By Linda from Bellingham, WA
This may not be what you are looking for but for the last few years I have simply used a straw to suck out the air and have had no troubles - it may be kinda yucky of an idea but it is very frugal.
There is Reynolds that takes batteries, the other is Ziplock with a hand pump and then the $125 one. I have all three, I personally like the Reynolds but I have also used the Ziplock, I feel they are much better than the expensive one & the bags are ziplock & in some cases can be reused. It's a personal choice, with Reynolds & Ziplock on the market & very inexpensive, I wouldn't invest in the expensive one.
I've had a Foodsaver for about 8 years. We love it! Everything gets resealed and so no "throw away old food". I also use it to downsize portions. I use the plastic baby bottle bags to make individual portions of snacks as hubby still takes lunch. Much cheaper than buying the individual snacks. I seal lots of food in mason jars or the empty store bought jars of food, i.e. pickles, mustard, etc. Even gallon pickles jars! I also use the mason jars to seal my homemade fruit rollups. I dehydrate all kinds of foods, some I powder in the Vitamix and have them for year round use. Any fresh vegetable which looks like it's reaching 'retirement age' I dehydrate, powder and use until it's gone. I do this with all types of foods. My pantry is full of jars with every food imaginable. We too have been shopping in our freezer or pantry for over a year. We only buy the fresh veggies for salad. Vegetable soup, chicken soup base or any other base comes from the pantry. A while ago I bought the big container of cashews from Costco, divided them into the baby bottles, freeze them and we're still using them. I use a few in a special salad I make for potlucks, and hubby sometimes takes a packet for lunch. A year ago we went apple picking and for 10 cents a pound picked a whole lot! I sliced, dehydrated and put them in gallon pickle jars. We're still eating them.
I feel my Foodsaver has saved me hundreds over the years. I don't use the bags at all really. They are out of our budget. I still have the 3 rolls which came with the machine 8 years ago. I cannot vote enough for the Foodsaver!
If anyone wants to they can contact me with questions. I have no connection with the company, just a very satisfied customer. Mari
Well, I finally chose a sealer. I bought the Seal a Meal for $60 from WalMart. I shopped around, and it was the best price. My new question is this: What is the cheapest roll of bags that I can buy and it still work?
Two well-known names in food storage have their own version of the Food Saver vacuum sealer. This page has information about Ziplock vs. Reynolds vacuum sealers.