We’ve all had to throw away leftovers or cuts of meat and cheese that spent a little too much time in the fridge or freezer, but vacuum sealing your foods can keep them safe from freezer burn pretty much indefinitely, and dramatically extend their shelf life everywhere else.
It sounds like an expensive proposition, but today, Amazon’s selling this well-reviewed FoodSaver 4840 Starter Kit for $125, or about $45 less than usual. There are cheaper FoodSaver models out there, but the 4840 justifies its cost with a retractable vacuum sealing accessory, allowing it to vacuum seal specially designed zipper bags, in addition to the usual heat-seal bags. This also comes in handy for drawing a vacuum in a marinating dish, which can reduce marinating time from hours to minutes.
Of course you can use this to store meats in the freezer for a long time, but it can also keep cheese from molding, lettuce from wilting, or cookies from going stale, just to name a few examples. Think about how much food you throw away, and you’ll get a sense of just how quickly this purchase could pay for itself.
Note: The video above isn’t the exact same model, but the features presented are identical to the 4840.
If you don’t care about the vacuum bag accessory, and can do with fewer automatic options, the V3240 is also on sale for $85 right now. This model requires you to clamp the bags manually, and doesn’t include a cutter like the 4840, but with a little extra work, the result should be basically the same.
Amazon’s also discounting a 4-piece set of FoodSaver containers to an all-time low $42 today. Unlike bags and rolls, these are infinitely reusable, and are great for softer foods that you don’t want to crush.