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Kelly Melang, writer, business owner, avid fitness freak.  If you're not living on the edge then you're taking up too much space!

Monday, September 5, 2016

WTF - Saving Money One Vacuum Seal at A Time

I've always said "Go Big or Go Home," and now that I've moved into a home with enough space for Hobbits, my new motto is "Go Small or Vac Seal the hell out of it."

Living on a mountain means most residents have "Lowlandaphobia" or fear of leaving the mountain. So grocery store trips are usually made when there's 2 Saltine crackers and half a beer left in the fridge. We hate leaving our paradise, especially if the weather is bad. We also plan ahead, knowing if the snowstorm lives up to the "Big Snow" variety, we're not leaving the mountain until the weather is clear.

Enter the FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer and an extra freezer! Heaven just hit my part of the mountain.

What does the FoodSaver do? It vacuum seals, translation, sucks out all the air then seals the package until use. (I've met a few people I could call VacSeal because they can suck the air out of the room, ha ha) The FoodSaver has saved me so much money, I think it paid for itself the first two weeks it graced my home.

How?

I hit the sale section of the grocery store buying out all the sale items reduced because their "Sell By" date is two days away. (They are still good but the biological clock is ticking on these babies)

Sidenote: My son and I argue about this, his philosophy is "It is rotten the day of the sell date." My philosophy, "This is a SELL BY date meaning the food is still good several days later." Which is why I Sharpie out the Fresh By Date of the milk when it looms right around the corner.

I also buy the family packs of items, separating into dinner portions, sealing and freezing away.

When we go camping or on a picnic, the Foodsaver vacuum seals items I don't want to go stale or get wet.

I can also buy in bulk - cheese, nuts, etc half the items for the vacuum seal, keeping them fresh until we have consumed the open half.

Heck, vacuum sealing cut avocados ensures longevity!

How do you use the FoodSaver? First of all you find a place on the counter because if you don't see it you will forget about it and not use it. I always believe if it is a pain in the ass getting it out and setting it up then I'm not going to use it. Mine is on the counter next to the standup mixer and Cuisinart (another item you have to put together)

Bags come with the item first purchase, but you can purchase extra bags and local bed/bath stores. I order mine through Amazon because again, my lowlandaphobia kicks in and Amazon delivers to my mountain top (of course, I sneak a book or two in when ordering because we need more books -NOT!)

Separate out your meats, or cheeses, or nuts, or cotton balls and put in the special bags the machine uses. You can purchase a roll of uncut bags, creating your own sizes if needed. Seal everything in the machine label it accordingly then put extras in your freezer, or in my case the extra freezer in my garage!

When the snow hits, or I'm too tired to hit the grocery store, I can just pop into the freezer and find something to eat. Leftover lasagna sealed, meats, cheeses, even fruits.

I've been told by chef son that defrosting my way (in warm water in the sink) is unsanitary and the proper way to defrost is in the refrigerator planning on 1 hour every 4 pounds. Guess I'll sneak it in the sink while he is at school.

My only problem with the FoodSaver is my own mental mind when it comes to labeling the food I seal and freeze. My hubby once asked:

What does CHBNOR Eat First 16 1028 GN mean?

Oh!  That means Chicken Boneless Organic First out of 16 bought 10/28 Greenfields, jeez hon, doesn't make sense to you?

You can find FoodSavers online at Amazon (They deliver to the mountains) or at of course, you neiborhood friendly bulk item superstore.  You can tell me thank you later.

I'll be waiting.

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