You can save significant amounts of money by putting a vacuum sealer into good use. Having it lying on your kitchen counter will not help much. However, if set to good use, you can buy food and cook in bulk. This way, you save both money and time, just like using an Old Navy promo code or Victoria’s secret. Who wouldn’t want that? But a vacuum sealer saves you much more than time and money.
By using a vacuum sealer, you will get to extend your food shelf life 3-5 times longer. The food you store will also be free from dehydration and freezer burn as the bags keep away air. Another advantage of the vacuum sealer is that it makes for organized packing increasing efficiency as it allows you to see the stored foods easily. Proper organization saves storage space which means that you can store more food.
Vacuum sealed foods retain their flavor, and juices maintaining its original nutrients and taste as foreign elements do not mix with the stored food. You will still get to enjoy your meals at their peak while enjoying the great convenience.
Here are some eight tips to help you save your food -and money with a vacuum sealer.
When you sack air out of a freezer bag packed with fresh berries, you will get squashed fruit. To preserve items like veggies, fruits, and meatballs, spread them out and pre-freeze them on cookie sheets. Saucy items like pasta and soups are best when placed in plastic containers. Packing food down with a spatula or spoon helps rid of air bubbles. Once frozen, pop out the frozen food blocks and vacuum seal them. Check out The Home Depot for vacuum sealer deals.
2. When to freeze cooked vs. uncooked food
Dishes like sauces and soups reheat very well. For others, assembling and vacuum sealing without cooking is the best option. For example, I can never pass an offer on a 3-pound ground turkey package in the stores. All I need to do is pre-form three batches of mixed raw meatballs. When the menu reads meatballs, you will still get a freshly-cooked with little effort as the hard work is done on preparation before freezing.
3. Label the packages
You may trust your memory to imagine that you will always remember the third package from the back is tomato sauce made in July. Six months later, you douse your noodles with chili instead of the tomato sauce. Label the dishes with the name and date they were made, always. A label maker from Walgreens does the job perfectly, but a permanent marker can work as well.
4. Not only for the freezer
Apart from the food in your freezer, vacuum sealing can stretch the shelf life of food in your pantry and refrigerator. You do not need to worry about the big block of cheddar you bought. Vacuum seal it halfway. What about your dry goods? You can extend the life of dry foods through vacuum sealing. Just ensure there is a barrier between any powder and the vacuum sealer. For example, vacuum seal flour in its original packaging. The same applies to any other foods in powder form.
5. Double recipes and freeze the extra
For the dishes that freeze well, double the recipes when preparing. Once made, vacuum seal the extras immediately to preserve the meal at its peak. Store dishes like enchiladas in disposable foil pans. You can quickly assemble two trays having enchiladas, cook one and vacuum seal the other. After sometime when you want to have the frozen one, defrost and heat in the oven.
6. Buy bags for vacuum sealing
There are bags specifically designed for the vacuum sealer machine. The vacuum sealing bags are more than ordinary bags as they keep the content moisture and air free giving a tight seal. For a wide selection of vacuum bags, check out JCPenney.
7. Portion out carefully
Apart from the bags used for raw meats or anything else prone to bacteria remnants, most of the bags are safe for reuse once cleaned. To make things easier though, freeze a meal’s worth for each paper bag. For example, buy the three-pound ground beef package, and divide it into three one-pound portions and eventually freeze.
8. How about being your butcher?
To net, the most savings, utilize your vacuum sealer on meat. With your vacuum sealer, buy the steaks in bulk packages from the warehouse store. The meat will cost less per pound. Seal and freeze the steaks individually. With cutlery from stores like Harbor Freight, you can trim them down as necessary.
*this is a collaborative post*