Dinner for long holidays

G'day all,

We have 3 1/2 months before we head off to the Kimberley and the wife is getting paranoid about what and how much meat we need to take away. We have never been away from a town longer than about 10 days for food. We have always cryovaced our meat, so i have some questions for all to answer.

1. Should we only carry enough meat from Melbourne to Broome ( 10 nights ) and then stock up at Broome.

2. If so, we then have 29 days until we get to Kununurra unless we can get meat in between, say Drysdale station.

3. We have a 110lt fridge, but there is 5 of us including 3 hungry teenagers.

4. I am buying a camp oven in the next few days, either a Bedourie or the Hillbilly Bushking, not sure which one as yet.

5. Need some ideas other than meat most nights ,ie: pasta, pasta etc

6. What does everyone else do, SWMBO is sweating as i type.

Look forward to your responses and ideas,

cheers,

Lance
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Reply By: troopyman - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 19:16

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 19:16
You will obviously need 1 fridge for each teenager . You should have watched Malcolm Douglas last night on tv.
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Follow Up By: Notso - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 19:22

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 19:22
You might have to pick up a bit of Road Kill on the way across. Usually a bit of grass on the roadside so you could turn the kids out on the "Long paddock"

Canned goods are great to take on a trip, pasta is great, rice, dried vegies all good. Damper etc
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Follow Up By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 19:38

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 19:38
I saw MD last night and the last few saturdays, looks like i could be doing a hell of a lot of fishing. Kids could be on a diet !!!!!!
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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 19:49

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 19:49
Teach them to eat baked beans!

Seriously, although there is only two of us, we only have a small internal freezer (not well sealed for long term storage) and i start out with a tray of mince packed into meals sized 'cubes', as this is the most room effective way of giving a variety of meat based meals. Adding dried veges (peas, beans etc) make a nice meal. Vary serving with rice or pasta, or add a packet of 10 min pasta meal for variety. I also carry instant dried potato as a back up.

With just two of us, i can last for many weeks without shopping. We carry dried crisp bread biscuits for when bread runs out, although i sometimes make a damper (scone loaf with SR flour), or bread along the way. Bread out that way is $5.50 for a frozen stale sliced loaf if you can get it.

Recharge the larder at Broome - or Derby if going there.

You can buy a very small variety of meats (eg a barbecue pack) at places like Drysdale; availability not guaranteed. You'll probably prefer to feed them baked beans when you see the price at such a remote location.

If they must have meat, you can buy dehydrated hikers products at some camping stores or at settlersfoods.com.au. I have not tried any of these, but other campers have found them satisfactory.

Harder when you have teenagers i know, but for just the two of us, we don't have meat every day, and on days when we have been driving rather than doing walks, packet soup and toast does us. We often have corned beef and salad for lunch, so can have the no meat at night meal.

You can buy tinned pies which are quite nice, about $7-8 each (Fray Bentos or something like that), but really only enough for two. I always carry back up food in case of break down or rain stranding us, so could easily live for a couple of weeks or so on our larder after the fridge is depleted.

I also carry a few boxes of foil wrapped Kraft cheese which in non refrigerated until opened in the emergency back up supplies.

For longer lasting veges, buy sweet potatoes, cos lettuce and roma tomatoes.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 19:58

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 19:58
Yep, baked beans and tin spag is the go, just asked the kids which one they said neither, bad luck , there going to get used to it.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:04

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:04
Lance, put them into jaffles and get them to make them on the camp fire. The bread can be as stale as. Have you got a double jaffle iron or two?

Another hint someone told me a couple of weeks ago - buy the sealed packs of flat bread for 'roll ups' for lunches when you run out of bread. They have a long expiry date if remain sealed.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:11

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:11
Thanks MH, i don't own a jaffle iron, but looks like i might have to invest in one or 3. Will have to check out the flat bread, never heard of them, we sometimes use the pita bread, but that is not sealed, they just a tag on them like the sliced bread.

cheers, Lance
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:25

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:25
Yes, that's the type Lance. When i worked in the grocery store, they were in cellophane packs with a fairly long expiry date (i think months rather than days). I'm sure vacuum sealing what you can buy would prolong the life. We haven't got a vacuum sealer as yet.

Have to get jaffle irons - that's half the fun of camping. At home i used frozen puff pastry, but my caravan fridge won't accommodate that, so have them when we can buy bread particularly when we have leftovers from the previous night. When we camp away from the caravan for a few days, i pre-cook mince and vege to take in the car fridge to make jaffles for a quick and easy outdoor meal.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - Ros C (VIC) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 20:04

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 20:04
Love your ideas Motherhen.

