August 31, 2015

Money Saver: Slice and Vacuum Seal Your Own Meats, Poultry, Pepperoni and More

Last night I took a package of chicken breast tenders out of the deep freeze, sliced open the vacuum sealed package, cooked the chicken breasts, used half of them for last night's meal and then proceeded to vacuum seal the leftover pre-cooked chicken and popped them into the refrigerator.

It was because of this, I realized I really, really needed to get in gear and get a quick post written on American Housewife because I took and uploaded these photos about a month ago and still haven't gotten around to posting them yet.  However, buying chicken, ham, pepperoni and other items when I come across a great deal at the grocery store and dividing them up and sealing them has become such a way of life for me, I'm thrilled my husband picked up a basic, frugal food vacuum sealer and meat slicer for me earlier this year. 

Something I wanted for YEARS but could never afford was a food sealer.  My husband found this Weston brand sealer on sale at Lowe's and bought it for me.  Our local Lowes doesn't have them any longer, but they do have them on Amazon. (Mine is just an affordable version: Weston Brands Harvest Guard Vacuum Sealer)

I think he saw how excited I was about having a food sealer, that it wasn't much longer before he came home with another 'great find' for me;  the Weston Food Slicer which he also found on sale at Lowe's. 

With both of these items, I've been able to cut down on the cost of buying deli meats like ham by buying a whole or half ham on clearance (especially right after holidays like Easter!  They go down to just a couple dollars!) and slicing it myself.  Instead of just popping them into a ziploc, I am now able to better seal them by using a vacuum sealer, which gets all the air out, allowing me to store them longer without any freezer burn, off-taste or long term freezer damage to the quality.

My meal slicer is not a big, expensive, professional version (although you can certainly buy one!).  It's a good quality slicer for home use, and does slices from paper thin to a half inch thick.  Not only do I like using this for deli meats, but now I can buy the better tasting whole pepperoni and slice it myself for our homemade pizza!  Freshly sliced deli pepperoni beats the pants off the little overpriced, sliced, greasy, packaged pepperoni.

When it comes to my food sealer, I've been using it on everything from meats and poultry to celery, dehydrated vegetables and fruits and even fresh fruits!  I LOVE my sealer and I don't feel guilty about using it now that I bought replacement bags from Amazon.  Before that I was cutting them down to size and prioritizing what I sealed until I was finally down to just 1 bag left and I invested in purchasing 100 of them.  (I found great deals on Amazon - much better priced than the ones I looked at in my local stores as they were the Food Saver brand and were sky high priced). 

When I sliced and bagged deli ham last time I took a couple photos on my phone's camera.

Simply put the meat into the slicer, held in place by the safety guard for slicing

Adjust the dial for the thickness or thinness you want your slices to be

A plate of sliced ham for a fraction of the cost of buying it pre-sliced

Placed into individual or 1 pound sized packages, I vacuum seal the sizes I want

Take advantage of all the sale and clearance deals!
Buying in bulk at Costco or Sam's Club, as well as deals at your local grocer.

MY versions are the lower end, affordable ones... not the big old expensive pro versions....
Weston Food Slicer, 7.5-Inch

Weston Brands Harvest Guard Vacuum Sealer

But there are plenty of other versions available at Amazon for whatever your budget might be;

Weston  8-by-12-Inch Vacuum-Sealer Food Bags, 100 Count  
Weston Pro-2100 Vacuum Sealer, White
Weston Heavy Duty Food 9-Inch Slicer


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