One of the important features of Emergency Preparedness is always having a good supply of Food Storage and knowing how to store food. The minimum you should have in stock at all times is 3 days worth. You want this in your home for regular every day living, as well as special meals packed into your 72 hour kit. But in addition to that you eventually want to work up your food storage to a 1 year food storage supply.
This brings the popular topic of how to store food. You don’t want everything to canned soup or vegetables. Although these are important. And you don’t want everything you store to be MREs either. You want to store food you enjoy. A well rounded food storage has a variety of long term and short term food storage. So you learn how to store food for long term and short term. And how to store food that you enjoy.
How to store food for short term food storage
When I talk about short term storage, I don’t mean merely a week. Most items we store for our food storage have a shelf life of around 10-30 years. So short term food storage for us is more around 9 months to 5 years. I know, that is a long time frame. One of the best ways of how to store food for short term is to remove all air from the packaging and store in vacuum sealed containers. Removing the air can actually lengthen the shelf life of the food to double and sometimes triple or more what it was normally.
That is where my new favorite Kitchen appliance comes in, the FoodSaver. Have you heard of a FoodSaver before? It is the best vacuum sealer on the market. And it has some of the coolest accessories like the regular and wide mouth jar sealer. So I can seal just about anything! Let me show you how I use the FoodSaver® V3880 Vacuum Sealer – The Master Chef Kit just about every day. And I can process foods for our short term food storage so easily!
The Foodsaver Master Chef kit offers the perfect solution for short term food storage.
The FoodSaver® V3880 fully automatic vacuum sealing kit is full of features and benefits you’re going to love. Its stainless steel finish, user-friendly controls with seal button in the middle, and fully automatic operation make this new unit a must have for the kitchen. The FoodSaver® V3880 is hands-free, safely packages moist, dry and delicate food and has a built-in retractable accessory hose, roll holder, cutter and bag opener. Liquid detection prevents spills and a marinate mode infuses food with flavor in minutes. Keep all your food fresh with FoodSaver® bags, FoodSaver® containers and FoodSaver® accessories.
The FoodSaver® V3880 Vacuum Sealer – The Master Chef Kit comes with
- 1 – 11” x 10’ Heat- Seal Roll
- 3 – Quart-size Heat -Seal Bags
- 2 – Gallon-size Heat-Seal Bags
- 1- 2 ¼ Quart Oval Marinator
- 1 – Portion Pouch Roll
- 16 –Freeze N’ Steam Bags
- FoodSaver® Custom Tip Book
- $100 in coupons
- Quick Start Guide & Reference Manual
And let me tell you I love all these extras that came with this kit! I have already used up most of the bags, I use it so often! I really love that I can find more bags at my local mass market retail store, or I can even order more online. And those coupons definitely come in handy to help me save even more money!
I also have the regular and wide mouth Jar sealer accessories. And they have been a dream to use! Super easy and they quickly seal up all my mason jars!
Shopping Frugally and How to Store Food
When we go shopping, we always look for the best deals. And when a great deal comes along, we buy in big quantities. Because who knows when it will be that great of price again. Especially with Gas Prices hiking, it is getting reflected in the price of foods very quickly!
Just a year ago we could get my favorite 93% lean ground meat for less than $2/lb on sale. It would often go on sale every 4 weeks. Now it is $5/lb. And when it actually goes on sale every 2-3 months the price only gets down to about $4/lb. See why I would want to buy a lot when I get a great price?
This is why having a FoodSaver is so important to me. Without it I wouldn’t be able to keep the meat for a long period of time. There is no way we’d use all that meat in three days. And after that it begins to go bad in the fridge.
A few weeks ago, we had a great deal on Steak and Chicken. I’m talking under $3/ lb for steak and $1.29/lb for Chicken! Yes! So I bought a lot! I brought it home. And within 10 minutes I had it all portioned out for our family’s needs and vacuum sealed with the FoodSaver. And now it is all placed in our chest freezer. This meat will store around 1-3 years in our freezer, and will not get that nasty freezer burn that ruins frozen meats!
The FoodSaver is super easy to use! I easily create a bag with one opening with the FoodSaver sheets. It is super easy and the direct kit makes it super easy to understand. Then I place the food into it. Put the open end into the opening, and it does everything automatically.
It vacuums out all of the air and then proceeds to seal the bag shut so no air can get into the food! This is also fantastic if you do a lot of Sous-vide cooking. Then you can easily seal up your food so no water can touch the food.
The FoodSaver also makes harvesting time super easy. Ever wonder how to store food that you harvest from your garden so that it will last through the winter? This is brilliant. So we got a lot of Rhubarb this year. And I absolutely love having a Strawberry Rhubarb pie in the middle of the winter.
I simply harvested my rhubarb. Sliced it into small pieces and then froze it using the same method I use when I freeze peaches. After 12 hrs in the freezer, I removed them and portioned them out for each patch of pie or Rhubard dump cake recipe. And within 5 minutes I had it all vacuum sealed! Then I placed it all back into the freezer.
