Loving your leftovers: the benefits and uses for a vacuum sealer
Everything is expensive, sometimes it feels like every moment I’m awake the meter is running. Looking for ways to reduce costs and stretch our dollars even further, we ultimately turn to how we can keep our food budget down. Today we’re going to run through the benefits of vacuum sealers to keep it fresher for longer, and hopefully give you some ideas on how vacuum sealing could help you save money.
Reason One: Keeps Food Fresh
This is the biggest and most obvious reason that vacuum sealing can save you money. You can preserve fresh food that you’ve bought in bulk to save money. Vacuum sealed meat will last up to 2-3 years in the freezer (yep, years), and that’s just one example of how much longer vacuum sealed foods will last compared to foods stored normally in the freezer.
You can also vacuum seal leftovers to keep them fresh and stretch that food budget even more. Vacuum seal them and then store them in the freezer. You can even freeze soup! Defrost it and then slurp it up real good.
Keep open packets of chips or biscuits from going stale by vacuum sealing them, or buy spices in bulk and vacuum seal them to keep them fresh. You can even reseal a wine bottle by vacuum sealing it so you don’t feel like you have to drink it all at once. If you’re careful about your storage and meal planning you effectively can reduce all your food waste through vacuum sealing and composting.
Scroll to the end of this article for a quick reference guide for how long common foods will store when vacuum sealed.
Reason Two: Food Preparation
Vacuum sealing your raw meat with the marinade in will more help the marinade more effectively penetrate the meat because of how the vacuum sealing process affects the structure of the meat.
Vacuum sealing can also help with your weekly meal prep, or even take the stress out of Christmas cooking by prepping parts of the feast way ahead of time and sealing them and freezing them. Make a bunch of super easy “dump dinners” by mixing in meat, seasoning and vegetables, vacuum seal and freeze them. Then one out in the morning, dump it in the slow cooker and smugly go about your day with dinner already sorted.
Reason Three: Non-Food Storage
Let’s just rapid fire some non-food items!
- Your important documents to keep them safe and dry and protected.
- Digitize your old photos and then vacuum seal them to store them.
- Puzzle pieces to keep them all together and safe from damage.
- Seeds so you only plant what you need to and keep the rest for future seasons.
- Screws, nuts and bolts so you never lose them again.
- Camping essentials like medical supplies and matches to keep them safe and dry.
- Play doh to keep it moist and prevent it from drying out.
- Tablets or iPads so you can keep them safe around wet areas - you can still use them!
But which one to buy?
Easy & Portable
If you’re looking for something small, easy and portable then the FoodSaver Handheld Vacuum Sealer might be what you’re looking for. It’s a cordless vacuum sealing machine used for sealing FoodSaver containers and zipper bags.
Its small design is compact enough to fit into a kitchen drawer, and it charges in a dock so you don’t have to mess about with cords. The starter kit comes with the handheld unit, the charging dock, one 3 cup and one 5 cup container and 5 zipper bags so you can get started straight away.
The Russell Hobbs is super easy to use, with a one touch automatic operation so all you need to do is press the Vacuum+Seal button and the machine vacuums and seals the bag automatically. You can switch modes depending on whether you’re sealing something dry or something moist, and it’s Sous Vide compatible. It comes with 2 rolls, 5 small bags and 5 larger bags to get you started.
The FoodSaver Lock & Sealer creates a commercial quality vacuum seal. Simple to use, all you need to do is fill the bag, turn the lever to lock the lid and then press Seal or Vac Seal to get sealing. It comes with a 28cm roll, 5 pre-cut bags and 5 reusable zipper bags plus an accessory adaptor hose for use with containers and zipper bags so you can start sealing straight away.
Cut and Seal
The FoodSaver Cut and Seal also creates a commercial quality vacuum seal, with moist and dry seal settings for an airtight seal regardless of whether it’s dry or wet goods you’re sealing.
The Cut and Seal also stores rolls within the machine and has a handy cutter to easily cut bags to size so you don’t need to mess about with scissors. It also comes with the 28cm roll, 5 pre-cut bags, 5 zipper bags and accessory hose.
Vacuum Seal the Deal
Vacuum sealing your foods is a great way to stretch your food budget further and further and reduce your food waste. You can use your vacuum sealer in a huge range of ways and there’s a sealer to suit most budgets. Come to your nearest Bi-Rite to check out our range of vacuum sealers and see which one will fit your kitchen, your budget and lifestyle.
Quick Reference Guide
|Food||Location||Vacuum Sealed Shelf Life|
|Meat & Cheese|
|Beef, Lamb, Pork, Chicken (whole cuts)||Freezer||2-3 years|
|Boiled Eggs||Fridge||2 weeks|
|Citrus Fruit||Fridge||4 weeks|
|Coffee Beans||Pantry||1 year|
|Coffee Beans||Freezer||2-3 years|
|Ground Coffee||Pantry||5-6 months|
|Ground Coffee||Freezer||2 years|
|Sauces + Soups||Freezer||1-2 years|
|Dried beans + grains||Pantry||1-2 years|
|Brown Rice||Pantry||1 year|
|Chips + Crackers||Pantry||Up to 8 weeks|
|Sugar (incl brown sugar)||Pantry||1-2 years|
|Baking Powder||Pantry||2 years|
|Spices (whole)||Pantry||2-3 years|
|Spices (ground)||Pantry||1 year|