Food Saver: Think Outside The Bag

Since receiving my FoodSaver® Vacuum Sealing System a few weeks ago I’ve gone on a bit of a vacuum sealing spree. As it turns out, you can extend the life of your groceries and therefore stretch a tight budget by keeping food fresh up to 5x longer. I’ve been keeping vegetable ends and peels in my FoodSaver® bags to make soup and am delighted every time I snip open the bag to discover a cornucopia of crisp produce that I can pop right into my boiling stock pot. This is especially helpful during the holidays when you end up with 87 pounds of turkey or ham and then have to figure out how to make meals people want to eat for the next week. I hate wasting food after taking so much care to spend carefully, donate when I can to those in need, budget for my meal and plan a menu accordingly. Leftovers are inevitable, and for some they are the best post-part of the meal, the chance to doctor your dinner with spices any way you like.

I’m working hard these days to be a better housewife and home economist. But being organized is not exactly in my nature. There are parts of parenting and mothering I am truly gifted at. Dance parties? I’m your gal. Reading stories while tucked under heaps of comfy down covers? That’s my bag. Organizing a movie night with pizza, popcorn, and hot chocolate, pillows piled on the floor? Oh, hell yes. I’ve got the berry picking, road trip music, airplane and piggy back rides, fairy house making down to an artful, playful science. But having diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, hand sanitizer, slippers for preschool, all the paperwork, a teether, a bottle, and four kinds of snacks every time we leave the house? I find that piece a bit overwhelming. Which is where the FoodSaver® system comes in again, saving my sanity and helping me be a better grown-up.


What I have newly learned after growing to love the machine for food storage is that I can seal up other stuff that needs to be kept together, clean, dry, safe, and handy. I can create packets of necessities for the kids and myself when we’re off to school/work/playgroup or hitting the road for a little family trip for the holidays. I can take my much-loved canvas bags I have allotted for snacks, toys, on the road essentials, and baby grossness and fill them with perfectly sealed, organized, tidy, easy to grab packages of whatever I need. I can see everything inside the bag and know when it’s time to get into the fruit (1/2 an hour down the road), Legos (60 minutes south of here), wipes and dry pants (somewhere near Sturbridge) and my lip gloss, eyebrow pencil, and mascara when we’re 5 minutes out from our destination and I need to look like a human being rather than a mole person who hasn’t slept in four years.

This handy dandy device is turning out to be a lifesaver in so many ways. I honestly feel less anxious now that know I will have all the things set up and ready for life’s little disasters. I’m thinking outside the bag and I have to say, I’ve never felt more confident or optimistic that my parenting is going really, really well. So, I’m good until the girls are teenagers, right? In parenting, as in life, you need to take that moment, however fleeting, when you’ve got everything covered and revel in it. That’s what I’m doing now. Please forgive me. I love my FoodSaver® system and I don’t care who knows it. It’s time to celebrate! I love this time of year. Seriously. The holidays are crazy and stressful and wonderful. Let’s let them make it a little easier on all the harried moms who are always like, “Am I doing it right? I don’t think so…” Because I think we’re all awesome and this is going swimmingly. We’re doing it! How do you do it??!! How do you use your FoodSaver System to create, seal and share during the holidays?  Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 VISA gift card!

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Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road. She creates content on the internet, on subjects ranging from summer camps to semi-precious stones to the folklore of food. With Malcolm, Jillian was one of the original "Insiders," for the Visit Maine tourism campaign. She loves telling the stories of her adopted state, finding out-of-the-way places, and people making interesting things. Watching her daughters play in the wild woods and fields of Cushing makes her very happy.


  1. I would use the food saver to create sealed food packages for family,
    friends and neighbors, and then use the system for all the holiday
    food leftovers. #SweepstakesEntry

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  2. #SweepstakesEntry I would use my FoodSaver to make care packages for the homeless. I am thinking you could do two different kinds 1. a food packet 2. Toiletries including toothbrush, socks, hairbrush etc.

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  3. I’ve been using a vacuum sealer for about 6 months now and they are a great gadget to have, saved me money and keeps my food fresh for longer!
    I think when you want to buy a new tool for your kitchen, vacuum sealer comes first in the list if you haven’t it.
    This is one of the best and most essential kitchen tools in the modern days.

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