Now my Rhubarb will last about 9 months in my freezer. Last year it only lasted 2 months before freezer burn ruined all my Rhubarb. So I’m beyond excited. I use the FoodSaver with all of my produce I harvest and freeze for the winter.
How to store food for every day use.
But you may be asking, “But Amber! You said you used it almost every day! How?”
And that is true! I do! But I definitely don’t buy meat or harvest Rhubarb every day. Did you know you can even vacuum seal baked goods? There are different settings on my FoodSaver that lets you even vacuum seal gentle items. I made Bran muffins a few weeks ago too. My kids ate them up like candy. But I had made a huge batch. And we had leftovers.
Normally they dry out super fast and aren’t as tasty the next time. I used the gentle setting and manually pumped the air out of the vacuum bag. And sealed up my bran muffins. When we opened it up again the next day, they tasted just as good! And then I was able to reseal the bag. The next day I opened it again and let them kids have some more for breakfast and then resealed the bag again. I kept doing this until they were all gone. And each time they still tasted great and fresh.
I also use the The Oval Marinator a lot! I’m able to easily marinate our steak and chicken with this and the FoodSaver in just about 10 minutes. It has a simple setting that automatically uses the pressure from the vacuum sealer to quickly marinate our meats perfectly! The same process that usually takes a couple hours in the fridge. Major time saver!
They have a lot more accessories from FoodSaver.com that I am planning on getting to add to my collection. As they will all be used frequently.
How to store food like dry goods.
I also use the FoodSaver to seal up dry goods that I don’t want getting moist and going bad. Like when I open a box of cake flour. I always have leftovers. So I just put the rest into a big Mason jar and using the Jar attachment I just seal it up. Now my flour will stay fresh.
I also do this with beans. Did you know that beans in bags don’t last very long? If they stay in the original bag unopened they can last for 1 year. But if you transfer them to a vacuum sealed package they can actually last for 3-5 years! So that’s what I do now.
Ball also has these super cute pint jars that are perfect for storing things like beans. They are the Heritage Collection Pint jars. They are limited edition so if you find them, be sure to pick them up. They are to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the “Perfect Mason Jar”.
They tend to be the perfect portion size for the Husband’s weekly lunches. He just needs one jar for his lunches for the week. So the others can stay sealed and preserved.
I filled up each jar and with the regular jar mouth attachment I was able to vacuum seal all the beans. It took less than 5 minutes to do all of these beans.
More ideas on how to store food everyday with FoodSaver
I’ve already given you a lot of ideas of how to use the FoodSaver just about every day. And I haven’t even told you all of the ways I use the FoodSaver to store food for short term food storage. But here are a few more ways I have planned for the near future
- Jam – For the Jam that is already cooked and only needs to be sealed, I can use the FoodSaver to seal it, instead of using a water bath which for my recipes, tend to overcook the jam a bit.
- Pancake mixes – I’m planning on getting more Ball Mason jars and putting together my own pancake mix from dry goods. I can vacuum seal it all up in the Mason jar, tape the instructions on each jar. And then when I want pancakes most of the hard work is already done! I’ll just have to add the wet ingredients, mix and cook! Super easy and a fast breakfast.
- Spice mixes – we have certain spice mixes we like to use for instance when I make spaghetti sauce or sloppy Joes. I can also seal these into bags and label them. Already prepackaged to make meal making super easy and save a lot of time.
- Cookies! I will be making a big batch of Snickerdoodles for our Family Camp in July. But I need them to stay fresh until the night we have scheduled for cookies. I’ll be able to make a big batch and seal them with the FoodSaver. They will then be fresh for our camp.
- Hot Cocoa mix. We have the best recipe for Hot cocoa mix. It always turns out so good! But it usually gets clumpy because moisture gets into it. So now the next time I mix it up, I can put it into a Ball Mason jar and seal it up and it will store a lot longer!
There are so many more ways the FoodSaver can be used just about every day! The FoodSaver makes it super easy for short term food storage!
To learn more simply visit FoodSaver online. Or visit them on Facebook. You can also find this same FoodSaver on Amazon, just minus all the extra accessories you would get from shopping directly from FoodSaver.
Want to win one of this amazing FoodSaver? Be sure to visit our Hot Summer Nights Giveaway event from July 1-15, 2013. You will have the chance to win The FoodSaver® V3880 Vacuum Sealer – The Master Chef Kit! The giveaway will be open to USA and CANADA only! And a quick hint; the first entry is to comment on this post, so be sure to leave a comment before heading over there so you don’t have to return. (Saying, “thanks for the giveaway” is not a valid comment entry for the giveaway).
Do you have any tips for how to store food short term?
How would you use the FoodSaver in your daily life?
How would you store food with the FoodSaver?