Waffle iron and sizzle platter (remember them?) make heaps of difference to all kinds of cooking on the stove as well as in the fire.

Ros.
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Reply By: Andrew - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:03

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:03
Hi Lance

You are lucky - is an awesome trip. You should not have any trouble getting enough meat - plenty of croc and shark meat around and they are not hard to catch - just put a toe in the water - the croc tastes like chicken and I reckon the girls will love em.

I would stock up at Broome, you can get tinned meat and stew type things that you don't need to refridgerate - good for Jaffles

There are places that you can buy stuff on the way. You can get some stuff at Derby, Imintji store had basic supplies, Mount Barnett had a bit, not sure if you are going to Kalumburu but you can buy quite a bit of stuff there. Most things are frozen like bread at a lot of the places and they are pricey. Many of the stations have basic supplies like frozen meats though not sure which ones.

Have a great trip. You will have to come over and show us the pics when you get back.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:22

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:22
G'day mate,

Thanks for all the info, the girls are still a touch nervous about the croc thing, but i have reassured them, if they play up they are bait. Looks like more tinned stuff is going on the list.

Will definitely catch up when we get back, hopefully all 5 of us.

cheers,

Lance
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Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:09

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:09
A 5 kg bag of bread mix from the supermarket will make many loaves in the Bedourie - get the kids to make it and have a comp for the best loaf.

Tins of tuna go with rice.

Mince steak mixes with pasta.

Pure meat is great but a bit of a luxury. We've taken chunks of beef, pork, lamb and chickens which cook well in the camp oven with lots of roasted vegetables.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:25

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:25
Bob, once i get the camp oven, hopefully by the end of the week, we will practice the damper, bread loaves and stews etc

cheers,

Lance
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Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:13

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:13
My Cook allways takes a Smoked Ham, it's amazing what you can do with one of those, plus the Baked Beans ect ect ect, and I love Damper with Garlic, it goes well with a Beer.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 00:07

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 00:07
Thanks Bob for listing tuna - I forgot that, and i always carry a few 450 gm cans in the back up supplies. Tuna mournay (use powdered milk), tuna rice kedgeree. You can make a tasty casserole of veges (whatever you have) a can of tuna and a can of chicken soup. At home i top with grated cheese and brown it in the oven.

Mh
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Reply By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:14

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:14
Lance,

I'm surprised no-one has mentioned cryovac meats.

Any major city will have a butcher willing to cryovac small quantities of meats. Things like lean steak and lamb seem to be the best, but just about anything can be cryovac sealed, though some things last longer than others.

Last year we did an 8 week trip across to WA and had a heap of meat with us, which took up a fairly large portion of our fridge space. It lasted us (2 only) nearly the whole trip. If I were to do it again, I would just get enough to last in between major towns, then re-stock.

Also fridges can be managed in various ways. For example, I like a beer or two of a night, but certainly don't need a whole slab cold at once, so a 'put-in-take-out' method suits us, but it does put a little more strain on the fridge and the electrical system, but putting 'warm' things in regularly, but OK if on the move most days.

I understand your dilemma with 5 ravenous teenagers, but you do have a rather large fridge. The many suggestions above are also great and I have learned a little from here also. I notice you have a Campertrailer. I have considered getting a second fridge (due to expanding family also) as I only have a 39l version as now with the camper, I have heaps more room than I ever did with just the car. Expensive, I know, but not in comparison to the car, camping gear, trailer etc...... also adds to the power consumption....could always get another solar panel :-)

A lot will depend on how 'fond' the family is of meat as well. Perhaps start getting them used to at least a few meals without meat....

Good luck with the planning. It's half the fun.

Cheers,

Mark
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Reply By: equinox - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:23

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:23
Hi Lance,

There are many non-perishable items available in your supermarket now that last a long time. Also there are the normal veggies that can last for weeks if you keep them out of the sun. UHT Milk comes in a few different sizes and there is always powdered milk.

A little planning and you can last a very long time without having to resort to baked beans every night.

I have travelled for weeks at a time without a fridge or replenishment and yet still seem to be able to eat much better when I am away than when I am back home.

Cheers
Alan


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Follow Up By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:33

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:33
Alan,

I think the boss and i might have to spend an hour or so walking up and down the isles of Coles looking for long life pita bread and whatever they pack into tins these days.

cheers,

Lance
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:38

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:38
Although we do buy fresh milk when in towns and sometimes from servos, a good brand of UHT milk takes very little getting used to and we use this when away from shops - can hardly tell the difference. I also carry powdered milk as a back up and to use in all cooking where milk is required. Not so popular in a cup of tea.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 16:19

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 16:19
Mh, yer we always take the UHT milk, totally agree you can't taste the difference, but will look at the powered milk as i will be doing some camp oven cooking, can't wait.

cheers,

Lance
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:44

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:44
Lance,

A little tip re the camp oven.
Choose the Hillbilly bushking. you can add a range of accessories if desired and the design of the lid itself is worth the choice as it doubles as a good frypan. The bushking is the bigger size and you will be happy with the choice

Love my hillbilly bushking.

