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What do you use it for?

DH remembered that I wanted one and that's what I got for Christmas. But now that I've got it, it seems like I have very few ideas as to what to use it for. :shrug: I've used it for some meats, and for some pasta, but I know there are a lot more ways to make it save me money, I just am not thinking of those right now.....can anyone help?
 

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Happy Scrounger
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I've started using mine for freezing soup. Made a HUGE pot of chicken soup the other day. Too much for us to eat in just a few days. I made up 2 and 4 cup bags of it, put it in the freezer. We'll take it out to heat for just 1 meal at a time.

My SO asked me to put up the chili the same way so he can take it to work. grab a frozen chili bag on the way out the door, it thaws at work, pop it in the microwave and POOF! Instant yummy lunch!

I'm considering storing shredded potatoes in them, too. (frozen)

I think they'll be good for storing cookies, too. (not frozen) You know how you make a gazillion cookies just 'cuz you can? and then need some way to store them? I thought putting them in the vacuum bags would keep them fresher.
 

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Be powerful. No other option exists.
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We use ours for sausage, pecans, steaks, and non-juicy things. We freeze the steaks first, then vacuum seal. If you do juicy things like dewberries, you have to freeze them first, too.

For a LOT of things, we have discovered that the hand held one you get in the grocery aisle works better.

We have had quite a bit of trouble with the Food Saver bags losing their vacuum.
 

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You name it I freeze it. Use lots of time when camping. Do boil a meal. Then use the hot water for cleanup. Laz., soup, meatloaf, beans, cornbread.Use mine all the time. Enjoy. Great time saver.
 

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Always Thinking
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We buy cheeses in bulk to save, then split them into smaller quantities and vac seal them. They keep weeks longer that way.

Also...all kinds of make-ahead meals or casseroles, frozen. Get them out anytime for a nice meal when time is limited.

We also freeze juicy things as Rose mentioned - meats, vegetables, fruit, soups, etc - then seal. Much less mess.

Everything we freeze from the garden is vac sealed. You'll be ammazed at how much freezer space it saves.
 

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I live alone but still like to save money by buying in bulk when it is cheaper and cooking in large amounts. It would almost be easier to list what I don't use my vac-sealer for. I have the attachments to do wide and narrow mouth mason jars and I seal dry goods like pastas, brown sugar, etc. in big 2 quart jars. Dried fruits go in 1 quart jars. I buy the huge 5# blocks of cheddar and shred most of it and vac seal in bags and freeze. I have canisters that I put my produce in which extends it's refrigerator life greatly. I freeze soup in single serving containers and then dump them into a bag and vac seal them. I always have a pot of water on the cookstove during the winter so I just pop a bag of soup or whatever leftover cassrole I have frozen in bags into the hot water and in a few minutes I have a hot entry. I fry up bacon and vac seal it in the right amount for a couple of bacon sandwiches or to have with pancakes. Same way with sausage. IMO it is the single person's dream machine to create convenience meals.

I have never had trouble with the bags losing their seal except once when I tryed to seal pasta in them. The pasta made a couple of little pinholes in the bag during the sucking and sealing process.
 

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Callieslamb.....i think it is so the juices do not go up into the machine, my sister ruioned hers that way.........pat
 

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Be powerful. No other option exists.
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Yes, you are supposed to freeze things that are juicy first so the liquid isn't sucked up in the vacuum.

One thing to keep in mind while freezing things in the bags before sealing is that the *shape* of the frozen item is important. If it's too fat and frozen into an awkward lump, you can't get the bag closed to seal it.
 

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I also use mine to seal canning jars with dried things in them - dehydrated onions, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, chives, garlic, etc. And I put dry staples like salt, popcorn, rice, beans, etc. in jars. You can buy attachments that fit right over the top of a canning jar and suck until it makes a seal (even lids you've previously used for canning).

I also vac seal dry milk, flour, sugar, baking soda, cornmeal in bags. I put them in a ziplock bag first, leave it open about 1/2 inch so the air can escape, and then put it inside the vac bag. That way the power doesn't get sucked out and into the machine. That also protects the vac bag from being punctured by sharp things like jerky and rice.

