Can You Make Payments on a Freeze Dryer? Buyer’s Guide


A freeze dryer can be a great investment for the future, as it makes it almost impossible for users to waste food. However, these handy devices are expensive, and you might be wondering if you’re even able to purchase one, or if perhaps you could make payments on a freeze-dryer.

It’s possible to buy a Harvest Right freeze dryer by making payments via a loan, a credit card, or by using Harvest Right’s layaway plan. The layaway plan is the safest option as there is no interest to pay, though a payment threshold must be met before delivery will happen.

When making such a large investment, you don’t want to make the mistake of overextending yourself, and having to pay additional credit card fees and penalties is something you always want to avoid.

It’s crucial you get all the necessary information beforehand, so read on to find out everything about all the ways you can finance a freeze dryer.

An image of a man counting dollar bills.

How Do You Finance a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer?

Harvest Right freeze dryers generally have three other payment options:

  • the Harvest Right layaway financing program (which is the most popular and safest option).
  • paying for the freeze-dryer with a credit card.
  • securing a personal loan and paying it off.

Given that home freeze dryers cost between $2000 and $5000, depending on size, only a handful of people can cover the entire costs of such an investment up-front.

We’ll be taking a deeper look into all three options.

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How to Do Layaway Style Financing on a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer

Harvest Right offers an interest-free layaway program to lock in a sale price as long as a $250 deposit is paid. Once the unit is paid for, the company will ship and deliver the unit, or it may be picked up at their Salt Lake City location.

The layaway program is simple, and it has 0% interest, which is what puts it above the other options. You can click here to go to their site in a new window, and the layaway information is at the bottom of the page.

After choosing the freeze dryer you want to purchase, you have to make a $250 down payment. Once you make the down payment, you locked the freeze dryer at its price at the given moment.

If the price goes up, the amount you have to pay won’t change. This is a great way to get a sale price even if you can’t pay the whole amount today.

Here’s a cool fact: if you find a better sale price when you have a unit on layaway, call the company. They may let you get the better price – they did for me! Just know I can’t guarantee that they’ll let you get the lower price. Asking nicely never hurts, though.

After that, you keep making payments as you feel comfortable (be it on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis). Once you pay off your freeze dryer, Harvest Right ships it to your home.

Personally, this is by far the best option as it’s 0% interest, and it allows you to make payments whenever you have money available and feel comfortable spending it.

Side note: I’ve had several personal and family friends tell me that, in their cases, the company shipped the unit at a pre-determined price (or percentage of the total cost) as long as the remainder owed is paid within 30 days. Even though I believe my friends, there is nothing on the Harvest Right site to confirm this.

Can You Finance a Freeze Dryer on a Credit Card?

Financing things on a credit card is possible, but generally only recommended if the consumer has the ability to pay off the credit card before any interest is accumulated.

Yes, you can buy a freeze dryer with a credit card, but it might not be such a wise choice.

Freeze dryers cost upwards of $2000, and those numbers only apply to the cheaper ones. So, spending over $2000 on a freeze dryer means that you have to pay off that amount by the end of the month.

If you don’t pay it off – you’ll have to pay interest on top of still having to pay off the debt to the credit card company.

To put it in perspective, let’s say that you pay $2500 for a freeze dryer and you only managed to pay off $1500 of your debt before the 30-day due date. You would owe a remainder of $1000, but there’s interest to consider. Now, let’s say your interest is 15% – so you now owe $1150. In other words, getting that credit card loan costs you $150 in this scenario.

This doesn’t even include the possible penalties or fees that many credit card companies apply when a user misses a payment. Keep in mind that the interest rate we applied is very low and unrealistic (at the time of writing), and the actual debt would be even higher!

It’d be ill-advised to use a credit card unless you can guarantee you can pay off the outstanding debt by the end of the month. In that case, using a line of credit to pay should be fine.

An image of a card payment terminal POS terminal at a shop.

Could You Finance a Layaway Payment for Harvest Right on a Credit Card?

Financing anything on a credit card (including a layaway payment for a freeze-dryer) should only be done if a consumer has the funds to pay off the card before accumulating any interest, charges, or other additional fees.

Once again, the answer is – yes, you could, but think twice before you do it.

If you’re only one payment away from completing the layaway program and finally getting that freeze dryer shipped, then you could easily be tempted into paying that last portion with a credit card.

If you can guarantee that you’ll pay off the debt to the credit card company by the deadline they assigned – then taking care of that last payment with your line of credit should be okay.

However, it’d be better to hold off for a few more weeks or a month if you’re not in a rush.

Remember that the price of the freeze dryer won’t change and Harvest Right has a 0% interest layaway.

Could You Finance a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer with a Loan?

Financing a Harvest Right freeze-dryer with a loan is totally dependent on the terms of the loan; generally speaking, taking out a personal loan to finance things beyond homes and vehicles (even a freeze-dryer) is not a great idea. There may be exceptions, depending on the loan terms.

Personally, I’d be wary of taking out a loan to finance anything (other than a house or a car). That’s just how I roll.

This doesn’t mean it’s better than the layaway payment plan, though, as loans still do have an interest.

What makes a loan better than a credit card is that you have more time to pay it off (very few loans have a one-month pay-off time window).

