“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand - and melting like a snowflake.”
- Francis Bacon

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Inflaction, recession, no money, OH MY! Waste not, want not...

It's not often that something I buy exceeds my expectations, but this little gadget received an A+ from me and an 11 on a scale of 1-10. I live alone since my last son married, so all the good, quantity buys at the grocery store were usually passed up. If I bought ten pounds of anything, by the time I got to the last package I had to toss out the contents because it had freezer burn or it had discolored or inside it looked like tiny Eskimos had set up housekeeping and built ice condos all over the place.

I hate to toss out money, who does? And, I don't like to cook food that looks like it should be buried and buried DEEP! There is just something about eating "something" that I just had to beat on the kitchen counter to break the ice crystals before I could even guess what was in the wrapper in the first place. I've bought "freezer bags" in all shapes and sizes. I've double wrapped food, especially meat and fish. Hey, I've even done a little dance in the kitchen with a candle in each hand to ward off the Freezer Burn Fairy. Not a thing worked to keep my food looking fresh and edible until...until I bought a little goodie that I thought might work, but if it didn't I wasn't out an arm and a leg in cost and I was willing to give it a chance. The Reynolds Handi-Vac Vacuum Sealing System really is all that it says it is and what it will do for you.

It's not all that often that a product comes around where you buy more of the same thing just to give to friends and family because you are so thrilled with its performance. It's not all that often that you like something so much that you are willing to tell perfect strangers about it if you happen to meet in front of a product display at your local discount store. I know...it's strange, but I really have talked to strangers (shhh, don't tell) and happily shared my experiences with this little machine to just about anyone who would stop to listen.

I now buy my food in quantity knowing that it will stay fresh, keep it's "just fresh/frozen" look and color and not appear as though it was auditioning for the winter Olympics. I don't use this little gem just to separate large packages of fresh items to get ready for the freezer, oh no, there's more! A light went off in my head (don't tell my kids) that I could also keep freezer burn at bay by taking already frozen food (fish sticks, waffles, pancakes, veggies) out of the original box, cut out the cooking directions, and then re-pack it in one of the Sealing System bags. Works like a charm, honest! I know, I know, isn't it great? No more funny smelling waffles or toaster pastries. No more frozen potatoes or veggies or bacon or sausage of questionable quality. It's all good! I love it!

Some complaints have been that the bags (quart and gallon) are a little pricey. I'll tell ya what, tossing out food in today's economy is pricey; so costly that it nearly brings me to tears! I got a little inventive, too (probably out of my delirium). You have to lay the bag on a flat surface in order for a good connection to suck out the air for a tight fit. Well, I wanted to freeze a liquid. So, I filled the bag half full, held it vertical against my kitchen cupboard and viola' another little wonder! In addition, you can keep your cheese and lunch-meat from ending up like an audition for a Lego brick! Again, so the juice in the meat doesn't get siphoned out of the bag, just hold it tight against a hard, upright surface and you're good to go.

Except for the bags I use to freeze meat, I'll wash the bags and tuck them away for another time. Great for cookies, candies and...ta-da...wonderful to keep a washcloth moist when you are out of the house and have a little one along with you. The bags can be re-sealed over and over again. So, yes, they may be a bit more expensive initially, but you don't have to toss them out once you have used the contents.

If you do nothing else today, go out and buy one of these now! I promise, you won't be disappointed. Oh, and a little caution, don't be fooled and buy the similar item made by Zip-Lock. You'll be sooooorrrrrry. How do I know? Trust me. You'll be sorry. Oh, and watch what you are doing. I didn't realize how powerful it was until I got distracted packing some muffins to send home with my son. We got to talking and I flattened them into hockey pucks! Waste not, want not...my dogs were in canine Heaven munching on buttermilk muffins for a snack.


Maison Douce said...

That is too funny, this is my husband's favorite new thing!!! He even uses it to marinate meat!! Thank you for stopping by my blog, I truly appreciate it!

Victoria said...

Hi! Cute blog!

My dad has one of these vacuum sealer things and swears by it for deer sausage and caught fish. I might get one someday; I've been checking items off my list- crock pot, pressure canner, new sewing machine...
But I'm with you in the grand scheme- save more money! Sometimes I feel like I scrimp so much there isn't anything more I could do! Thanks for another tip (I hate wasting food the most).

Thanks for the blog visit, too!

Kim@ForeverWherever said...

I came over from Hooked on Houses and I've really enjoyed reading your blog!

I have a machine like yours and I looooovvvveee it! I use it when we get ready for camping trips to help us save money on the road. I could go on and on!

I also have a serious thing for cupcakes, not ones from bakeries, but ones I make. I have a couple great books and it's so much fun.

I'm having a "Tasty Tuesday" blog party this week, so if you have any recipes or food stories...bring it!

redrhiannon said...

I bought one of these little treasures last november and I liked it so much I got them for my mom and my daughter for christmas. It is awesome and I catch my husband using it too so that's always a plus.