Hope this helps! I learned this and a lot more down in the Survival and Emergency Preparedness forum.
 

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I seal leftovers into individual servings and freeze. This past harvest it was a lifesaver. I made tons of tomato sauce and then sealed it in small bags and laid them out flat to freeze. Then they stacked nicely in my freezer for the winter. I use the tomato sauce as a base for spaghetti sauce, soup, etc.

I also like to buy deli meat in bulk when it is on sale and then seal it up in smaller portions...some to freeze and some to just keep fresh in the frig.

We also use ours a lot to reseal cereal and chip bags...we have saved a lot of money by not having to throw out stale cereal and it helped us out when we were dealing with ants a while back. When I do this, I just use the seal feature and not the vacuum feature.
 

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like several others, I use mine mostly for sealing mason jars, using the wide mouth and regular jar sealers. (ie: http://www.foodsaver.com/Product.aspx?id=c&cid=89&pid=270 ). I seal dry goods (pasta, sugar, salt) for the shelf. I also seal items for the fridge to extend their shelflife too. If I use half a tomato, I'll vac-seal the rest and put it in the fridge, and it will last longer.

I also got a few canisters (eg, http://www.foodsaver.com/Product.aspx?id=c&cid=89&pid=261 ) I've put salad greens in them, and had them last 2 weeks without wilting! You can also put other jars in them, like your mayo jar, vac-seal the cannister which also removes the air from the mayo jar. then open the cannister and remove the now vac-sealed mayo. Still needs to go back in the fridge, but for something you use infrequently, it will last longer.

as for using the plastic bags... you can seal clothes up in the bags, which is really good for bug-out-bags. Or if you or your kids go camping and want to make sure they have a set of clean dry clothes for the ride home, you can vac-seal them in a bag, and they're waterproof, and take up a bit less space due to the vacuum.

--sgl
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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Here's a place where the vac seal bags are much cheaper and better quality than the ones available at Wally World. Go to:

thesweetattack.com

NeHi
 

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We also seal important papers in the bags.

Other than that, just about everything I do with ours has been mentioned. I have never worn out a Tilia model but I did wear out a Brand X I had for years prior to my first Tilia model. I found an exceptionally good deal on one in the bargain barn at the BassPro in Springfield last September and took the one I had been using to the pantry to reseal jars when I need to fill a smaller container for the kitchen. My stand mixer is too big to fit on the cabinet shelves so it stays on the counter. The vacuum sealer is on the counter because I use it so many times per day. Well worth the money for us.
 

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I use mine for almost everything, especially meat, fruit and veggies for the freezer.

When we go camping, everything that goes into the ice chest is vacume sealed in meal sized portions so we don't get any soggy floaties. This includes salad and veggie sticks.

Does anyone know if the vacume sealed bags hold up in a pressure canner? One area I wish to explore with the vacume sealer is "canning." There is a butcher shop that sells real yummy jerky and smoked fish packed in vacume sealed bags with a very long shelf life without being refrigerated. I don't think they can achieve that by vacume sealing alone.
 

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Katie
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I use ours for our beef, pork, goat, veggies from the garden, summer sausage we have made & I want in smaller packages, Fresh caught fiish, just about anything I want to make sure doesn't get freezer burnt. I love mine, when this one dies I'll be out to get another one.
 

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Laura, you already know that when pressure canning, the lid and ring allow steam to escape from the jars then they seal as the temperature drops. Bags don't have that ability because to be sure they were completely sterilized, they would have to be sealed prior to or during processing. I know there are some products on the market like the tuna in pouches, but I don't have a clue how that's done. However, I would bet that there is special equipment that does the sealing while the product is still in the steam retort (big industrial pressure canner). Anyway, when I make jerky, I use meat with as little fat as possible then daub away whatever fat is melted out as the jerkey dries. I vacuum seal the jerky when it's finished but I store it in a cool place, if not the freezer itself if I have space. I've never tried either commercially produced smoked fish nor have I done any at home--we just aren't big fish eaters. Even in a cool place, it has a long shelf life but in the freezer, it lasts indefinitely, providing I don't let the family know I have a stash for emergencies.
 
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