Large 1 year complete commercial food storage programs can be very convenient. After all, with a single phone call and a credit card, you can have all the food your family needs to cover a full year (or longer) emergency situation.

But these food storage program can costs thousands of dollars for a year’s supply per person and often come with foods that you wouldn’t normally choose for your family.

Plus, many are packaged in bulk cans that once opened, need to be eaten fairly quickly or properly stored to prevent spoilage.

There is nothing wrong with this method of building a food storage program. But many people find it better to build their own from grocery store and local bulk purchased.

A powerful tool people use to help them store these food purchases for maximum life is a food vacuum sealer. They are reasonably priced and offer huge flexibility when it comes to storing foods for long term storage.

Let’s look at some of the ways these food vacuum sealers can be used. safely and effectively.

1. Vacuum sealing will not prevent food from spoiling. That means that you do not vacuum seal raw meat and leave it in a closet like  you would a can of meat. It will spoil. However, if you keep that vacuum sealed piece of meat in the freezer, it will not get freezer burn and will stay fresh and tasty for a very long time.

2. The vacuum process works by removing air from the bag. That means that loose crumbs or liquids can be sucked into the vacuum sealer mechanism. This is not good for the machine. To prevent this, all liquid based foods (soups, stews, meats, etc.) should be frozen before vacuum sealing. And all powdery or fine grained foods should use a filter of some type between the food and the pump. This can be as simple as a paper towel or coffee filter.

3. Do not overfill the bag. Leave at least three inches of clear space at the top of the bag before sealing. And if you believe you will want to reseal the bag afterwards, leave some extra space so you can reuse the bag. The ability of resealing the bags make it great for storing in bulk and using just what you need and then sealing the bag again. For instance, an extra five inches of clear space at the top of the bag will generally let you reseal the bag an additional five times.

4. Do not try to make your own bags. The bags that are used with each machine are custom made to work optimally with that model. If you try to make your own bags, there is no guarantee that you have a good seal and that means you could find your food spoiled just when you need it the most.

5. Try to keep the bag smooth during the vacuum sealing process. Wrinkles in the bag can keep residual air in the bag and cause food spoilage.

6. If you think the bag didn’t seal properly, you do not need to open it. You can just create a new seal just a bit closer to the food. Just a quarter inch is enough additional space to make that new seal.

7. Although the plastic material of the bags is quite strong, it can be punctured by sharp items. So if you are sealing foods with sharp edges (pasta, dried fruits, non-food items, etc.) you should wrap the items in soft material like paper towels between the items and the plastic bag. This will protect the bag from being punctured.

8. Prepare fruits and vegetables before packaging. If you are freezing them, you should pre-freeze fruits and blanch vegetables. If you are going to store them in a closet, be sure that you dehydrated them completely before storage.

9. Even though the sealer does a great job of removing air from the bags, tossing in a food safe oxygen absorber/moisture absorber (desiccant packets) can be a  good idea.

10. Be sure to keep your machine in good working condition. Clean it after each use according to its instructions and store properly. This will ensure that you get years of trouble free use from your investment.

And lest you think these are just for storing food, here are a few ideas on other uses for your food vacuum system.

  1. Store guns and ammunition
  2. Store important documents in a waterproof manner.
  3. Store your precious metals. It’s also a good way to keep silver from tarnishing if you have a real silver silverware set or jewelry that you don’t wear any longer.
  4. Vacuum sealed items such as cell phones, maps, compasses, etc. are great to take on hiking and camping trips where you worry they may get wet before they are absolutely needed.
  5. It makes a great system to protect your luggage from liquid leaks.

There are many other innovative ways to use a food vacuum sealer. These few should help stimulate your brain to come up with all sorts of great ideas to protect your valuable survival gear and information.

In fact, once you incorporate one of these handy gadgets into your daily life, you will wonder how you lived so long without one.