A handy gadget could make a big difference to cupboard space and food bills, according to experts. Kitchen and bathroom specialists Plumbworld say a food vacuum sealer can significantly reduce grocery costs.

They say the innovative tool extends the shelf life of food, from fresh produce to bulk-bought meat, by removing air and sealing in freshness. And they say a food vacuum sealer can help slash your grocery bill by about 20%.

They add: "By minimising waste and maximising storage, households can enjoy the benefits of bulk purchasing without the fear of spoilage, translating into significant savings over time."

A spokesperson from Plumbworld said: "Exploring the benefits of a food vacuum sealer opens up new possibilities for managing your kitchen efficiently. A practical tip not widely discussed is the use of this tool for organising your meals and ingredients.

"Labelling vacuum-sealed bags with dates and contents not only helps in keeping track of what you have stored, but also in planning your meals ahead. This organised approach minimises the time spent pondering over what to cook, making your grocery shopping more targeted and reducing impulse buys. It’s a simple step that complements the financial benefits by adding a layer of convenience to meal preparation, ensuring nothing goes to waste.

"Taking advantage of a vacuum sealer also means unlocking a quick and efficient way to marinate foods. When you seal food with marinades, the lack of air allows the marinade to penetrate more deeply and quickly, enriching the flavour of your meats or vegetables in less time.

"This method not only speeds up your meal prep but also enhances the taste of your dishes. By incorporating vacuum sealing into your kitchen routine, you’re not just optimising food preservation for savings; you're also stepping up your culinary skills, making every meal more flavourful and enjoyable.” Here are six ways they say the gadget can help:

Bulk Purchasing and Sales Opportunities

Utilising a food vacuum sealer allows for cost-effective bulk purchases and taking advantage of sales or discounts on perishables, which are generally offered at lower prices in larger quantities or close to the expiration date. By sealing and storing these items, you extend their shelf life significantly, making bulk buying and stocking up during sales a practical choice that reduces the per unit cost of food, thereby lowering your overall grocery expenses.

Waste Reduction through Extended Shelf Life

The technology behind vacuum sealers removes air from the packaging, which is crucial because the presence of air accelerates the spoilage process by facilitating the growth of bacteria and mould. Additionally, vacuum sealing effectively prevents freezer burn by protecting the food from air exposure, ensuring that your frozen goods retain their quality and nutritional value for much longer. This reduction in food waste directly translates to savings, as it minimises the amount of food that has to be thrown away due to spoilage.

Meal Planning and Efficient Storage

Preparing and vacuum sealing meals in advance can significantly aid in portion control and reduce the temptation to opt for convenience foods or takeaway, which are often more expensive. Vacuum-sealed foods are also more compact, allowing for better organisation and utilisation of storage space in your freezer or pantry. This not only helps in managing your food consumption but also ensures that your meals are healthy, homemade, and cost-effective.

Preservation of Food Quality and Versatility

By preventing oxidation, vacuum sealing maintains the freshness, taste, and nutritional value of food for much longer periods. This is beneficial for a wide range of food items, including meats, vegetables, fruits, and even liquids like soups and sauces. Such versatility means you can preserve a variety of foods at their peak quality, enjoying seasonal produce year-round without the premium price tag and reducing the frequency of your grocery shopping trips.

Strategic Cost-Saving with Seasonal Buying

The strategic use of a vacuum sealer enables households to buy in season (when prices are lowest) and consume out of season, leveraging the sealer's ability to extend the freshness of foods. This approach not only ensures a continuous supply of your favourite produce throughout the year but also maximises the financial benefits by reducing the need to purchase these items at their off-season, higher prices.

Investment Return and Long-Term Savings

Although acquiring a food vacuum sealer involves an initial expense, the long-term savings on groceries due to reduced waste, the ability to buy in bulk, and taking advantage of sales significantly outweigh the cost. A durable and efficient vacuum sealer can quickly become an indispensable tool in your kitchen, offering a return on investment through consistent savings on your food bill. Over time, these savings can easily exceed the cost of the sealer, making it a financially savvy choice for reducing grocery expenses.