One of the *very* best investments you can make towards your food storage is to purchase a FoodSaver with one or both of the jar sealing attachments. Buying them brand new will cost you in the range of $100-$200. I picked mine up for $20 on e-bay, plus $15 shipping and handling. It's very common to find them brand new, or almost brand new. Mine happened to be a brand new FoodSaver that had never been used and was only used as a shelf display. Mine came with the machine, a bag of rolls, and the attachment hose.
To use this for food storage, you will need to have a jar sealer attachment. Some of the foodsavers come with them, most of them don't. I bought mine separately from Goodmans.net for about $10, and that included shipping. The attachments are also all over e-bay. FoodSaver makes both regular and wide mouth sealers, but for some reason the regular once are *very* scarce and incredibly hard to find. The wide-mouth ones are everywhere, but the stores that carry the regular sized sealers are usually out of stock. I am going to make do with the wide-mouth.
When buying a FoodSaver, the only thing you need to make sure is that it has the "port" hole, which enables the attachments to work with it. Most of them have them, but just make sure it's there before you buy it.
What kind of stuff can you store with your FoodSaver in jars, you might ask?? The answer to that is: THE GOOD STUFF!
I remember a friend of mine mentioning that she had a family member that went through a natural disaster and was without electricity for 2 weeks. The family member said that of all the things she wished she had had, it was chocolate! During crisis, our bodies crave comfort. Having snack foods and candies can work wonders to help calm your family, especially if you have children. And plus, who wouldn't want to eat junk food during this time?! Whenever I find any kind of candy on sale, I snag it and vacuum seal it with my FoodSaver. Things like chocolate, candies, and crackers last 5 years or more in a vacuum packed bottle. Pretty much anything you have in your pantry that doesn't have a long shelf life can be vacuum sealed. So think of all of those snacks you would just "DIE" without. Those would be perfect for this project.
Besides the "good stuff", some other things you can vacuum seal in jars is:
Uncooked dry beans
Matches --- keep them dry
... and soooo many more!
A FoodSaver will be the way to package and store the items that will make your food storage unique and more "livable". This is what will set you apart from the "other people" (dun dun dun) that just buy wheat, beans, and rice. You will be able to eat brownies, apple crisps, pies, cookies etc this way.
For all of the items that I have to store an outrageously large amount of, like flour, sugar, and granola, for instance, I will package those in #10 cans instead of jars because it is more cost effective.
Now I get to share with you the fun stuff! The best part of ordering something online is when it comes in the mail. I love it! You just want to scream "Eeeeeeee!" when you notice the mailman dropped it off. Your stomach does a little jump. I used to order cloth diapers like crazy and whenever I would get a new one, I would call it my "fluffy" mail. Well, I've moved on to bigger things. It's not very soft, but it's still my Fluffy Mail.
This is the day my FoodSaver and jar attachment came. "Eeeeeeee!!"
Original packaging -- Oh so special for an e-bay purchase, especially when I view e-bay as the ultimate Yard Sale.
And here it all is! "Eeeeeee!!"