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Ask the Readers: Are food savers worth the money?

Do you or any of your readers use a Food Saver? If so, are they worth the money? I’d love to hear the pros and cons of investing in one. -Gina

I’ve never used a Food Saver before so I haven’t the slightest clue. I’ll let my wonderful readers chime in and give their take; I’m curious to hear, too!

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  • Alicia says:

    I got one for $2 at a store called Dirt Cheap. It works great 🙂

    • Nikki says:


      Love Hudson’s and Dirt Cheap. We love to dig.

    • shannon says:

      I have never heard of dirt cheap. What is it and where is it located at?

      • Sara says:


        I’m in Louisiana and they are in random small towns all over the state. The store takes products (clothes, electronics, decorations, books, toys, ANYTHING) that other stores can’t sell. Either there was an overstock, or the packaging is torn. To be honest, the one here stinks…as in smells…BAD. But if you can get past the odor, you can find some amazing deals!

  • Ashley says:

    We own one. We package meat in it and it works great.

    • Carla says:

      We have a foodsaver and it’s great. We also purchase the hand held vacuum sealer for the containers and bags used in the refrig. I put cheese in the bags and it last so much longer and sandwich meat in the containers. Like most people we freeze meat and buy in bulk from Costco. Be careful of any sharp bones or anything that could put a hole in the bag. Save money buy not buying the pre-made bags.

  • Katie says:

    I got mine on clearance at target for less than $20, and I LOVE it! I freeze meat with it all the time and I find that it lasts WAY longer.

    The bags can get expensive, if you don’t look for deals. I get mine at Walmart, I think a two roll pack is about $7 bucks.

  • Jody says:

    Nope – I got one for Christmas and was soooo happy. One week later (after only using it twice) it died and I just wanted to cry. Well, I did my research. For a LOT less than what I would have been paying for their plastic bag things, I wrap my meat chicken, etc. in a clear wrap and than a foil. I put it in a freezer Zip Lock bag and it stays just as good and is a lot less money. I guess the fact that mine died so soon was a blessing, Who knew?

  • I LOVE mine! We’ve had it for a few years and package all our meat for the freezer in the bags. The meat lasts (simingly) forever. I never have a problem with freezer burn either.

  • Rebecca says:

    I received a foodsaver for Christmas and I love it! The bags can get pricey like stated above but I always look for deals, especially at Kohl’s and then I also use my 30% ocoupons that I receive in the mail and get them much cheaper. I only use it for meat so we don’t go through a ton of bags!

  • We are thinking of buying fresh goat milk from a friend- but the problem is it sours pretty fast- and although you can drink or cook with sour (not spoiled) milk who wants it on their cereal?

    I have read a bit about getting the canning attachment to the Food Saver and putting the milk into a canning jar, then you can seal it and store it quite a bit longer in your fridge.


    • Laura says:

      @Jen@FrugalFreebiesandDeals, You can also freeze milk. Don’t know how well goats milk does when frozen but cows milk is fine.

      • @Laura,
        I have done some research on that, too- but the reviews I saw were mixed.

        • Kristy R. says:

          @Jen@FrugalFreebiesandDeals, My little boy lived on goat’s milk the first year of his life. The goat farm was an hour away so we would buy 20 1/2 gallons at a time – about a 2 mos. supply and froze it. It separates when it is frozen for a while, but if you can shake it up really well, it works well. He never balked at drinking it (and would have.) You just have to get over the initial “look” of it and shake hard.

    • dru says:


      It depends on your need really. For meats and stuff in the freezer, a roll of Reynolds Freezer Paper works better then anything I’ve ever used (kudos to the woman who says she plastic wraps, foil wraps, and bags, but that’s too high maintenance for me. One layer of wrap and a piece of scotch tape has prevented me from throwing a piece of meat out on account of freezer burn, even if it does migrate to the back of the freezer not to be found for some time.) If you have the space in you’re kitchen and are buying a side of beef or hitting a BJ’s or Sam’s Club type of place, it MIGHT be faster/easier to use a FoodSaver.

      Now, all that being said, I very briefly worked for the company and found that as I was going through training on the use, pros, and cons of every model that it’s not nearly as easy as those infomercials lead you to believe. You are technically supposed to ‘pre freeze’ most things before putting them in just about all of the vacuum machines (and I believe this is still true of the newer models they put out) as the machinery cannot take liquid without damaging the machine and voiding any warranty. It is recommended to put your meats on a cookie sheet or similar tray and pre freeze for up to 4 hours so that any liquids are frozen. Also, you have to be careful of any cut of meat that has bones as the bones can puncture the bag in the vacuuming process.

      Fruits and veggies can’t be stored in the bags unless frozen, and again, pre freezing is necessary, you also have to be careful of seeds, pits, etc… as they can puncture the bag making it useless. If you want to store fresh stuff, you’ll need to buy a container or canister set of some type and make sure that your machine has the port to connect the special hose for canister sealing.

      So, like I started out by saying, it really depends on your individual needs. But there’s A LOT more to it then the infomercials tell you.

      • Julie says:

        @dru, Although you do need to prefreeze some meats (like ground beef), I find that I don’t need to for meats that do not “bleed” a lot, like chicken or seafood. For hamburger or steaks, it is easy to put your portion in the bag, leave the top open, then stand upright in the freezer until semi-frozen. Then use the machine and take out the air. I LOVE mine. I used to have much more freezer burned food without it!

      • SusanR says:


        Hmmm, I’ve never pre-froze anything. I use mine for mostly meat, but I also freeze spaghetti sauce and soups in it. I’ve had it for 5+ years and it works great!

      • Robin says:

        @dru, So is this why when I use it to freeze hamburger, and then I thaw it (can be as soon as a week later) that it is discolored?

    • Michelle says:

      @Jen@FrugalFreebiesandDeals, We froze goats milk for our daughters (farm fresh) in 1/2 gallons as well as quart jars (not canned, just closed) – like when you use unpasteurized milk in the fridge, it separates, but you just make sure that all of the ice is slushed/distributed (thaw in fridge for a day or 2, or in cool water bath (ala frozen chicken) – you’ll still have to shake it up when you serve it, but that’s par for the raw milk course!

  • Leah says:

    I have had mine for many years and I love it. I buy meat in bulk when it is a good deal. I separate it into dinner size portions and have never had a problem.

  • Laura says:

    I just put my food in a zipping baggie and suck out the air with a straw. It works for us!

    • Lisa Milyard says:

      I do the same thing! (for now) I’d still like to get one though, we buy fresh farm meat in bulk, that’s a lot of sucking!

    • Amanda says:

      @Laura, I do the same thing, but I don’t use a straw. I fill my sink with water and stick the bag in the water up to the seal while finagling all the air bubbles out. That way you can see when all the air is out and there is no cross contamination.

  • Danielle says:

    I have a food saver with all the bells and whistles. I don’t use it as much as I could. I use the canisters for different items because there is a bug problem where I live. I do love my freezer bags. When I buy organic meat in bulk, I separate the meat in proportional sizes for dinner. Its easy, thaws nice, and I never have freezer burn. So I feel like it saves some money, but I guess you can do the same with a ziploc freeze bag and push the air out. lol I bought it several years ago for about $200, and I use it about 3-4 a month with meats, either freezing or marinating. So Im sure its paid for its self by now in saving foods. It is a WANT not a need. Hope this helps!

  • Liz Ward says:

    I am using my brother’s (who has a new life of adventure) and I really like it. He camped a lot and he would use it to seal the food he was taking camping. He would also buy steaks, marinate them, and then use the food saver. When he wanted to cook them then all he had to do was thaw it out and it was ready to go. When and if he ever wants it back then I am buying one.

  • Shanna says:

    I agree with the others that the bags are expensive. I don’t eat a lot of meat, so I no longer use mine for the purpose of storing food. Instead, I use it to store items like my daughters baby clothes, blankets etc. Keepsakes. I vacuum seal them, date them and put them away into storage. I really like preserving things this way. It’s hard because the bags aren’t very wide, but it really works on those types of items. I wouldn’t think I would spend that kind of money on the bags frequently.

  • marie says:

    Absolutely, LOVE ours. We’ve had it for 6 years. Just this year we had a problem with it but it was a belt and we contacted them and they replaced it. I love to buy fruit when it’s super cheap and freeze it. We buy meat in bulk and divide it up and it lasts for months with no freezer burn. Also if you buy the container for the fridge you can store produce in there for up to 2 weeks as oppose to a few days. It is well worth the money. I also buy the bags on sale at Bed,Bath, and Beyond with coupons or Kohl’s.

