The Power of a Vacuum Sealer

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We have all seen those big bulk packs of chicken and ground meat in the big box stores. They look so tempting because they are a great deal. Who wouldn't want to pinch a few a pennies by buying in bulk? It only makes cents. But your bulk purchase will not be a deal if your meat goes to waste. You have great intentions and you separate your meat and put it in freezer bags. You pop it into the freezer only for it to get lost in the back under the top layer of your wedding cake. Your great intentions have gone to waste because there was air in that freezer bag and your meat is now freezer burnt. You toss the meat, and all your great intentions, not to mention your money in the trash!

Take it from me. Do not eat freezer burnt meat. In my penny pinching ways I just cut off the white parts and cooked it up for my family. There was this funny taste to the recipe. Kind of a chemical-not-natural taste. We determined that it was the freezer burnt meat. It is not good penny pinching when your food is bad. EW!

So what is freezer burn exactly? According to www.loc.gov it is,"When food is frozen as a method of preservation, thousands and thousands of water molecules within the steak [or other frozen item] form ice crystals. These water molecules prefer the most hospitable environment- the coldest place in your freezer. The molecules migrate from the steak to the coldest place they can find, which is often the side of your freezer. The loss of these water molecules causes the steak to become dehydrated. The end result is freezer burn."

A few years ago I asked for a Food Saver for my birthday. My mother thought I was crazy and would never use it but she appeased me and bought it for my birthday. It is on my counters weekly and my 4 year old knows how to operate it. It is an investment initially but if you are a true penny pincher pick up one on e-bay or your local Craig's List and get one on the cheap.

So now I come home from the big box store with my bulk meat in tow and I divide my ground beef into 1 lb lumps and my chicken breasts into piles of 4. I put the ground beef on metal cookie trays (spray the tray with non stick spray) and freeze for a few hours if not over night. I prefer a few hours to freeze the juices in the meat because if I let it go overnight it will turn into several overnights. Once frozen enough that the juices stop flowing I seal and label it and right back into the freezer they go.

I make bags for the chicken (the instructions will show you how to do this) and put my 4 chicken breasts in each bag. I then set the bags upright in a 9x13 dish so that they don't flop over and pop them in the freezer till frozen. Then I seal and label and back into the freezer they go.

I can't tell you how much I have saved by having my vacuum sealer. I love it. I not only seal meat but I also seal blocks of soup, vegetables, cookies, bar cookies, and fruit just to name a few.

Make pinching your pennies worth your while.

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