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I have a Ziploc vacuum storage pump and a vacuum food storage machine and use them for everything imaginable! To tell the truth the kitchen is the place they're used the least! Here are some examples of what I use them for. In some of these (with the vacuum machine bags), I have to create larger bags by cutting the roll to the length that I need, then cutting one or two more lengths, cutting them open lengthwise, and sealing them together, then sealing across the bottom. Then when it's full, sealing it across the top normally.
I use the vacuum bags and pump here because the bags are able to be opened, some removed, and resealed/vacuumed. I buy meats and veggies in bulk, cut them into individual serving size, vacuum seal and pop them in the freezer (dating the bags of course). Things stay good much longer this way.
I also use it in the fridge. It keeps leftovers, fruits, all sorts of things lots longer than putting it in a storage container. I've had lettuce (you know how fast that goes bad) last and stay crisp for up to 2 weeks!
I also prepare my own TV dinners, and vacuum seal them to go in the freezer, Not only healthier and tastier, but last much longer than the store-bought ones too.
By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC
Thanks cricketnc, all those years, I put various things besides food into vacuum bags, cut to size, now I know how to make the bags bigger. I got one heck of a good deal at a thrift store for 6 big rolls that fit my vacuum, and I think it was $3 for all, so, I have a LOT of those rolls, and those things can cost a lot normally. So, why do I hardly use it for some time now? I'll start using that more now, you are right, those space bags don't last very long, but, those made to size bags will be great.
I also used food in them in boiling water, to heat them up from the freezer, and less pots and pans getting dirty, it really is a very good gadget to have.
That foodsaver vac 300 is useful for more than just food. I don't own one, but it would be great for packaging jewelry for a yard sale, salt for your husband's lunchbox, even as a type of laminator for precious keepsakes. I have a Christmas card from my Mother, who is now with the Lord. I keep it in plain sight in my kitchen and it gets a lot of dirt. Wouldn't the Foodsaver be great for it?
I'm a little late posting since I see the post from Springmaid5 is from over a year ago. But...please be careful about storing keepsakes made of paper in plastic. You want to be sure the plastic is archival or acid-free, or it will yellow and wear out your precious cards, etc. I'm not sure if the plastic used in vacuum sealers is acid-free. Just think of what happened to the old photos we kept in those 'magnetic' albums of years ago! Just a head's up from an avid scrapbooker.
I recently purchased a large canister for my Foodsaver on Ebay. It evidently is an older model (the lid has a white knob with a red center) and the hose for my new Foodsaver wouldn't fit on it - much less vacuum seal. I called Tilia and they said they don't sell the old hoses, nor will they sell a new lid - you have to buy the entire canister. So, I thought I'd really wasted my money.
I found out from another ebayer that I could take Foodsaver's Wide-Mouth Jar Sealer, place it over the white knob on canister lid, attach the hose to the jar sealer and then vacuum seal the canister. This works just great - the air is drawn out of the canister through the jar sealer, creating a perfect vacuum seal.
By Moogie from Denton, Texas
I haven't used a sealer for jars, but I do use gallon jars for my canisters. I can see how much of what I have and if I need to purchase more soon.
My daughter uses old rinsed out metal coffee cans for her canisters. She covered them with wall paper and put labels on stating what was in each can. You can store any number of dry items in them; dried beans, rice, cereal. You are only limited by your imagination. Debbie-Jenn
Vacuum sealing individual meals of leftover turkey and gravy, ham or roast beef and freeze, it stays fresher when vacuum sealed. They can be heated in the bags in boiling water. By Syd
I freeze a lot of leftovers in individual servings in food saver bags. If it is liquidy, I freeze it in the bag before I seal it. This way if I don't want to cook, everybody picks what they want. Also good for taking to work. By Vickie
The Foodsaver is not just for food. I use it to vacuum pack face cloths, etc. and for travel. No more bottles spilling out onto your clothes. By Sandy
After putting meat to be vacuumed into the Foodsaver bag, I then enclose the cut-out from the supermarket meat sticker/description indicating cut of meat, weight, date, etc. Then I 'seal' the meat and record the date of the sealing with a black permanent marker. By Lynn in Norfolk, VA
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I recently borrowed a friends "food saver" to freeze some meat. The food saver worked great, and I insisted on replacing the roll of bags that I had used. To my surprise, the roll cost me $10.00 at Walmart. I would like to purchase my own food saver, and remember years ago, seeing one advertised on TV that you can use on any type of plastic bag and you could also reseal plastic bags that vegetables and frozen foods were purchased in. Does anyone know of any brand(s) of food savers that the bags don't cost so much and one that you can use to reseal all types of plastic bags with?
