Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Is it Worth it?

Is canning worth the work? Is it work the initial expense to purchase all the jars and rings plus the one use lids and then the produce, not to mention the water bather and/or pressure cooker? I am blessed to have two water bathers though I can only claim one. The one on the right is my mom's. My Aunt Charlene moved away this year and decided since it was just her and Uncle Lynn she wouldn't can anymore. Her children don't can so.... the one on the left is now mine. AND I'M SO HAPPY!!! Here you can see both the bathers at work. They are filled with tomatoes. 7 quarts in each canner. Call the question - IS IT WORTH IT?


I've been canning tomatoes. Since I ruined my garden this year with too hot fertilizer, I was blessed to find a guy in the big city who is growing organic tomatoes and selling the seconds for 50cents a pound!!!! WOOT WOOT!

I did some figuring for my sanity and here's what I came up with:

A case of Eden Foods organic tomatoes is $3.61 for 25 oz can and .144/oz

I got 15 quart (quart is 32 oz), spent $20 on 40 lbs of canning tomatoes. Dividing $20 by 480 ounces and then mulitply that amount (.04) by 32 oz I get $1.33 per quart.

That's a savings of $2.28 per jar and at 45 quarts of tomatoes, I saved over $90.00 by canning my own organic tomaotes versus buying either Eden Foods or Muir Glen brands.

Spaghetti Sauce - I used Romas and they are more expensive - still organic - and got them for $1/lb. With 20 lbs worth, I got 7 quarts of spaghetti sauce. Compared to Archer Farms at $3.99/jar of 25.5 oz I saved $1.14 per jar - by ounce. For a total savings of $7.98 on one canner of sauce. That is with the seasonings and everything to make it mine. Here is one day of canning: tomatoes on left, sauce on far right:

Jelly- I would buy jelly and jam if I didn't make my own so this is really a huge savings for us.

Lavender Vanilla Pear Jelly sells for $9.50 for an 8 oz jar and I used my own pears from my trees, my own lavender and vanilla I have on hand for a savings so huge I don't know how to compute it. Ideas?

The only fruit I bought to make my jellies and jams was strawberries. Peaches were from my tree or from a friend... basil from my herb garden.... jalapenos from my garden.... pears, oh yeah, we covered them. Plums, from a friend.... you get the idea - I can what I have on hand or can get an extremely great deal. Oh and the beans - free from my brother. We had to pick them and I sent my kids on the errand. tee hee hee.

So, I haven't got all my figures down but I can tell already, I have saved us hundreds of dollars by canning. I will not have to buy jelly or jam and I won't. I won't have to buy tomatoes or green beans for a long while. Same for the applesauce when we get that done.

I want you to know - IT IS WORTH IT! If you don't have a canner, borrow one! Ask your neighbor to go in on one with you if neither of you have one. Can with a friend - it's so much fun!!!

This is my favorite canning site. I love how it has everything in one place. This is the one I use to check amounts and times. That and my trusty ol' Kerr book.

What have you canned this year? I'd love to hear what you're doing. I think I may try my hand at canning my own broths. It's so expensive to buy and has enormate amounts of sodium... yes, that's what I'll do. While my Mom is away I will can broth. Thanks for the idea!

It is work. It does take time. I just have to remember, time is money and it is never more true than with canning. This winter, if we need to tighten our belts, we won't notice. Our children won't notice a change in diet. We will have healthy organic food just waiting to be "et" in our pantry. Again, THANK YOU, JESUS!!!

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