Food storage made easy

I am woefully inept in the kitchen.  My own mom wasn’t big into cooking, so I’ve never really learned even kitchen basics.  It’s definitely not her fault though – up until I became a mom, my husband and I were perfectly content with our mostly-eating-out-and-really-only-eating-burgers-on-the-grill-and-pizza-at-home strategy.  But I’ve gone through somewhat of a food epiphany lately (mostly thanks to Food Inc.) and am now realizing how much healthier my family can be if I’d only embrace cooking.

Back to the inept part.  I’m now having to learn all those things that are second nature to many of you – especially when it comes to buying food to store at home.  I’ve thought about going to the grocery store every day but really, who has that kind of time?  I soon realized that standard store packaging just doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to keeping food fresh.  I recently ran across the Reynolds Handi-Vac vacuum sealing system on clearance at my grocery store.  I always thought vacuum sealing meant having one of those behemoth machines in your kitchen, rolls of plastic, yada, yada, yada.  This little guy is a small hand-held vacuum and it works with special ziploc-type bags.

I’ve used it for everything from graham crackers to chicken breasts, all with great results.  The bags are said to be disposable, but I’ve re-used them a little without problem so far.  You can easily open them, remove the amount of food you need and re-seal.  Just be sure to throw away the ones you thaw chicken in – another lesson I had to learn!

The Reynolds Handi-Vac system is now partnered with Debbie Meyer and is exclusively available through  The starter kit will run you just under $25 for the food sealer and 33 bags.  Additional bags are $14.90 for either 40 quart-size or 30 gallon-size.

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