One of the many things that I love about my new home is being able to have my larger kitchen appliances stored right in the kitchen area and not in the basement storage room. I am more likely to use my dehydrator, canner, wheat grinder, etc. when they are accessible. After preparing dinner tonight I had a half a bag of spinach leftover, so I pulled out my dehydrator, spread out those extra leaves and saved them for another meal. It was such a chore before when I had to hike downstairs and carry up the dehydrator. Now it is stored right in my kitchen for use anytime. I know not everyone will have the kitchen space to store larger food storage appliances, but it has helped me to use them more often.
When they are finished dehydrating I will have a small amount of dried spinach leaves that I will store in a mason jar and then make air tight with my foodsaver. They will stay fresh in the mason jar for years. (This is my estimation and how long I feel comfortable storing my items. Check dehydrating books for a more accurate guideline.) One of my favorite tips is to save the leftover veggies from a weeks worth of meals, dehydrate them, and store for use in soups. There will be a variety of veggies depending on what you serve for dinner, but it saves money when they are being used again because no one really wants leftover veggies from the fridge. I also keep my eye out for "manager specials" at my local grocery store. Produce will be marked down that is closing in on its expiration date and that is when I snatch it up for dehydrating. Many shoppers see that manager's special sticker and they shy away thinking it is rotting veggies, but it works perfectly for dehydrating. Also, think twice before throwing away leftovers. Soups, casseroles, even rice can be dehydrated for use in quick dinners, camping food, and 72-hour kit meals. There are quite a few books out there and online if you are interested in dehydrating your food. I love the Dehydrator Bible for dehydrating, it is filled with step by step information on every fruit and veggie that you can think of. Dehydrating is quite a simple process and the results are very rewarding, so think of those leftovers in a new light and dehydrate them!