Unless you are constantly buying food in bulk, it can be hard to justify spending the money or giving up counter space to a bulky, expensive vacuum sealer. Luckily, there is a great way to seal your food and preserve it for a nice long while. All you need is a freezer bag and a large bowl of water. Food & Wine shows us how this awesome trick works. You won’t believe how effective this low-tech technique really is.

If you’re like me, it’s hard to pass up a deal. When I’m shopping at the supermarket, I always check out what’s on sale first — including meat. If there’s a deal on chicken, I’ll buy it. Same with pork. And while we don’t eat a lot of red meat in our family, we’ll have it occasionally too, so my eyes are looking for deals there too.

But sometimes what’s on sale doesn’t fit the menu I’ve established for the next few days or week. I could change what I’m making to fit what’s on sale, but I much prefer to stick with my original plan. I’ll still buy the meat on sale, but I’ll throw it in the freezer and factor it in to a future meal plan.

I used to divide up what I wanted to freeze and wrap it in cellophane or put it in a plastic bag — without much thought or care. Never again! This is such an easier method with a higher chance of success every time. You’ll never have to risk a poorly wrapped tenderloin again with this fool-proof method.

How to vacuum seal meat.

As the video below shows, you don’t need to spend money on a fancy vacuum-sealer (which, after all, would be one more thing you need to store in your kitchen). With this trick, I ensure that the meat I store is frozen properly and will be just as good when I defrost it as the day I put it into the freezer — and the meat should last twice as long in the freezer.

All you need for this trick is the meat you’re freezing, a big bowl (or pot or sink) of water and a resealable plastic bag (like a Ziploc bag). And just as I had done before I watched this video, I’ll place the meat in the plastic bag and begin to seal it — but this time not all the way. I leave a little opening in the bag. Then, it’s as simple as lowering the bag in the water (closed-end first, obviously!), and like magic, the bag will start to naturally vacuum-seal the meat. And as the video points out, just make sure the open end of the bag doesn’t get into the water.

Then just push any remaining air out of the bag while it’s still in the water and seal it completely once you’re done. Voila! A perfectly vacuum-sealed bag of meat, ready to go in the freezer!

What do you think of this technique to keep food fresh? Would you ever use this method? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.