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pint jars
delicious fruits
fruits and vegetables
food budget
delicious food
food storage
Save Money Canning Your Own Fruit
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Save Money Canning Your Own Fruit

During canning season, I often spend my weekends picking and home canning fruit. The responses I get from people who hear this vary.

Some people have experienced first hand the delicious food preserved through home canning. These people ask questions about where I obtained my fruit, how much did I can, and may they have a jar?

Those who haven't canned ask me about the cost / benefit of canning my own food. "Why do you spend so much time canning your own fruit?" "Doesn't it end up costing more money canning it yourself?"

Why Preserve It Yourself

Yes, it does takes time to preserve fruit myself, but honestly it is a process that I love. And, no it does not cost more to can it myself than to buy fresh or canned fruit at the store.

During the summer months I do spend a higher percentage of my food budget of bulk purchases of fruit. However, the price I pay per pound for locally grown fruit is significantly lower than even the "in season" price of these fruits in the grocery store. So, I preserve these cheaper fruits now and I eat them when the cost is two or three times the price; this is a significant cost savings.

How We Save Money Canning

During the winter months, sources of fresh fruit are limited. For these 6 months, we purchase fresh fruit that has traveled thousands of miles to our grocery stores that was shipped days before it was ripe. And, we get to pay premium dollars for the privilege of under ripe fruit.

What are the alternatives?

You can purchase canned fruit at your local stores, but have you seen the price of canned fruit lately? On sale, you might get a medium sized can of fruit for $1.50. Regular price, you're pushing $2 or more a can! While that is cheaper than buying fresh during the winter months, it is no way to maximize your food budget. The other alternative - canning your own fruit.

In late fall, we were lucky enough to obtain a 20 pound box of fresh Asian pears for $18. We devoured a few pounds of that delicious fruit over the next week. We then canned 18 pint jars of Asian pears (that’s $1 per jar, less if we consider all the pears we ate prior to canning) and found that they tasted even better canned!

We placed most of these pears in our food storage for some tasty treats this winter. We also learned that our children preferred the taste of our home canned pears in extra light syrup to the heavy syrup pears from the grocery store!

If you are able to find Asian pears in bulk, I highly recommend canning some. If your local farmer's market doesn’t carry Asian pears you can also ask for Bartlett, Bosc, or Sickle pears. Keep in mind that your pears when stored at 70 degrees in moderate lighting will last at least 18 months! To extend the life of your home canned pears, keep them in a cool dark place. You can easily double the acceptable shelf life this way.

What Supplies Are Needed

If you have never canned before, you can purchase all of your reusable items for water bath canning for under $60.00. To begin, you will need a large water bath canner ($35) and pint sized canning jars ($7.00/dozen), which includes your first set of lids and rings. Your funnel, lid lifter, kitchen tongs, and jar grabber can be purchased as a combo for about $10.00. Add a vegetable/fruit peeler ($5.00) and some knives, cutting board, spoons and ladles you probably already have and you have all you need to begin the lifelong journey of canning your favorite fruits.

I recommend you spend the additional $40 to upgrade your canner to a pressure canner. Water bath canning is only for jams and fruits. If you want to expand the type of food you preserve for your food storage, you'll want to have a pressure canner. With a pressure canner, you can also preserve vegetables, meats, soups, and meals. We purchased another pressure canner for under $70 and we love it. The best part is our canner can be used for BOTH water bath canning AND pressure canning. What a bargain!

Home canning is a fantastic bonding experience for your family. And, it really is a great feeling knowing you have a variety of healthy foods in your food storage, including delicious fruits and vegetables, in case of potential food shortages or sudden spikes in food prices.

Keep canning, your food budget and food storage depend on it!

Street Talk

Nice article.. I watched my grandmother can so many things. They had a whole wall of shelves with jars full of anything from tomatoes to blackberries. Spiced peaches were my favorite. :) I even do a little canning myself with tomatoes, figs, and jalapenos. :)

  about 1 decade ago

That's fantastic! We are expanding our garden this year and trying lots of new plants, so I expect to have lots of new items to home can. I might try homemade spaghetti sauce and salsa as well as some vegetable soup. The possibilities are endless!

  about 1 decade ago
Tracy Cox  

I will have to admit that canned fruits are my favorite. I love fruits. My grandfather must have his canned apples with toast for dessert after every meal.

  about 1 decade ago

Home canned fruits are the BEST! I think your grandfather has the right idea, it sounds yummy!

  about 1 decade ago

When we lived on the farm and had fruit in abundance, my wife would bottle and bottle, how i enjoyed those peaches, apples, figs and pears. Specially on an evening when after supper one felt like a afters, open a bottle of fruit skim fresh cream of the milk and away we went. Wonderful

  about 1 decade ago

Rob, what a wonderful memory! It's funny how we have heartwarming memories about picking, canning, and eating home canned food. There's something so fantastic about it. The alternative - grocery store food. I don't think anyone has heartwarming memories about their trips to the store. Another reason I can food, to build those memories with my family and children.

  about 1 decade ago

Oh how true, I could not put it better myself.

  about 1 decade ago
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