It’s all about using a vacuum sealer today to save money in the long run. Here’s the deal, sometimes you can save money if you buy in bulk. I’m not talking HUGE bulk, but rather larger bags of shredded cheese, or maybe larger cuts of meat. If you look at the cost per ounce of those smaller bags of cheese it is sometimes 50% higher per ounce compared to the larger bags, say at Costco.
This is why it’s great to have a freezer, even if it’s small if you only have one or two people in your family. The less you go to the store to shop, the less money you will spend on your grocery bill.
Vacuum Sealer Ideas
It’s all about removing the air from our food to help preserve it longer. Let’s get started using a vacuum sealer.
You can buy larger cuts of meat and cut them into the portions that you can use for your family size, or for a particular meal. I have taken a pork loin from Costco and cut it into eight chunks of meat for future meals. The vacuum sealer makes the meat stay frost free for several months. It’s also great when you can cut your own pork chops from a large pork loin and freeze them in single or multiple size packages of two or four.
If you find a really good sale on chicken, place the pieces in your desired portion size and freeze them. When I buy the bulk chicken at Costco I immediately separate the chicken breasts or tenderloins into meal size packages. They no longer have that freezer burn or a bag full of ice chunks in the bags.
One of my favorite tips is separating shredded cheese into smaller bags. I can put the cheese in pint mason jars using the jar sealer or bags for the freezer. My favorite portion size for Mark and I is 2 cups per bag, or fill a pint jar. Do you ever buy those large bags of fresh broccoli from Costco and they go bad faster than you thought? Here again, take time to prep by dividing the large bag into 3 or 4 smaller bags. You are removing the air and therefore it will extend the life a few extra days.
I want you to think about this, you can save a lot of money when you buy organic frozen vegetables in bulk and then measure out what you will use for a meal into smaller bags and seal them. You then have smaller bags you can grab from your freezer. Yes, it takes a tiny bit of prep time, but you will never have to grab a big bag from the freezer again. Plus they will not have any ice chunks. It’s a win-win for me. I send Mark out to the freezer to get a bag of peas, corn, broccoli or whatever and he can see exactly where they are.
Just so you know, a vacuum sealer is not just for the freezer. You can extend the life of fruits and vegetables if you wash them, pat them dry and seal them for storage in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.
This is my favorite way to extend the life of my fresh spinach. All you do is wash the spinach and let it dry and pack it in mason jars, then seal it.
Six Days of Salads
I wrote a post several years ago about making six salads for use over six days. The salad dressing I store in separate containers. You place the tomatoes or mandarin oranges at the bottom of the jars and start layering. Get your chopping board out and start prepping. One secret you may not know is that you need to use a plastic lettuce knife to keep the lettuce from going brown on the edges. Here’s the one I have: Lettuce Knife (great for bread, cakes, and brownies, too)
After I blanch fresh corn, I freeze my corn in vacuum sealer bags, no more ice chunks!
72-Hour Kit Supplies
I use my Food Saver to seal these bags filled with items for our 72-hour kits, as well as for guests who may visit. We put shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, shaver, tissues, a mini first aid kit, lip balm, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and a bar of soap in each bag. By using the sealer, I can place the “wet items” that may leak in their own sealed bag and then place all of the items in a gallon size bag.
Please remember that nuts do not store very long on our pantry shelves. They have a lot of oil in them and therefore go rancid rather quickly. I place them in bags and seal them before putting them in the freezer. You can see I have walnuts, pecans, sliced almonds, and pine nuts in the picture below.
Leftover Holiday Candy
Most of us have leftover candy after some holidays, right? I like to stock up on seasonal candy after the holiday. I place the goodies in pint size jars and seal them. They are good for about a year, if they last that long with 17 grandkids.
Are The Vacuum Sealer Bags Reusable?
Yes, the bags are washable and reusable. When you cut a bag that’s been sealed leave enough at the top of the bag so you can reuse it. You just need enough to be able to slip the top of the bag into the machine in order to seal it.
Can I Use It To Seal Mylar Bags?
The answer is no, you cannot.
Harry, I buy rimfire ammo in a bulk bucket of 1400 rounds and I separate those out into quantities of 100 and vacuum seal them into small packs. That helps cut down on corrosion and you can stick one of those in your backpack or pocket without worrying about perspiration getting it wet.
Beth, One use I have is home made ice packs. A solution of water and rubbing alcohol sealed over the sink, then frozen has been a major lifesaver at times. (1 cup rubbing alcohol and 2 cups water)
There is something awesome about working in the kitchen and saving money. A vacuum sealer is a great kitchen tool to preserve our food a few more days, months, or a few years in the freezer. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda