Since I know so many of you love saving money as much as me, I also realize that there are other ways to save money. There is a new serious on Bucktown Bargains titled Thrifty Thursday that will feature different ideas to save money. There will also be contributing writers sharing their speciality and tips. If you are interested in sharing your thrifty ideas, just use the contact at the top of the page and share your ideas.
Saving Money by Canning
Contributing Writer – Jalene Allen (Mother of Tyler, 7, and Makenzie, 5)
Some women come from a long line of people that used to preserve food the “old
fashioned” way, by canning. Those that come and sit in my kitchen often reminisce of
Grandma’s Old Fashioned Tomato Marmalade, or the time that Great Aunt Aggie and
Great Aunt Amy spent weeks perfecting their chili sauce to taste like their mother’s.
Back then, it was a way of life, a means to survival. Unfortunately, somewhere in
my “long line of people”, the skill of canning and preserving got lost and wasn’t passed
down through the generations. I am not sure what came first, my desire to save or my
desire to can. Actually, I would have to say it was my desire to save summer in a jar.
Several years into my preserving journey I started to notice something. Gone were the
grocery budgets of $900 or more a month. Some months I would tally and my family of
four (that most Sundays often feeds 5 or 6 with my in-laws) racked up a whopping $250
in groceries for a whole month, a 60-70% savings, without any effort or fore thought on
my part. People started to ask, “How?”, “Show me!”, and “Help me!”. That is when
canning became more than just bottling summer, it became about helping people save
money. I call it the canning bug. I caught it, and I share it.
Let’s talk about start up costs. You can start with as little or as much as you want. Most
of the recipes that I preserve can also be frozen in plastic containers as well as hot water
bath canned or pressure canned. To start with the general water bath canning, the first
and most essential item you will need is jars. Jars can be purchased, new, from store such
as Walmart, Family Dollar (seasonally), Agway, and Kmart. I was lucky to stumble upon
a craigslist ad that netted me 400 or so jars for about 50 dollars. Next, you will need lids.
I can, most often, find a pack of lids on sale at Walmart for $1 (12 lids). The regular
price is generally $2. Now, you will need a pot to boil your jars in that has a rack in the
bottom. The pot must be large enough to fill and have water cover your jars by 1 inch. I
often use one of my stock pots with my round cake cooling rack in the bottom although
Just words of suggestion, before you start buying the things you will need to start, ask
around. Ask your neighbor, your mother, your uncle, your cousin if they have canning
supplies. It seems that, after I bought all of my supplies (of course), everyone I ran into
had an unlimited supply of the old stuff in their basements or attics. As long as the jars
and pots can be sterilized by boiling and cleaned they are fine to use. Most will gladly
dig them out for you with the promise of a future jar of sauce!
Last, but not least, you need a reason to can. I call it my “why”. Maybe your reason is
saving money, or being more self-reliant, bottling summer or just continuing a tradition.
My reasons have evolved. My reasons are many. Not the least of which are my children,
Tyler, 7, and Makenzie, 5. Making pasta sauce with my daughter she says, “Mom, when
I grow up, will you promise to show me how to make healthy sauce with my daughter?”
You can’t get a better reason than that!
Must have item with any pasta dish..
You can even freeze these and take them out in the morning you are going to use them.