Monday, September 10, 2007


I don't do much canning any more, because there's just one of me and I don't have that much of a garden, either... but when I used to put up a lot of food for the winter, it was always a challenge to find equipment at a good price. If you wind up paying too much for jars, canners, and canning toys like lid lifters and special tongs, canning your own food can cost you more than you can save.

I have an article on Dollar Stretcher about how to buy used canning equipment, so I won't go into it now, but watch your costs and don't forget to include the fuel it takes, either.

Because things used to save money in the past is not guarantee that they still do. Using a wood burning cookstove to cook all day may not cost much in real money, but keeping an electric or gas kitchen range going for hours does cost.

It's not always easy to back up and look at things the way they really are, but if you make the effort, you'll be dollars and cents ahead!


  1. Your comments on canning are so true. I only can what is extra from the garden, or if we go out for the day and there are berries we get free. Also I find over the years I have enough jars. I only buy my lids at the end of the season when they are on sale. Sugar and other items are also bought on sales ( not just for canning, but for the yearly use.) I used to freeze more than can, and I still freeze a lot, but since dh started hunting more, I leave space for his game.
    Another thing about canning, re-use the jars. As I empty jars I use them for many other things, like leftovers, soups and gravey come to mind. The jars take up less horizontal space in my fridge than bowls do, I have bought plastic jar lids still in the box, at yard sales, and use these lids for fridge storage. Perhaps you can store grains like barley in some. Of corse later I start putting the empties away for the next year, or when I find something to can ( spring is great for ruhbarb jams as an example).
    Love you posts.

    Pat in Kitchener

  2. Thanks, Pat. I put away my canning jars as they're emptied to minimize the risk of chips or cracks. I use empty glass or plastic jars from things like mayonnaise or pickles to store things in.

    Buying end of season sales is a good thing to point out. It's easy to forget about that, especially when you're glad the season is ending!