More proof that my interest in thrift is more academic than practical: I recently purchased a Foodsaver, a vacuum sealer that's supposed to allow you to keep foods fresher longer, either in the fridge or the freezer or, I guess, on the counter as well. I had been thinking about getting one for a good long time. Over several years probably, I'd think once in a while about getting one of these. But I was unsure bc a) I'd read some negative reviews on the internet (and I didn't know how heavily to weight them bc I think people are more likely to go to the trouble to slam something anonymously on the internet than to praise something) and b) would it really do so much of a better job than freezing things in plastic wrap and zip bags and c) would I use it enough to make it worthwhile seeing as I eat a lot less meat than I used to.
In the end, I finally gave in to myself and bought one. People I know personally who have them love them and took the time to tell me why they loved them and if there were things that they didn't so much love. So I was very much looking forward to getting the thing in the mail.
I was a bit disappointed bc it seemed to work fine w/the premade bags, that is, the bags that were already sealed at one end. It also included a roll of bag material. You cut it to the size you need, seal it at one end (you're just making a seal at this point, not vacuum sealing anything), put your stuff in and vacuum seal it at the other end. So I called the customer service and nothing they suggested helped so I sent it back.
There was a strip of black -- tape, I'll say for lack of a better word bc I'm not sure what it was and it was kinda like a black painter's tape -- that covered a skinny metal strip that got hot and made the seal. The tape looked temporary to me when I unpacked the thing so I took it off. Also, the pictures on the box of the unit in use showed it w/o the tape. I asked the rep if that might make a difference and she said no, that the black stuff could come off, but I have my doubts.
Upon receipt of the replacement, I did not remove the black tape and it's been sweet success all the way.
The thing cost $99. I think I got free shipping. It cost $30 to return the first one. So it really cost $130. Is it worth it? I dunno yet. I do think it keeps food fresher longer. Things like cheese last a lot longer, especially if it's organic and doesn't have lots of preservatives in it. Same with bread. I don't know yet about how well it keeps meat, such as this hunk o' London broil I froze in January. I'll be interested to see how well it keeps things like blueberries. Last year, I bought a mess of cheap blueberries and froze some bc we couldn't possibly eat them all before they went bad. I put them in a ziploc and tried to get out as much air as possible, but lots of frost still formed. Thawed, they're fine for cooking or baking, but certainly not for eating plain. I wonder if the Foodsaver will do better.
I suppose I should figure out how much it cost to pay for the thing, plus how much it will cost to keep myself in bags and bag rolls, then see how much less food I'm throwing out bco spoilage. I'll have to get back on that.
Now I've got to stuff Edison in his carrier and hie him to the vet. He's been vomiting lately and it seems to be increasing. It seems to be more than what could be attributed to shedding season. They'll do at least an x-ray and see if anything looks suspicious. They'll probably run some other tests, too. He's had such a hard time of it since last year when he had his procedure. He was found as a kitten all by himself at a local small business. I don't know anything about his mother or any littermates he may have had. Sometimes I wonder if the momcat could tell that something wasn't quite right with this one and so she diverted her resources to her other kits. Sad thought, especially since I've had the pleasure of enjoying Edison's company for over 3 years now. And he certainly seemed tough enough when he and I first met! He had quite the fierce when I snatched him out of his pipe. In fact, he was very much like this cheezburger cat:
I sure hope things turn out all right with him and the problem is something fixable.