However, most banks or credit unions may not want to loan you several thousand dollars for a freeze-dryer without collateral, so your personal loan may actually come with a lien on a vehicle or a home.

On the other hand, a loan works in a similar way to a layaway plan – you make monthly payments until you reach an agreed-upon amount. The only difference is that Harvest Right’s layaway plan has 0% interest (unlike your bank’s loan), which makes it a cheaper option.

Even though a layaway plan is a cheaper option, you’re going to have to wait until you make the entire payment, whereas, with a loan, you can get the freeze dryer immediately.

Comparing the Pros and Cons of Financing a Freeze-Dryer

Take a look at the table below for a clear comparison of these options.

Harvest Right’s Layaway Plan

Pros

  • 0% interest
  • Pay when you feel comfortable, ideally on a schedule.
  • Lock in a sale price at the time of paying the down payment.

Cons

  • The dryer is only shipped once you make the final payment.

Takeaway: Generally safe to use for everyone. We’ve used it successfully.

Using a credit card

Pros

  • Pay everything upfront so that the freeze-dryer ships immediately.
  • Can lock in a sale price because you’re paying for the unit now.

Cons

  • A high-percentage interest is added to the debt if you don’t pay it off in a month.
  • Penalties for not paying debt off on time may apply.

Takeaway: Use with caution.

Taking out a loan

Pros

  • Pay everything upfront so that the freeze-dryer ships immediately.
  • Can lock in a sale price because you’re paying for the unit now.
  • A loan could have a lower interest than a credit card does.

Cons

  • The exact loan terms vary from one loan type to another.
  • Higher interest than a layaway plan.
  • Make monthly payments until you pay off the debt.

Takeaway: Use with caution.

Why and  How to Know When to Buy a Freeze-Dryer

A freeze-dryer is perfect for people who have several thousand dollars to invest in a device to make shelf-stable food for long-term storage. It’s perfect for people who want to control what food (and food quality) is stored rather than buying pre-prepared portions.

This is a huge topic. It’s so huge that there are several aspects of it, so make sure you check out these articles I’ve written so that you can get the answers you want.

Articles related to costs of a freeze dryer:

Articles related to ways to make money with a freeze-dryer (to hopefully offset the cost):

Or perhaps you’d like to rent before you buy. In that case, make sure you read this article I wrote about renting freeze-dryers.

An image of a hand using a credit card swiping machine to pay.

How We Financed our Harvest Right Freeze Dryer

We used the Harvest Right layaway program to lock in a great sales price when we knew we had extra cash coming due to a bonus or a tax return (this was many years ago). Once we got our cash influx, we paid off the unit and went to pick it up.

All told, we made 3 payments: the first $250, the second was another $100 or $250 (I don’t remember, as it was 5+ years ago) and the last one was for the rest of what we owed.

Now, between those two, we actually found that Harvest Right ran a BETTER sale than what we’d locked in. I called in, gave the rep my layaway information, and asked if we could lock in this newer, better price. The rep agreed. He may have asked me to pay another $100 or $250 or so towards the unit at that time – I don’t totally remember.

But we did end up paying off the rest within 1-2 weeks of that, and then my husband went to the Salt Lake City location to pick up our unit and accessories. It was easy peasy.

Technically, we did use our credit cards to make all the payments. But we had cash in our account to pay off those amounts well before our 30-day interest accumulation date. So while we used a credit card to pay for the unit, we also stuck to our general rule of only using a credit card to buy things we could pay cash for.

An image of a medium-sized black Harvest Right freeze dryer on a cart in a utility room
Our freeze dryer: I like to call it Darth Freezer. My kids don’t think it’s as funny as I do.

Next Steps

To finalize, remember that a layaway plan guarantees a 0% interest rate and it allows you to make payments when you’re comfortable with it, while the price of the freezer stays the same.

Credit cards are only good if you’re 100% sure you’ll be able to pay off the debt within the allocated time frame. Otherwise, you’ll end up with additional fees and bigger debt.

Loans are generally safer than credit cards because you have more time for paying off the debt (and you can do it in installments). However, the only positive difference between a loan and a layaway plan is that you get your dryer immediately.

If you don’t mind waiting, the layaway plan is the best choice. So if you’re ready to put your first $250 or so down towards your own freeze-dryer, click this link to go see Harvest Right’s current sales. You may have to actually call them to initiate the layaway, but that link will still get you to their site to shop sales and get their phone number.

Happy homesteading!

Resources

It’s important to learn from your own experience, but it’s also smart to learn from others. These are the sources used in this article and in our research to be more informed as homesteaders.

  • Average credit card interest rates: Week of May 25, 2022. CreditCards.com. (2022, June 29). Retrieved June 30, 2022, from https://www.creditcards.com/news/rate-report/.
  • “Layaway Options Available.” Harvest Right, 10 Apr. 2021, harvestright.com/blog/2019/layaway-options-available.
An image of Kimberly and her daughter gardening

About Us

I’m Kimberly Starr. My family has always loved being outside and gardening. Now we are building a backyard homestead and immersing ourselves in this wonderful new lifestyle. We’re learning as we go what works and what doesn’t. This website is where we’re sharing everything we’ve learned.

We believe in transparency.

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