  • Erika says:

    I have a Food Saver and I like it for certain things. Bulk meat is a big one because it keeps the food longer, although the food saver bags do tend to take up more room in the freezer than a regular freezer bag (the plastic on the food saver bags is ridgid when cold). I also like to use it to store bulk purchases of strawberries and other freezable produce because it staves off freezer burn for like forever.

    If you hunt it is also invaluable for freezing moose and other meats. I got some moose roasts from my husband’s cousin that were OLD when I got them, but wasn’t sure at the time how to cook wild game. I pulled the moose out of my freezer when we were down to not much meat in the freezer and prayed that it would taste okay (it was 5+ years old at this point). I cooked it up and I was sold on the Food Saver at that point! It was like I’d taken the meat out of my freezer after freezing the stuff a week before. No freezer burn, no funky flavors, nothing.

    I tend to wait until I feel like I’m not going to eat the meat before worrying about freezer burn, though, just because the price on the bags is hefty, the price on the canisters is heftier and for the most part meat doesn’t stick around our house for more than a year, so it’s sort of a moot point :).

  • julie says:

    We got ours from my inlaws as a birthday present for my husband. We LOVE it! It saves space in the freezer, allows us to portion our frozen meals, and improves the taste substantially! If you buy the rolls instead of the bags you can use just as much as you need without waste. I use my swagbucks giftcards to buy ours from amazon and it works out perfectly.

  • Stacy says:

    I love mine. I have the attachments to vacuum seal dry goods into regular and wide mouth mason jars. I have had mine for over 10 years now and haven’t had a complaint.

  • Karen says:

    My mother-in-law has one, and she advised me NOT to purchase one. She said that the cost is not worth the benefit that you could receive vs just using a good freezer bag. I put our meat and other frozen items in cheapy, no-name, fold-top bags, then place those bag in a quality Ziploc Freezer bag and then reuse the Ziploc. It works and no hassle of sealing bags and buying refill rolls.

  • Kristine says:

    We received ours as a gift from my parents several years ago. My mom said “You’re going to think it’s dorky, but I bet you’ll love it.” Well, mom was right 🙂 My husband hunts, so we use it to package meat ourselves. I also use it to freeze fresh produce from the garden – I don’t have a pressure canner so what I can can is limited. I grew up with blanching fresh veggies, then freezing and zip sealing. It’s what I’m familiar with and prefer – canned green beans? Yuck-O.

    My parents also bought us a ton of bags and a roll, so we haven’t had to buy much for ourselves. Now that I’ve found various reward programs, I’m all about the free stuff from Amazon 🙂

    • Elizabeth says:

      @Kristine, As far as the canning stuff goes I do a lot of canning without a pressure cooker in just water baths. There are a few items I’m sure I wouldn’t attempt this with but for the most part pickling, salsas, etc work out fine.

  • Dara says:

    I got mine for Christmas a few years ago and LOVE it! Every year, my parents give us a quarter of a beef for Christmas so that’s how I package the meat. It keeps all year like that. Before, when I only had it wrapped in freezer paper from the butcher, it would get freezer burn by about August of the next year…

  • Mona says:

    I love my food saver!! Freezer burn was a constant issue and the food saver solved the problem! I can buy meat in bulk when there’s a great sale and it will last a long, long time vacuum packed. The big plus is the canning attachment is great for prolonging the shelf life of chocolate chips, flour, etc. I bought mine at Kohl’s along the with bags. I also have the hand held fresh saver which is great for storing cheese and deli meat.

  • Lucky says:

    I’ve had two and both have broken. But, I still have the marinade canister which I love. I’ve found that we eat our frozen food so quickly that it doesn’t really make a difference one way or the other.

  • Sharon says:

    What I like about mine is that I can reheat frozen cooked meat in the microwave right in the bag.

    • Julie says:

      @Sharon, It’s also great to heat up something on the stove top. Just put it in a pot of boiling water!! Great for leftovers that you don’t want to dry out.

  • Ash says:

    Absolutely worth it–if you’re feeding a bunch of people. My parents bought one when they were feeding 6 of us. We now share with them (we buy the wrap) and it’s excellent. I would not buy one for our family of 3 but it’s great for larger families and/or sharing.

  • I do a TON of freezing and preserving during the summer and fall. For me, having a Seal a Meal IS worth it. It saves a ton of freezer space and makes all of my hard work preserving last so that the food doesn’t freezer burn.

    Otherwise, I don’t use it, so I wouldn’t recommend it for just regular freezing. 🙂

  • Molly says:

    I have a Food Saver that I never use. I have a hand held vacuum thing that I bought at the supermarket (maybe it is Reynolds brand) that I LOVE and use all the time.

    • Jennifer says:


      I have one of those, too, that Ziploc makes. It’s their vacuum freezer system. It works great. I got it for super cheap because it was on sale and I had a coupon. I was skeptical when I used it the first time ’cause it’s made out of plastic, but it’s still working great after about a year. My local grocery store has the freezer bags on sale almost all the time, plus with a coupon, I pay $1-$1.50 for a box of bags. I was wanting a food saver when I bought the system, and I haven’t regretted getting this instead. Not only is it much cheaper, but the little vacuum fits in my kitchen gadget drawer easily, and it’d dishwasher safe.

    • Kristen Lowery says:

      I was wondering why someone hadn’t mentioned the ziplock product earlier in the thread. It is so much easier (my kids love to help), it is cheaper to buy initially, and the bags are really cheap. It stores easily in a drawer, and I never get freezer burn with it. I feel it has really made traditional food savers obsolete.

    • Elizabeth says:

      @Molly, That sounds great! Like something for people that aren’t needing to do a whole lot and/or don’t want something bulky around the house. Where in the world did you find that (or the ziploc) as I’ve never seen them?

  • kelley says:

    OMG we LOVE ours and it has saved us a gazillion dollars! I bought it at Kohl’s on a one-day sale(that’s were we buy the bags too). My husband is a deer hunter and this has been a real savings rather than taking meat to the processor. I have used it for corn, peas, green beans, fruit and just about anything I can think of. It has to be one of my favorite money saving items!

  • suki says:

    It is absolutely worth the investment because you end up not wasting on foods that would otherwise go bad in the fridge! It makes buying in bulk a lot easier too. We’d buy berries in bulk and those are usually on the more expensive side, and we would freeze them when they were ripe. I LOVE mine.

  • Tammy says:

    We have a Food Saver unit and have been VERY happy with it! We harvest our own venison in the winter and have a lot of meat to freeze. Since we’ve started vacuum sealing, I can see (and taste!) a difference in the freshness and lack of freezer burn.

    I also love using it for garden veggies. This summer, we ate the last of our summer 2009 freezer corn that was vacuum sealed as whole ears. I could simply throw a bag of corn in the microwave and heat it – still sealed. It created it’s own steam bag and it tasted amazingly fresh.

    I prefer the plastic rolls because I can cut my bags to size. Since we are a family of three, we don’t need large portions, so I can adjust the size of the bag as small as I need!

  • Sheri says:

    Now I want one!

  • Laura F says:

    I have a Food Saver and use the baggies and canisters. It is well worth the investment. Meat stays so much fresher and putting veggies and fruits in the canisters prolong the shelf life. I highly recommend it. I’m sure if I had a bad experience, I’d probably say not to buy it. LOL. But, my works beautifully and really does “save” the food from the freezer burn! 🙂

  • vickie says:

    Oh my sister got me one for Christmas-the best present I got that year. The food looks so good after it’s been frozen, well worth the investment.

  • Jennife says:

    LOVE MINE…My dad bought me one for my birthday, it has saved us a ton of money..I get the knock off brand bags at Walmart.My inlaws aleays just wrapped there food in foil and freezer bags and now I use the food saver for their bulk items as well and they were suprised to see how much better and longer the food lasted..

  • robyn says:

    I bought one for $5 at a garage sale…came with tons of plastic saver and bags. it works great. we freeze mostly veggies. i do notice that it freezes things like onions better than ziplocs do (no smell). for the $5 i spent it’s awesome!

  • erica says:

    i’ve used one for more than 7 years. it’s great to package anything for camping that is going to sit in a cooler of water/ice because the things are water tight. I buy “generic” bags at Menards (a hardware store in the midwest), but kohls and even ebay is a great option.

    • Melanie B says:


      Ooh! I didn’t know Menard’s carries a generic food-saver compatible bag! I love mine too, for meat & fruits, but the bags can get pricy. I’ll have to look for those bags at Menards.

      • Michelle M says:

        @Melanie B,
        The generic bags at Menards are by the ziplock baggies and trash bags not back by the small appliances.
        I think the Menards bags are better then the expensive name brand ones. They are a little thicker so I don’t melt thru while sealing.

  • Leah says:

    I absolutely think it is worth it! I have had mine for about 13 years now and would not try and live without it!! It is especially handy when I do a freezer cooking day. It keeps all my food from getting freezer burned and I love it.

