruising for some well-tested ideas, but the basic thing to do is make sure you keep things seperate when necessary, no onions next to apples for instance.

FrugalPatat
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by FrugalPatat » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:45 am

Mikeallison wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:03 pm
I eat alot of oats. My favorite way to prepare them is by mixing uncooked old fashioned oats with peanut butter, Apple sauce, raisins, and little salt. Sometimes I use olive oil and lemon juice instead of apple sauce and peanut butter for more of a savory dish. You can store all of these without a fridge, and I find it to be tasty and satisfying. I read the recipe in Helen Nearings "food for the good life". It is an excellent book, with a ton of other simple recipes that don't require a fridge.
Do you soak the oat with water? Yesterday instead of eating 3 meals with bread I took 275g dry oats (soaked in water during the night), 100g peanut butter, pieces of apple, 50g flax seed and 25g pumpkin seeds which I ate in 3 meals. It was kind of hard to eat this quantity and the taste was somewhat lacking so I'm looking to improve this and make it easier to eat. I might try adding the olive oil.

Jean
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by Jean » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:07 am

I don't have a fridge. Every thing is fine without a fridge except raw meat and milk, which I manage to consume quickly when I find some.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by Kriegsspiel » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:37 am

Thoughts on chest freezers set to refridgeration temperatures?

Mikeallison
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by Mikeallison » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:28 pm

FrugalPatat wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:45 am
Do you soak the oat with water?
Nope, I eat them raw, no soaking. It sounds weird I know, but they have a better texture that way and they taste way less bland when they aren't waterlogged. It has a chewy texture and kind of a nutty taste raw, instead of that bland mushy flavor you get when you soak them.

I don't have a recipe because I just kind of eyeball it, but I would pour out like a cup or two raw old fashioned oats (Not instant!)
Then add a tablespoon at a time of peanut butter and apple sauce (or oil and a little lemon juice) and mix until you get a ratio you like. Salt to taste and add toppings of your choice.

I would recommend the applesauce first, the olive oil takes a little getting used to. But even my 6 year old daughter loves the raw applesauce oats. She pretends she is a horse eating them.

sky
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by sky » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:45 pm

I ran a low cost, small chest freezer as a fridge for about 10 years.

Plug the chest freezer into this:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074DBMG7D/re ... rd_w=KSM2o

Drill a hole in the freezer and insert the temperature probe, plug in the controller, and set the on and off temperatures you desire.

Mine ran nonstop for years as a beer cooler. I don't remember the electricity cost, but I measured it using a Kill-a-watt meter and it was amazingly low. There was minor condensation and I occasionally wiped it down.

sky
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by sky » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:48 pm

If you mix oats, sunflower seeds and raisins, you get a mix that tastes good raw.

bryan
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by bryan » Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:10 pm

If you are stuck with a big fridge already, I agree with @Campitor, mostly fill the fridge with (empty or filled with water.. is there already a conclusive experiment out there?) containers! Maybe tweak or add to the fridge's control system to optimize for least energy used while never allowing items to vary in temperature too greatly (i.e. turn on fan for a while before compressor.. allow jugs of water to absorb the heat before kicking on the compressor.. have some sort of watchdog timer to disallow compressor from running while fridge is being used.. a "Nest for Refrigerators")

During the two years in the van, I was fridge-less. Not a big deal, mostly because I was in civilization and ate out or made groceries on-demand. For the next #vanlife iteration, I have ideas for custom refrigeration for specific items (e.g. beer).

Colibri
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by Colibri » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:15 am

Hello,

My 2 years old fridge recently ended at the local dump. "Toasted" was the word from the only certified fridge repairman in town. I was so disgusted. This was an apartment size fridge, rated "green" for low electricity consumption. Now it is being pooped on by the local ravens. Did I said I was so disgusted ?

In my state of rage, I bought a mini-fridge, 2.2 cu ft. thinking that at least it would be less costly to replace it in 2 years. This was one month ago. We are now in October, temperature are dipping, got the first snow fall last week.
I want to try this winter without a fridge. I am thinking of re-using a styrofoam box I have in my shed and place it in the coolest spot of the house (front bedroom closet) with containers of snow that I can re-fill anytime in the yard until the month of May. As for the freezer, a simple cooler on the deck outside should do it where I live, as long as I make it bear-fox-raven-coyote proof. If I am satisfied with the experiment I could make it a permanent way of cooling my food in winter. I could also push the test this summer by digging a hole in the yard, big enough to put the styrofoam box in it. The cool ground will do the trick, I think ?

prognastat
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by prognastat » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:22 am

Our fridge is rarely more than half full and my freezer is almost always packed. This is mostly due to my buying meats while on sale and freezing it in portions to take out and thaw when needed. I would much prefer have more freezer and less fridge.

As for freezing/winter times, growing up when it got cold enough it wasn't uncommon for things to stay in the back yard rather than the fridge/freezer when it was cold enough outside.

tonyedgecombe
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by tonyedgecombe » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:46 am

As long as you aren't in a humid environment you could try evaporative cooling: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot-in-pot_refrigerator

Loner
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Re: Going without a fridge

Post by Loner » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:40 am

Your fridge was rated "green" for low electricity consumption because it ceases to consume electricity entirely after two years. Ha!

Your ideas sound good. Here (around Montréal), we usually leave christmas' meal in the garage as it is too big to fit in the fridge anyway, and that place is not heated, so it stays cool. You could do as people used to do here until not so long (1950, 1960): cut ice out of a nearby lake/river and use it to cool a cooler box. Most cities had companies that harvested the ice in the winter and stored it in warehouses for the summer. Apparently, in 1899, the whole city of Montreal had stored away 150,000 tons of ice. If I recall correctly the ice used to last most of the spring/summer. They insulated it with straw, wood chips or saw dust.

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