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Old 05-28-2016, 07:08 AM   #1
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Vacuum Sealer Rolls

I'm considering buying a vacuum sealer for freezer storage. ATK likes the Weston, both for the machine and the low cost rolls. Even with rolls, the packaging is still kind of pricey, which offsets some of the savings of buying things on sale and freezing them. What is everyone using to keep the cost down?

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Old 05-28-2016, 07:58 AM   #2
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I don't consider the packaging cost when I make a 6 month supply of andouille and tasso. 1) There isn't any available, commercially around my area that is any good. 2) Homemade beats the pants off any commercial product.
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Old 05-28-2016, 08:11 AM   #3
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Craig makes a good point.

If the goal is to save money I wouldn't bother with the machine or force-feeding the freezer. I would shop the specials and buy what I needed to carry me a month or so to the next sale. For short term packaging I would reuse a plastic bread bag, cling film or a generic zip style plastic bag.

If the goal is to preserve things like game or fish from a vacation, homemade specialty foods, etc... then I wouldn't be overly concerned about the price of the packaging if it extended the shelf life of the food.
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:11 AM   #4
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I love my FoodSaver! It's paid for itself many times over. It allows me to shop sales and buy large cuts of meat, which are usually less expensive that individual cuts. I break them down myself and vacuum seal. There is no comparison to the results between plastic wrap or bags and vacuum sealing. I also use it for SousVIde, so it does double duty.

There is a fallacy in the ATK analysis. Most vacuum sealers use the same basic bags - ATK did their comparison based on the specific name brand bags from the machine manufacturer. So if you buy generic bags, you can take that part out of the analysis, since they are now equal. Make your buying decision on the machine, not on the bags.

That said, there are 2 main sizes, 8" wide and 11" wide. I use a lot of bags, so I buy them in 50 foot rolls and cut to the size I need. I always used to buy them from Commercial Vacuum Sealer Bags | Vacuum Packaging Bags. I'd get a 6 month or year supply and once you factored the shipping in, they were a lot cheaper than the name brand. Now the same rolls are available at Amazon and are available with Prime for free shipping. A quick look appears that they are about $7 per roll for the 8 inch, which is good. I will price compare next time I need to order.

Just a note: If you look at webstaurant, be careful not to get the ones for a chamber vac. Although they will probably work, they are a lot more expensive. When I search for vacuum packing bags, they are mixed in the list, and can make you wonder why some look so cheap and others pricey. You want the ones for external vacuum packaging.
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Old 05-28-2016, 11:35 AM   #5
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I have found the quart size bags to be better than the rolls. And I guess others have to. The bags cost more than the rolls do.
Unfortunately, I always wait and find out I need more bags or rolls and end up buying the kit at Costco. The quart size goes faster than rolls do. Most of the things we freeze fit nicely in the quart size bag with plenty room to spare.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:38 PM   #6
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I used to own a FoodSaver. It got too bulky to store and made a racket. Cutting each bag from the roll was made easier with their bag cutter dispenser, but was still a hassle to get that out each time and then store it back.
I converted to Reynolds Handi-Vac. Reynolds discontinued making the quart and gallon vacuum bags, but Ziplock makes their own line and work with the Handi-Vac. You just hold the suction cup off to the side of the intake. I can vacuum seal all the foods I used to seal with the Foodsaver, at a much lower cost and less hassle. The Handi-Vac starter kit on Amazon goes for $16. Walmart and other grocery stores sell Ziplock's vacuum bags. P.S. I don't need a food vacuum that can crush aluminum cans with its suction power.

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Old 05-29-2016, 04:54 AM   #7
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We got the food saver itself for free from my stepmom. She got one and then found she didn't really use it that much and didn't really like using it. Don't know why she got it, she really never cooked that much. Anyway, first couple of times we ran out of bags ended up buying them at Bass Pro Shops. Last time Craig got some there I about had a heart attack at the price so next time we started getting low I looked around. Like SilverSage, I ended up going with Amazon, WAY cheaper than BPS and pretty much the cheapest I found anywhere especially with the free Prime shipping.
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