  • dawn w says:

    We HAD one and all I can say is…don’t keep it too close to your stove. Apparently it didn’t like the heat and wanted out of the kitchen…it melted on one side and never worked again….oops.

  • emily e says:

    I LOVE ours. I don’t use it for anything other than meat, but for us it’s entirely worth it. I vacuum and seal ground beef in half pound incriments, then smush it out flat. When ever we decide we want beef for dinner, it plop the bags in cold water and it’s thawed in 5 minutes. It definitely works for us. And it definitely works MUCH better than regular zip top baggies.

  • We LOVE ours! We have a large garden, and I do can tons of fruits and veggies each year, but we have discovered we prefer some things frozen over canned. Vaccum sealing stuff not only makes it last longer, but saves tons of space and you can stack frozen stuff up in neat littles “piles” in the freezer. I got mine on sale for $15 at Kroger, and buy the bags on sale in the winter on clearance racks. I also wash and re-use my bags. They start big….then end up small after several uses!
    I also vaccum seal shampoo bottles and other liquids when I ship stuff to soliders (which I do with all the free stuff I end up with from CVS!). Then if the bottles leaks, it’s ok and the shampoo can still be used!

  • Debbie says:

    I have had mine for 12 years and while I have given up the bags in favor of plastic wrap and foil, I still use the mason jar sealer regularly. For those of us who are frugal, being able to use a jar over and over beats the cost of the bags. The canisters are very nice too.

  • Jim says:

    I’ve had mine for about 6 years, and I haven’t been very impressed by it. Getting the bag in the right position to vacuum is tricky, and the seal from the heating element occasionally fails. Also, any little bit of liquid in the meat ends up being sucked out, which cuts down on the vacuum pressure & sealing further.

    Whether this is all because I went with a low/mid-range ($70) model as opposed to one of the higher end ones, I don’t know. I actually have most of the parts to put together an Instructables version that should have much greater suction, so hopefully that will work out.

  • Suzzy Rice says:

    We were thrilled to get one at a yard sale for a reasonable price with the bags. It worked great for awhile. Then, the heating element went out…there were voids in the seal that I, at first, did not see until later, when my frozen meat was in less than stellar shape. No big deal, I thought…I will just replace the element. That is when I hit a roadblock. No parts. Once this goes out, your machine is a goner! So, now I use freezer bags, and wrap those in freezer paper with the contents clearly labeled. I have had some things in the freezer waaaaay longer than I should….and they are perfect in that freezer paper!

  • Katie says:

    We have had our Foodsaver for a couple years now and find it really useful. I love that our meat is never freezer burnt and always tastes fresh. I also buy a lot of meat when it is on sale and seperate it out into meal-sized portions. Also- you can cook the meat/veggies in the bags. also get the bags at Kohls when I recieve a 30% off. We buy the rolls b/c you can customize it to the size you need instead of wasting a whole bag on a smaller item.

    Though I really enjoy it, I will echo someone’s earlier comment that it is a want not a need. Nice to have and very handy but not totally necessary. The model we have lays flat on the counter and I’ve seen the newer models which stand up to create more counter space. I would recommend the stand up one to save room!

  • TAM says:

    Don’t think mine is worth it. Cheap bags get holes easily and the brand name bags aren’t much better and really expensive. If you only use it for soft stuff, it works fine.

  • bobbi says:

    we received one as a bridal shower gift four years ago. It is a wonderful gadget, but i am not sure that it is worth the price. Since you have to buy their bags, it can get expensive.

  • Donna says:

    I got one about 4 years ago and used it for about 3 months and now it just sits. I HATE IT. If often would take more that one seal attempt to seal it and then I would often times find it break once it froze. I think there are way more economical ways to freeze things because those bags are expensive.

    I use the ziploc bag and straw trick and if it is a fragile freeze I double wrap.

  • Kelsey says:

    I bought one at a consignment shop for $20. I have used it a few times to package big batches of dried beans. The bags are fairly expensive, so I purchased generic brand rolls of plastic. It took a long time to cut, seal one side, fill, seal, and label the bags. I’m a vegetarian, so I don’t have lots of good deals on meat to freeze. If I ate meat, I think it would be much more useful.

  • Nivek says:

    I use mine for dry goods mostly; herbs, spices, teas, cereals, flours, etc. Thus, I buy these things in bulk and repackage in much smaller and often more usable quantities. I’ve also used one for storing collectible comics and cards. As well as for a few pairs of socks for those long hiking/camping trips.

  • Angela says:

    I’m a huge fan of ours. At the end of my pregnancy, we would make multiple servings and freeze the leftovers so that we wouldn’t have to cook the first few weeks of my son’s life.

    We use our several times a month. How did we servive before we got it??

  • Kira says:

    Love mine, and to help with the cost of the bags, we just reuse them. I wash them up and use them again and again (you only have to cut a small portion to open the bag from a prior use). You can buy the bags in bulk at Sam’s Club, and I usually ask for some for Christmas! My foodsaver is a lifesaver when buying my meat in bulk!

  • Margaret says:

    This may have been mentioned above, but could not read all the comments—
    We had one (so sorry I spent the money now, their prices dropped drastically and rarely used it) The rolls of bags were so expensive. My largest complaint was that I felt wasteful if I did not freeze a large quantity of veggies or whatever together. Otherwise wasted so much of the roll in headroom. Once opened, it could not be resealed easily either.

    I have since bought a $20 Reynolds handivac and the ziploc bags that suction. Takes far less storage space (only handheld) and the ziploc bags do not have as much wasted space and can be reused or resealed. Love it! (I did discover that Ziploc or some other company still sells their product, reynolds is no longer sold in stores so I have to go to HSN to get the bags, but the same item is available in another brand in stores…)

    highly recommend going this route instead of the food saver!

  • Rachel says:

    YES but it saves us because we use the sealer. We seal chip bags, cereal bags, wax bags, cracker packages. It keeps food fresher for longer AND we don’t have to use ziploc baggies.

    Plus we vacuum pack meats, and other items and the bags are reusable if you don’t put meat in them.

  • Mandy says:

    I don’t know if anyone else commented on this or not, but both Ziploc and Reynold’s have vacuum bags. The ziploc one is a manual pump and reynold’s has one that runs on batteries. They both work on both company’s bags. Works as well as a food saver but for less than $10!

  • Erin says:

    My husband really wanted one; I was dead set against it because my mom had one that she *never* used (and she always purchased meat in bulk, repackaged, and froze it). I have to say I am a convert, though. It keeps meat much longer than plastic wrap, freezer bags, etc. Plus, it comes with a jar attachment and you can supposedly vacuum seal “salads in a jar” and keep them for weeks (haven’t tried that yet). The cons are they can be quite expensive. Ours was around $100 at Sears; the only reason we got one was because we returned a breadmaker we received as a gift and used the money on the vacuum sealer. Also, as everyone has mentioned, the bags can be quite expensive, as well. However, if you buy meat in bulk and don’t always use it quickly, this is a lifesaver. I am lucky enough to not have to vacuum pack all my meats (chicken breasts in smaller, heavy duty packaging often goes on sale for $1.99 or less, so I don’t have to repackage it). Another con is that it’s kind of a pain to use by yourself, otherwise you have to stop after filling every package to wash your hands. It really does work, though, and if you can afford the expense, you’ll probably like it.

  • dawn says:

    I use mine pretty regularly, especially if I won’t be using the meat in the near future. I thinks it keeps it fresher tasting and have never had a problem with frost bite, unless the bag didn’t seal properly, which is rare. I had a problem with my first machine, and food saver replaced it at no charge. Works best if you freeze your meat first (I use a cookie sheet), so that when you put it in the bag and suck the air out it doesn’t suck all the juice out too. Works great for gravies that way too. Using it allows me to take advantage of good sales, make meal size portions and not worry about how long its been in the freezer. I’m glad I have one and if you watch for specials, food saver on line has some decent deals on bags too.

  • Deborah says:

    I use mine occasionally for freezing meats but what I really love is sealing all the dried fruits and veggies from my garden in jars that keeps them perfectly for years!

  • Claire says:

    We LOVE our food saver!!!! My Dad uses regular “freezer safe” Ziploc brand bags for extra food from his garden. Within a year, his veggies have tons of freezer burn & you might as well throw it all out. We’ve frozen meat and veggies with the food saver and have NEVER had any freezer burn.

    To keep bag costs down: when you make a new bag, just make a really long bag (12 to 15 inches). Once you use the bag, just wash it really well with antibacterial dishsoap & let dry…you can reuse a bag that long PLENTY of times. The plastic is very sturdy & can withstand several washings (and I will not reuse regular zippies by washing them). We’ve had the same “bag roll” in our food saver for over a year to make bags. Also, when you seal a new bag, you don’t need to make the new seal 2 inches beyond the end of the bag…you only need to leave an inch (at most). This is a big cause of using up the bags too quickly.

