Thursday, February 11, 2010

Frugal Friday - when you don't have a Food Saver

Use a straw! Seriously.

Food Savers are used to vacuum seal foods that are going into the freezer. Air is the mortal enemy of frozen foods since it causes freezer burns.

But you don't need a machine that costs $150 to remove air from a freezer bag. You need a straw. And the ability to inhale.

Here's a bag of shredded cooked chicken. I knew I wouldn't be using it for a week or two so into the freezer it goes. I sealed up the bag except for one corner and tried to squeeze out as much air as I could.

Then I inserted the straw into the little opening I left in the corner.

Pinch around the opening to get a tight seal. Then put the straw in your mouth and inhale deeply. Suck all of that air out of the bag! It will shrink around the contents of the bag. Carefully pull the straw out and pinch shut before any air gets in.

See how the bag squeezes the chicken tightly? Yay!

I saw this tip demonstrated over 10 years ago on an HGTV show and have used it ever since. Your frozen foods will stay fresher longer and you'll avoid the dreaded freezer burn.

But, please, whatever you do....don't try this with meats in a marinade or any other item with lots of liquid. Unless, of course, you'd like a mouthful.

Find some more frugal ideas over at Life As Mom's Frugal Fridays.


  1. I don't know why I never thought of that. Seriously - that's a great idea!

  2. I have a vacuum sealer, but sometimes it's a pain to lug it out (not that it's heavy, LOL). I never thought to try this idea, especially for little things like that 'one hunk of cheese.' Brilliant!'
    Oh, and speaking of liquids--the trick is to semi-freeze it first. I learned that the hard way because, being dumb, I actually tried to vacuum-seal a bag of marinating steak. Uh, yeah--what a mess! But if you freeze it until is is just solid enough not to get sucked up, you can do the vacuum-seal thing on it.

  3. Neat! This is one frugal tip I have not seen repeated on blog after thrifty blog.

    I like it!


  4. What a GREAT IDEA! Wow, who'd have thought? Thanks for the inspiration :)

  5. I am definitely going to try out this frugal tip!