Since oxygen is one of the primary enemies of food storage, preppers, homesteaders, and those living frugally can all benefit having the ability to vacuum seal food. The problem for preppers is that most vacuum sealing options are electrically operated. For the frugal, the problem is that most systems use proprietary bags that are expensive. Homesteaders may have issues with the availability of bags – I know I tend to have a half empty roll of bags when I start to process meat.
A few months ago, while exploring the kickstarter website, I found a innovative device that solves all of these problems. I immediately sponsored the project, and asked the inventor, Dr. Cannon, to come on my podcast and explain his machine.
Last month I finally got his thiftyvac device in the mail, and while it was smaller than I had imagined (a good thing), it was every bit as useful as I had imagined.
Basically the thiftyvac is a fixture that turns a large ziplock bag into a vacuum chamber that allows the user to vacuum seal smaller ziplock bags sealed inside. This is useful because traditional electric powered sealers can only work with their proprietary bags that have tiny ridges molded into the plastic – use something smooth like mylar and they cannot pull a vacuum.
Since the bag is placed inside a chamber, as the air is sucked out of the chamber pressure is equal inside and immediately outside the bag so that even smooth bags can be emptied of air.
All you do after the vacuum process is complete is to press the inner ziplock bag closed.
Let me tell you, I kick myself everytime I see it, as it is so simple and elegant, I wish I had thought of it myself.
Dr. Cannon stayed with many commercially available parts both to keep prices low and to ensure reliability. One intergral such part is the air pump – the thriftyvac includes a small hand powered pump that allows the device to be used without electrical power. I find that not only is the thriftyvac cheaper to use than my foodsaver, it is smaller, and much easier to use.
What is even more impressive is that he did not stop there, Dr. Cannon also invented a new set of mason jar lid adaptors, and an adaptor to use the thriftyvac with commercial vacuum sealers for those that choose not to use the hand pump.
I am planning on experimenting with it more and see if I cannot use a mylar bag clamp and my 7mil mylar bags. I also want to see if I can use his pump instead of my break bleeder pump as I like using the mason jar adaptors I bought previously.
I haven’t received anything for this article, or the 5 star review I posted on Amazon – I bought my own thriftyvac. I just believe in the product, and think that it serves to solve a need that I have had for a longtime. Namely a cheap way to vacuum seal food and ammo when the power is out…
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