    We’ve frozen: meat, shredded cheese, and veggies using the food saver.

    -I wouldn’t recommend using the bags for anything too liquid-y, (the suction brings the liquid up to where it’s supposed to make a seal & messes up the sealing process).
    -Not good for breads (we ended up with really squished up bread since it sucked all the air out of the bread).

  • Rebekah says:

    I received mine from my mother-in-law because she knows I freeze lots of things. We have five children and use both of our freezers often. I appreciated it greatly, but the problem is: storage space, expensive bags, hard to use (extremely sensitive if the bag is not exactly, exactly in the right spot) and didn’t notice that big of a difference. Mine is from Sears and supposed to be really good, but perhaps I’m just too lazy to keep getting it out and creating a big mess. I have to keep mine way up in the pantry, because of limited cabinet space in my kitchen.

  • Amanda says:

    Totally worth it!!! Invest in a good quality one. My husband has had his for 10 years now and he’s never had a problem. We buy all natural chicken and really lean beef so we stock up whenever it’s on sale. After 6 months or more in the freezer, it still tastes great without a hint of freezer burn…my freezer bags never did as well! GET ONE! 🙂

  • Krista says:

    I use my parents’ food saver and love it! The bags get expensive, but in my opinion are worth it. I’ve had to toss so much freezer burned food that was stored in ziplock freezer bags, that this is the only way I freeze meat or make-ahead-meals. I only use ziplocks for things that won’t be in the freezer for more than a couple of weeks or are cheap to replace (like cooked rice). HTH!!

  • Rosie says:

    I have one that I use to send cookies, etc to my son and other people I know who are deployed with the service. It would sometimes take a couple weeks for them to get my goodies, but they were always fresh and not broken. I have not used it for food saving at home.

  • jamie says:

    I have had mine for years. Food seems to last longer in the freezer bags. We never get freezer burn either. I like mine so much my mom got one then my aunts got them then my mom bought them for my siblings for Christmas. I mostly use mine for meat but we have also used it for homemade spaghetti sauce (worked great!). Once we even used it for nacho cheese sauce, we bought a giant can of it and there was no way we could use it all so we froze it in small packages (this worked great too). My mom who is the most frugal person I know, finds it worth the price of the bags because of how well things freeze, she has had a giant freezer full of food my entire life so I think she would know. The bags do go onsale at Kohls and Shopko from time to time.

  • Cindy says:

    We have had several Food Savers over the years. My husband is a BIG hunter and fisher, so when it comes to packaging meat and fish, I HIGHLY recommend one. I also use it when we buy bulk steaks that you cut yourself and package them in smaller qtys along with chicken breasts etc. We bought a “Food Saver” brand one for about $150 about 10 years ago. When the suction and engine finally gave out, we called the manufacturer and gave them the model number and they offered us a refirb’d one for $50!!! Still using this one for about 5 years now!

  • Ambrosia says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been looking into getting one of these for a while now (I was just searching around last night). I’ve been trying to do more freezer cooking and stocking up during great sales, but I want to make sure the food I buy stays safe. There’s a lot of great tips here and I am taking notes, lol, thanks again!

  • Julie says:

    I’ve kind of wanted one for awhile, but haven’t been able to justify the expense. I seal my meat individually in Glad Press ‘n Seal then put it in a big zipper bag. It really does keep quite a bit of the air out and our meat stays pretty fresh.

  • Lisa says:

    Love mine! I use it all the time and it saves us so much money every month! It’s one of my most used items in my kitchen – if it ever broke, I would definitely replace it. It’s quite a bit of money upfront, but the savings over time make it worth it. Costco will probably be running a deal on Food Savers as it gets closer to Christmas.

  • Lizzie says:

    I saw an idea to make freezer pops with your own juices with the food saver and the bags.
    Of course I’m having trouble finding the link now.

    I bought one at the thrift store for $2 when I owned my consignment shop. I meant to seal puzzles and toys with small pieces in the bags–but of course I never got around to it;)

    I must admit I RARELY use it. Seems like a hassle to me and I don’t want to pay that much money for more bags.

  • Lizzie says:

    And of course after I submitted the comment, I found the link

  • Denise C. says:

    I had one a few years ago from Rival (maker of crock pot), that I had purchased at Target. It worked pretty well, but bags were expensive. $15 a roll I think, I was buying 3-4 rolls per month. YIKES. After about 6-7 months, the motor went out. Instead of replacing it, I began buying bulk at Costco, & breaking items down in freezer bags (much easier on my wallet.) 🙂

  • fairy dust says:

    we love ours, although I admit I don’t use it as much now as I did when the kiddo was still living here. I would buy the big packages of chicken when they’d go on drastic-deep sale, cut everything into bite-size chunks with kitchen shears, then food-saver portions for dinner for the three of us and freeze them. They’d last forever and never had any freezer burn issues, which I certainly can’t say with any other wrapping/freezing method I’ve tried over the years. Also love being able to vacuum pack clothes, matches, tp, etc., for camping trips – works so well keeping everything dry (even if the canoe tips over). 🙂

  • Rae says:

    Well if you’ll use it, it can save money. I unfortunately bought one and after a week or so, I got bored with it and it is now sitting collecting dust :/ I know that that is my fault not the products but I’ve done that before with other gadgets. So if you’ll use it, try one if you tend to be like me, I wouldn’t waste your money.

  • alicia says:

    They are NOT good for marinating. The liquid get sucked up and oout and it very messy. Besides that they are good.

    • Courtney says:

      We bought the marinating containers and those work just fine with the hose attachment the sucks the air out but not the liquid. Fastest marinating I’ve ever seen 🙂

  • Bonita says:

    My mom bought one for me a few years ago and I used it for about a year, but tired of it for the reasons others have mentioned. I dreaded using the thing because it seemed to take too much time. Eventually, I gave it away and my mom did the same with hers. Not worth it to me.

  • Becky says:

    This seems like the kind of item that might be a good prospect for sharing with a close neighbor. Share the price and the benefits!

  • Jillian says:

    There is a website where a woman dries most of her produce and uses the vacuum sealer to protect it. I found the site when I had taken time to dry most of the berries from my garden one summer, only to find that even though I used freezer bags for my dry-food storage, bugs had eaten through the plastic and my berries were GONE. She makes a good point that the 3mm plastic from the vacuum sealer is a better deal than losing dried goods. Oh, I found the link…took me a minute:

  • Dianne says:

    My mom has had one for many, many years. Long enough, in fact, that she wore out one and had to buy another one recently. She absolutely LOVES it and uses it a lot. One thing that comes to mind is that she seals cheese with it and her cheese way outlasts mine. She’s been very happy with hers.

  • may says:

    i finally got one not too long ago-with giftcards from Kohls. I love it ! We buy/get meat in bulk and i bag meats that i want to keep longer (where i know i will probably not get to it soon..or want to save it for something special) that way, i am using it for optimal timeframe. The baggies can get spendy but i get them from Sams,where 8 rolls of various sizes are like $40 ..

  • Kristen says:

    I got the Seal A Meal which is just like the Food Saver when my husband used to work for Rival and I LOVE it!!! It is the best thing ever – you can seal chicken, meat, anything. I love to do steak and add the marinated then seal and freeze and it just soaks in when it defrosts and makes the best steak. Everything last longer and taste better when it’s been sealed!!!

  • Kristina says:

    I love ours, my MIL gave it to us one year for our Anniv. We use it so much that I think we wore it out. I really love the extras that you can get. We use Mason Jars to store dry food in and seal it with the Food Saver. We also have the Marinator that we use on a weekly basis. We got ours back in 2005 and its still kicking 5 yrs later, its a bit slower then it used to be. We are looking to getting a new one.

  • Bobbi S. says:

    We do once a month cooking and YES!!!! They are worth every penny. We have the brand name Food Saver, we bought it at Sams four years or so ago and it’s still going strong. We buy in bulk, so our hamburger is weighed out and sealed in two pound packages for easy use later. It’s awesome when you need to unthaw frozen chicken breasts quickly (just put your sealed bag in a sink full of COLD water). It’s great if there’s a sale on baking staples (flour, sugar, ect). You just label the bag, dump the product in it and seal. Of course with dry goods you have to cut off the vacuum quickly or it will try to suck it all out. I cannot tell you how many times we’ve used it to marinate salmon or other meat products. It is just so handy…I say if you’re looking for something long term that can take a “beating” go with name brand. It’s just like the old mantra “you get what you pay for.” I can tell you the minute the compressor gives out on the one we currently own we’ll upgrade with the newer Food Saver available.

