It’s a supermarket cover-up of epic proportions, but don’t expect them to ever spill the beans.
To do so could potentially erode billions of dollars from their annual revenues, so it’s a secret the likes of Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and other chains are keen to keep under wraps.
But every Australian household could be saving thousands of dollars a year on their supermarket bills by simply buying their perishable produce such as meat, fish, dairy and vegetables in bulk, splitting them into smaller portion sizes, and then vacuum sealing them before refrigeration.
“An average household, spending say $280 per week on food, can save close to $3000 per year – or 20% – by buying in bulk and using a vacuum sealer, which will extend the normal shelf life of their produce by up to five times,”
says Sandra Munro, director of Munro Direct, the Australian distributor of the Unika and Lava vacuum sealing products.
“An as example, you can buy a large eye fillet from the supermarket, which would cost you $50,” Mrs Munro says. “Because red meat has good bacteria, you can vacuum seal that and leave it in the normal part of the fridge vacuumed for four to six weeks.
“So five days can be extended to four to six weeks if your refrigerator is running at 2-4 degrees. You can also vacuum seal it and freeze the meat, and it will last much longer than would normally be the case. The same applies to poultry and fish, if they are frozen.
“But the supermarkets would prefer you spent more with them by buying smaller quantities, so they won’t ever advertise special deals for buying in bulk. It’s not in their interests.”
Vacuum sealers remove air from packaging, thus eliminating the effects of oxidation, which can cause foods to degrade quickly Air also promotes the growth of most micro-organisms and causes the frost burns, which can occur on frozen food.
“One of the biggest problems of vacuum sealers is that because you’re vacuuming liquid, which could be blood or juice, if that liquid gets in the machine it becomes virtually useless,” Mrs Munro says. “The machines that are getting made in China are of a very poor quality, and we’ve opted as a company to only import our products from Italy and Germany.
Vacuum sealing has been around since the 1960s, but it’s only now that people are beginning to realise how much money they can save by buying a vacuum sealer.
“The supermarkets really want you going in there two or three times a week,” Mrs Munro adds. “They don’t want you going to the small butchers and buying in bulk and getting good deals. We’re telling a story that’s going against what the supermarkets want you to do. People tend to buy for the day rather than buying in bulk.
“But by purchasing in bulk or larger portions and cutting then into smaller sizes and then vacuum sealing them, your food bill each month will be notably lower.
“If you apply this principal with everything you buy including meat, fish and chicken, your savings will be huge! Buy in bulk and repackage into smaller quantities.”