Debbie from New Jersey
Some advice to anyone thinking about buying a Food Saver, DON'T!!!!!!! The problem is not the unit itself, but the company. No repair parts, no repair service after the warranty runs out. Jarden, who is Tilia's parent company just amazes me with their lack customer service. My Food Saver died 3 months out of warranty, I called for repair parts, after warranty service or any help at all, any of which I'm willing to pay for. Their response, sorry, buy a new one. I read about all these folk who have had great luck with their Food Saver, hey I'm happy for you. I liked mine too while it lasted. Again my gripe is with the company selling it and the fact that a year and a day after purchase and something goes wrong, you're screwed and Jarden doesn't care, in fact they're happy, you have to spend another $100-$150 with them. I'd suggest perhaps a Sear's Kenmore, in that at least Sear's typically has parts and service for appliances and seem to care at least a little about customers. But do not buy a Food Saver.
I have a friend who uses one of these sealing devices because her husband smokes salmon for Christmas/Hannuakah and they give their friends and business associates chunks of fish as gifts. The sealed bags make giving easier for everyone.
However, I use these great clips from Sweden that are widely available. Imagine a hinged piece of plastic that clips closed at one end. I use these for bread, cereal, bagged frozen veggies and more. They come in a package of 20 and are readily available in cookware stores and through the King Arthur Flour catalog. It seems to me that this a simpler, "greener" solution to the problem of resealing bags and means that you are buying less plastic landfill materials.
Hi, I have had my, food saver for about 7 years.My friend bought a kitchen aid. It did not last season to season. No one mentioned food saver also has mason jar sealers.You can get one for, big or small mouth jars.I use mine a lot for, dried beans from my garden. You could make chex mix for X-MAS, seal and give. Seal flour, rice, sugar, almost anything. I LOVE MINE, and so does my friends.
Hi, I have had my, food saver for about 7 years.My friend bought a kitchin aid, did not last seson to season. No one mentioned food saver also has mason jar sealers.You can get one for, big or small mouth jars.I use mine alot for, dried beans from my garden.You could make chex mix for X-MAS, seal and give. Seal flour,rice,sugar, almost anything. I LOVE MINE, and so does my friends.
I have the vacuum seal machine for the gallon and quart size Ziplock bags, but I cannot find the bags in the stores here anymore. What can I do to get some?
By Janice from Salt Lake City, UT
A quick Google search and I found them at drugstore.com and Amazon.
You can also just cut the appropriate size hole in a regular zip lock bag in an appropriate spot for what you're vacuuming, vacuum and just seal the hole with a small piece of packaging tape.
I found mine at Wal Mart. I just bought the generic brand, but they work just as well. And to my surprise, they carry more sizes this way than they do in the brand name ones.
The Ziplock bags are still available. I've found them at WalMart, KMart, and Smith's. The Handi-Vac bags from Reynolds were discontinued, not the Ziplock brand.
I recently bought mason jars that came with lids and rings. I plan on saving salad in them with my food saver and jar sealer attachment that I just bought. Do I have to replace the lids each time I use the jars for this purpose?
By Francine from Nashua, NH
No, they can be reused a couple of times as long as they seal.
I would like feedback on the food saver machines. Do they really do what they say? Is it frugal or expensive to use the bags, canisters, etc.?
I've had a food saver for about 5 years now and absolutely LOVE it. My 2 kids have grown up and moved away from home and now my husband and I do one big shopping a month at a wholesale store and separate the meats into enough for the two of us. I even freeze leftovers in the bags. Just make sure that you freeze liquids first, before putting it in the food saver bags. I really don't think the bags are that expensive, because you can wash them really well and use them over and over. Hope this helps.
Oh, YES, they will become your new best friend.
Just be sure to get the one that you can use the large mouth jar sealer on Mason jars.
Food lasts a long time in the freezer without developing freezer burn ... like 2 years. The bags can be washed and reused, but you have to be careful when packaging meats with sharp bones, shrimp, fish, etc., because without a protective covering (an old plastic bag) you can get pin holes in the bags that will take on air.
I limit what I use bags for, since they are more expensive than jars ... you don't want to vacuum seal items for short term use or freeze relatively cheap items. Bread is not an item that vacuums well...hockey pucks!
There is a Yahoo Group for the Food Saver you can join too! Lots of nice people and good tips.
The bags can be bought at Sam's Club & Costco for a box of several sizes much cheaper than buying the individual rolls at say, Wal-Mart.
I use a lot of Mason jars for short term storage and freeze left-over soup, etc. in pints for individual servings. A few jars in the freezer is OK, don't get carried away and try to store too many!
Tilia is the distributor and does informercials ... don't buy from them; they are very high plus have shipping charges. Shop around and they have specials. Prices vary ... buy the best you can afford.
You won't be sorry.
I have had my Foodsaver for about 2 years, and wouldn't know what to do with out it. I just this weekend went to the farmers market and stocked up on fruits and vegetables which I then came home a portioned packed. I also routinely buy meat in bulk at Costco, and then repackage into packages for 1 or 2. I received mine as a present and must say it is the best present ever.
Mine is a lemon it wont seal wont vacuum even tried walmart GV bags - no luck with these. In my opinion zip lock bags at Dollar Generak are a better investment