Welcome back to midweek minimise. Today’s post isn’t so much about minimising items but rather about minimising the lack of organisation that leads to food waste. I’ll be honest it’s almost embarrassing when I think about how much food we wasted during the last year, and this has got to stop. Partly because we won’t be able to afford to carry on like this but also because it is not right when there are people out there without enough to eat. So I thought things through and came up with a plan – the plan has involved a purchase though and it is another kitchen gadget.
Investing in a vacuum sealerFor quite a while now I have been eying up vacuum sealers and when this one came on offer at Amazon reduced to £40 from £100 I couldn’t resist snapping it up.(It is still on offer if anyone is interested, apologies if the deal is just for Prime customers there is no way for me to tell). Having purchased the vacuum sealer, we are starting to discover how many problems it can resolve. I need to add that this is not a sponsored post in any way. I purchased the machine myself and I am not being paid to talk about it, although I am using an affiliate link. For anyone unfamiliar with a vacuum sealer this is how mine works: The bag roll is within the machine, and you pull out enough to form the bag size you require then you slide the blade across to cut it. You then place one open edge of the bag into the machine and seal it: You then fill the bag with the desired food. I was working my way through all of these:
Vacuum sealingOnce you have filled the bag with the desired amount you put the open end back in the machine. You choose the vacuum and seal function and the machine takes care of the job for you: As you can see reflected in the image above we now have a line of LED lights around the room which were set to lilac at the time, as in fact, they are most of the time unless we need them on white to work underneath them.
Saving Food Waste and Saving SpaceSo the most obvious use of this gadget is to avoid wasting food. Let’s take the example of these carrots. For as long as I can remember we have been mainly buying frozen vegetables because fresh just didn’t seem to last, but you don’t always want to use frozen. This batch of carrots created five portions when vacuum packed and once in the pouches food lasts five times longer than otherwise which means we could theoretically have all the bags in the fridge. There is no way we could have kept that amount of fresh carrots in because in less than a week they would have started becoming unusable. When we purchase meat from the supermarket, it is typically in a container that has a lot of air around the product which means it can only last a few days. For some reason, it doesn’t always even last to the use by date. Meat has been one of our biggest, and most expensive wastes over the previous year. So we have tried out best to put it in the freezer once it arrives.
Freezing the package as it comes like this is problematic though for two reasons. The first one is the air that is trapped in with the meat which starts to crystalise and shorten its life and the second problem is the amount of space it takes up. By vacuum packing meat we can keep it fresher for longer and save space in the fridge and freezer which is already at a premium. Another bonus is that portions can be split up into the correct amount for a meal.
Bonus Ideas going forwardAlthough the vacuum sealer is filling its purpose for purchase, we have since started realising some of the other benefits of having it as well as extending the life of food and saving space.
Ready MealsLet’s face it, I have Fibromyalgia, and Michael has Diabetes (as a starter for ten) we don’t always feel like cooking from scratch. The result of this lack of motivation leads to one of two things, ordering a takeaway which is not the most sensible food to have on a regular basis and gets expensive. Or, having ready meals on standby which are alright for a quick midday meal but not really for dinner. Because the vacuum sealer can work with wet as well as dry ingredients it will enable us to make extra portions of things like casseroles and create our ready meals ourselves. We can save money, gauge the portion size and know what went into the food we are eating.
Bulk BuyingThere are often offers on for bulk purchases which we have never been in a position to take advantage. Now we can split things into portions and preserve them for a more extended period as well as prepare meals for freezing. We are currently able to make the most of these bargains and save money.
I very much hope we will not have to throw anywhere near as much food away in the future, of course, there are always going to be things like the odd dodgy grape which I am sure you will forgive me. So, although this Midweek Minimise post has resulted in me bringing a new item into the flat instead of removing a bunch of them, I’m sure you will agree that the waste it will save means it is worthy of its place in the series. Are you looking for some inspiration to do some decluttering and organising? Why not check out the Midweek Minimise Page where you will find all sorts of areas of the house to focus on? Are you already making a start? Then join in on any of the social media platforms below using #MidweekMinimise, and we can all support each other. You don’t have to do it on Wednesdays either!