  • Veronica says:

    We are on our second one now (the fist being one that my Mom bought when they FIRST came out…it died after 15+ years of use). We absolutley could not live without it. Anyone that says that the Ziploc freezer bags work just as well has never had to deal with a hunter husband that will bring home more than 500 pounds of meat in a weekend…usually 2-3 weekends every month during the fall. We use it for more than game meat as well. We buy “normal” meats in bulk, bulk cook, and freeze in meal sized portions. (We only bulk cook meat, sauces, etc twice a year.) Our kids are very active in sports and other after school activies and this allows anyone to “cook” a home cooked meal before practice. I have used it to completely seal full meals on plates for my elderly mother. Have used it for kids clothes. I learned the hard way to not seal breads or rolls – or freshly grated cheese (the bread smooshes, the cheese goes back into a block). I use the canister for marinating – but honestly find that they aren’t big enough for the quantity of meat that we batch cook. There’s probably a million other things I could type – but I hear a kid argument that going to blows in the other room….

  • Christine Hood says:

    I have the V850 which is one of the older models and I love it! The newer ones were out at the time that we bought this one but we did the research and turns out that the actual differences in product are minor compared to the quite large difference in price. Ours came with the attachments and containers but honestly I havent even used them. I use it just for freezing meat. There is a definite difference between the quality and length of time available for meat in the food saver bags vs regular freezer bags or double wrapping…I tried both first. I have also found that it works best if I lay my meat on a wax paper coated cookie sheet and freeze it for a couple of hours and then seal it. That way the meat juices stay in the meat and it doesnt make a mess with juice when you are vacuuming.

  • Brooke says:

    We have one, but I haven’t been using it lately. It is the FoodSaver brand and the bags are not cheap. It’s also kinda a big ordeal to use it. We have a small kitchen so space is limited. You have to cut the bags, seal one end, then add the meat and seal the other end. Lately I’ve been using freezer bags and trying to get out all the air. It works well.

    I have used freezer paper too- it works well, but I hate using it for chicken breast because they are slimy and move around when you are trying to wrap them.

  • Colleen says:

    A friend gave me a hint to seal the bags easier after I said I hated my Food Saver…

    Place a book under the package you are sealing to make it level with the sealing surface. It makes the machine work less and seals quicker.

    I have to say since I learned this, I LOVE my Food Saver. I have a cheapie model and I’ve been freezing meats and veggies alike. Garden “fresh” produce will taste great this winter!

  • Christen says:

    I love it for freezing cookies! They stay fresh so much better and they don’t crumble. It’s also wonderful for college care packages. I vacuum seal the cookies and they actually arrive intact and edible! It’s great!

  • Liz says:

    I have the Ziploc one and love it! I bought it for $3 at Big Lots. I buy the bags with coupons-it’s totally worth it!

  • Dana says:

    We got one for a wedding present over 9 years ago. Still use it–a lot! However, I discovered that using regular freezer bags instead of the roll of stuff they want you to use works just as well and is much less expensive. On some things I cut the seal strip off the bags, but usually don’t. It’s great for meat (I buy it in large packages and break it down into meal-sized portions.). It definitely reduces freezer burn.

  • Michelle M says:

    We have a Rival Seal-A-Meal, they are about $45 new. I get generic bags from Menards for about 1/2 the price of the name brand bags, about $3-4 for the “make your own bag roll”. I like the generic bags better then the name brand, they are thicker so I don’t take the chance of any melt-thru during the sealing.
    Anyway we have had our’s for about 4yrs and I love it. I recently purchased the food saver brand mason jar sealers and love those for storing dry pantry goods, great for bulk purchases.
    Totally and absolutely worth the money for us.

  • Erin says:

    I have a food saver that I used to love! But the bags were so expensive. They say you can reuse them, but once you cut the bag open, the bag would be too small to reseal for something else, so I just ended up tossing them – lots of money in the garbage! They were also a lot of work. You either have to prefreeze the meat, or clean up a juicy mess if you didn’t. Not to mention waiting in between sealings so it doesn’t overheat. And, my oldest daughter was scared to death of how loud that machine was, she would scream the whole time I was using it. Although food savers work great at keeping out freezer burn, I’ve found something that works just as great, but better because it’s SO MUCH EASIER AND CHEAPER. If I’m freezing pork chops or boneless chicken breasts, for example, I wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then layer them in a freezer bag and freeze. Hardly any prep work involved! I take out just what I need to defrost when I need to – so easy and SO much cheaper!! And because I tightly seal the plastic wrap around the meat, it really keeps out freezer burn! A food saver, in my opinion, is NOT worth the time or the money.

  • Susan says:

    I just sold mine at a yard sale — my current way is MUCH cheaper, and eco-friendly, too. We save the wax paper liners from cereal boxes to put our meat in — just place the meat in the bag and roll up — then place portions into a large ziploc bag (recycled, of course) and freeze. No freezer burn EVER, and it’s VERY thrifty!

  • Cheryl says:

    I received one as a gift from my MIL a couple of years ago. We LOVE it! I buy meat when it is on sale or at reduced prices and freeze it. It works great and I never have a problem with freezer burn.

  • Lindsay says:

    Living in Alaska, we are usually lucky enough to harvest at least 65-75 salmon each year and a moose. We have hunting and fishing friends with a Food Saver, and I can honestly say that for this high volume, it’s more economical to wrap the moose cuts in saran wrap and then freezer paper. That is quicker than fighting with the vacuum sealer and the meat doesn’t freezer burn all year. We always have our fish professionally sealed (the bags for a do-it-yourself kit always tear or the seal breaks before the next summer) or we smoke it and can it ourselves. My mom has one, though, and loves it for small jobs like packing berries for the freezer.

  • Jo says:

    My family owns two of them and they are wonderful machines! We use them to package our own meats and vegetables. Just about everything that we freeze we package using our handy food savers. The company has also been really nice to us, as one of our machines broke and they replaced it for free!

  • Shannon says:

    I’ve had one for about seven years. We butcher at leats 10 deer a year, and use the foodsaver to package the meat. The only complaint I have is that you do have to pre freeze all of the meat prior to placing it in a foodsaver bag…….Kinda a hassel with that much meat. We opted to just use freezer paper (due to the bones poking holes in the foodsaver bags)for the 3 pigs we butchered last fall, and I haven’t had any freezer burn yet. It was a lot easier to wrap in paper while still fresh, and the place in the freezer. I do love my foodsaver for dry goods. We buy coffee in bulk and then use the foodsaver to seal up the extra and store it in the freezer. It also works great for bulk dried beans!

  • Sarah says:

    I LOVE mine! It allows me to buy meat in bulk (especially when it is on sale) and freeze it. I save a ton of money. The bags are pricey, but I get mine at Costco and its a lot cheaper. I also use it for cheese and fruit and it helps it last longer!

  • I have had mine for over five years (it was a gift from my mom) and I could not live without it! It keeps the meat so much fresher when frozen that I wouldn’t even think of not using it. I always look for deals on the bags (I usually use Swagbucks to buy the on Amazon) and buy the rolls so I can customize the sizes. I have never had to throw out meat because of freezer burn, even after finding things that were months old.

  • Melissa says:

    I think it is totally worth the money. It pays for itself over and over again! I love mine!

  • Penny says:

    I love my food saver for my meat!! It stays so much nicer longer. Always wrapped it in plastic wrap, foil and put in plastic bags but sometimes when I get a little lazy now and do that instead of the food saver I regret it. I have a hard time using it. I bought my daughter one and she uses it all the time. If you freeze much ground beef, it is great. We seal it then use a rolling pin and mash it flat and saves so much room in the freezer. And you can use the plastic for bags for any food saver with any brand so I buy what I can find on clearance.

  • Dawn says:

    I find life easier to navigate when my freezer has enough meat (from Sams) to last at least one month. Then I can coupon like crazy for everything else (Publix) and save TONS of money per serving. When I menu for the month, I wont spend a lot of money buying doubles. I can turn any leftover meats into another meal more efficiently because I am not trying to coupon for the entire meal and plan a menu all in the same week. I prefer the vacumm freezer because it expands the freezer time by 3+ months.

  • Michelle says:

    I’ve had one for many years and it’s WONDERFUL! I do recommend getting a FoodSaver brand one, I’ve tried a couple of other brands and they weren’t nearly as good. I agree with everyone who says that meat stays perfect in the freezer for months (I’ve used some that was in there for a year, and you couldn’t tell that it hadn’t just been frozen). Aside from using it to freeze stuff, I also seal grapes and berries in mason jars to keep in the fridge. They last much longer and never grow mold. I also wash lettuce and seal it in a large FoodSaver canister. It will stay crisp and good for a couple of weeks.

