Normally I'm very skeptical of any "as seen on TV" items that are sold through those 30 minute "infomercials" late at night. However, on rare occasions I'll see one offering something that looks like a good idea, and it turns out to be something that I could actually use. Such was the case with the FoodSaver Vac 750 vacuum sealer that I purchased a few years back.
I was living alone at that time, and had very little desire to mess up the tiny kitchen in my apartment every night by preparing myself a home cooked meal. I knew I couldn't eat out every night due to financial and health reasons, so I had to come up with a different plan. I eventually decided that I would take one weekend each month, cook up as much food as possible, and then freeze it into individual portions so that I could thaw them out and eat them as needed.
The first time I did this it worked great for a couple of weeks, but by the time I reached the last few days of the month, the food I had frozen started to become freezer burned, and started to taste "not-so-good". I remembered seeing an advertisement for a FoodSaver vacuum sealer on TV and thought that might be exactly what I needed, so when I came across one at my local wholesale club I decided to buy it and give it a try.
When I took it home I unpacked it, plugged it in, and tried it out. I think I just grabbed an apple and sealed it up so I could see how well it worked. Once I had the apple in the bag, and put the bag in place, I closed the lid, pressed and held the button on the top of the device, and it did its thing. I was actually quite impressed, because it really did work as well as it did on the infomercial. The vacuum pump was strong and easly sucked all of the air out of the bag, and once all of the air was removed, the teflon coated heating strip sealed the bag closed. Very cool.
The top of my FoodSaver Vac 750 has two buttons on it; one to vacuum and seal a bag, and one just to seal the bag. The seal-only option allows you to seal a bag closed without sucking out all of the air first, and crushing the contents. This is a nice feature for sealing things like baked goods, or to reseal a bag of potato chips. The Vac 750 can handle a variety of vacuum bag sizes, and mine came in a kit with a couple of small vacuum canisters which can be sealed with the use of the accessory hose.
After buying my FoodSaver, the next time I did my monthly cooking I packaged the individual portions into bowls, and froze them overnight. Once they were frozen solid, I removed the food from the bowls and sealed those into vacuum bags with the FoodSaver. That time, the food I ate at the end of the month was nearly identical to the food I ate at the beginning.
From that time on, my freezer was almost always stocked with individual, vacuum sealed meals. I sealed up the food that I cooked, as well as any extra food that other people gave me. In one instance, I was sick with the flu and my girlfriend was nice enough to cook me a pot of chicken soup. I ate what I needed at the time and froze the rest of it, thinking that it might come in handy the next time I got sick. It did, too, only the next time I got sick was about two years later. I remember waking up feeling terrible that next time, and going to the freezer to find something to eat. I dug around for a little bit and eventually uncovered the two-year-old portion of chicken soup in there. I knew I couldn't drive to the store for new food feeling the way I did, so thawed out the soup, heated it up, and gave it a try. Suprisingly enough, it was still edible two years later. It definitely tasted "older" than it did originally, but it was essentially the same as the soup I had eaten a couple of years earlier. (Please note, I don't recommend eating two-year-old food, vacuum sealed or not.)
If you can't tell, I really like my FoodSaver. The only downside that I can find is that this is one of those "out of sight, out of mind" things that I own, where if I pack it up and put it away, I'll eventually forget that it's there and I won't use it as much as I should. Unfortunatley, since it takes up a fair amount of counter space due to its width, mine spends most of its time sitting on a shelf, forgotten.
I've happily recommended my FoodSaver to my friends and family in the past, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it here too. If you like to buy foods in bulk, or like to cook up a large amount of food so that you can eat it at a later time, you may want to look into getting youself a FoodSaver too.