Posted on January 13 2022
Would you like to save money on meats and other perishable foods? Have you ever discarded food that was past its "best by" date? Perhaps you're someone who likes to be prepared for events like supply chain disruptions, natural disasters, or severe weather and extended power outages. Have you considered a vacuum sealer? There are many reasons why having one on hand is a good idea and not all of them relate to food storage and preservation.
Buying food in bulk saves money
Buying perishables like meats and cheeses in bulk can result in significant savings. The problem is that buying that much all at once requires that you make provisions for long-term storage so that you don't end up with waste. Separating your bulk food purchases into more "user friendly" portions and vacuum sealing them will significantly extend their shelf life. This is especially true for meats like beef and poultry.
Oxygen exposure accelerates the process of food spoilage. Oxygen in packages of frozen foods facilitates freezer burn and dehydration. By removing the oxygen, vacuum sealing prevents freezer burn and allows you to store your food longer.
Do you grow your own fruits and veggies?
Gardeners know that it's either feast or famine and sometimes you end up with more than you can put to use right away.
By blanching and vacuum sealing your overly-abundant produce, you'll eliminate the worry that it will be ruined by freezer burn or turn to mush when thawed. If, on the other hand, you only need to keep fresh fruits and vegetables for a few days or a week, vacuum sealing and refrigerating them will ensure that they maintain their fresh-picked taste and last longer.
Combine a vacuum sealer with a dehydrator and you'll have extended storage capabilities
If you'd like to build your own emergency food supply, you can do so by dehydrating certain foods like fruits, vegetables, and jerky, then vacuum sealing them. Electric dehydrators start at around $70, but you could use oven or sun drying methods if you prefer. You can also buy desiccant packs to seal inside the bags with the food you're storing to make sure that any existing moisture doesn't seep into the food and cause spoilage.
Are you into cooking with the sous vide method?
Basically, the sous vide technique involves placing your food in plastic bags, then submersing them into a hot water bath for a given amount of time. The problem is that, if you use standard freezer bags, it is virtually impossible to get all of the air out. With too much air, the bag will float and your food will not cook properly. With a vacuum sealer, you can easily remove enough of the air to ensure that the bags stay submerged.
Vacuum sealing jars and bottles
Some systems have available jar sealer attachments. With these, you can vacuum-seal jars to preserve things like spices, herbs, and nuts. Attachments are also available that will allow you to reseal bottles to preserve their contents. These are good for keeping your wine fresh. They should not be used for carbonated or sparkling beverages because the vacuum process will cause those to go flat.
Protecting important papers and first aid supplies
Not everything you can do with a vacuum sealer relates to food preservation. You can use one to protect your critical documents from the elements. You can seal your vehicle title, insurance policies, and other important papers in waterproof bags. You can also extend the shelf life of first aid supplies by storing them in vacuum sealed bags. You may also want to seal and store some matches to keep them dry so they will be usable if needed during an emergency.
Supply chain disruptions, empty shelves, and rising prices are causing many to think more about saving money and being prepared for whatever might come next. Buying a vacuum sealer will get you started saving money with bulk purchases and allow you to keep your foods fresher longer. If you would like to be better prepared for emergencies, drying and sealing your own emergency supplies and important documents is also easy and inexpensive. A vacuum sealer will even allow you to explore sous vide cooking if you have that desire. Why not give it a try?