In my book, Instant Bargains: 600+ Ways to Shrink Your Grocery Bills and Eat Well for Less, I mention several appliances that have the potential to save money and eventually pay for themselves. The food Saver is one of them. However, you'll only save money if you use it regularly; so you have to be the judge whether or not it fits into your lifestyle. Here are some thrifty ways to use your Food Saver:
- Make a big batch of homemade baby food and freeze into cubes. Pop the cubes out and seal with Food Savers to last for months, or at least until your child graduates to table food
- Buy meat in bulk, divide, and seal for later use (also great if your husband hunts)
- Experiment with cooking techniques such as sous-vide or marinating in the bag to enhance flavor of cheaper cuts of meat
- Make big batches of soups and freeze in individually-sized cups. Seal each serving with the Food Saver for a quick and easy lunch to enjoy later.
- Make big batches of pasta sauces and freeze family-size servings in vacuum-sealed bags. Freeze bags flat, and pop it in hot water to thaw.
- Peel ripe bananas and seal. They can be stored in the refrigerator for days or in the freezer for months until you're ready to make them into banana bread or other recipes.
- Freeze cookie dough balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, then put inside vacuum bags and seal. When you want fresh cookies, open up the vacuum-sealed bag, bake and enjoy!
- Buy bulk cheese and seal to prevent molding
- If you're a gardener, you can use a Food Saver to preserve heirloom seeds from year to year
- You can even vacuum seal a spare outfit for your child and keep it in your car's “survival” kit. (thanks, flybygrace)
Food Saver Tips from our Facebook Friends:
I use mine to make tissue packets for the car. You just take a stack of tissues from your Kleenex box cut your foodsaver roll to make your bag to fit the tissues leave room for sealing. Vacuum seal tissues in the bag then cut a slit in the middle on one side so you can pull out tissues. Comes in handy in the car especially when traveling. You can do the same with wet wipes too. – Thanks, Cheryl!
What about the cost of the bags though? I have a sealer and I just don’t know if it is cost effective. For instance, the baby food in cubes. You’d have to cut open the bag frequently. I get that using a food sealer is space saving but for those who are lucky enough to have a deep freezer, wouldn’t it be cheaper to use freezer containers? Or do you have advice on saving money on the bags?