Sunday, April 26, 2009

Reynolds Handi-Vac

I have a lot of pet peaves. For instance, the grocery store is often a source of aggravation for me. Nothing major mind you, just a few petty annoyances. One of my aggravations is not having enough check stands open for checking out. I don't mind using the self checkout, after all I earned my college tuition working in grocery stores, but it annoys me when I go to the self checkout and can not complete my transaction because of some previously unknown store policy. Some examples of transactions I was unable to do at self checkout are; purchase a gift card, purchase cough medicine, and use an in-store instant coupon on a package of meat.

Another thing that bothers me is when the stores put only larger packages of product on sale. My son eats a separate diet from Mrs. Dickster and myself, so when I buy meat products I only buy for the two of us. I do not need a 4-pound package of 10 pork chops when a 1-pound package of 3 or 4 will do. I don't expect the smaller package to be promoted at the same price as the larger packages, but some reduction in price would be nice. I have a large freezer in the basement, and I could freeze the extra pieces. However, sometimes we forget what we have down there and with conventional freezer bags you can ruin a good piece of meat from freezer burn.

Lately though, I have been thinking more and more about saving cash whenever possible. Sometimes those large deals are too good to pass up. My father in law has one of those expensive vacuum sealers for when he goes fishing, but those are a bit too big and too expensive for my budget. Several months ago, I saw the Reynolds Handi-Vac vacuum sealer. Today, when doing my weekly grocery shopping, my local grocer had it on sale for nearly half off. Normally a $10 purchase but today it was only $6 so I took the plunge. The timing was perfect because they also had a few really good big buy meat deals.

When I got home, I decided to see how well the Handi-Vac worked. I probably should have bought some gallon sized bags in addition to the quart sized bags I bought, but I was able to separate the meat into separate bags to test the product. The Handi-Vac has a small suction tip that you place over an air valve in the bag. It takes a few seconds for you to notice the air leaving the bag, but after about 30 seconds I had a nice vacuum sealed package to put down in the freezer. The best part is, this device is small enough to fit in a kitchen drawer and not take up a lot of counter space.

When I go out to do my grocery shopping, I try to keep my center of the plate purchases at about $5 per meal or less. You won't normally see me buying NY Strip Steaks at $8 or $9 per pound. Usually it is more like top round steak. Today, I was fortunate enough to take advantage of a big buys on sirloin steak, center cut pork chops, and boneless chicken breasts. All told, I purchase enough meat for 8 meals for a total of $27, or $3.38 per meal. All in all, a successful trip. Thanks to the Handi-Vac, I hope to take advantage of these big deals more often. These days, you gotta save where you can.


  1. Fascinating. Isn't technology great? I'm a big Costco shopper and you know.... they're into quantity. Let us know how these work out. Sounds like they may have paid for themselves already. Just curious... Is this the kind of thing Mrs. Dickster would ever buy? Or is that purely a Mr. Dickster function?

  2. There is a strange dynamic between Mr and Mrs Dickster. Usually this would be something that I would get, though every once in a while she might pick up some sort of kitchen gadget.



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