Looking for Home Canning: How to get the BEST prices on fruit, vegetables and supplies! in 2023? Scroll down this page and follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above. If you are having a hard time finding canning lids, I've used these, and they're a great price & ship in 2 days.
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With inflation remaining stubbornly high, homemakers need to find ways to save money. Home preserving and canning is one great way, but even here you must be smart about it and know the tips and tricks to save money. Here's what you need to know!
The best advice is to can each crop when it is season. That is when the prices are the lowest.
Which fruit or veg are you wanting to preserve and is it in season? If it is in season and it is grown commercially in your area, then a pick your own farm in your area is best.
First, find the crop harvest calendar for your area to see what is in season - and what is coming next.
Next, see this page to find specific crops in your area.
You may also be able to get deals direct from the farm or orchard on “seconds”. Seconds are the produce that doesn’t look as perfect, may have a few bruises or is smaller, or an odd shape. These are often half price and perfect for canning, since you will cut them up (removing the damaged parts) and use them right away. Always ask if they sell "seconds".
If the crop is out of season, farm markets and large commercial distribution farmers markets are the best bet; see this page for both large and small produce stands, farm markets and multi-stand farmer's markets .
The small farmer’s markets with all the tents with incense oils, arts and crafts are usually an awful choice. Their prices are usually the highest you’ll pay anywhere, in my experience. They’re really boutiques for yuppie soccer moms.
A real farmer’s market has large trucks bring huge quantities of produce. It’s where grocery stores and restaurants go to shop. An example of this is the Farmer’s Market in Forest Park, GA. https://www.localfarmmarkets.org/AtlantaGeorgiaStateFarmersMarket.php.
Some crops, like pickling cucumbers are SO EASY to grow, and so prolific, it’s better to grow them yourself. Even if you do not have a garden, just get a bag of compost or manure from Home Depot, put it in full sun, lay it on the ground, cut a few slits in the top to plant the cucumber seeds and a few slits in the side to let excess water out. Water it every other day, and you’ll have more cucumbers than you can pickle!
You should also take the same approach with canning supplies. A canner is a one-time purchase, but the cost of lids, jars, pectin, sugar for jams, can add up. Big Lots, when they have canning jars (typically in the late summer) has the best prices on jars.
Lids are cheapest online – see this page https://www.pickyourown.org/replacementcanninglidsandrings.htm#lidsandrings Often you can get 100 or more lids (BPA-free) for about $15.
Pectin is getting expensive, and unfortunately it does not store well in the little packets. Best approach is to get a bulk bag of pectin ( see this page https://www.pickyourown.org/pectin.htm ) and keep it in the freezer.
I've got hundreds of lab-tested, safe, easy to follow home canning directions (as well as freezing, drying, pickling, fermenting, etc.) here.
If you have any other tips to add, please write me!
Water bath canner with a jar rack
Pressure canner for gas, electric and induction stoves
Canning scoop (this one is PERFECT)
Ball Blue book (most recent version)
most recent version of
the Ball Blue Book