I think sometimes I ask a lot of my vacuumed sealed bags, but they haven’t let me down yet, and they have so much to offer. Sure, I bought a vacuum sealer originally to store food leftovers in the kitchen. But that was back when we lived on land, in a house. Since moving onto a sailboat and sailing the Caribbean, my vacuum sealer has been the answer to how do you keep things fresh and dry on a sailboat.
First, for keeping food fresh, it’s unbeatable. I put my leftovers in the bag, seal the bag shut and the food stays fresh until I’m ready to use it again. When I buy meat at the supermarket in bulk, I can easily separate and vacuum seal it into individual serving sizes. When it’s time to cook, I just grab a bag. The bags are transparent enough to see what’s inside, but you can easily write the contents and a freeze date on the outside of the bag. I even know of cruising friends who vacuum seal entire meals and just drop the vacuum seal bags into boiling water to cook. It makes for a very quick cleanup!
Ice is a luxury on a sailboat. We can generally buy a large bag of ice, but after using it for a few drinks, we still have a lot left over. Hating to waste it, I began putting it in vacuum seal bags, sealing them up and dropping them in the bottom of my freezer. The bags are leak proof, so even if the temperature doesn’t actually stay at the freezing point, I know I won’t have melted ice all over my freezer.
Cardboard boxes are a no no on boats. They are a breeding ground for bugs. As soon as we return from a grocery trip, the boxes are discarded and the food goes into a vacuum sealed bag with hand written instructions if I need them. These sealed bags take up much less room than the boxes would have and on a sailboat, that’s a big plus.
My kids and I like puzzles, but it seems that if we try to store the pieces in their boxes, we always lose a piece. My solution? Cut out the picture on the box so you’ll know what you are trying to put together, add the pieces and seal it up. When you want to put the puzzle together again, open the bag. When you’re done, simply reseal the same bag. It’s easy.
I could go on and on about the uses of a vacuum sealer, storing sweaters, keeping batteries together, storing jewelry, etc. It’s not necessary to always use the vacuum, sometimes I just use the sealer. Either way, I know that whatever is inside the bag will stay dry, fresh and altogether until I need it again. That’s peace of mind for me on land or on sea.