Is canning worth it? It depends. Overall I’d say yes, but it does depend on your situation and season of life.
You have to consider the cost of supplies, the food, your time and the canned food quality.
When you start buying jars, lids, a canner (especially if you buy a pressure cooker) and other supplies you may think it is not cost effective.
Here are some things to consider as you begin:
- It does take an investment to begin with, start out slowly.
- Watch at yards sales and thrift stores you can buy up a bunch of used jars.
- Be sure there are no chips or nicks on the jar opening when buying them used.
- You may have family members, especially older ones that are no longer canning that may love to hand down their jars to you.
- If you are buying a pressure cooker used, be sure to have it tested before using it. Usually your local Cooperative Extension can help you with that.
- Once your supplies are bought they will last you for years and years…and years!
- If you grow your own of course that is the most economical way, even if you only grow and can your tomatoes.
- Consider going in together with another family and planting a garden together sharing expenses, WORK and produce.
- You may be able to buy from local farmers markets. Buy only when food is at it’s peak season, that is when it is cheapest.
- If you live in a rural area you may have friends or family that have surplus that they would love to give away so it does not go to waste. Take what you can and can or freeze it.
- Your time is the most valuable thing yow have. You may have to sacrifice some activities to get the canning done. It all boils down to making time for what is most important to you.
- Set a side a day and do a bunch of canning at once, or do a little each week.
- Enlist help, older children, a spouse, a friend, a grandmother. It is great bonding time!
- Again, start out slow tackling one or two items/recipes each year.
The Food Quality-
- When you can you know what is in it.
- YOU control the preservatives and the quality of food going onto it.
- You know how long it has been on the shelf.
- Canning or freezing your food is almost always more healthy than buying off the store shelf.
And there is the pure satisfaction of eating the fruit of your own hands and the many, many character qualities that are formed when doing this; hard work, diligence, attentiveness, creativity, etc…
Are you planning for your pantry?
Here is a great site to help you find farms in your area that will let you pick:
Products we love:
Using a pressure cooker to can produce sure does cut processing time way down!
Hot water canner, perfect for processing tomatoes or if you are cautious about using a pressure cooker.
All of these gadgets make canning efficient!
I’d much rather use wide mouth jars rather than regular mouth jars,
especially for tomatoes and soup.
Grandma Brodock’s Sweet Pepper Relish and how to can it.