Jan 25, 2008

Update on using the Reynolds Handi-Vac Vacuum Sealer

Earlier this month, I reviewed the Reynolds Handi-Vac Vacuum Sealing System and said I would report back on whether the bags are washable. Good news: it appears that they are. Of course, I only washed and reused one quart-size bag, but I had no problem using the vacuum sealer on it once it had dried. However, if you decide to wash and reuse these bags, I ask you to keep in mind Reynolds' warning against reusing bags because of cross-contamination.

In more good news, I've discovered that the vacuum sealer is a huge help with meal planning and I've been storing many bags in the fridge (rather than the freezer). I can chop vegetables days in advance, then seal them until the day I need them. I've also been using the bags to store cheeses that might grow moldy before I use them up. Although I haven't done a detailed cost analysis, I think the fact that the bags help me cook more at home during the week more than makes up for their higher cost. I'm more likely to stop for fast food on the way home if I have an hour's worth of cooking and clean-up to do, but cut that down to a half hour because the prep work is done and I'm excited to cook when I get home. And of course, you can't discount the health benefits of homemade food versus fast food, or the savings from bringing leftovers to work for lunch.

All in all, I'm very happy to have the Handi-Vac in my kitchen drawer and look forward to making many meals with its help.

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