So I have been canning and freezing alot this year, in fact, this year is the year where I have increased my 'putting up' by about 150%. Previous year, Ive put up a few jars of this, a few of that. Never really thinking, how much do I need to get through the year until the next in-season produce? I felt good that I was slowly breaking the ice with a few cans here and there.
But this year, I feel like Ive made alot of progress. I really focused on what was in season, what could I do with it, what will we eat that I can freeze/can to limit all ingestion of unknowns. Not to mention the money we have saved. But to prove that to myself and others, I wanted to price what it was that I had put up.
I shucked fresh corn so that we wouldn't need to buy any canned corn and froze it, a little over 10 cups of it total. The corn was ultra fresh (as in, just broken right off the stalk), and cost 5$. The biggest deal I can find right now is .50$ for a can of 200ml niblets. So it would cost about the same for the same amount (maybe a few cents in my direction). I didnt save any money on that, but I sure as heck saved my tastebuds, as the two arent even comparable in taste.
I canned about 16 cups of roasted corn salsa, all made with fresh ingredients. I cant find roasted corn salsa, so I will compare the price of regular rojo salsa to mine. Lets start with rojo at 4.50 for 500ml. So that would equal up to 36$ of salsa. My ingredients (tomatoes, onions, green bell & jalapeno peppers, corn, cilantro, few odds and ends I had) cost 17$. Not to mention the ridiculous amount of sodium in store-bought salsa, making salsa for the win!
On to tomatoes. This one is a hard one to calculate because of all the ingredients that went into each batches, so I broke it down. Lets start with whole (peeled/seeded) tomatoes. I have maybe 7 cups of tomatoes. This cost me 3.5$ (I bought them in bulk). I found .79$ for 500ml. So that equals 2.76 for the same amount. So canned tomatoes actually wins this battle price-wise.
Next is sauce. I made 24 cups of tomato/garlic/herb sauce. I fashioned it after the sauce we usually buy which is Hunt's, sells in 500ml cans (so 12 portions) which cost at is lowest 3 for 5$, which equals to 20$. The total cost of making this was 7$. Team canning WINNING!
I made 10 cups of spaghetti sauce. We dont buy canned meat sauce, we seperately buy all ingredients, very often not on special. Last time I made that large of a quantity, it cost me 18$. Buying the tomatoes (rather than canned sauce and canned tomatoe chunks) changed the entire taste and value of the sauce, making it a ridiculous 9$ Savings of 9$ for the canning lady!
Last is 10 cups of spicy marinara vegetable sauce. The closest thing flavor and ingredient wise that I liken it to is the glass canned sauces, which could be unfair since they are pricier than cheaper version. But lets indulge. Those sauces come in at 4.50 for 500ml, and the grand total of my sauce was 6.50$ This includes mushrooms, peppers, carrots, zucchini, leeks and celery as vegetables, dried and fresh herbs. Thats a savings of 15.50!
Next is beets, since Im the only one who enjoys them, I only canned 2 ltrs of them. The beets cost 3$, I have vinegar and sugar in bulk quantities, so the quantities I used cost mere pennies. Canned beets are 1.50 for 500 ml, so I saved 3$ (imagine what I would have saved had we all loved beets and ate them like mad!).
Strawberry jam is up, though I feel maybe like I shouldnt count that as my regular canning as I make jam as a side job. It cost 9$ for about 8 liters of jam. I believe that jam is around the 2.00$ mark for 500ml, so I saved a whopping 23$ by buying strawberries in season, and in bulk (they were slightly overipe, but it made for a naturally sweeter jam :D)
Last but not least is pickles. Ah, les lovely cornichons. I made 6 liters of dill pickles, and 4 liters of bread and pickles. I think the pickles go for 2$ a liter, and it cost me 10$ total. Thats a savings of 10$ for my pocket!
So that amounts to a grand total of 93$!! About a week and some's worth of groceries! A payment on a bill (two even)! How crazy is that??
And thats not counting all the other stuff, like huge squash cubed and frozen, herbs (you pay the same price as in stores, but the quantity is HUGE in comparison), I bought mass quantities of carrots that I havent prepared into soup (I freeze in individual portions so I can easily unfreeze lunch for work) yet, and the apple/autumn squash season is about to begin, which means lots of canning and freezing to come!
I am so happy to know that the time I spent on this was worth it in the end! NUTS!