  • Kim says:

    My mom gave me one also, and I love it. I mostly only use it for meat, and the meat seems to last forever. It’s well worth it to me…but then I didn’t fork out the initial money either. 🙂

  • jessgrtn says:

    Ziploc has the bags that you pump the air out of yourself and they work just as good if not better and are wayyyyyyyyy cheaper…I bought our starter kit for 6 dollars at walmart and it included the hand pump. Super easy to use!

  • Mary says:

    We have one and love it. We purchased it when we were concerned about the economy and possible depression. We stock piled dry goods in the bags and have them stored in our cellar. Because there is no oxygen in the bags I do not worry about bugs. It works great for meats and fish in the freezer and fresh vegetables from our garden. Well worth the money to me.

  • If you don’t get a good deal on the bags, it probably won’t be a money-saver for you. I figured out that using the Food Saver raised the cost of a pound of ground beef by a whopping 58 cents a pound!

    There are a few situations that the Food Saver is perfect for – I wrote a post a few months ago that talks about the pros and cons:

    I got my FoodSaver as a gift, so I just try to watch for sales on the bags/rolls and then use them for things like fresh garden produce. I do think it helps keep things fresher longer, but it’s not the most frugal way to do it!

  • Liz says:

    @ sara,
    I’m in LA, too and am wondering if you know of any near the New Orleans area?

  • Rachelle Whitaker says:

    I found a brand new food saver from the Salvation Army for $20. It works nice…sometimes. Mine over heats a lot and it can take twice as long to package the meat. I also have noticed many of my packages inflate after a few weeks and develop the ice crystals. However, when reynolds had their version of a food saver system I saw the same inflation. The bags are pretty expensive but another company makes bags that work well with the systems and if you have a Sam’s Club card you can get quite a few rolls, can’t remember how many, for $40 and that’s an awesome price. My advice is to the either wait for them to go on sale or look for a used one. I wouldn’t have wasted $100 bucks on the system.

  • Holly says:

    I think the food saver is fantastic. We use it when chicken breasts or other meats are on sale. We also love their little hand-held model that is used with zip-lock bags that have an airlock. They are great for sandwich meats and cheeses.

  • Camille says:

    I am on my 2nd Food Saver in a year. I mailed the first one back to the manufacturer. Neither one has sealed without me having to put A LOT of pressure on the top of the sealer (like all my body weight!). I even called the manufacturer and they told me exactly what was wrong and we tried to fix it. With this 2nd one not working, I give up. I am very disappointed as I really, really wanted to love these!

  • Heather says:

    For freezing pork and beef, I like freezer paper better. I like the vacuum sealer for freezing chicken, and for bagging up anything that needs to be stored long-term, and the vacuum sealer is a better choice than a jar (or I can use the jar attachment to vacuum air out of a jar). Where it really shines, though, is in marinating meat. Using it, you can use a LOT less marinade, and the meat marinates better, quicker. I often wash and reuse the bags. It’s also great for doing things like splitting a large block of cheese up so that it doesn’t go moldy before you can finish it off.

  • Aysa says:

    We bought our first 11years ago and are now on our 2nd. They are amazing and save lots of money since you lock out the freezer burn. You can also marinate then freeze your meats giving them a much better taste. Love it and highly recommend it!

  • Jackie says:

    We received a small food saver (Oliso Frisper) that has reusable bags (they have a ziploc like top to them and the air is sucked out the side). It’s nice because it tucks away in a drawer under the counter and doesn’t take up a lot of room when we do use it. It’s not too powerful but it works for our needs. Some people have said it doesn’t last very long but we haven’t put a lot of miles on ours over the last year so we haven’t had any problems yet – I’m sure if we used ours ALL THE TIME we’d want something bigger and better.

    • Leslie says:


      Excess plastic waste (unsustainable, non-renewable resource guzzling) was my biggest concern about this – how many times can you reuse the bags? 🙂

      • Jackie says:

        @Leslie, Their website says you can reuse the bags up to 10 times. But there might be a way to squeeze out a few more uses. They also say that they don’t recommend reusing bags for raw meat, fish and poultry – but again, you could probably boil the bags to sterilize them or wash them really well. Here’s the web address – they have a couple of videos and pictures:

      • Jackie says:

        @Leslie, Also, we received ours as a gift that the individual purchased from QVC so it came with at least 10-20 bags in the two sizes (we’ve hardly made a dent in them). You don’t get as many bags to start with when you buy the starter kit directly from Oliso.

  • Angela says:

    I LOVE my foodsaver – I can buy in bulk and freeze all kinds of foods, especially things like soups and chillis. It takes some finese to do the liquid kind of ones if you don’t have the canisters (which I broke), but it can be done. It’s the best money I’ve EVER spent on anything.

  • Karen says:

    My husband hunts and we use ours for bulk meat purchases. We have also found some generic bags at Menards that are about half the cost of the other name brand bags.

  • Beth says:

    I personally do not own one but the lady I work for does and she LOVES hers! She buys in bulk/stock piles from sales and portions out all the food before putting it into the bags. She does everything from meat, pasta, baking supplies, and even non-food items. She buys the bags in large quantities when she finds a deal on them. She said that this methood was the best she has found in keeping bugs out of items and keeping food fresh.

  • Denice says:

    I have a food saver that I received for my bridal shower. I LOVE it. I buy most of my meats in bulk and use the food saver to portion out for meals. I have never pre-frozen anything. Mine has a catch tray for any liquid that could be drawn out. Also it has a setting for liquids so it doesn’t make a mess. I agree about the bag being expensive and found that it is cheaper to buy the rolls of plastic instead and make bags that are custom sized. I have been married almost 4 years and have only had to buy the rolls once so they do last quite a while.

  • June says:

    We’ve had one for several years – a gift from my wonderful sister-in-law – and it works great! We package meat, casseroles, blocks of cheese, etc. It keeps the food fresher for much longer, especially when we freeze it. With prepared foods, like casseroles, you just pop them in the microwave or boiling water and they’re hot and tasty in no time.

  • Jen says:

    This is a bit off topic but along the same lines. I have never used a food storage bag system but I HAVE used the space bags (got them on good sale at Ollie’s) and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them. I store my off-season blankets, bulky stuff in them and they work like a charm! Definitely worth the investment in space saving!!

  • Michele says:

    Just bought one in the last month so we’re not quite sure if it works out to be cheaper but have to say it works terrific. The bags do seem a bit on the pricey side (around $10 for 20 quart size bags) but haven’t seen a whisper of freezer burn since we started using it. Hope this helps …

  • Heidi says:

    I have one but have found it’s just an OK device. It can be tempermental and will not work at times. Also, the canisters do not work at all. I use other (already mentioned) methods more than this.

  • Shannon K says:

    I have had two food savers, the first one was a cheapy-and I did not use it much, I sold to a mom of six(I think she needed it more) the second one(two years later) top of the line. And that thing made so much noise I thought my counter was going to fall off, my DH works 3rd so our volume is a little lower in our house, but not for that( the infomeral kinda edits(??) that out)(I think) I sill have it(need to sell it) but no I would not get another. Shannon K

  • amanda says:

    We love our Food Saver so much. I love premarinating meat when it’s on sale and prefreezing (standing it up in the freezer like someone had said) it. I use it for portions of homemade chicken broth and my dried soaked beans. I’ve never tried it for cheese, but I have our whole crop of peaches from the tree in the backyard that didn’t get eaten right away stored in there, along with the strawberries I picked. Those will be great smoothies all winter long. I also use it for things like corn on the cob. I think that the food keeps much longer this way than any of the other ways that I’ve tried to preserve it. I buy the bags in big boxes when they go on sale at Kohl’s when I have a coupon. That’s the cheapest way that I’ve found. I reuse the ones that aren’t for meat. I also find the sealer function on the Food Saver useful- if I don’t finish a package of something (e.g., frozen veggies, taco shells) I just reseal it and it doesn’t go bad (taco shells) or spill all over the freezer (frozen peas).

  • becca says:

    I know there is a million comments already on packaging your own meat for hunters. Just wanted to add that my family has harvested our own meat for many years and the best way we have found it to cut into portion-sizes and wrap in Saran Wrap, then Renold’s Wrap freezer paper . Cheap, and easy if you set it up as a system when packaging. Meat always tastes fresh, even a year or two after packaging.

  • laura says:

    I do not have one, but eventually I will own one. Every time I buy meat in stock, I use my mom’s. I know she bought it for a pretty penny but if I could find it cheaper, I would buy one right away. I think it is nice with the exception of the bags. The bags are ridiculously overpriced but it is their gimmick. However, I have found that the roll of bags last a long time especially when you are freezing chicken breasts and ground turkey.

