Are you spending more on groceries than you’d like? I know I sure used to. Finally, I cracked the code to cutting my grocery bill in half.
Saving money on groceries is possible for everyone. It’s about doing a little due diligence, making a plan, and sticking to it.
And you know what else helps? Having a Foodsaver.
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I received this Foodsaver about two and a half years ago for my birthday. (Don’t worry, I asked for it!) I instantly fell in love with its ease of use and ability to help me stretch my grocery dollars further.
I love to use coupons, and know how to save lots of money to stock up on shelf-stable pantry goods at their lowest price. But I struggled with the fact that I couldn’t keep an inventory of fresh meat and produce without it going bad.
Check out the Resources Page for tons of other money saving resources!
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Our favorite meat to buy and eat is ground beef and boneless skinless chicken breasts. There are almost no bargains to be had on the 1lb packages that are best for our household. When they go on sale, it’s almost always for bigger packages of 3 lbs or more. My choices were to eat the same meat 3 days in a row, or put the other 2 lbs in the freezer to get freezer burned.
Then I discovered the Foodsaver.
Coupons are awesome and I would never give them up, but the biggest portion of grocery savings actually comes from the store sales. By stocking up meat and produce when it’s on sale instead of paying full price, the Foodsaver pays for itself in weeks!
Now, when those 3 lb packages go on sale once a month or so, I buy a couple. I divide them into 1 lb portions, seal them up, and we’re stocked up on meat for the month!
Here’s an example of the savings:
Usually my grocery store sells ground beef and chicken for around $4 per pound. I wait for them to go on sale for under $2 per pound, and buy them in the 3 lb packs. Right there is at least a 50% savings.
Benefits of having a Foodsaver:
According to Foodsaver, if you like to shop at club stores like Costco or Sam’s Club (or buy meat on sale), here’s how much you can save:
I also use the Foodsaver to preserve veggies, and sometimes fruit. Some of my favorite items to Foodsaver (yes, I use it as a verb now) are bell peppers, corn on the cob, zucchini, strawberries, and blueberries. Imagine having delicious August sweet corn in February!
The Foodsaver vacuums all the air out of the package and seals it. Once sealed, food stays fresh 5x longer, and it doesn’t get all freezer-burned and covered in those gross ice crystals. The food seriously stays fresh for 2-3 years.
Air is the enemy of freshness, and the reason that your food goes bad before you can eat it.
According to Foodsaver, here’s how much longer food stays fresh once it’s vacuum sealed:
Besides the obvious cost saving benefits, the convenience factor of having meat and veggies ready and waiting in the freezer is huge. You never have to think to yourself “Crap, I have to stop at the store to buy chicken for dinner.” It’s already in your house!
I usually just take the meat out of the freezer first thing in the morning, and it’s thawed by dinnertime. You could move it to the fridge the night before if you’re organized like that.
There are a variety of different Foodsaver bags, rolls, and accessories you can use. I buy the generic brand of rolls, and make my own bags. These rolls last a very long time. The Foodsaver brand bags are technically reusable and may work better than the generic, though I’ve never had an issue.
Depending on how big the item I’m Foodsavering is, I just cut off how much of the roll I think I’ll need. Then I seal one end, and wa-la, it’s a bag!
A couple weeks ago, I stocked up on ground beef when it was $1.99/lb., chicken breasts at $1.69/lb, and a 3-pack of bell peppers from Aldi for $1.67. Then I portioned the meat into 1 lb packages, and sliced the peppers into strips for future chicken fajitas.
I always have onions on hand (you can Foodsaver those too!), so with the chicken and peppers ready to go, I have the ingredients for two dinners in the freezer. I love that peace of mind when life gets hectic.
After I got everything portioned and vacuum sealed, I wiped the counter and Foodsaver down thoroughly with disinfecting wipes. The Foodsaver has a removable drip tray that catches any juice that might leak out while it’s vacuuming. I wiped that down and put it in the dishwasher.
Related: Here’s my How I Saved Series, where I document how I’m saving money on everything I possibly can, so we can pay our mortgage off 12 years early.
Foodsaver Tips & Tricks:
You can also use the Foodsaver to preserve items that you don’t want to freeze. If you open a block a cheese and don’t use it all, just vacuum seal it, and it’ll be good for months. I’ve also Foodsavered opened bags of pretzels and crackers, right in the bag they came in!
You can make your own “tv dinners” by freezing a meal right on a plate if you want. Just put the plate into a Foodsaver bag, then seal the whole thing up. You can make a freezer meal, and seal an entire casserole dish in a bag as well.
You can heat food in the Foodsaver bags too. Let’s say you want to save leftover meatballs and sauce or chicken and dumplings. Just put the entire bag into simmering water when you want to eat it, and it’ll gently heat through. They’re also microwave safe, if you just snip the corner open so it can vent.
If you’re going to Foodsaver a really juicy item (like certain fruits or the saucy items mentioned above), simply freeze the item(s) first and then vacuum seal it once it’s already frozen.
Preserving baked goods are also a great use for the Foodsaver. If you’re sealing a soft food (like a muffin or loaf of bread), just hit the Seal button before it squishes the item. It’ll suck all the air out, but not smush the food.
The Foodsaver is also good for non-food items, such as seeds from your garden that you want to reuse the next year. Or to ensure that the toiletries you’re traveling with don’t explode in your luggage.
I really hope you enjoyed my Foodsaver review. As you can see, there are a lot of benefits from vacuum sealing food and other items. From saving money, to more convenience with meal planning, to keeping items you paid hard-earned money for fresher longer, the Foodsaver helps with it all.
In case you can’t tell, I highly recommend it!
Don’t forget to check out the Resources Page for tons of other money saving resources!
Have you ever tried a vacuum sealer?