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Poor Man’s Vacuum Seal Freezer Bags

>10 March 2010
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There’s no question, to avoid freezer burn and preserve your frozen foods longer vacuum sealed freezer bags are the way to go! Especially if you have a lot of meat to store.

Sure, you could go out and spend $13 on Ziploc Vacuum seal bags, or other expensive gadgets. Or… you could master this handy little tool…

A straw.

That’s right, the every day straw.

Here’s how to use this breakthrough technology…

Put your food to be frozen into a ziploc freezer bag. Zip the bag almost all the way, leaving an opening just big enough to slip a regular drinking straw into the bag. Use the straw to suck the air out of the bag. When the bag has shrunk around its contents all that it can possibly shrink, quickly pull the straw out and zip the bag closed.

Voila! A vacuum sealed bag!! That’s how I do it, anyways.

My husband gets a kick out of watching me sucking the air out of bags with a straw. Hey, whatever works, right?!

Oh, and be cheap about it. Don’t go out and buy a bag of straws. Just save one the next time you swing through drive thru! That way you can rationalize the fast food splurge with the savings in vacuum seal bags.

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  • Cathy Ethier said:

    That reminds me of my technique to vacuum seal sweaters or other articles of clothing.
    Get the zipper bag, zip it almost closed, sit on it to force out the air and zip it while you are still sitting on it.
    I developed this technique when I sold items on Ebay to allow the items to ship in a less bulky fashion and for less money.
    Still praying… Cathy

  • Tabatha said:

    This works well with most things but it doesn’t seem to work as well with bread! I’ve done this and my husband made fun of me! I guess it would look pretty funny! LOL

  • Lanna said:

    Exactly! I’ve perpetually debated a vacuum sealer over the years (especially for dehydrated goods), but if things really go nuts or the power is out, you can’t use it. But now, a straw and your hands, those can be used any old time. :D

  • Melissa said:

    LOL! That’s a great tip, and I love the way you explained it!

    I haven’t tried to vacuum-seal food, but when we pack clothes for vacation, we make our own vacuum-sealed bags. I fill a large (one or two gallon) zipper-seal bag–with clothes. Then I kneel on the bag to squeeze out the air. I started doing this not only to save space, but also to keep the clothes organized. It’s easier to find a pair of socks, for example, when they’re all in one bag.

  • Carmen said:

    I do that all the time. Except with raw meat…I can’t bring myself to do that. Ew! ;)

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Carmen- no no no, def. not w/ raw meat!! :)

  • Lisa said:

    I keep the wax paper bags from inside the cereal box to use with the meat. I put the meat in there first, then inside the freezer bag. The freezer bags are way too expensive to use just once, but I get the “ick” if they have had meat in them – I just don’t like to reuse those twice. So, I put the meat in the wax paper cereal bag first, then in the freezer bag. Then just take out the wax paper bag to defrost and no meat touching my freezer bags, making them reusable in my book! I’ll have to add the straw method for even better freezing!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Lisa- Yep, I do the same thing! :)

  • Shad said:

    I got dizzy when I tried to do 15 bags of sausage this way…

  • sandra said:

    do you tape the cereal bag closed or use a twist tie?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    sandra- tape wouldn’t work in the freezer, but a twist tie would. However, I don’t do either. I just wrap my meat in the wax paper, and fold the edges over.

  • Jodie said:

    I do the straw-thing, too. I think I saw that on Good Eats’ lettuce episode.

  • Steve said:

    LOL, that is simply brilliant!

    A classic low tech invention:)

  • Lisa said:

    I spent money on the Reynolds gaget and they quit making it! Back to saved McDs straws!

  • Kirsty said:

    I do this for popcorn, but I don’t freeze it, just put in the fridge. It helps keep the crunch. I find a thinner plastic bag works better for popcorn, but the ziplock bags are great for freezing.

  • ron said:

    Why not just use a small electric pump and rubber tube? Let the pump do all the sucking?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    LOL… I guess you could. But sucking the air out with a straw is very quick and easy ;)

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