This is a sponsored post on behalf of FoodSaver®. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by any parties.
I am going to admit something here. Before last week, I had never visited my local Farmer’s Market. Ever. Shameful, I know. However, now that I’ve been there and seen what it has to offer I am definitely going back!
Our local Farmer’s Market runs every Tuesday from 4 – 7 pm near our historic downtown area. It is nearly 1/4 of a city block and is filled with merchants, music, BBQ and even things for the kids to do. It is not just a market – it is a party! My kids and I had had such a great time.
All of the vendors were just so welcoming and offered free samples of foods, flowers and more to my children and I. They had a great time running around on an obstacle course which was created just for the kids to have something fun to do.
Of course, it isn’t just about fun, I went there to check out the produce. I have always purchased it from my grocery store and honestly, didn’t ever give it a second thought as to how it makes it from the field to my store. I actually started thinking about this a while back and wanted to try to make sure that I was giving my family the healthiest produce I could find for them. I was not worried about the cost because I am a believer in putting my family’s health first, but it is always in the back of mind. When I checked out the market, I was amazed at all of the foods I was able to find:
- ….. and more!
While looking at the gorgeous produce, I learned something from the local farmers that really changes how I look at the produce in my grocery store. In order to ensure that the produce is at the peak of freshness when it is in the store, it is usually picked before it is ripened. It is ripening on a truck or in a warehouse. Compare that to a farmer’s market. The items I purchased were picked on Monday night from the field. The vendor loaded it onto the truck at 10 am on Tuesday morning and I bought it at 5 pm on Tuesday night. That is less than 24 hours from the time it was taken from the field to the moment it was in my hands. You really can’t find it much fresher than that!
I was also impressed by the quality. We picked up some fruits and veggies. My youngest couldn’t even wait until we got home to start eating her apple. It was so juicy and delicious — just great quality. As a mom, that means so much to me. I want to not only make sure my family eats healthy, but that the foods they eat taste good too.
The other thing that really struck me was the cost. It was no more expensive than what I pay in the store (and often, was even less). The reason is that you are cutting out the middlemen. You don’t have to pay the store it’s cut, the grower their cut nor the delivery truck a portion. Instead, you pay the growers directly. That can really mean great savings when you look at your bottom line. I appreciated knowing that I was helping to support my community by helping keep money in the pockets of people just like me!
The thing I hear so many talk about is that you can’t stock up on this produce and it is only available in the summer and fall. You actually can, if you have the right product. When you purchase local such as from your Farmer’s Market, a great item to use is a FoodSaver® vaccum system. I look at this as an investment. If you can save money on your produce, it ends up saving you money in the long run.
I purchased some fruit. I brought it home, cleaned it and then flash froze and sealed it. Now, in a few months, when I am craving some fresh raspberries, they are going to be waiting for me in my freezer. I won’t have to purchased pre-packaged frozen ones nor have to pay premium money to find something fresh (or worse, miss out because it is not in season nor available). Instead, I can go into my freezer and find them ready for me to thaw and enjoy!
I had never used a FoodSaver® system before, but have always wondered if it was as simple as they claim it is. I am here to say that it is just that – simple to use! You simply find the bag you want to use and put your food inside of it. You slide the end of the bag into the sealer and it takes over and does the work:
In the end, this is what your bag will look like. Perfectly sealed to prevent freezerburn:
The system I used for mine was the FoodSaver® 4800 Series 2-in-1 Vacuum System. This system retails for $199, which includes many accessories and bags to help get you started. Here is a little bit of information about this product:
Food prices might be on the rise, but so is the ability to save! Combining the best of both worlds, the FoodSaver® 4800 Series Vacuum Sealing System gives consumers the ability to preserve foods both long and short term with ease. This appliance works with FoodSaver® heat seal bags and rolls for long-term freezer storage that people love, and adds another great feature! Now, with a retractable accessory adapter, consumers can use zipper bags, canisters and containers for superior short-term food preservation with one appliance. In addition, a handy marinate mode infuses food with flavor in minutes instead of hours. Compact, upscale, and fully automatic, this appliance features an easy-open drawer with patented removable drip tray for easy clean up. As always, the FoodSaver® system keeps food fresh up to five times longer, helps prevent freezer burn, and saves families up to $2,700 a year*.
*Based on buying in bulk and on sale and preventing waste
Now that I’ve used a FoodSaver® system, I completely understand why everyone who owns one absolutely loves theirs. I have already been busy freezing my produce and other items I’ve purchased, trying to help my family save money by NOT throwing out spoiled foods!
Make sure you come back in a couple of months when I am going to open my produce and just show you how tasty it can still be after a couple of months of being sealed and frozen! Can’t wait to share!!!