  • Shantique says:

    Ok there are lots of comments her so I may be repeating something! My mother gave me one of the crazy food saver machines years ago. I found bulky and difficult to use and store. Therefore, it ended up being sold in a garage sale. I found the Ziploc Handi Vac system to work just fine to provide the same results. The kit is like $6 to start with (then you can probably find coupons) and then you just use the bags. The trick to save a little extra cash on the bags (they are a tad more expensive than normal Ziploc bags, but again coupons are always out there for ziploc products) I would wrap the meat in foil first, THEN place it in the vacuum bag and seal it up and vacuum it. This kept juices from leaking out, when I put it in. then when I was ready to defrost something I took it OUT of the bag and left it wrapped in the foil on a plate. Bag is clean and ready for reuse!

  • Mindie says:

    I have pondered getting one of these for some time. I ofter find meat on sale and being a family of 6 and trying to save as much money as possible, it is disheartening when you reach into the freezer to get meat out that is freezer burned. SO I did some research on Food Saver against some of the other brands. There is a brand called Seal a Meal that they sale at Wal-Mart that is very comperable to Food Saver. In some ways got much better reviews. I had purched a Food Saver off of Craigslist only to have it burn up after a month ( it was claimed to be new). And Seal a meal at Wal- Mart is significantly less than FS. Well to my pleasant surprise I walked into Wal-Mart about 5 days ago and they have some of the Seal A Meal’s on Clearance right now at least in my area. So I decided after all the research and the VERY reduced price I would buy it. I had always used the hand held Reynolds Vaccum packer, and it was a blessing. Now I can do much more… I am excited to get started.

  • Dawn says:

    I have one & I love it. But, I don’t use mine for storing food. I bought mine for the sole purpose of packaging boxes for a deployed soldier. This helped with space, waterproofing, breakage & spoiling. I vacuum sealed everything literally.

  • Angie says:

    I have a foodsaver and love it. I use it to package and freeze meat I buy in bulk. I also use it vacuum seal jars of dehydrated lovelies!

  • Angela says:

    We raise our chickens, my husband hunts and we purchase meat in bulk when on sale. We use our food saver and have always been very pleased with the results. I would say we give ours a good workout over the course of a year and it is still working. The one we have now is as least 6 years old. We wash the bags well and reuse them once, if they are big enough. I would say if you plan to use it, it is worth the money.

  • Susan says:

    I raise a lot of my own fruit and vegetables. I also buy meat in huge cuts and then re-cut it at home in family-sized portions. My Food Saver device keeps all of these foods in excellent condition in the freezer. I have had my device for four years, use it almost every day in the summer, and at least weekly in the winter, and it’s still going strong. If you freeze a lot of food, this is definitely worth the money.

  • A'Fenia says:

    When I first bought it, I used it all the time but I do not use it anymore – It is currently collecting dust in my pantry (I probably will sell it now-Thanks for making me thing about it!).
    My biggest complaint is the price of the bags. I actually purchased the machine and several bags when the store had a major sale. Had I done my homework before I made the inital purchase, I would have know the cost of the bags were not worth it. The first time I had to purchase the foodsaver bags are normal price (they never really go on sale or have coupons), the bags were expensive.
    I currently wrap my meat in clear wrap as well as aluminum foil and place it in freezer bags. I bought the wrap, foil and bags at Costco and still come out cheaper than buying the foodsaver bags. I definitely am getting more for my money this way.

  • Angela says:

    I think they are worth it as long as you use it. I also have a marinating dish that I use all the time, it really helps get the flavor in the meat and you don’t have to marinate as long as you would without the foodsaver container.

  • Linda says:

    I LOVE my food saver!! Have used it for many years. I also found out that you can save $$ by using freezer bags instead of the co$tly roll of bags for the machine. Simply put your food in the freezer bag (sometimes I cut off the ziper thingy top) and the Food Saver will seal it nicely!

  • J.J. says:

    @Rosie, Like you, I have a son who is deployed. He LOVES our Food Saver because his chocolate chip cookies and brownies are kitchen fresh and in one piece when he gets them, sometimes 2+ weeks later, in Afghanistan. I highly recommend this for folks who are sending care packages overseas.

  • LORI says:

    I use my food saver every week it is awesome. I buy bulk items and break them down into smaller portions. Great for saving money and not wasting food.

  • Rachel Y says:

    We don’t have a big machine, my husband used to but it died and I finally tossed it, I think…… I do have a Reynold’s Handi-Vac from now (you used to could buy them at the grocery store…..) It works ok, but sometimes it’s hard to get the vacuum on the correct spot. My mom got one too, it was a two for one deal, but she doesn’t use hers at all. They have special bags you have to buy, again through HSN. I ran out of bags once and went and bought the Ziploc bag sealer (i had killer coupons too and got it for 99 cents). It works just the same, minus the batteries. Aside from it taking a few minutes longer to pull out the air, it works very well. I can purchase the bags at the grocery store and not have to pay for shipping, so that’s a major plus.

    I assume we’re talking about big food savers, but I figured I’d give my experience because even something small can help alot.

  • Gwen says:

    I love mine. I use it to package and freeze meats like most people. Red meat & chicken are supposed to last 3 years. I’ve not had it long enough to test that but so far so good 🙂
    I also use it to freeze individual meals and leftovers. Little goes to waste any longer.
    You can freeze soups and stews in freezer containers (like squares or rectangles), take it out of the freezer and then use the food saver on it. I’ve been doing this for years too and have even done experiments (leaving one in a freezer container and another with the food saver method). The food saver one was still great after 4 months in the freezer and the dogs wouldn’t even eat the one out of the container…so yes, I believe they are worth the money even if you can’t get one on sale.

  • Bethie says:

    I have had a FoodSaver for years and just recently purchased a new one. I spent a month saving up for it and was surprised when I found one on clearance at Target!!!

    I use the Mason jars for bulk nuts, brown sugar, bread crumbs, and gummy bears (my boyfriend loves them and they taste extremely fresh even after months). The jars are very economical! I also have the cannisters, marinator and sandwich containers.

    I only buy the rolls so that I can make my own bags. I prefer this so that I can reuse them. They wash easily and reseal perfectly. Don’t get me wrong…it took a little while to get the whole process down pat but now I am a pro.

    I use my FoodSaver for bulk meats, cheese, making my own oatmeal, sandwich meat, baked goods and so many other things.

    I say get it and you won’t regret it 🙂

  • Katie says:

    I have never owned one, however, my parents did. My father was an avid outdoorsman, and it was perfect for freezing fish fillets, and other game. Bottom line: if you plan to use it, it is worth the money.

  • Julie Turner says:

    My husband and I registered for a food saver for our wedding. We’ve only been married a couple of months, but we use this thing all the time!

    Our local grocery store has a great deal on meat:

    4 chicken breast, 4 sirloins, 4 pork chops and 4 hamburger patties for 19.99. We buy these once a month, and stretch the meals with our food saver! I love that we can save money this way.

    I say its well-worth it!

  • Christine says:

    We use our all the time to re-seal chips, cereal, crackers, etc. Love it for that. We do use the meat bags but I’m not sure we are saving that much with those as they tend to be spendy. We try to stock up on sales. Also don’t like how much liquid they drain out of the meat when you seal them. Pros and cons. If you get it used, it would definitely be worth the money. We’ve had ours for about 5 years now probably and it’s working great.

  • Amy says:

    I use ours to freeze steaks, chops, chicken, etc. with the marinade included. Then, pull out a bag and let it thaw while I’m at work. When I get home…voila! Pre-marinated meat. ready to cook. Love it! I get the “universal” brands of freezer bags/rolls whenever they go on sale at our local store. They work just as good as the ones that are specific to the Food Saver, but about half the cost. I have hand-washed and re-used the bags, too.

  • becky says:

    I have had one for about 6 years now, and it has saved me a considerable amount of money. I attend the local food giveaways to get fresh produce, and what I can’t can, I freeze. Just this summer alone I have frozen about 30 ears of corn that I got for just a few hours of my time just standing around talking to other people trying to stretch a buck!

  • Rose says:

    We have had a Food Saver for years. We LOVE IT. The only problem we have had is meat with bones in them. We wrap the sharp edges in plastic wrap and vac the meat it works beautifully. Hope you get one, it,s a real money saver.

  • Amanda says:

    We’ve had a Seal-A-Meal for several years and couldn’t live without it! It allows us to buy meat and produce in bulk and store it in deep freezer. I always look for the bags on sale and stock up, but we reuse them until they wear out or are too small to fit anything in.

  • Susan Whittington says:

    I have used them for 15 years and love it. It is worth every nickle spent. I have the newest model, wore a couple of them out over the years.