Bill

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Follow Up By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:09

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:09
Bill, i just came back from Rays outdoors to have a look at the Bedourie camp oven and the new aussie camp oven. Tomorrow on the way home from work, i am popping into Hillbilly, as it is only about 15 minutes from home.

cheers

Lance
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Reply By: Member - John & Sally W (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 22:53

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 22:53
Hi Lance,
Don't forget camp oven pizzas. Make your own bases or just get the round flat lebanese breads and use them as bases. These don't take as long as making your own dough base. Sachets of pizza base sauce. Everything you put on top can be out of tins and/or packets such as tinned ham, pineapple, mushrooms, sundried or tinned tomatoes, artichokes, asparagus etc., the list is endless. And grate some cheese on top or just slices of coon if you have room in your fridge for a pack. These can be made in a big frypan or skillet with a lid and a couple of coals on the lid to melt the cheese. Tuna Casserole. Tuna fish cakes. Salami knobs last a while in the fridge and can be added to vege/ tomato stews for a bit of meat taste. Large tins of ham can be sliced up to make "steaks". Don't forget eggs travel OK if looked after. But a bit of a tip. If you get one of those egg camping transport carriers, don't get the large eggs cause they get squashed. Carry veges such as potatoes, sweet pots, carrots and onions in an orange bag so they don't sweat too much. Unless you buy butternut pumpkin and cook it all in one night, pumpkin doesn't travel all that well unless you remove all the seeds and soft stuff and wrap in newspaper or paper towel. Home made hash browns with a can of corn kernels can make a good meal too. Have done a lot of camping in remote places with 4 kids and they soon learn to eat all sorts of concoctions when they realize the shops are not around the next bend. Don't stress too much and have fun.
Sally
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Follow Up By: Member - John & Sally W (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 22:57

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 22:57
Butternuts last for ages if not cut
Sally
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Follow Up By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:28

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:28
Sally, thanks for the pizza tips, looking forward to getting the camp oven going and trying the pizzas. Wish i could have tuna, but i am the only one who eats it, the rest of the family loath it.
I suppose they might have to learn the hard way, tuna is better than starving.

cheers,

Lance
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:43

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:43
When i made the tuna casserole, he who is not keen on tuna or chicken enjoyed the meal and didn't know he'd eaten tuna and chicken soup.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - Ros C (VIC) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 19:50

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 19:50
Agreed Sally, butternuts last for ages and also spuds and sweet potatoes. We kept them for ages in a hammock in a dark roof space so they didn't bruise.
Ros.
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 00:15

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 00:15
Think about what you produce at home for meals and apply it with a little variance as required to your trip menu.
Anything you cook at home can pretty well be cooked on the fire or the gas stove out bush.

I produced a meals list covering 7 days breakfast, lunch and dinner and multiply that by the number of days I need to cater for.

I then add a few extra main meal selections so I can vary the routine 7 day menu pending on the circumstances of the day and where you are camped etc.
Then add spares to cover breakdowns and rain etc.

You don't have to eat steak every night those Continental side dishes, rice, pasta etc are really good and easy to prepare.
I just bought a few packets of Continental mash potato and tried them here at home, not to bad and also easy to carry and prepare.
Baked potatoes in silver foil chucked in the fire are always good and easy to prepare.

Have a good look at the supermarket you will be surprised at what is available.

Search this site I think Michelle has written a good article on food and cooking whilst traveling.
Look Here Cooking & Food Page

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Follow Up By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:41

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:41
John,

We did the Flinders and simpson in 2006 and cryovaced enough meat to sink a ship, not this time , might just limit it to 2-3 times a week, and those continental side pasta dishes, yep we have them a flogging last time too, there great value. Thanks for the tip on the cooking and food page.

cheers,

Lance
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Reply By: disco driver - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 00:57

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 00:57
Hi Lance,
As others have said, planning is a fun part of the trip and there are many items of tucker you can take with you.

But please do not forget to buy perishables and "fresh"meat etc from all the little towns and settlements as you pass through. You will get the best information about the things to see and do in the area at the same time

Many of the smaller towns in the bush (and some of the bigger ones too) rely on the tourist/traveller dollars in order to survive, the local resident trade merely allow the stores to exist.

