One of the questions that many buyers ask before purchasing a food sealer is, “Will a vacuum sealer really save me money? Is it worth the cost?”
When you are likely to pay $50 or more for a vacuum sealer, that is a question that is well worth asking. Can you expect the vacuum sealer to pay for itself, and if so, how quickly?
Eight Ways To Save Money With a Vacuum Sealer
Here are just a few ways that a vacuum sealer can save you money:
- Extend the Life of Your food. First off, a vacuum sealer can help you extend the life of your food. You can keep most foods fresh up to five times longer when you use one. That means that you don’t have to throw away leftovers if you make too much, and you also can keep extra ingredients such as fresh herbs or marinades longer.
- You can also cook in bulk with a vacuum sealer. Preparing large batches and eating them over the course of the week is a great way to save money in general—but a vacuum food saver makes it easier to store the leftovers and extend these large meals even longer. Soups and stews can really cut your eating costs!
- Preparing meals in advance means fewer trips to the grocery store. If you shop with children or impulse buys tempt you as you shop the aisles this is another area where you can save. Fewer trips can dramatically decrease the amount spent at the grocery store.
- You can purchase your meats in bulk and then freeze them for longer-term use. Meat is usually the most expensive cooking ingredient you can buy, so cutting down on the cost is where you’ll find significant savings.
- Preserve freshly caught fish and game. If you have a hunter or fisherman in the family, then using a vacuum sealer to divide up the bounty is a must-have. You’ll prevent freezer burn and keep fish and game such as venison preserved longer.
- While traveling locally, you can enjoy your own home-cooked vacuum-sealed meals. These are definitely less expensive (and healthier!) than eating out at a restaurant or buying food on the road.
- Make a ready supply of vacuum-sealed snacks. These make convenient alternatives to packaged foods you buy at the store. You can keep control of the portion sizes and save money compared to the expensive pre-packaged versions of the same foods.
- Save time! A vacuum food sealer makes it easy to prepare meals in bulk batches, which cuts back on cooking and prep time later. Time is money, so time saved is also money saved.
A Real-Life Example For a Family of Five
The cost-benefit analysis should always go like this: “Will the food I am saving plus the cost of the bags cost me more or less than the equivalent item would at the store?”
If the answer is “more,” then sealing those particular foods does not make much sense from a financial standpoint. If the answer, however, is “less,” then you are still cutting costs.
Here is a very simple example to demonstrate how this works:
Assumptions: Family of 5 that eats chicken 3 times a week. At 4 ounces per serving, that is 1.67 pounds ounces per meal. Multiply this by 3 and you get about 5 pounds a week.
- Cost of a Low to Mid Range Vacuum Sealer: $85.00; Price of Bags for 1 Year: $30.00. Total Cost = $115.
- Cost of Chicken: 2.99 lb (2-3 lb boneless Good & Gather brand at Target)
- Cost of Chicken: 1.99 lb (4-5 lb boneless Good & Gather brand at Target)
So by buying just one size larger, you save $1 per pound. If your family consumes 5 pounds of chicken per week, that’s a savings of $5 a week times 52 which equals = $256 per year. The cost of the vacuum sealer and the bags was just $115. So with just this one example, you’ve saved $141.
And this is just one small example. Chicken is one of the less expensive proteins available. And we didn’t consider larger bulk buys, coupons or deals. This is where the savings can really add up.
The planning you do for your meals and finances is an essential factor in saving money.
Be Sure To Factor in the Cost of the Bags
The primary thing to know about vacuum food sealers and the cost is the price of the bags. Those bags do cost money, so one additional tip for saving money with a vacuum sealer is to purchase your bags in bulk online. You will find them at substantially lower rates if you purchase them that way.
In our example, we used 6 pack of roller bags from the O2FreePack store on Amazon. This included 120 feet total and cost just about 25 cents per 1-foot bag. Compare this to the smaller 8 x 10″ pre-cut bags which were about 45 cents per bag. If you use 2 bags per week, this is another saving of 40 cents per week. Not a lot by itself, but every penny counts!
The Verdict: Are Vacuum Sealers Worth The Cost?
So is a vacuum sealer worth the price? We’ll let you be the judge. But if you cook a lot for your family, it can certainly add up quickly. And if your family likes to go fishing or hunting then having a vacuum sealer is almost a must-have to properly store the meat.
Buying vacuum sealing bags and your food in bulk, and your vacuum sealer could save you hundreds to thousands of dollars each year.