I decided to purchase a Food Saver. I was going to buy one on Ebay, but when I came across a discount code for it, I found a new one (online) for about $68 (about the same price I could have bought a used one for on Ebay). The one I ordered is a V2830, but any model with a port will work. I also got 2 canisters, a large mouth jar sealer and 2 rolls in the box. In Sis. DeWitt's presentation she shows you how to seal the foods you buy in jars. The basis behind it - is that if you buy in bulk, there is only a certain timeframe in which the food will last. If you can/bottle it, it removes the air and gives it a little longer shelf life. Sis. DeWitt suggests that you test the top of your jars yearly to make sure the seal is still tight. If the seal has broken, you can re-seal it or use that jar first.
Last Fall (about October), I bought 20 bags of chocolate chips ($.79/bag). Now I like chocolate chips, but I don't use them that quickly. They would probably turn white before I got around to using all of them. This is why I started with them first.
This is a picture of the foodsaver and some bottles already done (upper middle) and some other jars ready to be sealed.I bottled all 20 bags of chocolate chips. They fit perfectly in a pint size jar.
Of course I had to save the best for last. Now that the Valentine candy is on clearance, I picked some up and bottled it too. It's great to know that if I ever had to depend on my food storage it wouldn't be just beans, wheat and rice. At least I could have a sweet treat from time to time. I also love to make those peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses in them and I never seem to have the kisses when I want to make the cookies. Now I'm ready to go.
I plan to also bottle my kernal corn, spaghetti noodles and other pasta's, and even my brown sugar. I'm still so new at this, I'm sure there will be many other things I can bottle. I plan to post more of what I end up bottling in the future.
A couple of things:
I have a variety of bottles (both wide mouth and small mouth). My Food Saver only came with a wide mouth jar sealer. I tried to order a small mouth sealer from the company, but Food Saver has discontinued making them. I found a new one on Ebay - but I'm sure they won't be around for long. I also found them through Bed Bath and Beyond as well as Cabela's. If the company has discontinued them, they may not be something these stores carry for long.
I am a part of a group called FreeCycle. This is a Yahoo group where people can post things that they no longer need or want and people post for things they want or are looking for. When I decided bottle some of my food, I went out and asked if anyone was getting rid of canning jars and I had 2 people respond. I probably got between 50-100 jars for free. I'm always looking for a way to save and this really helped. Anyone can join the group and sign up for the area in which you live in- you can check it out on the link above.
I checked to see if there was a current online code for the FoodSaver and did not find one. You can periodically check back at this link to see if there is something new posted.
Lastly, here are the links for Sis. DeWitt's presentation on food storage (this is LDS oriented). You really need to watch her presentation to get the full effect of how easy it is and she's got great ideas on so many other things as well! I've already borrowed a pressure cooker and I'm canning meat soon.
Sis. DeWitt also has a booklet that goes along with her presentation. You can print it from this link (Everything Under the Sun).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhGaTlwYs-s Food Storage Seminar Part 1. "Top 10 Reasons"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUaFMEyLXOM&feature=related Food Storage Seminar, Part 2 of 9. "The System"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4woLOnURFiw&feature=related Food Storage Seminar, Part 3 of 9. "Worst Case Scenario"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9Drrd2wt8k&feature=related Food Storage Seminar, Part 4 of 9. "Equivalency Page"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE5WVOqLp2k&feature=related Food Storage Seminar, Part 5 of 9. "Where to store it all"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33bovjbt8nk&NR=1 Food Storage Seminar, Part 6 of 9. "Pressure Canning Meat"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vigcycRhWs&feature=related Food Storage Seminar, Part 7 of 9. "Solar Oven Cooking"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0XWoeWRDdI&feature=related Food Storage Seminar, Part 8 of 9. "Food Saver"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoYHLW8HR7Y&feature=related Food Storage Seminar, Part 9 of 9. "Questions and Answers"
I hope this inspires you to stock up on things at the grocery store at their lowest prices and here's one way to store those "extra's" to provide a longer shelf life. I would love to hear your comments and ideas if you get a chance to watch this.