A vacuum sealer has been one of my favorite kitchen tools, and not necessarily because I stored food with it! My mom bought me a Rival Seal-a-Meal about twelve years ago that has given me great service all these years, but I’ve recently upgraded to a Food Saver for the bigger wattage, and because I think I’ve worn that Seal-a-Meal out! I love my new Food Saver and wanted to share some unique ways you can use your vacuum sealer to get the biggest bang for your PREParedness buck!
UNIQUE WAYS TO USE A VACUUM SEALER
- Reseal the wax bags inside dry goods boxes (cereal bags, etc.)
- Preserve dry goods (you can use the vacuum sealer attachments to store dry goods in canning jars!) aka Dry Canning
- Create your own condiment/spice packets for camping or emergency bags
- Create water-proof pouches for money, maps and more for camping or emergency binders
- Preserve important documents (but you’ll want to use the seal only feature so that the vacuuming process doesn’t cause transfer to the plastic)
- Preserve photographs (but use the seal only feature)
- Create pockets for storing gold/silver coins for easy hiding (if you store silver nickels in those little zip-top baggies you get from coin shops, they jingle a lot. You can store them flat in a vacuum sealed pouch and hide them in places that make them hard to find!)
- Store Chocolate! YES YOU CAN!
- Store Wine, Oil & Vinegar (there is a special wine stopper attachment that can be used to recork wine). This also helps extend the life of your oils and vinegars if you open the bottle.
- Marinade foods – not only can you marinade steaks and vegetables in vacuum sealed pouches, Food Saver has special containers meant to marinade larger quantities of foods.
- Store Marshmallows – this may not be more unique than storing other dry goods, but the fun that comes with storing marshmallows in a vacuum sealer is HUGE! My kids love NOT finishing off bags of marshmallows just so that they can be the ones to store them.
- Create homemade gogurts with yogurt you made from scratch (instead of just using plastic or zip-top bag, just use your food saver to create the pouches).
- Dry-age meat – this is different than storing in a freezer – this is creating dry aged meat that you typically find at your better steak houses
- Create your own dry mixes and store them longer
- Create your own meal in a jar and store it longer
- Create your own MRE’s
- Create stews and soup mixes for the freezer to have ready for your slow cooker!
- Create your own salad mixes to extend the life of your greens for the fridge
- Reuse store-bought cans/lids to vacuum seal dry goods (I’m not going to recommend this for regular canning, but for dry canning) using a Food Saver canister
- Make your own ice packs. Throw some ice into a vacuum sealer pouch, seal it, and you’ve got ready packs to use in your kids’ lunchboxes! If it melts, just throw it into your freezer and you’ve got ice pouches to use for another day!
- Seal clothes to make waterproof packing for hiking/camping/emergency bags
- Store comic books and other collectibles. You’ll want to use the seal only feature.
- Store silverware to keep it tarnish free. Just remember to wrap the sharper edges in something soft to keep them from poking through the plastic
- Storing linens – you can vacuum seal your linens to help keep them compact and store more in a smaller space. This is especially useful for things you might store for seasonal use only.
- Games – sometimes all those little game pieces and cards can get easily lost. Store them in vacuum seal bags inside your game box and they won’t rattle (causing your cats to always try to break into the boxes to get out those rattling things, ask us how we know!). Depending on the game, you can even store these upright like albums on a shelf to save room and make storing more stable. Store in a larger bag in the beginning and you can reuse the bag quite a few times.
- Use with mylar bags to vacuum and seal long-term storage items (you really can use it with mylar bags!)
- Re-seal potato chip bags!
YOUR THOUGHTS: What are other ways that you use your vacuum sealer?
VACUUM SEALER TIP OF THE DAY
If you are going to be storing items over and over again, make sure to use a larger than necessary pouch the first time. This way, you can open, use, and then reseal for another time or two. If you’re storing dry goods (not food), simply reuse a bag for another item if it becomes too small for your original intended use. They don’t have to be trashed after one use. You can also wash bags and dry thoroughly (completely and thoroughly!!!) to use for other food storage.
If you’d like to find other hints and suggestions on using your vacuum sealer, follow my
I’ll be exploring many of these ideas on the blog in coming weeks to show you just how you can make a vacuum sealer be a tool for more than just storing freezer foods!
Preserve your hard-won game, to stretch your family’s food budget, and it will also extend the life of your food staples. It is easy to use and will save you money! Michael at The Backyard Pioneer did a full review on this fantastic GameSaver® Titanium Vacuum Sealer w/Bonus Offer!
Here are more tips from Food Saver on how to prolong the storage of your game.