Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Q & A: Vacuum Sealer Bags

Here's a question I received from a reader today after she read this post on freezing cream cheese.

Question: Are you using "name brand" vacuum bags? Or? I purchased some off ebay and was quite disappointed in them. Some kept seal, some didn't. And it didn't seem to matter if it was dry goods or something like salmon.

Answer: I pretty much stick to the Food Saver Brand or the brand in the Amazon link below.  I have had good success with both.  When I have to buy again I will go with the ones in the Amazon link.  They are a bit cheaper and I thought they worked just as well.

I hope this helps!

A Working Pantry

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Seven Things We Learned While Eating Almost Exclusively from our Pantry for Three Months!

If you’ve been following A Working Pantry for very long, you’ll know that my husband and I recently experienced an unexpected financial hardship that left us having to eat almost exclusively out of our pantry for 3 months.   We learned some things first hand during that time that will help us be better prepared for future events of this nature, so I thought I would share what we learned in the hopes that it will help others who might face similar situations in the future.

My well-stocked pantry was and is a life saver.  Being able to continue eating in the manner that we always had without worry about how to provide the food to do that was such a stress reliever.  We were already stressed enough trying to deal with the situation that not having to worry about how we were going to eat was a real blessing.

I need to look for more clutter to clear out so that I can have additional room to expand our well-stocked pantry.  (We’re finishing up a series this week in the A Working Pantry Facebook group on ‘Where to Put Pantry Items’ that is helping me think outside the box when it comes to this topic.)

Variety is very important!  I can’t stress this enough … variety is very important.  In order to avoid eating the same meals over and over again and getting food burnout one needs to know how to take basic ingredients, add some spices, etc and create something that has a different taste.   Having a pantry filled with a wide variety of things your family will eat helps to be able to create those different flavors and dishes. 

You need a ‘strictly from the pantry’ menu. I would suggest a 30 day meal plan for ever how many meals you eat per day along with snacks where all the ingredients come from your pantry without you having to go to the store. This will help with the ‘variety’ issue I mentioned above.

Your pantry will last half as long as you think it will.  It is surprising how quickly a pantry gets used up when you’re eating almost exclusively from it.  Some items that we thought we had plenty of were the first things we started running low on. 

You need special treats.  In my opinion special treats are essential to a well-stocked pantry.  They help keep moral up and give you a little something to look forward to.

You need to know how to stretch what you have.  Necessity is the mother of invention and during our 3 months of eating almost exclusively from our pantry we stretched and saved every bit of food.   Leftovers became another dish and even the little bits were saved for ingredients in a soup meal.

Now that our financial hardship is over, I'm making it a priority to take what I’ve learned and use it to build a better well-stocked pantry.

Do you have any words of wisdom/experience to share on this topic?

A Working Pantry

If you’ve found this post to be helpful please share about it with others or PIN it.  Thank you!

You can also follow me on Pinterest and on Facebook

This post linked to: HomeAcre Hop; Five Star Frugal
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