Warning! Can your household budget take this hit?

That’s what we’re all looking at in 2013.  And we have the drought to thank for it.  The historically dry summer destroyed many crops nation-wide, leading to what’s going to be the biggest jump in food prices we’ve seen in quite some time.  Corn, soybeans and wheat, required to produce many of our basic staples like bread, pasta, cereal and even sodas, along with feed for cattle, hogs and chickens, saw large scale crop destruction in 2012.

The Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion says that due to the drought, we can expect a 5% increase in food prices in 2013.   This means higher grocery bills and restaurant tabs.  A family of four with two school-age children now spends on average $236 per week on groceries.  That means this family is looking at an additional $615 spent on groceries per year.  In restaurants, the national average is $100 per week spent per family.  A 5% increase here means $260 more in 2013.  Totaled, that’s $875 more for meals in 2013 than you’ve paid this year.  This is concerning to say the least.

As consumers, we have to make smart decisions in the New Year.  Things like shopping generic and ordering water to drink when eating out will save your family’s hard-earned cash.  One of the best things your family can do to preserve that precious $875 is to buy bulk.  Warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club have been promoting the concept for years.  Purchasing in large quantities is always cheaper, whether it’s from a big club or just good deals you’ve found at the grocery store or a farmers market.  The problem has been what do with all that food.  Even the biggest pasta lovers like myself aren’t going to eat 25 pounds of spaghetti in a month so what do you do with it when you find a deal that’s too good to pass up?

The answer is a chamber style vacuum packaging machine.  Yes, the smaller suction style machines where the bag is placed outside the machine and the air sucked out will work but over the years, they just aren’t going to last like a chamber machine.  Previously only available for commercial use, VacMaster today offers three durable and long-lasting machines for the home kitchen that will simply save you money.  Not only will you not have to periodically replace a lesser machine, the style of bags used in chamber machines costs much less to manufacture and thus they are cheaper, often more than half the cost of a textured suction machine bag.  Using these bags, the family burdened with extra food costs can save by purchasing bulk and dividing foods into meal-sized portions for the freezer or, in the case of non-perishable foods, the kitchen cupboard.

Why else would a family want to purchase a chamber machine?  After all, when we’re looking to save money, we want a purchase like this to pay for itself as quickly as possible.  The best answer is flexibility.  Suppose you make a large batch of chili this winter and decide to freeze the leftovers to re-heat for another meal.  Using your traditional style of machine, you have to take extra time (and time is money), freezing your liquid based food in a container.  Step two, you remove the block of frozen food from the container (this is not always easy), placing it in an expensive vacuum packaging bag, sealing it and placing back in the freezer.  There are two problems here.  This large block of frozen liquid food takes up a tremendous amount of space in your freezer.  And then when you want to use it for a meal, you have a large chunk of food that’s going to take some additional time to thaw.  A chamber machine will vacuum package liquid foods with no problems.  I’ve demonstrated at barbecue competitions that even a bag of water can be vacuum packaged quickly and with nothing being sucked out into your machine’s pump.  Do not try that with a suction machine!  And best of all, you can lay them flat in the freezer to freeze, thus taking up much less space and allowing for a quick defrost.  No matter how you look at it, this machine is a win for your family and your budget.

Our food budgets don’t have to be held hostage by the drought and rising food costs.  Alleviate the painful $875 additional expense you’re faced with spending on food in 2013 by making the smart decision to order a VacMaster VP112 for your kitchen now. VP112