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Canning is a great way to preserve produce from your garden, farmers' markets, or local grocery stores. With a little knowledge and some basic supplies, you can begin home-canning and preserving your own food. Not only will canning you save money, but you'll also get the satisfaction of knowing that you are providing quality food for your family. This guide will provide an introduction to canning 101 basics so you can get started with confidence.
No garden? No problem! Buy produce in season at the lowest price and stock up and can it so you have it later in the year! (Here is a great chart of when produce is in season)
What is one way that canning can help save money?
Purchasing items in bulk to take advantage of seasonal sales or overstock items is one way that canning can help save money.
What are the benefits of reducing food waste when it comes to saving money with canning?
Reducing food waste by preserving perishables for future use helps to cut down on unnecessary spending, as well as reducing the amount of food wasted.
How does controlling ingredients used in preserved foods help you save money?
Controlling the ingredients used in preserved foods helps to avoid buying expensive pre-packaged, processed foods which often contain unhealthy ingredients. Canning also ensures that only necessary preservatives and sugar are being used.
Canning 101: What are the benefits of canning?
A pantry full of fresh, homegrown foods
Having a stocked pantry offers a cushion against the fluctuating cost of healthy foods.
Related: Canning Apple Butter Recipe and Tips
You can build a pantry of convenience foods that fit into your busy lifestyle and that your family will enjoy.
Protection against rising food costs
The whole idea of canning and preserving is to take advantage of fresh food when it’s abundant. And abundant food generally means lower cost.
Related: Easy Peach Pie Filling for Canning
A sense of relaxation and accomplishment
For many people, working in the kitchen and handling food provides a sense of relaxation, and watching family and friends enjoy the products of your efforts gives you a great sense of accomplishment.
Confidence in the ingredients that go into your food
If you love fresh ingredients and like to know what goes into your food, doing your own canning and preserving is the answer.
Related: Canning BBQ Sauce Recipe and Tips
A good time
Producing canned and preserved food in your kitchen is fun and easy — and who doesn’t like fun?
I preserve the food we use a lot. My favorite is Strawberry Jam for $7 I can get 10 jars that would have cost me $3 a jar or around $30 (without coupons!) Even couponing my stock up price is about $1.50 or $15 or 10 jars. I saved either way!
Is canning worth the money?
Yes, canning is worth the money. Canning your own food not only saves you money from buying canned food at the grocery store, but it also gives you control over what ingredients go into each product and allows you to create unique recipes. Additionally, home-canned foods will often taste fresher and more flavorful than store-bought canned items due to the shorter time between being processed and being eaten. Finally, with a little practice, canning can become a highly rewarding hobby that produces delicious results!
How long does canned food last?
When done properly, canned foods can last up to 18 months on the shelf. However, it is important to keep in mind that while canned food may remain safe for quite some time, its quality will gradually decline with age. After one year of storage, cans should be inspected for bulging or corrosion as these are signs that the food inside isn't safe to eat. Additionally, it is always important to follow proper canning instructions when processing food to ensure safety and the best results.
Canning 101: Tools you'll need for canning
Pressure Canner or a Water Bath Canner – Pressure canners and water bath canners are both popular methods of home canning. Pressure canning is the preferred method for preserving low-acid vegetables and meats, as it allows for heat to reach temperatures that are high enough to kill off dangerous bacteria. Water bath canning is a simpler process that is typically used to preserve high-acid foods such as fruits and jams, as the lower temperature does not affect their flavor or texture.
Canning Set – A canning tool set is a great way to equip yourself with the supplies and utensils needed for home canning. Common items included in a canning tool set are a jar lifter, lid lifter, spatula, lid wand, funnel, thermometer, and tongs. Additionally, you may find these sets with labels or tags to help you keep track of what's inside each jar. With all of the essentials included in one easy-to-use kit, you'll be well on your way to mastering the art of home canning!
Mason Jars – Mason jars are a staple of home canning, and for good reason. Durable and reusable, mason jars come in different sizes to hold various quantities of food. They feature a simple two-piece airtight lid that securely seals in freshness, and many also have measurement marks on the sides to help you measure liquids accurately. With mason jars, you can easily store and serve preserves, pickles, jams, and more!
Pectin – Canning home goods with pectin is an excellent way to store and preserve food for long-term use. Pectin helps to lock in flavor, texture, and nutrients while also protecting against environmental toxins. Whether you're canning fruits, vegetables, or other types of food, pectin helps to ensure that the results are both delicious and nutritious. With pectin, you can trust that your canned goods will stay fresh for a long time and provide your family with healthy meals they'll love!
Canning 101: Canning recipe books and more canning tips!
I love cookbooks and if you want some great canning recipes and even more great canning tips, here are a few of my favorites:
- Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving – My Mother in Law gave me this one and it's been a HUGE help!
- Canning and Preserving For Dummies
- Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round
- Better Homes and Gardens Can It!
Related: Canning Tomato Sauce
Canning is an incredibly rewarding activity that can save you money, time, and stress. With the right ingredients and supplies, it's easy to get started. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced canner, following the safety guidelines and recipes provided will ensure your canned goods are safe for consumption and delicious! So get out there and start canning!