• A Jarful of Savings

    This weeks money saving tip- How spending $30 now can save you hundreds of dollars on your grocery bill . . .

    A few weeks ago we shared our secret for making produce last 7-10 days when it normally spoils in just 2-3 days in the fridge. Vacuum sealer appliances are absolutely amazing for saving food- but as we're well aware, not everyone can afford to spend $100-200 on a foodsaver or other quality vacuum sealer right now. So we thought we'd share a tip on how you can get the same savings for less than $30.

    First, you'll need the FoodSaver Handheld Vacuum System (which is less than $20!) and a foodsaver Jar Sealer which runs from $5-10 depending on where you get them.



    Prepare your fruits and vegetables - washing, peeling, dicing or chopping as desired. Basically, you want them to be fully prepared and ready to eat- this is going to save you time during the week on meal preparation and will also help cut down on needing to run to the store for something because you'll be able to see clearly what you have on hand.

    Place the prepared produce in clean, dry jar.

    Place the lid on top, then Slide the Foodsaver Jar Sealer onto the Jar:



    Press the Foodsaver Handheld Vacuum System onto the top of the Foodsaver Jar Sealer and Press the button for about 5-10 seconds. If you can let go of the foodsaver and it stands up by itself, the jar is sealed.



    Release the button, gently break the seal by twisting the foodsaver vacuum and remove the jar sealer top. Voila- your produce is safely sealed and you can put it back in the fridge until the next time it's needed. The vacuum doesn't take up valuable (and sometimes scarce!) counter space, it's very effective, travels well and can literally save you hundreds of dollars each year.

    Opening your Sealed Jars:


    Do not be tempted to use lid openers or can openers to pop the tops of your sealed jars. This creates an indent in the lid that will prevent it from resealing and render it useless.

    Instead, take a coin (or the handle of a piece of silverware, such as a spoon), place it on the thread closest to the top of the lid and gently break the seal.




    To save time, make up jars of Salad in various sizes (single servings, family size, etc) with all your favorite toppings and veggies:



    The FoodSaver Handheld Vacuum System can also be found at Box stores such as Walmart and Target, for about $5 more than Amazon's price.

    A Couple Notes for Clarification:

    1. This is NOT a substitute for "Canning".
    2. This is NOT a substitute for Refrigeration- if an item is normally supposed to be refrigerated, then KEEP it in the fridge!
    3. The Jars can be opened as needed, but they should be resealed (takes 20 seconds folks) to maintain freshness.
    4. Make sure there isn't excess water or liquid in the bottom of the jars, this is what makes your veggies go bad quickly.



    Can Stock Photo Inc. / illustrart
    Comments 19 Comments
    1. GB101's Avatar
      GB101 -
      The foodsaver handheld has $5 off coupon right now!






    1. MaggieReid's Avatar
      MaggieReid -
      I am convinced that this is the way I want to go! I am going to get one this next week sometime!
    1. Ketsyc's Avatar
      Ketsyc -
      Wow, my husband and I have wanted the vacuum sealer system but haven't had the 100-200 dollars to get started. I didn't know there was a smaller size! This is perfect for what I want to do! I'll be shopping for it tonight!
    1. cetaylor94's Avatar
      cetaylor94 -
      After reading this post, and following the link, I bought the vacuum sealer and it has been awesome.
      I should start by saying that I had never tried fixing things ahead of time, or even freezing things to cook/heat later. Your page has helped me quite a bit in that regard. I have also started using a lot of the things in your weekly menus. Very cool, money saving, meals. Thank you!
    1. Tomysweti2's Avatar
      Tomysweti2 -
      Question- I bought the wide mouth jar sealer and the handheld. My handheld doesn't seem to want to really do the job. It doesn't suck air out very quickly and definitely doesn't stand up on it's own. I'm guessing I should return it and try another one?
    1. s8nlilhlpr's Avatar
      s8nlilhlpr -
      I've had the foodsaver Mini version for awhile now, this finally gave me something else to use it for when I run out of the bags. Now if only they could share a cheaper place/brand of bags that work well with the foodsaver!
    1. Donna-M's Avatar
      Donna-M -
      Went to Walmart and they were sold-out. Will keep trying. Thank's for the tip.
    1. TraceyMichelle's Avatar
      TraceyMichelle -
      I found my food saver on the WalMart clearance endcap for $30...full size, it was just kicked out b/c the newer models came out! There were two...if I wasn't so strapped for cash I'd have bought both! My mom gave me the attachments (free! woohoo!), but now I'm too strapped to buy the bags (TIP...OVERSIZE your bags, that way you have room to "reuse" them several times!!! Learned that the hard way. >= { ) and I can't afford the case of mason jars on top of groceries! Ugh, maybe I can "save" $1 or two a week until I can! Oi, me!
    1. monnalu's Avatar
      monnalu -
      Holy Cow! We have had a FoodSaver with jar attachment for years and I never thought of doing this with fresh produce. Thank you for opening my eyes!
    1. CouponGranny's Avatar
      CouponGranny -
      I bought the FoodSaver and jar attachment also. Love 'em both. The idea of making already mixed salads instead of one item per container is one that I'm going to start using. What a help.
    1. DawnRenee's Avatar
      DawnRenee -
      Also for those of you who still want the larger vac system as well, check out your local thrift stores, I found a perfectly working one for $10. It was not the newest model but it still works great and even came with 2 rolls of the do it your self bags.
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      So the jars don't have to be refrigerated after sealing?
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      can you freeze the sealed jars also
    1. shastababy's Avatar
      shastababy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      So the jars don't have to be refrigerated after sealing?
      That is incorrect. If you normally refrigerate the food inside the jar, you must still refrigerate it in the sealed jar. The vacuum sealing will remove most of the air inside it and allow it to last longer, but it still must be stored properly.
    1. nicola's Avatar
      nicola -
      This is an awesome idea!! I never purchased one, but I plan to in the very near future. Anyone has any suggestions on the brand/type to get other than for beginners. I will be using this long term and wanted to go ahead and spend the money on a quality sealer for in the long run.
      Thanks!
    1. Ctribb's Avatar
      Ctribb -
      Does the size of the jar sealer make a difference? If I purchase the wide mouth jar attachment will it still work for regular mouth mason jars or do I need to buy one of each size?
    1. Schluppi's Avatar
      Schluppi -
      Hi ladys and gents. Sorry in advance for my bad grammar but i am from germany and i promise to do my best. Where can i find the jad lids shown on the pictures? I cant find them in germany. Maybe i find them on ebay usa what are the name of them? The handheld sealer is allready ordered. Whoch size of jar sealer have i to buy? I found a big mouth one and a regular. Would be great if you could help me with your answer on my question. Best regards stephan from hamburg germany
    1. SCMary's Avatar
      SCMary -
      Hi. I bought mine this morning. It has charged for ten hours and it is working great.
    1. Maggie1's Avatar
      Maggie1 -
      You can also purchase plastic bags from the Food Saver internet page or locally.They are reusable and take up less room. Both the jars and plastic bags are great for saving food and money.
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