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PRICE DROP: Nesco food dehydrator for $30.24 with free shipping (and why a food dehydrator is a great frugal investment)

PRICE DROP ALERT 10/31/12:  This Nesco Food Dehydrator just dropped to an all time low of $30.24 with free shipping. If you've been thinking about getting a food dehydrator (a surprisingly  practical and frugal kitchen appliance...read more below), I would say to pounce on this like a puma!

Amazon posted this unbelievably low price on the Nesco American Harvest FD-37 400 watt food dehydrator:  $35.28 $30.24 with free shipping.  I've never seen any food dehydrator at a price this low.  This item received a remarkable 4 out of 5 stars over 122 150 purchaser reviews, and most of the reviews are glowing (please read them before buying).  

While your kitchen might be stocked with all sorts of tools like mixers, processors and blenders, I consider a dehydrator as essential as any of those.  I've written before on why I think a food dehydrator is a great frugal investment, and I'll repost some of my thoughts here.

I thought Joshua was nuts when he first suggested we buy the dehydrator (ten years ago), but we use it so often, it has really turned out to be a frugal purchase that actually saves us money.

A food dehydrator is one of the easiest-to-use kitchen appliances ever.  Basically, you slice whatever you'd like to dry and place it on the dehydrator tray.  Then you plug it in and walk away.  Go about your life and come back a few hours later.  Absolutely no culinary skills needed.  Okay, maybe one:  you need to be able to slice food.  Seriously.  That's it.  The trays go in the dishwasher when you're done, so cleanup is easy.
A food dehydrator is great for when you've got fruits and vegetables that are on their last legs and won't be good in a day or two. Just slice them up, put them on the dehydrator, and come back a few hours later. I use our dehydrator to make dried apples, pineapple, bananas, mangoes, carrots, and turnips.  Dried fruits and vegetables cost a small fortune these days, and a dehydrator allows you to make them for pennies on the dollar.  Any kind of dried root vegetables are delicious, and are a good substitute for potato chips for when you are watching your calories.

I also make dried jerky for my husband. Last Thanksgiving, we had so much turkey left over that after I was done freezing most of it, I made some turkey jerky that was awesome.  Just marinade the leftover turkey in Italian dressing overnight and then pop it on to the dehydrator. Joshua loves buying chuck steak (the cheapest cut) and making beef jerky.  He eats it as a quick protein fix snack.   As far as saving money, just compare it to the going rate of kosher jerky and you'll see why this machine pays for itself very quickly.  You can even make salmon jerky!

I also routinely dehydrate sliced lemons and limes and use them on Shabbat, when we offer our guests an after-meal tea with dessert. Dunk a dried slice of citrus in hot tea, and it instantly rehydrates it; it makes for wonderful presentation and I don't have to think about keeping fresh lemons around. I got the idea when I saw these dried lemon slices here, but didn't feel like $9/lb. for them.

We also use it to dry fresh spices (I grow basil and rosemary), and the freshly dried versions are a little more potent (and a heckuva lot cheaper) than the spices that comes in a jar.

A dehydrator is super-useful 1) if you're facing a long car or plane trip with no refrigeration available 2) if you want to keep healthy snacks in the house (that aren't full of sugar) that will keep for months in the cupboard 3) if you're going camping 4) if you are growing spices and have more on hand than you can use 5) if you're taking a trip abroad and won't have access to kosher meat 6) if you are seriously addicted to dried fruit or veggies 7) if you want to try some delicious kosher beef/chicken/turkey jerky without spending a small fortune. A food dehydrator is a great frugal investment.

Get the Nesco American Harvest FD-37 400 watt food dehydrator here for $35.28 $30.24 with free shipping.  If you want to try a more powerful dehydrator (takes less time to dry your food), the Nesco FD-75PR 700 watt food dehydrator is here for $71.33 $59.98 with free shipping.

1 comment:

  1. Ellen G.8/12/2012

    Just got one, thanks! Hello kosher turkey jerky!


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