  • SHanouw says:

    We have gotten great use out of ours…lots of frozen fruit, frozen vegetables, meat, soups (freeze in a flat something first – unless you want a flood on the counter). The fruit is good if you flash freeze it first and then put it in the food saver bags. I don’t see a down side unless you don’t use the fruit because you are “saving” it for when you need it and then over a year later you decide it is too old and throw it away! That my friend is an attitude of lack – best not to dwell there. I only have good things to say. Save bags. Wash well and reuse.

  • Amy D says:

    I have a Food Saver and love it. The rolls are expensive but in reading here I have discovered I can probably get them cheaper. I have a question: How long can you safely eat frozen meat? I heard that it was up to 4-6 mths for some meats and as little as 2 months for others. I used to keep meats a lot longer (especially after getting the Food Saver 5 yrs ago) but recently stopped after reading this. Any thoughts are appreicated.

  • Holly says:

    My parents got one 2 years ago and I loved it, I would buy fruit in the summer and freeze it for smoothies and have amazing tasting berries in the winter. Then they got me one for Christmas last year and it’s amazing. The Karns store by us puts each type of meat on sale twice a year (strip steak, $3/lb boneless chicken $1.99/lb) and it will last up to 3 years in the food saver!! I use it for so many things, and everything defrosts WAY quicker… Frozen meat takes about 15 min to defrost in the bag. Plus you can steam things in it or boil them in the bag so they don’t dry out (if the whole hot plastic thing doesn’t freak you out) I get freezer burn any other way I package.

    My brother tried the ziploc vaccum with the handheld sealer and last a few months before he started going back to our parents house and using their foodsaver.

  • Patti says:

    I did not get mine at a bargain price but I still feel it is worth every penny. I store tons of things in half gallon mason jars and use the Food Saver to get a vaccuum seal on them. I have nuts that have been in the jars over a year and they are still as fresh as when I put them away.
    I also use it for anything frozen. I don’t have a deep freeze so being able to flatten things to store in the freezer is a real blessing.
    One other thing I use it for is to re-seal bags-like chips or pasta.
    If mine broke, I would have to buy another one. I absolutely love it.

  • shawn'l says:

    We ate chicken breasts that had been in my freezer since 9/09 (it got pushed to the back of the freezer and forgotten). My husband asked me if I had gone to the store and purchased it that day. It was still that fresh. I use the cheaper bags (I think Walmart) and buy bulk chilken, steaks, etc when at thaere cheapest and the seal plain or season then seal. Love mine. Have had it for probaly 10 years.

  • KimH says:

    I LOVE mine…and wouldnt do without. I have 2 flounder in my freezer that I Foodsavered over 2 summers ago.. and there is absolutely NO FREEZER damage on it.. I check it every time I go in the freezer.
    I already knew it was fantastic but that is nuts.

    I also own two of the hand-held sticks that have attachments for canisters, jars & wine bottle corks. You can re-cork your wine after opening and it stays fresh until you’re ready for another glass of wine.

  • Glenda says:

    I received one as a gift and like it a lot. Having said that, the bags are atrociously expensive even on sale (at least in this area) and if I didn’t have one I think I would invest in the less expensive hand held varieties made by Ziploc first if you don’t do a lot of bulk freezing to do.

    I tried the multi-wrap freezing thing but it just never worked well for me. I still got freezer burn (guess I just leave things in the freezer too long). So I asked for one for Christmas (this was before the hand helds came out).

    The only things I’ve had to pre-freeze are things that might squish.

    What is has been the very best for is to package meals up for my elderly father. I can suction meat in one, mashed potatoes (please freeze first or you will laugh a lot) in another, and a veggie in a third, etc., label them and STAPLE THEM TOGETHER above the seal line so he just grabs and has a whole meal he can reheat in the microwave. I suppose if you pre-froze it all, you could seal it all in a single bag.

  • SusanH says:

    We have had one for 9+ years and love it! My husband is a hunter and processes his own meat so it’s a must for that! We love the marinator that came as a bonus. We have given one to each of our kids as they married and moved out. They just save you so much money if you buy large quanities and need to fight freezer burn! I have re-used my bag as many as 5 times before it got to small to re-seal.

  • Britt White says:

    I love mine! It is an investment though and yes, the bags are expensive. In my experience, if you have a Costco membership, they have the best prices on the refills, and if not, you can use the 20% off coupons that come in the mail and get them from Bed,Bath and Beyond. I use mine primarily for meats, fruits and veggies that I can find a great deal on and want to stock up on. They are wonderful for marinating meats and for people who might find portion-specific foods necessary for dieting. When you are camping or hiking, they are also quite useful as the food takes up much less space and is easier to pack and store. It is also awesome for sealing toiletries before traveling as you are guaranteed not to have spills or those infamous “expanding bottle” explosions! Mine came with a set of canisters that are useful for keeping chips, brown sugar and other dry goods fresh too. I think that the more uses you can find for the machine, the easier it is to justify. You can definitely get creative and have fun with them though. Hope this helps!

  • Jennifer says:

    My favorite thing about my foodsavor is the jar sealer. I seal the tops of my canning jars to preserve brown sugar etc so it doesn’t dry out. Works like a charm!

  • Patty says:

    I thought I “had” to have one and received it for Christmas. The first and only time i used it (in two years) I was disappointed! I tend to buy burger in bulk, cook it up and freeze it in 1/2 lb pkgs. I find it much quicker to use baggies and squeeze out the air then to use the machine. It seemed to take forever and then I ran out of bags before I was even finished. The bags are expensive and I’ve never been able to convince myself to buy more so mine is waiting for the next yard sale. I know others that swear by them but I am able to get enough air out that I’ve never had a problem using the baggies.

  • Gitte says:

    I am using one for over 10 years. It is great and I freeze meats in small portions and buy in big ,money ,savings packages. I wash the bags out with hot, soapy water and reuse them until they are gone. I cook soups and stews and chillies in a big pot and freeze the rest and always have home made meals on hand. I write the dates on them and this way all will be used right. I can only recommend them.

  • TINA FOLSOM says:

    I’ve had one for over 5 years and absolutely love it!!!!

  • Norma says:

    I love mine. I had a Deni brand 20 years ago, but recently upgraded to the Food Saver.

    I live alone, but buy large, family sized packages of meat and frozen veggies. You certainly can wash the bags and reuse them (even if you put raw chicken in them), and they will withstand a 2 minute dip in boiling water.

    I have the Reynolds handheld for small items, and this brand handheld can be used on the Ziploc bags. My problem is finding the Ziploc brand bags (Reynolds no longer makes theones for their sealer).

    Overall, the Food Saver a great product. Try finding one on e-bay before paying full price.

  • Patti says:

    After reading the posts, I was impressed with the thought of buying a Food Saver and guess what? Found one at a yard sale Saturday for $10 which I talked her down to $8. It includes the bags, the canister, the instuctions, etc. At least I can find out if I like it or not!! Thanks for this Q & A.

  • Jaime says:

    We LOVE ours!! We use it to freeze ALL leftovers – we have used it for homemade deep dish pizza, chicken and dumplings, chicken noodle soup, veggie soup, jambalaya, grilled steaks, chicken alfredo, enchiladas, lasagna… just to name a few! We also use it to buy meat and cheese in bulk and then foodsaver them in usable portions. We actually got ours from a thrift store for $5 – yes, $5!!! It is Foodsaver brand, has the additional outlet to vacuum seal canisters, the manual seal… all of the newer functions and it works GREAT!! 🙂 Definitely check the thrift stores or Craigslist if you want one but can’t afford a new one! 😉

  • Jaime says:

    Oh yes, and the bags ARE reusable!! Personally, I would not reuse them if I put raw meat in them, but for leftovers, just wash them out with a bit of soap and water, hang upside-down to dry and you are set to use them again! 🙂

  • I have been considering this but I am wondering if this is useful for preserving fresh produce. I think that is our biggest waste of money. Having produce turn before we are able to eat it. I absolutely hate throwing veggies away!

  • Melanie says:

    I’m adding my 2 cents because here because I have a chamber sealer and it’s been a fabulous addition to my kitchen. Even though it costs about 6x an average FoodSaver it has more than paid for itself many times over in saved food and bulk buying. I wanted to put this out there because I read a lot of complaints about the cost of bags in the comments. Well, chamber vac bags cost WAY less than edge sealer bags; you can get them for less than 10 cents apiece if you buy in bulk on Amazon. So even though the initial cost is higher, you save in the long run.

    I also like that the chamber vac is a repairable machine that you can order parts for rather than a throw-away product like the FoodSavers. (Even though in almost 8 years we haven’t had to do a thing to it.) If you want more details about vacuum sealers–both edge and chamber–you can check out my blog (I hope the plug is okay! Just want to share my love of vacuum sealers!) 🙂

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