Have you seen those vacuum sealers? They aren’t cheap enough for me. The prices range from $45- $400 depending on the model and how many extras you would like. I just can’t bring myself to drop that much money and break away from my low-tech version that works just fine for keeping freezer burn away.

The good part of my low-tech vacuum sealer is that only need three things:
A good, un-cracked straw
Saran wrap
Freezer bags

The only bad part about my low-tech vacuum sealer:
It doesn’t always ‘taste’ good

I will elaborate on these for you. My low-tech version is where I wrap the food item in saran wrap (tape closed if necessary) and then place the wrapped food in the freezer bag (so I can re-use later). Once the food is in the bag I push as much air out as possible and seal up the bag to the straw. The last step is to suck the air out until the bag forms tightly around the food item. This may mean sucking it out a couple of times, so I would need to squeeze the straw closed while I grabbed some air for myself.

Once the bag is tight around the food, I yank the straw out quickly and seal up the last bit of the bag. The downside is that occasionally I get to suck out the air from the meat which makes me gag a tad, but doesn't happen often; the whole process takes about 2 minutes and doesn’t use electricity or the need to find extra storage space for the contraption and I need to buy any special bags.

This process is used for all items bought in bulk that are divided into serving sizes - meat, chicken and hamburgers. It is not used if freezing soup in a bag, but could be if you use two bags and need to get air out of the outer bag.


  1. Noadi // Wednesday, November 04, 2009 12:30:00 PM  

    I have a vacuum sealer and love it. It's one of the lower end models, about $40 and has been worth it. I used to use your low tech version but I freeze a lot of bulk meat and I've definitely saved more than the cost of the vacuum sealer in food that I don't have to throw out due to freezer burn. It's a balance, spend a little money to save more in the long run.

  2. Lawrence @ CRB // Thursday, November 05, 2009 2:27:00 PM  

    Great recommendation. Thanks for the tip!

  3. jskell911 // Thursday, November 05, 2009 7:10:00 PM  

    We got our Foodsaver as a gift, but even if we had to shell out the money I would say it is totally worth every single penny! We buy all meat in bulk every 3 months. This machine has paid for itself over and over.

  4. slee15 // Monday, September 20, 2010 8:32:00 PM  

    Re: Low tech vacumn sealer. This method works perfectly and costs nothing. I buy meat in bulk when it is on deep discount and repackage it in family serving portions at home. I fill a large stockpot with very warm water. After I package my meat in heavy duty zip lock freezer bags, I close them except for approximately 1/2" opening. Holding the bag by the open corner slowly lower it into the pot of warm water until all the air is pushed out. Finish zipping the bag and presto vacumn sealed without the vacumn or high cost of the bags for the sealer.