Allow me to indulge myself by sounding like an infomercial. This is to all the skeptics or committment-phobes out there regarding the FoodSaver; I used to be one.
- It actually saves pantry and freezer space. All you have to do is picture what most of our foods are packaged in: boxes or other containers. I was able to condense all of my boneless, skinless chicken breasts and ground beef and turkey into much smaller vacuum packaged bags. I have about 10 pounds of protein crammed into a small nook of my top freezer now :) With a smaller fridge, this has been an unexpected benefit.
- Portion control is now easier than ever. I can buy in bulk and simply divvy it up into 2 person quantities (meat, specifically). That ginormous flat of Cheetos you've always wanted to buy from Costco can now be a reality.
- The canisters. Ohhh the canisters. These have been invaluable in only the week I've owned them. Canisters store the food that should not be vacuum sealed, i.e. chips, soft cookies, crackers, flour, etc. I am using them to store salad, cut up fruit, and homemade croutons. They come in various sizes and shapes, and all you have to do is connect a tiny hose to the canister's lid and to the FoodSaver. Voila! No more air in the canister.
- I'm motivated to buy more produce and encouraged to eat more of it. Why? Because even when I do buy produce, the next week it's already become a science experiment in the bottom left drawer of the fridge. I was blown away by the section in the FoodSaver manual that reveals a food's natural decay period versus food that has been vacuum sealed. Most produce has a doubled shelf life thanks to the FoodSaver. The bagged salad that usually wilts in its own bag before I even open it is now able to last up to 2 weeks! Different cuts of meat can now last up to 3 years in your freezer. Does that thought sound appealing or frightening to you?? See next point.
- The FoodSaver bags protect your food from becoming either freezer burned or being exposed to air. So the 3 year old ground beef should taste more like 3 day old beef. I should probably have prefaced all of this entry as to how vacuum packaging actually works. It simply removes the air from your food. How does that relate to freshness? Doesn't food need to 'breathe?' Not according to scientists and biologists. Moisture and oxygen in air cause food to degrade over time. This translates to less nutritional quality, flavor, and texture. The FoodSaver helps prevent all that from happening.
- Sealing. Now, I had honestly never thought about this feature before. I always assumed it went hand in hand with the vacuuming function. Well, it does. But, you can also seal regular bags of food without having to vacuum. Your store-bought bags of chips and pretzels can be resealed right in their own bag. It's like breaking open a fresh bag every time. No more random chip clips and clothespins. Just like store-bought bags, you'll still have a little bit of air left in the bag, but you can be assured that no air will be entering in.
- Speedy operation. One of my main hesitations in buying one a couple of months ago was wondering if I'd actually take the time to use the dad blasted thing. No one wants to invest money into a small appliance and never use it. And if you're like me, you want to make darn sure that it's countertop worthy; both in appearance and use. It has happily proved itself to me. Back to the speedy operation bit, it takes literally seconds to use. This is a huge factor in even wanting to use it continually. Because we have a very small kitchen and a shortage of countertop space, I keep mine tucked in a drawer and pull it out as need be. I am learning that I use it so much that it's getting frustrating to pull it out so many times!
- It's fun! I am such a geek. Anyone who knows me will tell you that up front. The FoodSaver actually brings a smile to my face because I know that my food will last that much longer and taste fresh once the canister or bag is opened. It is also man friendly. One of my best friend's husbands has his own FoodSaver night where he goes to town on all their food. Plus, it's wonderful for any hunters and their game.
So yes, there are lots of other ways that the FoodSaver could be a benefit to your home. Check out the FoodSaver website for lots of info.
Brent and I chuckled the other day when I described the triumvirate of kitchen management: the FoodSaver, Aldi's, and monthly meal planning. Glorious!
I have a warning now to any visitors to our home: If you sit around long enough, you might just end up having found yourself vacuum sealed. :)