Without outside support, next time you pass that way you well may say "Last time I came through here there was a store, servo or a pub here, I wonder why it's not open now?".


Having lived in little towns for many years and seen them dying around me, I'm a bit paranoid about this.

Just give it some thought when buying supplies on the road.

Thanks

Disco.

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Follow Up By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:22

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:22
Disco,

I totally agree about stopping in small towns for supplies etc. I have to as i collect stubby holders and it gives everyone a break and a chat to the locals.
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Reply By: kingswoodwagon - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 01:20

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 01:20
Lance,

Are you saying you've found a way to get from Melbourne to Broome in 10 days without going through a town that doesn't have an IGA, Woolworths or Coles.

I bet the kids are wrapped!!

I usually assume theres an IGA within a days drive from anywhere in Australia.
Ill stand corrected.

have fun.




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Reply By: kingswoodwagon - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 01:30

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 01:30
ah - i get it now, im just a bit slow

have fun anyways
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Reply By: dianer - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 13:48

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 13:48
We did this trip last year. It was FANTASTIC!! Would love to do it again and plan to next year. We bought a cryovaker and cooked some meals in advance - stews etc. We went with another couple and took it night about - gives you a break and nice to eat something different to what you normally have. We did things like goulash, thai currys, nachos, beef stroganoff and I even cooked meatloaf and corned beef and cryovaced them ... just a boil in a bag job then with tinned or fresh veg, whatever you have on hand. Leftovers from meatloaf and corned beef were great for lunches the next day! If you pack them flat and freeze these meals they stay frozen for ages and even if they don't they are fine for weeks. We took the cryovacer with us and when we hit the 'big smoke' we used it to keep fresh meat longer as well.
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Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 18:58

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 18:58
This question comes up often and I'm not sure why it causes some people so much grief. Over many years of many long trips I've learned that you really can cook on the road almost exactly as you do at home. Provided that is your aim and you have all the right equipment and plan your meals then there is no reason why you can't have Casseroles, soups (like minestrone), Laksa, sushi, Fish Wraps, Spaghetti bolognaise, stir-fries, curry and rice, roast dinner, risotto etc. The one thing we probably eat LESS of when camping is pasta, instead we eat MORE soups and casseroles. My only advice is to suggest to your wife that she lists a typical weekly menu of the dinners you would have at home and then try to think of how to adapt those meals for cooking on the road. Then extend that out to a month etc and yes definatley rely on restocking and redo the menu when you get new supplies from shopping centres. Broome has everything as does Kununurra. Just a tip - couscous is better than pasta for camping as it uses less water and cooks in 2mins so doesn't require as much fuel to boil it. Also - if you like asian foods - buy fresh udon noodles in long-life packets that only need soaking in a broth or can be stir-fried no boiling. And look for the "Mountain Bread" it is has a few months use-by and is very versatile (and yummy)... and have a great trip!
MM
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Reply By: Member - Ros C (VIC) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 20:01

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 20:01
Hi Lance,

Lucky you! I have great memories of the Kimberley. One thing to consider buying for your wife is the book "Caravan Chef - around Australia with 30 ingredients". It's available in the ExplorOz shop and I bought it recently for some ideas. I think it's worth a look. Mind you, it cheats a bit because 2 or 3 kinds of rice are classed as one ingredient, but the ideas are good. :-)

The other thing I want to mention is my experience with a camp oven. I borrowed one from a friend when away for five months. Space was at a premium, however whilst we were in southern and central Oz, we made some great bread and a couple of tasty casseroles. The further north we went, the less wood was available, and we were prohibited from collecting in national parks. In any case, why would we burn 'habitat' outside national parks and not inside the boundaries, so we stopped making fires. That made life simpler - as happens the longer you are on the road. If the blasted camp oven hadn't been on loan, we'd have ditched it.

Hope this adds some different thoughts. Happy travelling.
Ros.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 21:08

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 21:08
Another option is home-dehydrated foods. You can do just about anything - soups, stews, rice, fruit etc.

Pack the results in Zip lock bags. Doesn't need refrigeration and is quick to reconstitute and heat. Reduces packaging waste on the road by a mile (cough).
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Reply By: noelvac - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 16:09

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 16:09
Hi guys, just off topic slightly, but for those interested a quick recommendation for vacuum sealer, if you want a versatile machine which uses bags 1/2 the price of other machines, I purchased a machine from www.thepackagingcentre.com.au , also there are bags available for sunbeam / all brands of machines too alot cheaper than anywhere ive seen them before! Ive had one for Just over 12 months. Awesome for packing portions before I go away. Had a sunebeam before that, but bags were to expensive! I try to pack as much as possible so we not double handling food! Anyway, best of luck!
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