A vacuum sealer is useful to protect and preserve lots of things around the house

8 Surprisingly Useful Ways to Use a FoodSaver

My vacuum sealer is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. I vacuum seal fresh fruit to extend the useful by at least two weeks, often much longer. I vacuum seal meat before I freeze it to stave off freezer burn, which keeps it perfect for six months to a year. I could go on and on about how my FoodSaver saves our food bill, but today I want to tell you the useful ways I use a FoodSaver that have nothing to do with food!

 

A vacuum sealer is useful to protect and preserve lots of things around the house

 

But first, two general vacuum-sealing tips:

Convenience

I’ve learned through trial and error that for my vacuum sealer to work at maximum efficiency it must be handy. It cannot be stuck in a cupboard or on a pantry shelf. If I have to make the smallest effort to get it out and plug it in, I stop using it because I forget, or it’s such a hassle I skip using it “just this one time.”

My FoodSaver has to sit on the counter with nothing obstructing it—always plugged in and ready to go. And the bags have to be equally handy. I keep them in the drawer immediately below the counter where FoodSaver resides.

Reusing bags

When sealing items I know I will use repeatedly (take hamburger buns for example—I seal a dozen, but then open it to remove the number I need and reseal the bag) make sure to start with a larger-than-necessary pouch the first time. This way, you can open by cutting off the seal, and then reseal at least 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 to use for other food storage.

Jewelry

If you do not wear it regularly, vacuum seal your jewelry—costume as well as finer pieces. It keeps these precious possessions clean, sparkling, and at their peak of beauty. And when you’re ready to wear a piece, no polishing or cleaning required. It’s ready to go.

 

I use a mason jar and the FoodSaver jar sealer for my jewelry. It’s easy to pop off the lid, and then quickly re-seal.

 

Mason jar vacuum sealed with precious jewelry inside to prevent tarnishing

 

Silver

I vacuum-seal anything that tarnishes that I do not use on a daily basis, such as sterling silver flatware, silver trays, and bowls. By removing the air, the items do not tarnish because the enemy (oxygen) has been locked out. This protects my silver things from harsh polishes and protects my time. I hate to polish silver.

Coins

All of my commemorative and other collectible coins are safely vacuum sealed. This protects their integrity and collectible value. Because the bags are clear and I seal them in a single layer, their beauty remains visible.

 

Collectible coins protected and sealed in FoodSaver bag

 

Photographs

I have precious, antique photos sealed for protection. Note: I do not vacuum the air out with photos, however. Instead, I use only the seal function. The vacuuming process can cause the transfer of the photo to the plastic. Instead, I press out as much air as possible and then press “Seal.”

Documents

Open oxygen is the enemy of old paper, especially newsprint. By sealing family heirlooms, birth certificates, precious documents—even newspaper and magazine clippings—I’m protecting their longevity.

 

Newspaper clippings vacuum sealed for protection and longevity

Waterproof

I use my FoodSaver to create waterproof pouches for money, maps, matches and more for camping or emergencies.

Passports

I vacuum seal our passports before putting them into the safe. This keeps them dry and mold-free (lots of moisture can show up inside a locked and sealed safe, which is why just about everything in our safe is vacuum-sealed).

 

Two U.S. Passports vacuum sealed in plastic for protection

Ammo

Ammunition needs to be kept dry. There is no better way to do that than with a FoodSaver. Vacuum-sealing removes the oxygen and keeps moisture out. A simple way to do this is to take a FoodSaver bag and fill it with loose ammo and then vacuum seal it. Store it in your bug out bag or ammo cans. You can also vacuum seal a pre-filled magazine.

 

If you have a vacuum sealing machine, what ways do you use it to save food and other things, too? We’d love to know!


You may also enjoy:

My Favorite Kitchen Money-Savers

Smart Gifts for College-Bound Grads and Young Professionals

Dinner-in-a-Box is Not What I Thought


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6 replies
  1. Anne
    Anne says:

    Speaking of safes, do you have recommendations for inexpensive fire-safe safes? I’m in the market for a small one to hold documents and small items like coins and jewelry.

    Reply
  2. Tracey
    Tracey says:

    How do you seal your hamburger buns? Do you vacuum out the air, or just seal them? We’ve tried to vacuum-pack something bread-based, and it squished down to nothing and never rebounded.

    Reply
  3. Gina Stevens
    Gina Stevens says:

    Mary, I’ll be one of the first to read your memoir. I know it will be educational, full of good ideas and hilarious!

    Reply
  4. Kathleen French
    Kathleen French says:

    Love the nostalgic newspaper pic of you with the curls. 🙂
    And you are so right about having to keep the Food Saver very handy…out of sight, out of mind, can’t be bothered!

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt
      Mary Hunt says:

      Ah … you noticed that! Just one of my treasures. I have so many clippings from back when we had something called newspapers! I’m toying with the idea of writing my memoir. I’ve been on such an exciting journey; have so many amazing—some funny—stories that I want to remember. But having my chubby face show up on the front page of the View section of the Los Angeles Times back in 1992 started all of this.

      Reply
  5. Jackie Clemente Stefan
    Jackie Clemente Stefan says:

    My daughter lives in Asia. When we visit, we use Food Saver to protect items that may break or leak in the suitcase. She requests a year-supply of bulky items. It’s amazing how much you can squish and condense, taking up little space!

    Reply

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